This article is part of our Team Previews series.
GIANTS TEAM PREVIEW
by Christopher Liss
STATE OF THE FRANCHISE
The Giants finished 10-6 last year, but it had to be viewed as a disappointment given where they were two thirds of the way through the year and the terrible collapse in the second game against Michael Vick and the Eagles. Still, this is a team with a strong passing game, arguably the best defensive line in the NFL, a solid secondary and good running game, so barring catastrophic injuries, it should be in contention for a playoff berth. Questions remain on the retooled offensive line (LT David Diehl moves to LG, replacing Rich Seubert, William Beatty starts at LT replacing Diehl, and David Baas was signed to play center, replacing Shaun O'Hara), the linebacking corps (Mathias Kiwanuka will man the strong side, Jonathan Goff the middle) and on special teams (punter Steve Weatherford will compete with Matt Dodge, the team hasn't had an effective kick returner in a few years and kickoff coverage has been a weakness at times).
While the team did not make a big splash in free agency, and lost key contributors from recent seasons like tight end Kevin Boss and wide receiver Steve Smith, it expects bigger contributions from players like Mario Manningham, a fourth-year receiver who had nine TDs and 944 yards on just 92 targets last year, second-year defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who looked dominant in the team's first preseason game and Kiwanuka who