Believe it or not, we’re less than three months away from the Giants’ first preseason game. And with the new season sneaking up, CBS Sports this week took a look at where everyone stacks up across the NFL, ranking the top 100 players.
Senior columnist Pete Prisco, composer of the annual list, included three Giants in the NFL Top 100 – Jason Pierre-Paul, Eli Manning, and Victor Cruz. Unlike some outlets that base their rankings on production from the previous season, Prisco looked at where they rank heading into 2013, and here’s what he had to say:
21. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, New York Giants: “He didn’t have the kind of year the Giants hoped he’d have. He looked heavy and wasn’t as explosive. But he remains as talented a pass rusher as there is in the game.”
28. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: “He didn’t have the season the Giants expected, but there were a lot of reasons why. He’s still one of the best.”
72. Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: “He had 86 catches and 10 touchdowns, but he wasn’t as good as he was in 2011. He seemed to struggle with all the extra attention at times.”
Three quarterbacks made the top five, including Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, who came in at No. 1 for the second consecutive year. And while we’re on the subject of rankings, the crew at CBS Sports also counted down the best front offices in the NFL. The Giants came in fourth in that department behind the Ravens, Patriots, and Packers.
“I’m putting a premium on winning a Super Bowl recently, which this team has done twice,” Jason La Canfora wrote. “And they’ve done it despite a regime change with Jerry Reese expertly taking over for Ernie Accorsi, which I think gets overlooked and underappreciated. The strong hand of ownership, supporting coach Tom Coughlin through rough patches, has been vital as well.”
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Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz
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Every year, the people over at Pro Football Focus get together to rank the top 101 players from the previous season. Their countdown is over, and three Giants have made the list: DE Jason Pierre-Paul (No. 46), LT Will Beatty (No. 85), and QB Eli Manning (No. 90).
Here is a look at what PFF had to say about the Top 101 of 2012, and keep in mind players were graded solely on 2012 with all positions weighted equally.
The danger was always there with how people viewed “JPP”. As good as his 2011 season was the emphasis placed on his sack numbers were always going to come back to bite him. And while it’s true he didn’t have quite the same impact as he did when the Giants won it all, it shouldn’t take away from a tremendously complete season he put forward. Excellent against the run, there’s no shame in the 55 QB disruptions he managed.
Best Performance: Week 14 versus New Orleans, +6.0 WATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Key Stat: His 30 defensive stops in the run game were the third-most of any 4-3 defensive end.
85. Will Beatty, LT, New York Giants (Last year: Unranked)
Injury meant Beatty didn’t start the season as the Giants’ left tackle. Whether injuries handed him his starting job back, or it was the Giants’ plan all along, the former second-round pick didn’t take much time showing everyone what he was capable of. A fine pass protector, Beatty is one of those left tackles who can actually generate some movement in the run game as well.
Best Performance: Week 3 at Carolina, +5.4 WATCH HGHLIGHTS
Key Stat: Allowed just three sacks and zero quarterback hits all season long.
90. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (Last year: 8th)
While Eli was unable to replicate his marvelous 2011, let’s not pretend he didn’t play extremely well for most of the season. While some performances disappointed (notably against Pittsburgh and Atlanta) Manning was able to almost carry his struggling Giants into the playoffs with his usual array of clutch throws.
Best Performance: Week 2 versus Tampa Bay, +6.3 WATCH HGHLIGHTS
Key Stat: Completion percentage under pressure dropped to 47.9% in 2012, after it was 55.6% a year earlier.
While the 49ers led all teams with 13 selections, the top player ranked was DE J.J. Watt (Texans), followed by RB Adrian Peterson (Vikings), DT Geno Atkins (Bengals), LB Von Miller (Broncos), and CB Richard Sherman (Seahawks).
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Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Will Beatty
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The debate doesn’t stop at the NFL Draft. That’s where it begins.
Shortly after the 254th selection of the NFL Draft is announced Saturday night, NFL Network will debut its first installment of Top 100 Players of 2013. For the third straight year, current players have voted to determine the list, which will be unveiled in increments of 10 beginning Saturday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET and ending with the top player crowned in late June.
Five members of the Giants earned a nod in 2012: WR Hakeem Nicks (90), DE Justin Tuck (62), WR Victor Cruz (39), QB Eli Manning (31), and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (24).
Here’s a complete look at 2012′s ranking:
100. RB Chris Johnson, Titans
99. C Ryan Kalil, Panthers
98. RB Willis McGahee, Broncos
97. OT Donald Penn, Buccaneers
96. LB D’Qwell Jackson, Browns
95. QB Tim Tebow, Jets
94. RB Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
93. CB Cortland Finnegan, Rams
92. FB John Kuhn, Packers
91. QB Tony Romo, Cowboys
90. WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
89. DE Dwight Freeney, Colts
88. RB Michael Turner, Falcons
87. LB London Fletcher, Redskins
86. RB Darren Sproles, Saints
85. LB NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
84. DE Chris Long, Rams
83. RB Fred Jackson, Bills
82. OT Joe Thomas, Browns
81. DT Vince Wilfork, Patriots
80. WR Jordy Nelson, Packers
79. Nnamdi Asomugha, Eagles
78. LB Derrick Johnson, Chiefs
77. WR A.J. Green, Bengals
76. OL Carl Nicks, Buccaneers
75. TE Jason Witten, Cowboys
74. QB Joe Flacco, Ravens
73. CB Johnathan Joseph Texans
72. LB Lance Briggs, Bears
71. WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles
70. QB Michael Vick, Eagles
69. CB Carolos Rogers, 49ers
68. DE Elvis Dumervil, Broncos
67. OT Joe Staley, 49ers
66. S Earl Thomas, Seahawks
65. WR Roddy White, Falcons
64. G Logan Mankins, Patriots
63. LB LaMarr Woodley, Steelers
62. DE Justin Tuck, Giants
61. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers
60. RB Darren McFadden, Raiders
59. OT Jake Long, Dolphins
58. LB Jonathan Vilma, Saints
57. DE Trent Cole, Eagles
56. WR Greg Jennings, Packers
55. CB Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
54. LB Brian Cushing, Texans
53. TE Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
52. LB Von Miller, Broncos
51. LB Brian Urlacher, Bears
50. QB Peyton Manning, Broncos
49. C Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers
48. WR Devin Hester, Bears
47. WR Mike Wallace, Steelers
46. CB Champ Bailey, Broncos
45. FB Vonta Leach, Ravens
44. DE Jason Babin, Eagles
43. TE Vernon Davis, 49ers
42. OT Jason Peters, Eagles
41. QB Matthew Stafford, Lions
40. QB Cam Newton, Panthers
39. WR Victor Cruz, Giants
38. DT Ndamukong Suh, Lions
37. RB Steven Jackson, Rams
36. CB Charles Woodson, Packers
35. WR Steve Smith, Panthers
34. LB Tamba Hali, Chiefs
33. RB Matt Forte, Bears
32. G Jahri Evans, Saints
31. QB Eli Manning, Giants
30. QB Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
29. LB James Harrison, Steelers
28. RB Frank Gore, 49ers
27. LB Clay Matthews, Packers
26. DE Julius Peppers, Bears
25. RB Arian Foster, Texans
24. DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants
23. WR Wes Welker, Patriots
22. RB Ray Rice, Ravens
21. TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
20. LB Ray Lewis, Ravens
19. S Troy Polamalu, Steelers
18. RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles
17. DE Justin Smith, 49ers
16. S Ed Reed, Ravens
15. WR Andre Johnson, Texans
14. TE Jimmy Graham, Saints
13. DE Jared Allen, Vikings
12. RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
11. LB Terrell Suggs, Ravens
10. LB Patrick Willis, 49ers
9. DT Haloti Ngata, Ravens
8. RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings
7. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
6. LB DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys
5. CB Darrelle Revis, Jets
4. QB Tom Brady, Patriots
3. WR Calvin Johnson, Lions
2. QB Drew Brees, Saints
1. QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers
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Tags: Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Victor Cruz
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NFL.com has picked the 64 best plays ever, and throughout the month, fans can cast their votes as they advance round by round. Five plays from Giants history made the field: David Tyree Helmet Catch (No. 1 seed); Leonard Marshall Forces Joe Montana Fumble (9); Jim Burt Knocks Out Joe Montana, LT Gets Pick Six (13); Jason Sehorn Amazing INT vs. Eagles (14); and most recently, Eli Manning 38-Yard Pass to Mario Manningham (15).
Let us know if you think one of those was the greatest play in NFL history.
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» VOTING NOW OPEN! View Draft Bracket!
Tags: David Tyree, Eli Manning, Jason Sehorn, Jim Burt, Lawrence Taylor, Leonard Marshall, Mario Manningham
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Even before the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, comparisons were being made with the 2011 Giants as teams of destiny. Naturally, the talk involved their two quarterbacks, and it has only continued since Joe Flacco replaced Eli Manning as defending Super Bowl MVP.
That is why NFL.com has posed the question: Who had the better championship performance – Manning or Flacco? It was broken down into “Pregame Pressure” and “In-Game Performance.”
Here is what NFL.com had to say about the quarterbacks:
Eli Manning, Super Bowl XLVI
Giants 21, Patriots 17
30-for-40, 296 YD, 1 TD, 0 INT
“Eli Manning entered Super Bowl XLVI with the opportunity of a lifetime. If he could beat Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in the Super Bowl for the second time in five years, he’d cement his legacy as a New York sports icon and possibly even reserve a ticket to the Hall of Fame. Those who are into all that talk about “elite” status (not my bag) noted that a win would induct him into that club, as well. If Manning and the New York Giants had gone down in flames in their rematch with the New England Patriots, however, it would have fueled talk that Super Bowl XLII had been a fluke.
“Manning was as cool as ever against the Patriots. You have to have nerves of steel to start a game of this magnitude with nine straight completions, a Super Bowl record. More importantly, he directed the nine-play, 88-yard touchdown drive that put the Giants ahead for good with 57 seconds to go. Manning finished 30-of-40 for 296 yards with one touchdown pass and zero interceptions, winning his second Super Bowl MVP award in five years.”
Joe Flacco, Super Bowl XLVII
Ravens 34, 49ers 31
22-for-33, 287 YD, 3 TD, 0 INT
“Joe Flacco entered Super Bowl XLVII on the precipice of greatness. Three playoff wins had significantly boosted his credentials and ensured he’d receive a huge payday from the Baltimore Ravens. But Flacco still needed one more win to put a stamp on one of the greatest postseason runs by a quarterback in NFL history. If Flacco had struggled against the San Francisco 49ers, his earlier conquests would have been largely forgotten. Flacco had started something, but now he had to finish it.
“You know how a 16-bit player turned into a ball of fire when he was going off in NBA Jam? That was Flacco on Sunday night. Every throw he made — even the throws he shouldn’t have made — were right on target. He finished 22-of-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns, capping a postseason in which his touchdown-to-interception margin stood at a god-like 11-0. Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP, a well-earned honor for a quarterback who had made the leap.”
Who do you think had the better overall performance?
Tags: Eli Manning, Super Bowl
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Indianapolis isn’t exactly New Orleans, but each host city presents its own distractions during Super Bowl week. That’s why a year ago the short-winded Eli Manning got up in front of his team before the Giants departed East Rutherford, laying out what to expect and how to prepare.
“I think Eli definitely put a stamp on that team when he said what he said,” Antrel Rolle recalled on WFAN’s “Joe and Evan” on Tuesday. “Eli is not a guy of many words, but we know whenever he speaks, you know it’s coming more from the heart and that it’s something that’s going to be very beneficial for the team. And I think, honestly, I was extremely delighted that he made that comment.”
Shortly after, the Giants were hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Rolle wasn’t as lucky in his first championship appearance when he was with the Arizona Cardinals, who lost Super Bowl XLIII to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a last-minute touchdown by Santonio Holmes.
Rolle, a little older and wiser, was more prepared the second time around, saying the difference was “like night and day.”
“The first Super Bowl, I really didn’t know what to expect,” Rolle continued. “Obviously I was a few years younger and just kind of caught up in the moment. I was just kind of caught up in the moment that we were actually able to accomplish something of that magnitude of reaching the Super Bowl. As opposed to last year, I was extremely more focused. I understood what was ahead of me. I understood the approach. I understood the mentality I was supposed to have, and more so I understood how to pace myself throughout the week, how to keep my emotions under control.”
As for the next Super Bowl, which will be held in MetLife Stadium, Rolle likes the change of scenery.
“I love the idea,” said Rolle, a Florida native and University of Miami product. “I love the idea more so because it’s Giants Stadium [MetLife Stadium] and second of all I think it brings a change. I think it brings a different atmosphere to the Super Bowl, and I think everything needs a change. Everything needs a change. It doesn’t always need to be in the warm weather, etc., etc., so I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the battle.”
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Tags: Antrel Rolle, Eli Manning
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Just another day in Hawaii.
On the last offensive play for the AFC all-stars, Houston’s defensive end — who played some tight end in college — lined up outside, and naturally, the Giants’ own pass rusher was there to cover him. Pierre-Paul won the jump ball thrown by Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the right side of the end zone and came down with the interception, capping off a 62-35 NFC victory.
“That interception by JPP in the end zone was pretty impressive,” Cruz told NBC after the game. “I know I’m biased, but that was pretty impressive. All these guys played great. It was great all week long hanging out with these guys, and it was an honor to play in this game.”
Along with Pierre-Paul, Cruz, Manning and Chris Snee represented the Giants in Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium this year.
After Pierre-Paul sacked Denver’s Peyton Manning to begin the second quarter, Eli Manning took over on the ensuing possession for New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and completed 16 of 23 passes for 191 yards, an interception and two touchdowns, including a nine-yard strike to Cruz to give their side a 17-14 lead. It was all NFC after that.
Cruz finished with 96 yards and a Pro-Bowl record 10 catches, but it was Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph who took home MVP honors after hauling in five receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown.
“The energy level was high,” Cruz said. “The effort level was there. Guys were really putting some hits on people, not to hurt them but just playing solid football. And I think it was indicative of us wanting to keep this game alive and keep this game in Hawaii for years to come and I think we really proved that out here today.”
Tags: Chris Snee, Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz
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In a season that fell short of the playoffs, the Giants still provided some memorable moments from 2012, including Eli Manning’s 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz in Week 7.
Keeping the magic of the Super Bowl run the previous year alive, the late strike to beat the Washington Redskins in MetLife Stadium is nominated for the 2012 Bridgestone Play of the Year.
From a pool of 20 moments, fans can rank the top 10 performances before the winner will be revealed during the “2nd Annual NFL Honors” awards special on Saturday, Feb. 2, the night before Super Bowl XLVII.
Hosted again by Alec Baldwin, the full list of awards presented from the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans will be:
AP Most Valuable Player presented by Papa John’s
AP Coach of the Year
AP Offensive Player of the Year
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year presented by Pepsi Max
Pepsi Max Rookie of the Year
GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year
NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year presented by SAP
Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
AP Comeback Player of the Year presented by Lenovo
AP Defensive Player of the Year
AP Defensive Rookie of the Year presented by Pepsi Max
FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year
Bridgestone Play of the Year
“Greatness on the Road” Award presented by Courtyard Marriott
Salute To Service Award Presented by USAA
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» In a reversal of last year, Eli Manning will be watching his older brother make a run at his second title.
Tags: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz
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In his first season in Denver, Peyton Manning has his Broncos coming off a first-round bye entering Saturday’s divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens. It will mark the 11th consecutive season at least one Manning brother has made it to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, in a reversal of last year, Eli will be watching his older brother make a run at his second title. Peyton, who missed the entire 2011 season due to neck surgery, was asked Wednesday if being a spectator, instead of a participant, changed his perspective on the playoffs, while Eli went on to capture Super Bowl XLVI.
“You’d rather be playing in them, certainly, so I don’t think it necessarily changed anything,” Peyton told Broncos reporters. “It was fun, obviously, watching Eli and pulling for him. I’ve done that for going on 10 years, going back to [when] he was in college, I guess 14 years now. Certainly, we are grateful for the opportunity to be in the tournament…and it’s a great opportunity. It doesn’t guarantee anything—playing at home, a bye week, whatever it is, it just guarantees you an opportunity.”
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Tags: Eli Manning
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Here is a sampling of Giants records set and milestones reached in 2012:
» TOM COUGHLIN (83) surpassed BILL PARCELLS (77) for the second-most regular season wins in Giants history among head coaches, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE OWEN (153).
» QB ELI MANNING (211) became the Giants’ all-time leader in touchdown passes (PHIL SIMMS, 199). Manning threw 26 TD passes in 2012, his fourth season with at least 25. He is the only Giants QB to reach 25 touchdown passes in at least three seasons.
» WR VICTOR CRUZ collected 86 receptions for 1,092 yards with 10 touchdowns. Cruz is the first player in club annals to post at least 80 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and 10 TD catches in a season.
» Rookie RB-KR DAVID WILSON set a single-game franchise record with 327 all purpose yards in Week 14. Wilson became the first player in NFL history with at least 200 kickoff return yards and 100 rushing yards in the same game.
» S STEVIE BROWN amassed an NFL-best 307 interception-return yards, a Giants franchise record. His eight interceptions tied for the second-most in the league.
» Cruz caught a game-winning 77-yard touchdown pass from Manning in Week 7, the longest game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes of a game in franchise history.
» Gained 604 yards of total offense in Week 2, the second-most in team history (609, 12/3/1950).
For records and milestones set around the NFL, CLICK HERE.
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Tags: Bill Parcells, David Wilson, Eli Manning, Phil Simms, Steve Owen, Stevie Brown, Tom Coughlin, Victor Cruz
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