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Fact or Fiction: Two Giants with 1,000 receiving yards?


Two Giants will have 1,000 receiving yards this season.

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JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - And I will be bold enough to predict it will be Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz. Rueben Randle should finish with around 750-800. I think Cruz is going to have a great bounce back season and there is no reason to think Beckham won't shine again in his second year. This could end up being one of the best passing attacks in the league this year.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - The numbers aren't exactly in favor of Fact - there have been eight 1,000-yard receiving campaigns in Eli Manning's 11 years as the Giants' quarterback, and in only one of them, 2011, have two come in the same season. But I just think the wide receiver corps and the offense as a whole are in line for a big 2015 campaign. With a year under their belt in Ben McAdoo's system, the arrow is only trending up with Odell Beckham Jr., the return of Victor Cruz, and Manning looking as strong as ever. Additionally, Rueben Randle has increased his production each year and came just shy of 1,000 yards in 2014.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact - The last time the Giants showcased a pair of 1,000 yard receivers was 2011 when Victor Cruz had a breakout campaign and Hakeem Nicks made it back to back impressive campaigns. This season, New York is in position to do the same as Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off a record breaking season, Rueben Randle a career year and Cruz is looking to bounce back following a major knee injury.  I think Beckham and Cruz will both post at least 1,000 receiving yards with Randle potentially coming close.  An improved running game should present some favorable matchups for the receiving corps making it doable for two receivers to reach that mark.

The deepest position in the NFC East is wide receiver.


JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - ** This sounds right on the surface with players like Odell Beckham, Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson, Victor Cruz and Pierre Garcon but I will disagree and go with running back. After Bryant, Dallas does not have a top wide receiver. The Eagles are depending on a bunch of young players. Running back, meanwhile is strong with every team in the division and might even go 2-3 players deep. The Eagles have three potential stars in DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. The Giants have three starting caliber backs in Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams. Alfred Morris is a great back. The Cowboys have a veteran that can play well if healthy in Darren McFadden, and a bunch of young guys competing behind him. That's what I call DEEP!

DAN SALOMONE: Fact -Schmeelk almost convinced me to go with the running backs, but just looking at the numbers, the wide receivers are the ones that make the NFC East one of the best offensive divisions in the league. Including the Giants, three teams finished in the top 10 in total yards, and only the Redskins were outside at No. 13. They all finished in the top half in passing but those numbers trailed in the running game. 

LANCE MEDOW: Fact - Last season, all four NFC East teams ranked in the top 16 in passing yards per game and those impressive numbers had a lot to do with deep receiving corps that are still very much intact in 2015.  The Giants will showcase Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle as their top three, the Cowboys have Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley, who had a breakout campaign in 2014, the Redskins will rely on a trio of proven veterans in Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts and while the Eagles have some question marks, Jordan Matthews is coming off an impressive rookie season, Riley Cooper has been productive and this year's first round pick Nelson Agholor has a great opportunity to contribute with Jeremy Maclin leaving in free agency.  That's four teams which each have three reliable options plus some depth.  I disagree with JOHN SCHMEELK: about the running back depth chart.  While the Giants and Eagles each have three proven weapons, the Cowboys and Redskins can't match that behind Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris respectively.  Not enough consistency across the board.

Prince Amukamara will lead the team in interceptions in 2015.


JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - ** In Steve Spagnuolo's system it is not often the corners that get the most interceptions since they play so much bump and run and man to man defense. That prize will go to a safety, or even a linebacker this year. If I had to guess, I'd go with Landon Collins because I think he'll get the most consistent playing time of all the safeties.  Gibril Wilson was tied for the team lead in interceptions in 2007, while James Butler was tied for the team lead in 2008.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - He almost did it last season despite missing eight games. His career-high three picks trailed only safety Quintin Demps, who had four and is no longer with the team. Amukamara, while improving each season, knows that he has to get his hands on the ball more often to take his game -- and that of the entire defense -- to the next level. And I think he'll do that this year. With Spagnuolo, Amukamara said he likes that the defense will be more aggressive and always on the attack. That could lead to big numbers for Amukamara, who looked extremely confident in his game this spring.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - If OTAs and minicamp are any indication of what could happen down the road, he'll definitely lead the team in interceptions as he's been a ballhawk everyday in practice but recent trends prove otherwise.  Each of the last three seasons a safety has led the team in interceptions including Quintin Demps (4) in 2014 and, in Steve Spagnuolo's first stint as defensive coordinator, a safety tied for the team lead in interceptions in both 2007 (Gibril Wilson - 4) and 2008 (James Butler - 3).  During Spags' minicamp press conference, he emphasized how important the safety position is to his defense because of the role it serves in setting the tone.  One of the ways a safety will accomplish that goal is by leading the team in interceptions.

The Giants' defense will lead the division in interceptions.


JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - ** In 2007, the Giants had just 15 interceptions, good for 20th in the NFL. In 2008, the final year under Steve Spagnuolo, the team had 17, good for ninth in the league. Those are decent numbers, but nothing spectacular, and I would imagine their total this year would fall in the same category. Last year, the Cowboys led the division in interceptions with 18. With better players on defense in 2015, I think Dallas will maintain the division lead in interceptions. Rod Marinelli preaches turnovers and the team will try to deliver them in 2015.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - Despite it being a forgettable season, the Giants were one off the pace set by Dallas, which had 18 in 2014. Sure, the Giants did better in the sack department than interceptions in his Spagnuolo's first stint, but he and the roster have changed since then. Meanwhile, take a look at the teams the Giants will face twice a year in the NFC East: Philadelphia threw the most interceptions in the NFL last season and Washington was tied for fourth.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - Last season, the Cowboys led the division with 18 interceptions, the Giants were second with 17, Eagles third with 12 and the Redskins collected seven.  To throw even more numbers your way, in Steve Spagnuolo's first stint as defensive coordinator, New York led the division in that category in 2008 but was second in 2007.  Those stats don't show a clear trend and the Giants, Eagles and Redskins all made notable changes to their secondaries whereas the Cowboys are bringing back their nucleus from 2014.  Rod Marinelli's defenses are known for being opportunistic which once again proved true last season as Dallas finished second in the NFL in takeaways with 31.  With an improved pass rush, I think those numbers will remain consistent and I can see the Cowboys and Giants being one and two respectively for the second straight season.

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