When we last saw the Giants they were reeling from back-to-back blowouts where they allowed over 40 points to be scored in both games. It was an amazing turnaround as the 2009 Giants started 5-0 and finished 3-8 to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Not surprisingly, big changes were the result on the defensive side of the ball with a new defensive coordinator, the signing of Antrel Rolle and the drafting of Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph to rebuild the defense.

All of the additions will be important, but none is more important than the return of Kenny Phillips from injury. Phillips has developed into one of the best safeties in the league and with his return the Giants can feel good again about their secondary. Add in the multiple pass rushers they can deploy and the defense should be much better than last year.

The offense is essentially unchanged and while that is a good thing on some levels, the offensive line is starting to show some cracks. Kareeem McKenzie hasn’t been the same player recently and Shaun O’Hara missed most of training camp with injuries. They will need to return to form or others will need to step up if the Giants are going to return to the playoffs.

It will be an interesting year. The season starts with a home game against Carolina followed by the “Manning Bowl” when the Giants head to Indianapolis. New York will need to get off to a good start as their final four games include three road contests and a home matchup against the Eagles. Week 1 should give them a win, but the defense and overall health of the team will determine their final record.