We know the New York Giants rush the quarterback. They arguably have the best pass rush in the National Football League. They can throw the ball, too. Behind Eli Manning, they ranked fifth in the league in passing. But the defending Super Bowl champions aren't perfect. Here's a look at three areas of concern for the Giants heading into the 2012 season and how the team might address them.
The Running Game -- As any Giants fan knows by now, Big Blue ranked dead last in the National Football League in rushing with 89.2 yards per game. Brandon Jacobs is gone (signed by the San Francisco 49ers) and Ahmad Bradshaw, who averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry, will be the featured running back in 2012. But there are reasons for optimism. Bradshaw, who played last season with a broken foot, should be healthy and first-round pick David Wilson may provide a boost.
Run Defense -- The G-Men, who allowed 121.3 yards per game on the ground, ranked No. 19 in stopping the run last season. In fact, they allowed at least 100 yards rushing to opponents 10 times. However, the Giants will be deeper at the linebacker position this season with run-stoppers Mathias Kiwanuka, Chase Blackburn, Michael Boley and improving second-year pro Jacquian Williams. Plus, they added Keith Rivers (for a fifth-round pick). Let's hope they all stay healthy.
Special Teams -- The Giants' special teams are nothing special. Big Blue ranked ranked in the bottom half of the league in both punt and kick returns. However, as I wrote in this space a couple of days ago, a trio of rookies could help boost the team's lackluster return units. One of them, third-round pick Jayron Hosley, may be a special teams sleeper. Watch this unit in training camp.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. You can follow Adam on Twitter @PegCitySports.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- National Football League
- Ahmad Bradshaw
- the New York Giants