The New York Giants entered the 2018 season as a potential bounce-back candidate. Head coach Ben McAdoo was let go in the midst of a disastrous 2017 for which the team went 3-13. Pat Shurmur was brought on board to lead a squad which had some talented pieces of the puzzle in place.
Unfortunately, the Shurmur era didn’t exactly open up with a bang. The club was just 1-7 heading into a Week 9 bye. Fortunes changed from that point as the team showed signs of life over the second half of the year.
The final record of 5-11 was still disappointing, but optimism suggests some building blocks may have been laid along the way. Changes are afoot as the Giants prepare for a new season. Will, that translate into positive strides or are the Giants destined for another sub-.500 season?
Let’s take a look at what may be to come for the Giants in 2019, starting with a look back at the season that was.
New York Giants 2018 Season Recap
Record: 5-11 | Standings: 4-NFC East | Playoffs: N/A
Two straight losses to open the season led to an abrupt end to the honeymoon period for Shurmur. The Giants would bounce back in Week 3 with a 27-22 road win over the Houston Texans behind a two-TD day from Eli Manning.
The team was unable to build any momentum off of that win. Five straight losses would follow, two of which were of the double-digit variety. The club would also lose a pair of games by three points or less over that span.
The much-needed bye week would help to spark a renaissance for the Giants as the club would win four of their next five games. The defense looked much better over that timeframe, and the team suddenly found itself looking like a potential dark horse Wild Card contender.
It wasn’t meant to be. The Giants closed out the year with three straight defeats. A home shutout loss to the Tennessee Titans was followed by an excruciating pair of one-point losses, one on the road to the Indianapolis Colts and one at home to the Dallas Cowboys.
To be sure, it was a frustrating end to the 2018 season. However, the optimistic viewpoint says that the team looked much better over the second half of the year. Three of the teams losses over that stretch were by a field goal or less.
While close isn’t good enough for wins in the NFL, it can still serve as a building block for future success for a team that’s looking to get over the hump.
New York Giants Offseason Moves
The Giants wasted little time making a big splash in the offseason. The club made a blockbuster trade which sent stud wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive end Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns. In return, the G-men received a 2019 first- and third-rounder, as well as a pair of players.
Additions in free agency included wide receiver Golden Tate, defensive end Olsen Pierrre, and linebacker Marcus Golden. The club would lose players such as safety Landon Collins, guard Jamon Brown, and cornerback B.W. Webb.
he Giants would use the #6 selection on QB Daniel Jones out of Duke. The question of the heir apparent to Manning has now been answered, but there has been plenty of conjecture which suggests the club could’ve waited and taken him later on.
The club would be up to bat again at #17. They took defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence out of Clemson, a player who could serve as a defensive anchor in years to come. The team also loaded up at cornerback by selecting DeAndre Baker out of Georgia at the end of round one, and Notre Dame’s Julian Love in the fourth round.
The Giants offseason has received mixed reviews at best with most of the commentary reserved for the trading of Beckham and the selection of Jones. While those two moves got all of the headlines, the club did take steps to shore up some weaknesses elsewhere.
New York Giants 2019 Schedule
|1||Sun. Sept.8||at Dallas Cowboys||4:25 PM||FOX|
|2||Sun. Sept.15||vs. Buffalo Bills||1:00 PM||CBS|
|3||Sun. Sept.22||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4:05 PM||FOX|
|4||Sun. Sept.29||vs. Washington Redskins||1:00 PM||FOX|
|5||Sun. Oct.6||vs. Minnesota Vikings||1:00 PM||FOX|
|6||Thu. Oct.10||at New England Patriots||8:20 PM||FOX|
|7||Sun. Oct.20||vs. Arizona Cardinals||1:00 PM||FOX|
|8||Sun. Oct.27||at Detroit Lions||1:00 PM||FOX|
|9||Mon. Nov.4||vs. Dallas Cowboys||8:15 PM||ESPN|
|10||Sun. Nov.10||at New York Jets||1:00 PM||FOX|
|12||Sun. Nov.24||at Chicago Bears||1:00 PM||FOX|
|13||Sun. Dec.1||vs. Green Bay Packers||1:00 PM||FOX|
|14||Mon. Dec.9||at Philadelphia Eagles||8:15 PM||ESPN|
|15||Sun. Dec.15||vs. Miami Dolphins||1:00 PM||CBS|
|16||Sun. Dec.22||at Washington Redskins||1:00 PM||FOX|
|17||Sun. Dec.29||vs. Philadelphia Eagles||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Giants open up the season with a stiff test on the road at the Cowboys. The NFC East is expected to come down to the Cowboys and Eagles this season, so the game will serve as an early measuring stick. After that, it’s a pair of games versus clubs which could be improved this season in the Bills and the Buccaneers.
A divisional home matchup with the Redskins is followed by challenging games with the Vikings and Patriots. The Giants have a late bye this year in Week 11, but the four games heading into that don’t look too daunting – outside of a home date with the Cowboys, that is.
Following the bye, the Giants will face a brutal three-game stretch versus the Bears, Packers, and Eagles, all of whom are expected to contend for playoff spots this year. Some breathing room could come in games against the Dolphins and Redskins, but the team closes out the year with a tough home game versus the division rival Eagles.
Add it all up, and there’s not a lot of room for hiccups for the 2019 Giants. Both the first and second halves of the season have challenging stretches involved. Quite simply, the club will need to steal some upset victories or risk another season with less than eight wins.
New York Giants 2019 Outlook
The NFC East is expected to come down to the Eagles and Cowboys. If the Giants can pull splits in those four games, it would bode well for the rest of the year. The Redskins are a bit of a question mark heading into the year, but a split is certainly a reasonable ask.
The remainder of the NFC schedule is a bit of a mixed bag. The Giants will have home games with the Vikings, Cardinals, and Packers, and they will hit the road to face the Buccaneers, Lions, and Bears. Two wins shouldn’t be too much to ask there, but three victories may be a best-case scenario.
In the interconference play, the Giants will have four games versus the AFC East. They’ll be home for the Bills and Dolphins, on the road for the Patriots, and technically the away team versus the Jets. The Giants and Jets share MetLife Stadium, so it’s not much of a trip.
A trip to New England looks like a loss, while a late-season visit from the rebuilding Dolphins could be a win. The Bills and Jets are both expected to improve this year, so a split may the best that the Giants can hope for here. A record of 2-2 versus the AFC East seems reasonable.
New York Giants 2019 Win Total Odds and Pick
Here is the benchmark that the NFL betting sites have set for the Giants heading into 2019. As they see it, the team should only improve by one win over last year.
Total Regular Season Wins:
Betting odds provided by: MyBookie.ag
The trade of Beckham Jr certainly changes things for the Giants offense, but this is not a team that’s devoid of weapons. Saquon Barkley has established himself as a workhorse back. Tate will complement a passing attack which includes Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, two players who could shine more with additional targets headed their way.
The wild cards in the equation are Manning and the defense. If Manning struggles, the New York media will go into overdrive with calls for Jones to take over. The defense showed improvement over the second half of last year, but can they make even more strides this year?
It seemed like the team bought into Shurmur in the latter part of last year. We expect that to continue for his second year at the helm. As a result, we’re looking for the Giants to outperform expectations and go over on projected wins.