With the results of Week 15, the New York Giants have been officially eliminated from the playoffs after their 17-0 loss to the Titans. Rookie Saquon Barkley was held in check as he gained only 56 scrimmage yards on 18 total touches. Eli Manning was inconsistent on his throws throughout the game, while his receivers had trouble hanging onto the ball in the slippery conditions.
Defensively, the Giants had no answer for Derrick Henry who rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Their performance last Sunday showed that they are still a work in progress offensively and need to improve their tackling defensively. The quad injury to Odell Beckham Jr. hurt the Giants against the Titans as they stacked the box to stop Barkley.
The end of the 2018 season is less than two weeks away and the Giants have many issues to fix before 2019. The offensive line has been an issue throughout the season as Manning has been sacked a career high 46 times this season. Quarterback is another position of need for the Giants as Manning will be 38 in January and maybe has one more good year left in him.
Defensively, the Giants could use another cornerback to pair with Janoris Jenkins, but their biggest need is a pass rusher as Marcus Mariota had all day to stand in the pocket and find his receivers. Landon Collins’ season-ending shoulder injury has affected the Giants’ defense and his absence was clearly missed last Sunday.
His contract expires at the end of the season and the Giants should make him their top priority in the offseason. Collins is one of the better safeties in the NFL and the Giants simply do not have the players on the roster to overcome his departure. The team is looking to franchise tag him, which would put the Giants in a good position to address some of their bigger needs.
Rookie B.J. Hill leads the team in sacks with five, but the Giants have only accounted for 25 sacks in 2018, good for third worst in the NFL. The lack of pass rush has exposed the Giants’ secondary as Olivier Vernon, Lorenzo Carter and the rest of the Giants’ pass rushers have failed to get after the quarterback. The Giants are fortunate that the 2019 NFL Draft and free agency are filled with good pass rushers as they need a player to pressure the quarterback like Jason Pierre-Paul did for them for eight years.
If they want to break the bank on a pass rusher, the addition of either Frank Clark, DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney or Dee Ford would make the most sense. Clark’s off the field issues might take him off the Giants’ board, but Lawrence and Ford fit the bill as pure pass rushers that can get after the quarterback. Clowney might be a little out of the Giants’ price range, but his ability to affect the game in multiple facets should entice the front office.
Prospects like Josh Allen, Clelin Ferrell, Brian Burns and Montez Sweat have all shown the ability to get after the quarterback in college and look like they could be productive pass rushers in the NFL. The Giants definitely need to draft a quarterback in 2019, but Justin Herbert and Dwayne Haskins have both not declared yet for the draft and both could return to school for another year.
The offensive line also needs to be addressed early in the draft and players like Jonah Williams, Yodny Cajuste and Greg Little could be available for the Giants when they are on the clock. Roger Saffold, Jared Veldheer and Bobby Massie are viable free agency options at right tackle, which is a position that the Giants need to address before the 2019 season.
The Giants have missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons, but they are a team capable of making the playoffs in 2019 if they address their needs at right tackle and pass rusher before the start of next year.