Giant five: Bounce-back candidates

January, 24, 2013
1/24/13
7:00
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This week we are rolling out some Giants top five lists.

So far, we have taken a look at five Giants leaders, the five biggest base salaries on the roster and the top five Giants injuries to monitor in the offseason. Today, we are examining five bounce-back candidates for 2013.

If these Giants play up to the high level they've performed at in the past, the Giants very likely will be playoff-bound once again.


1. CB Corey Webster -- It wasn’t a pretty season for the Giants veteran corner. He had four interceptions and 58 tackles but he was targeted often, especially in the Baltimore game that helped lead to the Giants’ demise in 2012. Webster will make $7 million in the final year of his deal so the Giants may do something there considering their cap situation.

2. DE Justin Tuck -- After having 11.5 sacks in 2010, Tuck has a total of 9.0 sacks in the last two seasons. He says he will spend this offseason motivated to get back to having a "normal Justin Tuck year." He’s entering the final season of his contract.

3. WR Hakeem Nicks -- His lack of production this past season was due to injuries to his knee and foot. He failed to post 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since 2009. He is highly motivated to bounce back and will be entering the final year of his contract as well. If Nicks comes back healthy, the Giants' offense will regain much of its big-play explosion.

4. DE Jason Pierre-Paul -- It’s hard to say that somebody who will be playing in the Pro Bowl should be on this list. But JPP set a high standard to follow in 2011 with 16.5 sacks and 86 tackles. He dominated and practically won the game at Dallas in 2011 for the Giants. It’s awfully difficult to duplicate those numbers, especially when Pierre-Paul was seeing extra attention. He had 6.5 sacks and 66 tackles in 2012. GM Jerry Reese has said he wants JPP to talk to Michael Strahan to learn how to overcome extra attention and maintain a dominant level of play. If JPP plays closer to his 2011 level, that could be the difference in the Giants winning one more game to make the playoffs.

5. QB Eli Manning -- Like JPP, Manning is going to the Pro Bowl and didn’t have a horrible season by any means. Manning threw for 3,948 yards, 26 touchdowns and lowered his interceptions to 15. But he failed to throw for 4,000 yards for the first time since 2008. He also had a three-game stretch without a passing touchdown -- his worst stretch since his rookie season -- and threw for one touchdown or none in 10 games last year. Manning could've used help as Nicks’ health and a lack of a consistent third receiving threat hurt. But like JPP, if Manning plays closer to the way he did in 2011, the Giants should make another postseason run again.

Tell us who you think the Giants need a bounce-back season from in 2013 below.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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