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Giants’ Hopes Rest On Manning Form

August 27, 2018

The New York Giants have been underachievers in the NFL since their last Super Bowl triumph in the 2011 season. New head coach Pat Shurmur has a challenge on his hands to get the club back into the playoffs after reaching the post-season just once in their past six terms.

Ben McAdoo paid the price for a poor campaign last term as the Giants finished 3-13. It was their worst season since 1974 when the club managed to win only two matches. His handling of team matters were also criticised, particularly the move to bench Eli Manning for Geno Smith, only to recall the two-time Super Bowl MVP one week later.

Shurmur was installed as McAdoo’s replacement following a successful period as offensive coordinator at the Minnesota Vikings. Mike Shula and James Bettcher take over the coordinator position on offense and defense respectively, arriving with good résumés.

The Giants’ failure in 2017 put them in prime position to select one of the most exciting prospects to emerge from the college game in recent history. Running back Saquon Barkley dazzled with his displays for the Penn State Nittany Lions and was selected second-overall by the franchise’s new general manager Dave Gettleman.

With Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr on the same offense, the Giants have a good chance to reverse their fortunes from last season.

The pressure is on Manning


There was a lot of speculation that the Giants were looking at a quarterback with the second-overall pick. Manning has not been a consistent player throughout his career, despite his two Super Bowl wins. The 37-year-old has been on the decline for the past two seasons, resulting in his benching.

It was deserved due to his poor performance on the field, but the manner of the deed brought sympathy as it would from the fanbase for a player that brought success to the team. Manning has more than enough talent around him to thrive this term. A failure to get the offense firing would certainly bring about the death knell in his career as a starting quarterback. Shurmur got the quarterbacks at the Vikings firing and he may have some magic to be able to extend Manning’s career in New York.

Barkley should ease the pressure on the Manning. He has the potential to be one of the best running backs in the NFL. The 21-year-old was electric on the field for Penn State during his three-year college career. He rushed for 3,843 yards over three seasons along with 43 touchdowns on the ground. Barkley has the dual threat out of the backfield to match Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot’s form in their rookie campaigns. It would not be a surprise to see the back rack up over 1,000 yards on the ground and double-digit touchdowns.

The passing game flows through Beckham Jr. He’s arguably the best wideout in the NFL and definitely the most flamboyant. The 25-year-old has been Manning’s crutch, and a large reason for the offense’s struggles was due to his absence. Beckham Jr played only four matches last season. Having the three-time Pro Bowler back in the team will be vital to the club’s success. He along with Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram can become a fierce prospect to deal with downfield.


New York’s defense was the foundation of their push to the playoffs in the 2016 season. However, cracks appeared last season, resulting in the departure of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Bettcher has talent on his unit for the 2018 season, beginning with the defensive line. Damon Harrison is a force in the middle of the defensive line. He is the best run defender in the NFL, locking up the inside of the line to prevent teams running directly at the Giants. Dalvin Tomlinson had a solid rookie term and has the opportunity to build alongside Harrison.

The Giants traded to acquire the services of Alec Ogletree in the middle of the linebacking corps. Ogletree has the ability to run sideline-to-sideline along with providing power to disrupt the running game. His veteran presence at the second level will provide leadership for the Giants’ defense. The athleticism of Lorenzo Carter will be a boost after the club drafted him in the third round. Alongside Carter, New York should be well catered for tracking down running backs and tight ends. Olivier Vernon will provide the main push in the pass-rush, although the addition of Kareem Martin will provide further boost with the veteran. Connor Barwin and Kerry Wynn should allow the Giants to keep them fresh, giving them vital depth over the course of the campaign.

Landon Collins leads the secondary after another fine season. Collins managed to maintain his high level of play, although the Giants struggled. Janoris Jenkins is a solid cornerback and should be able to hold his own against leading wideouts. However, the rest of the secondary have question marks, including 2015 first-round pick Eli Apple. He has underwhelmed since his arrival, but could find a new lease of life under Bettcher.

Betting Options

The Giants hopes of reaching the playoffs hinge on the form of Manning. If he plays at a decent level as in 2007 and 2011 when the club won the Super Bowl, they could have a chance of making a run to the post-season. Unfortunately for the Giants, the 37-year-old is on the decline.

Therefore their hopes of winning the NFC East look slim. Take them at odds of 1/5  to miss the playoffs and to win under seven matches at 27/20  with 888Sport. Third place in the NFC East appears to be on the money for Shurmur’s men in his first campaign as head coach. Back them at +175  with BetOnline to claim the place in 2018. The value of +500  could be worth a punt should their young talent fire with Manning for them to win the NFC East with BetOnline.

Barkley could be a surprise option to lead the NFL in rushing yards given his potential. Take him at +1800  to achieve the feat with TopBet. He’s the leading contender to be the offensive rookie of the year and the 21-year-old is a good punt at odds of 7/4  with 888Sport. Collins has the potential to have a defensive player of the year season should he star in the secondary at +3300  with BetOnline. Beckham missed the majority of the last term, therefore he will be eager to get back on form. Take him to lead the NFL in receiving yards in 2018 at odds of +1000  with TopBet.

Also back Beckham to record over 1,201 receiving yards at -120  and over eight touchdowns at -140  with BetOnline. Barkley should be in line for a season over 1,100 rushing yards at -110  and 10 touchdowns at -110 .  Manning struggled at times throwing the ball downfield therefore take the under on 3,949 passing yards at -120  along with over 23 touchdowns at -105  and over 15 interceptions at -105  with BetOnline.

Tips Summary

New York Giants To Miss Playoffs
Odds: 1/5

New York Giants To Win Under Seven Matches
Odds: 27/20

New York Giants To Finish Third Place NFC East
Odds: +175

Saquon Barkley To Lead NFL In Rushing Yards
Odds: +1800

Saquon Barkley To Win Offensive Rookie Of The Year
Odds: 7/4

Landon Collins To Win Defensive Player Of The Year
Odds: +3300

Odell Beckham Jr Lead NFL In Receiving Yards
Odds: +1000

Odell Beckham Jr To Record Over 1,201 Receiving Yards
Odds: -120

Odell Beckham Jr To Record Over Eight Touchdowns
Odds: -140

Saquon Barkley To Record Over 1,100 Rushing Yards
Odds: -140

Saquon Barkley To Record Over 10 Touchdowns
Odds: -140

Eli Manning To Record Under 3,949 Passing Yards
Odds: -12o

Eli Manning To Record Over 23 Touchdowns
Odds: -105

Eli Manning To Record Over 15 Interceptions
Odds: -105

  • Giants
  • New York Giants
  • NFL
  • Pat Shurmur
  • Saquon Barkley

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.