Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/6/12
Today I will be discussing what the Giants have to do this season to defend their crown. The Giants have targets painted on their back after winning there second championship in five years. 
 
Stay Healthy: The Giants last year were plagued by injuries. This year it’s already starting. The Giants have lost starting CB Terrell Thomas with a 3rd ACL tear. For the Giants to repeat they are going to have to stay healthy at key positions.  

Run The Ball Effectively: Last year the Giants ranked dead last in rushing yards per game. The Giants only averaged 89 yards per game. This has to change in the 2012-2013 league year. Teams were keying in on Eli Manning all season with no threat of a run game. The Giants drafted David Wilson in the first round to help them in this department. Let’s just hope it works out.  

Protect Eli Manning: Last year the offensive line was more patch work then I’d like to see protecting our franchise QB. The Giants let Eli Manning take a vicious beating last year. Just watch the highlights from the 49ers game.  The Giants have to deal with losing 275 lb Brandon Jacobs, who often could buy Manning time in the pocket.  

No Sophomore Slump: Victor Cruz cannot afford a sophomore slump this year. Cruz has to come up huge for Eli Manning by putting together a 1,000+ yard season. Teams will be keying in on Cruz this year with no Manningham and Nicks being injured, we need Cruz playing at his peak. I think Cruz has the perfect attitude for this offense and won’t disappoint this year.  

Justin Tuck: Tuck has to have a comeback year, last year his numbers were depressing to say the least. Tuck came up huge in playoffs and Super Bowl but we need to do this over the course of 16 games. Tuck has to have double digits sacks for the Giants to repeat.  

Jason Pierre Paul: The best defensive player on the Giants can’t afford to hit a slump this year. I don’t think this will happen but if it does it will cost the Giants their season; JPP has to have a huge year again. JPP is the best defensive player the Giants have had in years and they need him to play like it this year. Look for JPP to break 20 sacks.  

Osi Umenyiora: After years of contract disputes, some Giants fans view Osi as the red headed step child but this shouldn’t be the case. Osi Umenyiora was a key piece during the playoff run, coming up huge with strip sacks. For the Giants to repeat, they are going to need double digit sacks from Osi.

The Giants defensive scheme relies on the pass rushers and the Giants have three of the most talented pass rushers in the league. Osi managed to get nine sacks in only nine games last year so having him for the entire season the Giants should be able to get between 12-14 sacks at least from him. Never underestimate what a player can do in a contract year!  

Prince Amukamara: The Prince has to step it up this year and play like the first round pick we all thought he would be last year. The Prince has all the physical tools to be great so now he just needs to learn all the tricks from the veterans and coach’s.
  
Win The Easy Games: The Giants have to capitalize on all of the non-playoff teams they will face in 2012. With the leagues toughest schedule the Giants have to be able to beat teams like the Bucs and Cowboys. The Giants dropped easy wins last year vs. teams like the Seahawks and it can’t happen again this year.  
  
Leave me a comment and let me know if you think I missed out on anything.


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