Complete coverage of Big Blue

Giants First-Quarter Stock Report

Who's up and who's down after the first four weeks?

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Cruz hasn't shown any slippage in his new role.

    It's fair to say that the Giants' stock is down after the first four weeks of the season.

    The 2-2 record isn't as good as anyone around the team would hope and the seemingly never ending stream of injuries (Hakeem Nicks is out again this week) is sapping the team of too many good players for Tom Coughlin's "Next Man Up" mantra to be anything but a parody.

    At some point, there simply aren't next men capable of doing the job of the injured players and the Giants feel perilously close to that moment of the season. 

    On top of that, both of the losses are to divisional opponents and that could wind up looming very large when playoff spots are getting handed out in a couple of months. It's not looking like there will be much separating the Giants from the Eagles, with the Cowboys and Redskins both in the mix as well, so it would really behoove them to start winning games in their own backyard.

    That said, it's hardly like there's any great reason to worry. These are the Giants and they are not a team that tends to make things easy on themselves. 

    This could all just turn out to be part of this year's heroic narrative when all is said and done. It's far too early to make any conclusions on that front, but we've had plenty of time to draw some conclusions about the first quarter of the regular season. 

    So take a look below for the stock report  to see which Giants are up and which are down after the first four games. 

    Stock Up: Eli Manning wouldn't seem to have too much more room to grow, but then you see him putting up huge numbers behind a leaky offensive line while throwing to receivers down the depth chart. If there's still space between him and conventional wisdom's best NFL quarterbacks, it's small enough to be imperceptible to the human eye. 

    Stock Down: Jason Pierre-Paul said Thursday that he hasn't been having enough fun this season, which is also true of the people watching the Giants defensive line. The harassing trio of JPP, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora has been mostly invisible through four games and they were particularly bad against the Eagles last week when the team needed them to bail out an injury-ravaged secondary.

    Stock Up: There was some question about how Victor Cruz would handle life as more than a slot receiver and the answer has been overwhelmingly positive to this point. Cruz remains a tough matchup for defensive backs and now it seems only the occasional case of the dropsies will keep him from an unblemished resume.

    Stock Down: Ahmad Bradshaw was also expected to step up this season with Brandon Jacobs gone, but it hasn't gone nearly as well as Cruz's ascension. The offensive line bears some blame, to be sure, but Bradshaw hasn't shown nearly enough explosion to carry the load for the team this season. 

    Stock Up: The Giants' special teams have been a nightmare more often than not in recent years, but there are signs of life with rookies David Wilson and Rueben Randle handling return duties. Neither one has earned trust on offense yet, but they might not need to see snaps there in order to help the team put points on the board. 

    Stock Down: Injuries are a problem in the secondary, but we'd still expect to see more from the defense given the amount of talent on the defensive line and, in another change from past Giants teams, at linebacker. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell can't seem to find the right scheme to combat quick-hitting offenses that are using the Giants' speed (and lack of discipline, another Fewell failing) against them with great success.

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytimeiPhone/iPad App | SMS AlertsTwitter | Facebook | Google+ | Instagram | RSS