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3. New York Giants
Peter King
September 05, 2005
They'll go as far as their franchise quarterback takes them--just don't expect Eli Manning to play like his famous brother. At least, not yet
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September 05, 2005

3. New York Giants

They'll go as far as their franchise quarterback takes them--just don't expect Eli Manning to play like his famous brother. At least, not yet

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The Giants, who are coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1997, can't wait that long. --P.K.

PLAYMAKER

Brandon Jacobs, a rookie fourth-round draft pick out of Southern Illinois, could be the short-yardage back the Giants have been looking for. A 6'4", 256-pound bruiser who craves contact, Jacobs transferred from Auburn after the 2003 season when he couldn't get playing time behind Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown. "Last year, I don't know how many times we didn't get the yard on third-and-one," tight end Jeremy Shockey says. "This year should be different."

An Opposing Scout's View: Enemy Lines

No player in the NFL gets as much out of himself as Tiki Barber. How can someone with that size body [5'10", 200 pounds] play as well in his 16th game of the year as his first? ... I'm not sure if those free agents they got on offense are worth the money. Plaxico Burress is too brittle to hold up for 16 games. I like Kareem McKenzie, but not for the franchise-tackle money they paid him. His feet aren't quick enough.... I still believe Jeremy Shockey is one of the top three tight ends in the league. They've got to get him 80 catches.... The defense should be a lot better, assuming Michael Strahan comes back [from a pectoral tear] with fire in his gut.... Two stars are waiting to break out: Osi Umenyiora and Antonio Pierce. [General manager] Ernie Accorsi's best move might have been not trading Umenyiora when the Chargers kept insisting they had to have him [in the Eli Manning deal]. Umenyiora has the ability to be another Strahan if he develops an outside pass-rush move. Pierce makes plays from sideline to sideline.... The Giants got a steal when [cornerback] Corey Webster fell to them in the second round. If he hadn't been hurt during his senior year at LSU, he'd have been a top 10 pick.

"The Giants got a steal when Corey Webster fell to them in the second round."

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2004 statistics

2004 RECORD: 6--10

NFL RANK (rush/pass/total): OFFENSE 11/26/23 DEFENSE 28/8/13

COACH: Tom Coughlin; second season with New York (74--70 in NFL)

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