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The Giants Somewhat Resemble The 1997 Denver Broncos Print E-mail
Written by Denis Krusos   
Saturday, 28 July 2018 14:14


The Broncos in 1997 transitioned from a team that relied heavily on John Elway’s arm to one that relied heavily on Terrell Davis’s legs.  Elway, at 37, complemented a dynamic running game that was spearheaded by the future Hall of Fame running back.  Davis churned out 1,750 yards on 369 carries (4.7 per) and scored 15 touchdowns. Denver led the NFL in scoring that championship season.  Rod Smith was the team’s top wide receiver (70 receptions for 1,180 yards (16.7per), 12 touchdowns).  Shannon Sharpe was the pass catching tight end that defenses had trouble covering (72 receptions for 1,107 yards (15.4 per), 3 touchdowns).


Eli Manning at 37 needs a stud running back to considerably ease his load.  That’s why New York selected Saquon Barkley 2ndoverall in the draft.  He, ideally, does for Manning what Terrell Davis did for John Elway.  Odell Beckham, Jr. can be a better version of Rod Smith. Evan Engram in his rookie season displayed the talent and potential to be a top pass receiving tight end like Sharpe was.


However, that is where the similarities end.  Big Blue’s offensive line was poor last season.  Dave Gettleman made remaking the line his top priority.  Nate Solder was signed to be the new left tackle.  Patrick Omameh was brought in at guard.  He then picked Will Hernandez high in the 2ndround to hopefully develop into a top guard. Ereck Flowers becomes the new right tackle after disappointing on the left side.  This represents a major overhaul and it takes time for an offensive line to gel.  The offensive line on Denver’s 1997 team was a superbly coached unit that was a well-oiled machine.  It is highly improbable that the Giants’ offensive line can go from below average to one of the best in a single season.


The hype surrounding Saquon Barkley is getting to be a bit much.  He is going to have to be a combination of Jim Brown, Walter Payton and Eric Dickerson to live up to it.  And he does not have Ezekiel Elliott’s dominant offensive line in front of him that helped pave the way during his superb rookie season in 2016. Barkley has a ton of talent, but still has to prove that he can run consistently between the tackles.  The former Penn State star likes to break the long one and bounce runs outside.  This will be harder to do in the NFL.  Barkley has to learn to run inside better, wear defenses down and settle for smaller gains.  The big gains will come as the defense tires.  The great Emmitt Smith was a master at this and did not possess the size or speed of Barkley.  The Giants need Barkley to be a bell-cow back that can handle 20-25 carries a game.  





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