Not much went right for the New York Giants last season. They stumbled out to a 1-7 start in Pat Shurmur's first season as head coach, basically eliminating New York from playoff contention before the end of October. While questions about the head coach and quarterback Eli Manning's futures with the team swirl, general manager Dave Gettleman went about retooling his roster this offseason.
The team's top wide receiver (Odell Beckham Jr.) and pass rusher (Olivier Vernon) were traded to Cleveland while safety Landon Collins signed with NFC East rival Washington in free agency. New faces include wide receiver Golden Tate (who is suspended for the first four games), safeties Jabrill Peppers and Antoine Bethea, guard Kevin Zeitler, and draft picks Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence and Deandre Baker, among others.
While most of the attention this season will be paid to the Manning vs. Jones QB debate, the Giants need to show improvement in Shurmur's second season or there could be more changes. Fortunately for Shurmur and whoever is at quarterback, they have running back Saquon Barkley, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and a first-team All-Pro last season, to lean on.
So what are the expectations for Shurmur's team this season? Athlon Sports asked several experts to share their realistic win/loss projection for the Giants in 2019.
New York Giants Game-by-Game Predictions for 2019
Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer)
The Giants won't be uninteresting this season but that doesn't mean they'll be good either. Losses on defense and a lackluster wide receiving corps to start the year mean this team is pretty much Saquon Barkley showing off how great he'll be and the last licks of Eli Manning. The schedule is fairly brutal and while New York will be slightly improved from a year ago, I'm not sure that will be all that evident in the final record. So… when does Daniel Jones start? My guess is that late bye week (Week 11) is perfectly timed to allow him to start in Chicago so the franchise can see what the No. 6 pick is made of down the stretch.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
The Giants should be better this season than last year's mark (5-11), but with question marks on the offensive line and on defense, that's no guarantee. Additionally, it's no secret Eli Manning has to play better – especially with Daniel Jones waiting in the wings. The schedule also does Pat Shurmur's team no favors. Two of the first three games are on the road, and the Giants get the NFC North as their crossover division this year. Tough road treks to New England, Chicago and a tossup game versus Detroit are also on tap.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMark)
The Giants needed to make some changes in the offseason, but that doesn't mean those will benefit the team this season. I think the QB situation will be a headache and a distraction throughout the season and as good as Saquon Barkley is, he can't carry this offense by himself. New York will make some strides in the second half of the schedule but this is not a playoff team, not yet. I do think enough progress will be made to give Pat Shurmur another year, but his margin for error is rather thin.