Joe Judge era starts for hapless Giants, 12 wins since ’16
NEW YORK GIANTS (4-12)
New faces: Coach Joe Judge, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, defensive coordinator Pat Graham, CB James Bradberry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Kyler Fackrell, RB Dion Lewis, S Nate Ebner, LS Casey Kreiter, T Andrew Thomas, T Cam Fleming, S Xavier McDaniel, PK Graham Gano, QB Colt McCoy.
Key losses: LT Nate Solder, CB DeAndre Baker, CB Sam Beal, RT Mike Remmers, DB Michael Thomas, LS Zak DeOssie, WR-ST Cody Core, C Jon Halapio.
Strengths: Offense is deep in skill players. Running back Saquon Barkley is dynamic weapon, QB Daniel Jones has job from beginning of season, WRs Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate and TE Evan Engram are veterans.
Weaknesses: O-line is shaky. It was bad last year and saw Solder opt out. Unit is going to have new center and two new tackles. New line coach Marc Colombo and Thomas (No. 4 overall in draft) on left side should help. Defense gave up 451 points in 2019, but it might be better after adding Bradberry, Martinez and McDaniel, re-signing LB Markus Golden and franchising DT Leonard Williams. But it might not.
Pandemic Development: Offensive line was in flux before pandemic and virus caused Solder to opt out. He has had cancer, his son is fighting cancer, and there is newborn in his house. Thomas probably will replace him at LT. Right side is now competition between Cam Fleming and Nick Gates, who also is in mix at center; 23-year-old Beal also opted out. With DeAndre Baker waived after legal issues, more space for youngsters Darnay Holmes and Corey Ballentine.
Fantasy Player To Watch: Engram. Oft-injured 2017 first-round pick was off to great start last season before being slowed by injury. He has looked excellent in camp and if he stays healthy, he can have big season like Garrett’s tight ends did in Dallas.
Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl: 70-1. Over/under wins: 6 1/2.
Expectations: There’s valid reasons Giants are long shot to make Super Bowl. Team has won 12 games in past three seasons combined and made playoffs once since winning Super Bowl in February 2012. Judge is their four coach since 2016, including interim coach Steve Spagnuolo in 2017. Judge, 38, is demanding and won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t play smart, physical, tough football. While molded by Nick Saban and Bill Belichick, he sounds like Bill Parcells at times. His staff reflects him. So .500 record would exceed all expectations. Who knows what’s going to happen in this crazy 2020?
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