It is truly amazing how time flies as New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning prepares for his 10th NFL season. It has also been 10 years since coach Tom Coughlin took over for former head coach Jim Fassel. Manning and the Giants go into the 2013 campaign with probably one of the most prolific offenses they have put together in some time. If key players are able to stay healthy, this current Giants team can very well compete for yet another Lombardi Trophy. Although they are in what many say is the toughest division in the entire NFL, let alone the NFC conference, Manning has the potential to put up better numbers than he did last year. In 2012, Manning threw for 3,948 yards with only 26 touchdowns to go along with 15 interceptions. Those numbers ranked him 10th in the league amongst quarterbacks.
Although this season seems like a promising one for the “G-men”, there are a few concerns and weaknesses that have been exposed in just a couple of preseason games played this year. Their offensive line looks a bit shaky at times and that doesn’t benefit Manning at all. Their secondary looks suspect as well. Safety Kenny Phillips is no longer with the team and last year’s standout on defense, Stevie Brown, reportedly tore his ACL this past Saturday against the Jets and he will miss the entire season. Defensive end O.C. Umenyiora signed with the Atlanta Falcons during the off-season, Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off back surgery and there’s no telling when he’ll be back on the field. Still, if you ask Manning what he thinks about the pros and cons with his team, he’ll tell you that he is “locked and ready” in his quest for a 3rd championship ring.
In order for that to happen, Manning needs his fellow buddies to be productive just as they were most of last year. After a contract dispute with the Giants organization, the “Salsa man” Victor Cruz re-signed with the team for 6 years, worth a little more than $45 million dollars, making him one of the highest-paid receivers in football. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is entering a contract year with the Giants but he is not expected to get a deal as similar as Cruz’s due to his age and injury-prone seasons. However you slice ‘n dice it, the duo of Cruz and Nicks on the field at the same time signals trouble for a lot of teams. Both receivers have the potential of being as dangerous as Randy Moss and Chris Carter were for the Vikings back in the 90’s. Let’s not forget their 3rd-string receiver, Rueben Randle. He can take the load off of Cruz and Nicks and be productive himself. As for the running back situation, Ahmad Bradshaw has signed with the Colts, leaving the starting job for young David Wilson, who has the capability to be a star running back in the league. He and Andre Brown can be a dynamic two-headed monster for the G-men. There are nearly 2 weeks left for the NFL kickoff. Can Eli lead the Giants to the promise land? Or will it be yet another midseason meldown? The road to the Super Bowl begins week 1 on September 8 against division rival Dallas Cowboys.
Sports Notes: (Football) Two weeks away for the upcoming 2013 NFL campaign. (Baseball) The Yankees are looking to scratch ‘n crawl their way into the playoffs by clinching a wild card berth. The team heads back home to play the Baltimore Orioles in a crucial 3-game series. Yet another major injury to the Mets as pitching phenom Matt Harvey was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his pitching elbow. Harvey will perhaps require surgery and will be out for the rest of the season. There is no timetable for his recovery or his return at this time.