In 2014, the Giants placed over two dozen players on injured reserve including captains Victor Cruz and Jon Beason, star CB Prince Amukamara and prized UFA signees Geoff Schwartz, Walter Thurmond and Robert Ayers.
For the second consecutive season, the New York Football Giants led the NFL in a category that make most coaches and GMs cringe: Football Outsiders' Adjusted Games Lost.
From Scott Kacsmar, Football Outsiders:
The Giants had a lot of those "if only" dreams last year as they became the first team to lead the league in Adjusted Games Lost in back-to-back seasons. This is the fifth year in a row the Giants ranked 22nd or worse, and they have missed the playoffs in four of those seasons.Yet the Giants were able to win six games in 2014 and possibly could have won seven or eight if they hadn't fallen apart in Jacksonville and pulled out one of their winnable losses to Philadelphia and Dallas.
...After setting the benchmark with 141.3 AGL in 2013, the 2014 club has the second-worst AGL on record at 137.1. Running back and defensive back remained two major problem areas despite new roster additions, but wide receiver was also hit hard, as were the linebackers.
But let's not dwell on what might have been. How about asking why the team is incurring so many injuries? I have, and truth be told, I've hit a stone wall.
Is it the offseason and conditioning program to blame? Is the medical staff up to snuff? Has Tom Coughlin's approach in camp gotten too soft? All of these questions have been posed with no real resolution.
Most are chalking it up to bad luck. Even the team's top draft pick last season, the meteoric WR Odell Beckham, Jr., missed the first four games of the season due to injury. Its like it's built into the business model.
But, many still slam GM Jerry Reese for not providing adequate talent and depth to the Giants' roster. Ridiculous. Reese has been very active in signing players and finding players to replace those players. Injuries are the culprit, no the recruiting and scouting departments.
Sure, his recent drafts have left many wanting the past few seasons, but no other GM in the NFL had to pound the pavement for players the past two years like Reese has. Most GMs would be out of job if they had to do that.
If the Giants can finally stay healthy for once, there's a good chance they can give the fans a winning season in 2015.