New York Giants 2011 Season Preview: Aiming For A Playoff Return

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 01: Mark Herzlich #58 of the New York Giants stands in the huddle in the first quarter against the New York Giants on September 1, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

SB Nation is previewing the 2011 season for all 32 teams and up today is the New York Giants. Check out all of our 2011 NFL season previews.

The 2011 NFL season is almost here which means it's time to preview every team's chances this year. SB Nation's Big Blue View gives us the scoop on the New York Giants

Record Prediction

This is insanely difficult to predict. The Giants show flashes of tremendous potential, then flashes of awful football. They could go anywhere from 6-10 to 11-5 depending on whether they reach their potential or keep shooting themselves in the foot. Like last season, the second half of the schedule is also brutal. I will go with 10-6, same as last season. Let's see if it's good enough to get into the playoffs this time.

Best Game On The Schedule

This is an easy one. The Giants are at Philadelphia Sept. 25 in a game both players and fans have been salivating for ever since the schedule came out. The Eagles have six straight victories over the Giants, including last year's unforgettable collapse when the Giants blew a 28-point fourth-quarter lead and lost on DeSean Jackson's final play punt return touchdown. Honorable mention has to go to the Christmas Eve game against the New York Jets.

Player Who Takes A Step Back This Year

Kenny Phillips. Maybe it won't be a step back, it might be that he just doesn't take the step forward everyone is hoping for. KP has been a step slow in coverage much of the preseason, leading some to wonder if he will ever be the player the Giants thought he would be before micro-fracture knee surgery.

Breakout Player Candidates

Can a left tackle be a breakout candidate? Will Beatty takes over at that spot, and he has looked good. Also, wide receiver Mario Manningham who could go from a 50-catch guy to 70 or 80 this season. Third guy is second-year defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. This guy is a monster, a physical freak who could be the new Jevon Kearse.

Best Giants Player Others Have Never Heard Of

I am actually going to go with center David Baas. The Giants signed him away from San Francisco, and I'm guessing no one outside the Bay Area knows who he is. This guy looks like a tremendous pickup for the Giants, though. Tough, smart and can get out on the edges on sweeps and screens.

Overrated/Underrated/Just Right

Overrated: Osi Umenyiora, in his own mind. Thinks he is a top defensive end, but he isn't close. Terrific pass rusher, but a one-trick pony who does not play the run well -- shoot, sometimes he doesn't even pretend to try.

Underrated: Middle linebacker Jon Goff, who is a better run defender than anyone seems to understand. Also, center David Baas might fit into this category.

Just right: Justin Tuck. Everybody knows what Tuck is. One of the best -- and hardest-working -- defensive ends in the game.

Fantasy Football Outlook

Look for receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham to put up big numbers. Same with Ahmad Bradshaw and even Brandon Jacobs is not a bad option. Eli Manning should not be anybody's first choice at quarterback, but he will get you a solid number of touchdowns.

Best Player To Follow On Twitter

Well, that would have been Shawn Andrews if the Giants had not released him. Andrews is one of the most hilarious follows on all of Twitter. Steve Weatherford is hilarious, but he has to make the team first. Justin Tuck is a good follow ... sometimes he even breaks news. Oh, and if you love the Giants you should be following PR director Pat Hanlon, mostly because he always seems to get into arguments with somebody.

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