2016 Won’t Be Déjà vu For Giants
by John Jastremski
Sep 21, 2016 | 14712 views | 0 0 comments | 167 167 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The first two games of the 2016 season for the New York Giants aren’t performances for the highlight reel, they aren’t going to be games you want to re-watch over and over again.

But at the end of the day a 2-0 start is exactly the way you wanted to kick off the 2016 campaign.

Style points mean absolutely nothing in the National Football League, you either find a way to win or you don’t.

Nobody should know that more than the New York Giants, especially after the 2015 season.

The Giants made a habit of squandering fourth-quarter leads. Whether it was against Dallas in Week 1, Atlanta in Week 2 or the Patriots and Jets later in the year, the story remained the same in 2015.

Close, but no cigar. Competitive, but not complete.

The Giants have played two games in 2016 that came down to the wire. They weren’t pretty performances, it was far from their very best, but unlike last year, this team has shown thus far an ability to find a way.

There’s no doubt in my mind the Giants would have lost to both the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints a year ago.

However, this is not 2015. It is 2016 and the Giants are a much-improved football team.

The talent defensively is not comparable to what the Giants had a season ago. There’s a legitimate pass rush, they have corners who can cover and there are playmakers all over the place on a side of the field that got torched week after week a season ago.

I expect the much improved Giants defense to gel even more as the season goes on.

Offensively, the Giants have a chance to have one of the best groups of wide receivers in the entire league.

Last year, the Giants were a one-man wrecking crew at that position, and there’s no question the standout of the group is Odell Beckham Jr., who is poised for yet another big season. But he appears to have a lot more help around him in 2016.

Rookie standout Sterling Sheppard has looked the part with his excellent route-running skills and terrific hands.

His success is not surprising, but the success of Victor Cruz most certainly is.

I had no idea what to expect out of Cruz after missing over a year-and-a-half due to a variety of injuries, but thus far he’s done a terrific job.

Victor Cruz is not the explosive number-one receiving threat that he was back in 2011 when the Giants won a Super Bowl, but he’s shown he can still contribute.

Cruz’s value was on full display when he hauled in a 34-yard jump ball to set up Josh Brown’s game-winning field goal.

The talent is better, the execution is better and it’s why the team that couldn’t close in the fourth quarter last season has been able to close back-to-back games in 2016.

For first year head coach Ben McAdoo, so far so good.

You can listen to me Sunday from 1 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM.
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