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New York Giants Listed as One of 2013′s “Now or Never Teams” by NFL Network

July 15th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Doug Rush

Some teams in the NFL can have a small window of actual success where they have a team that's built to win now rather than later. And NFL Network has the New York Giants listed as one of those types of teams for the upcoming season.

Despite the fact that General Manager Jerry Reese builds the team through the draft and tries to spend wisely in free agency, Gil Brandt of NFL.com has listed the Giants as one of the top six teams in the league right now with "now or never" status regarding winning a Super Bowl. In the Giants' case, it would be winning another championship, as they won Super Bowl XLVI two seasons ago and have won two championships in the last six seasons.

The other team listed are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans; most of which have been playoff teams over the last two seasons but have some age on them.

Brandt lists age as a major factor as why the Giants made the list, along with an up-and-coming NFC East rival in the Washington Redskins.

It's hard to believe Eli Manning is 32 years old, but it's true; he's one year past the age at which quarterbacks generally begin to lose effectiveness. Now, Manning's career trajectory won't necessarily follow that rule, given that he's managed to escape serious injury thus far — healthier guys typically hit the wall later than oft-injured players — but his age is still worth considering. Manning, of course, isn't the only member of the Giants getting up there in age; the defense is also older. How much longer will Justin Tuck (30), Mathias Kiwanuka (30) and Corey Webster (31) be able to play at a high level? Meanwhile, Chris Snee, the leader of the offensive line, is 31, while guard Kevin Boothe is 30. And New York has bare-bones depth at tight end; position coach Mike Pope needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat. This franchise is extremely well-run, and the Giants usually find a way to get over the hump, but New York has important issues to consider in the near future. Looking ahead, the division race only figures to get more competitive as the Robert Griffin III-led Washington Redskins continue to establish themselves as contenders.

The Giants did draft Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft back in April, but Manning has been the model of consistency when it comes to health, as he has never missed a game since taking over as the team's starting quarterback in the middle of the 2004 season.

The offensive line though, does have a lot of age on them with Kevin Boothe, David Baas and Chris Snee all over the age of 30, which is why they selected Justin Pugh in the first round of the draft to rebuild an aging group; something Reese needed to address in order to protect Manning, even though he only took 19 sacks last season.

Aside from winning two out of the last six Super Bowls, the Giants have been a model of consistency and success since Reese took the reigns as the team's GM before 2007, as they have finished no worse than 8-8; the Giants are 58-38 during that time. You can even go further back to when Manning and head coach Tom Coughlin have taken the reigns of the team, as the worst the team has gone under Coughlin was his first season in 2004 at 6-10.

In 2013, the Giants will be looking to become the first team to ever play as the hosting team in their own Super Bowl, as Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at MetLife Stadium this coming February, as well as win their third championship in seven seasons.

Photo credit: jacorbett70 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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Tags: Eli Manning, Football, Jerry Reese, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin

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5 Responses to “New York Giants Listed as One of 2013′s “Now or Never Teams” by NFL Network”

  1.  GIANTT says:

    Is this a poll ? If so , Im going to vote “NOW ” and before anyone wants reason and rationale , I say bugger off Im a Giants fan and Im expected to say things like that .

  2.  Krow says:

    I love how the Redskins parlay a college offense and some amazing individual performances from rookies to win the Division, go one-and-done in the playoffs, destroy their QB … and the experts have them slated for a dynasty.

  3.  rlhjr says:

    I understand Brandt’s “NOW” perspective. However, the “OR NEVER” part of his pronouncement is rubbish IMHO.

    As stated in this article, Reese’s calling card is a mixture of youth and young veterans. So theoretically, this ball club will/should be in the thick of things until the day Eli and Reese hang ‘em up.

    Truly the key to Giant success is the QB, WR’s OL and RB. On defense, the key has been a dominant defensive line and subs, plus stellar secondary play.
    I keep saying the 2014 draft will set this team up for some time to come.
    So I look for a stud CB, DE and OL in the first three rounds next year.
    Those pieces along with any linebacker support will keep the team on top or really close to it.

    The lone caveat IMO is the players selected this year and next need to play sooner rather than later. It’s just that simple. The team will be big, fast quick and cheap. That spells Super Bowl.

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    I have a lot of respect for Gil Brandt, but in this case he obviously doesn’t know our team as well as do we.

    There are a LOT of talented young players waiting in the wing. Frankly, Justin Tuck, Corey Webster, David Diehl, Kevin Boothe and even Chris Snee are irrelevant to the future of the Giants past 2013 (maybe 2014 in one or two cases). There are young players being groomed to take over their spots. Kiwi? Well, he has, IMO, more years left because he hasn’t taken as many snaps as a guy like Tuck, and missed some wear and tear when he was injured.

    Saying there is any reason to worry about Eli yet is nuts. Look at the genes. Until his brother got hurt was there any slowing down as he reached 32? Not a bit. And he still looks awfully good post-32 and post-injury. I give Eli another very good 3-4 years, perhaps more.

    At the offensive line there is a logjam of young players. It’s just a question of seeing where the talent lies, and who responds well to the coaching of Flaherty. And I’m not about to get very worried about the tight ends when I know the following: Mike Pope is the coach; Reese called Robinson “the JPP of tight ends” and even if he exaggerated he obviously REALLY likes his talent; Myers could be kept for four years if needed; and with Nicks, Cruz and Randle around we don’t NEED that much production from our tight ends.

    There ARE aging issues at some spots on the defense. Those will, I’m sure, be largely cured in next April’s draft, and by the emergence of some of the players drafted or signed out of UDFA over the past two years. We have Hankins, Moore, Ojomo, Hill, Hosley, Amukamara (who has only about a season-and-a-half on his treads thanks to early injuries), Williams, Paysinger, Herzlich, Taylor, Kuhn and perhaps even Tracy and Muasau and Broha.

    Gil Brandt is wrong. Except for the fact that EVERY season is now-or-never in the NFL because you never know whose career will end over it’s course. Like most seasons, the Giants will need to catch a few breaks to be in the hunt. What’s so great about the NFL is that you just never know which teams the Football Fates will allow to rise and which will fall.

  5.  GOAT56 says:

    I think this is lazy analysis. Look at how Eli plays, he’s not the type of QB baring injury that should lose effectiveness. Look at how his brother played last year at 36-37 coming off of injury. So I think his premise is off. If you look at Eli having at least another 3-4 years playing at or very near his prime then you view it much differently. Really many of us understand this and probably next years we are rebuilding on the fly. Meaning we have a chance to accomplish winning at the highest level this year but in 2015 we should be even better positioned because we would have replenished the roster from the older players besides Eli. This year year win SB or no playoffs is going end with a lot of turnover but because of Eli our window is still open.

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