Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/8/14

The 2012 NFL Draft is complete, free agency is over, the teams all have their new coaches going into next season, and we now have a clearer idea of who the New York Giants and other teams are or are trying to be going into the 2012 NFL season.

The NFC East beat up on each other in 2011, as the Giants won the division with a 9-7 record, although they lost both games to the last place Washington Redskins. The G-Men were clearly battle tested going into the postseason, and went on to beat the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, and New England Patriots to win their second Lombardi Trophy in five seasons. The Eagles came into the year as the self-proclaimed "dream team", but did not live up to their boasts on the field, and the Dallas Cowboys once again played well but came up short at very critical times and saw another season end in disappointment.

Today we take a look at who the New York Giants and their NFC East rivals will look to be next season.

NEW YORK GIANTS

Offense

It's all about Eli Manning on this side of the ball. The Giants have one of the league's three or four best signal callers, and the offense will always be geared towards allowing him to decide the Giants fate in big spots, because that's where their strength lies. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are two of the league's most explosive wide receivers and the Giants will put a lot of pressure on defenses throwing the football in 2012. The running game is being rebuilt around Ahmad Bradshaw and first round pick David Wilson out of Virginia Tech, as the Giants look to get more big plays on the ground. The offensive line is the biggest question mark for this group, as the team will likely have a different starter at both tackle spots and possibly one of the interior line spots than they did during their playoff run.

Defense

A lot of versatility and big, physical players on this side of the ball. The cornerback position welcomes back Terrell Thomas, who brings an aggressive, physical style of football alongside a top coverman in Corey Webster. The defensive line is led by one of the league's most explosive young defensive players in Jason Pierre-Paul, and hopes to have a healthier Justin Tuck, who is one of the most complete defensive linemen in football. If the Giants get a big step forward in development from Prince Amukamara and solid contribution from third round pick Jayron Hosley, this could be one of the better pass defenses in the NFL. The development of Amukamara and the ability of the defensive line to stay healthy will be key to pushing this unit to the next level.

Overall

Physical football team led by one of the best head coaches and quarterbacks in the league. A lot of veterans that know what it takes to win on this Giants football team. They will look to beat teams with Eli Manning's arm offensively, and create a lot of negative plays and turnovers for opposing offenses defensively with their pass rush. The Giants will look to improve on their consistency as a team in 2012 to make a run at a repeat.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Offense

Explosive and aggressive. Michael Vick is the definition of a playmaker when healthy, and LeSean McCoy is the second best running back in the game by my estimation. A lot will depend on what the Eagles get from their receiving group in 2012, as well as whether Vick can stay healthy. The potential is there for this group to be a top five scoring offense because they can attack you in so many ways – McCoy both as a runner and receiver, Vick as both a passer and runner, and DeSean Jackson can get behind a defense for a long touchdown at any given moment.

Defense

This unit struggled against the run last season, but upgraded their defensive front seven this off-season with their additions of young talent to the defensive line with rookies DT Fletcher Cox and DE Vinny Curry, and 26 year old linebacker Demeco Ryans. The defense is very similar in its approach to the offense – explosive and aggressive. The Eagles really get after the quarterback with fast, athletic players off the edge and have a strong group of cornerbacks led by Nnamdi Asomugha. They will continue to be a fast, attacking defense, and could be substantially better against the run this season with their additions to the defensive front.

Overall

Fast, attacking football team on both sides of the ball led by explosive athletes and playmakers. Can score the football with any team in the league, and can create plays defensively and put their offense in position for easy points. Ultimately, their level of success will come down to the ability of Michael Vick to stay healthy and the defense to become more consistently physical.

DALLAS COWBOYS

Offense

A group with a lot of capable receivers as well as a solid running game. Tony Romo is a top ten NFL quarterback by my estimation, but his biggest problem has come in closing games out and playing big in big spots. He does a great job moving this football team up and down the field, but the Cowboys have got to show more of an ability to put games away – and it starts at the top with the quarterback.

Defense

Very solid in the front seven and led by one of the six or seven best defensive players in football in DeMarcus Ware. The secondary was a clear liability last season and saw a complete overhaul this off-season with the addition of Brandon Carr in free agency and top cornerback Maurice Claiborne in the NFL draft. Rob Ryan is a very aggressive coordinator and will feel more comfortable with an improved group of defensive backs on the back end this season.

Overall

Effective, consistent offense – but one that needs to show more poise and mental toughness going forward. The defense is built on a strong run defense and pass rush, but can become elite if the new additions in the secondary live up to the expectations. Dangerous team, but the intangibles and poise are questionable with the Cowboys.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Coming shortly. Hold your horses…

Also…

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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