Here's the stat that summarizes the Giants' 2010 season.
No, believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the Miracle at the New Meadowlands.
The Giants led the NFL with 39 takeaways last season. Yet, they still finished with a -3 turnover ratio. How the heck did that happen?
Yes, the Giants led the league with 42 turnovers. Quarterback Eli Manning tossed 25 interceptions and lost an additional five fumbles, including the one that sealed the Eagles' win over the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field last season. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw lost six fumbles and his starting job despite rushing for 1,235 yards at a clip of 4.5 yards per carry.
And as the case has been in recent years, the Giants sprinted out of the gate with a 6-2 record and looked like the team to beat in the NFC East. But the Giants lost to the Cowboys in their debut with new head coach Jason Garrett and followed that up with the loss in Philadelphia. The Giants rebounded with three straight wins and it looked like a fourth as they led the Eagles 31-10 with just eight minutes left in the game before the unspeakable comeback that ended with DeSean Jackson's game-winning punt return for a score.
While that all but sealed the NFC East for the Eagles, the Giants still controlled their hopes of a playoff bid the following week in Green Bay. However, the proverbial wheels came off and Green Bay smoked the G-Men like cheddar 45-17 forcing New York to suffer yet another late-season fall from grace.
Where do the Giants go from here? Despite the penchant for creating turnovers, the Giants could bolster the outside linebacker and defensive tackle positions. Jonathan Goff can get the job done at middle linebacker just fine in Perry Fewell's attacking 4-3 defense. But Michael Boley wasn't a good fit in the scheme and Clint Sintim hasn't proved to be an answer either. Akeem Ayers would be the best option at linebacker.
As for defensive tackle, the issue is that Barry Cofield and Rocky Bernard are unsigned for next season. The Giants did use a second-round pick on Linval Joseph, so they might project him to make more of an impact but there certainly could be a move made here - possibly with Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. Don't rule out defensive end, as the Giants would simply not pass up on a chance to get a good rusher such as Missouri's Aldon Smith.
On offense, it's the line that needs the injection of youth. Somehow, someway, the Giants got away with a myriad of injuries along the line last year and still performed well. Could they really expect that again? Shaun O'Hara battled injuries at center and his replacement, guard Rich Seubert, dislocated his kneecap in the season finale against the Redskins. Left tackle David Diehl also fought injuries throughout the campaign and even though former Eagle Shawn Andrews filled in admirably, his back condition makes his long-term future suspect. Neither of the two top offensive tackles are off the board in USC's Tyron Smith or Boston College's Anthony Castonzo. Interior lineman Mike Pouncey would also be a good fit, but it might be too much to pass on an elite tackle prospect.
The Giants did finish with the same record as the Eagles, but Philly swept the season series. Certainly, the Giants know better than anyone that it's the division games that will make the difference in whether they can return to the postseason in 2011.
Needs: LB, OL, DT
All-Good: S, DE, QB
Previous PicksNo. 1 - Carolina: QB Cam Newton, Auburn
No. 2 - Denver: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
No. 3 - Buffalo: LB Von Miller, Texas A&M
No. 4 - Cincinnati: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
No. 5 - Arizona: WR A.J. Green, Georgia
No. 6 - Cleveland: WR Julio Jones, Alabama
No. 7 - San Francisco: DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
No. 8 - Tennessee: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
No. 9 - Dallas: DE Cameron Jordan, California
No. 10 - Washington: QB Jake Locker, Washington
No. 11 - Houston: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
No. 12 - Minnesota: DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina
No. 13 - Detroit: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
No. 14 - St. Louis: DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
No. 15 - Miami: QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
No. 16 - Jacksonville: DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
No. 17 - New England: RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
No. 18 - San Diego: OLB Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue