The New York Giants have not made the postseason the past four years, their longest drought since a 17-season dry spell that spanned three different decades (1964-1980 if you want the specifics). A disappointing 6-10 campaign last year resulted in coach Tom Coughlin getting axed and a gargantuan free-agency spending spree.
While Big Blue made plenty of changes in the offseason to attempt to fix their recent woes, quarterback Eli Manning is banking on some continuity to lift his team over the hump.
"I'm excited about this year with the Giants, I'm excited about Coach (Ben) McAdoo and staying in that same offense," Manning told NFL Media's Rhett Lewis. "I'm looking forward to getting back to making playoffs and getting back to what we're expected to do."
Before McAdoo took over as offensive coordinator in 2014, New York's offense was coming off a season in which the unit averaged a minuscule 18.4 points per game, which was the fifth-worst mark in the league. In McAdoo's first year, that total jumped to 23.8. The Giants finished sixth in the NFL last season by posting 26.3 points per game.
Now in his first year taking over as head coach while keeping the same offense, Manning has even bigger expectations for Year 3 of the McAdoo experience.
"We expect to score the ball more. We think we can score over 28 points a game," the quarterback said. "We were close to hitting that last year. I think being my third year in the offense, getting some new weapons like Sterling (Shepard), getting Victor Cruz back, getting Larry Donnell back healthy. .... We do have a lot of weapons."
Admittedly, the offense wasn't the problem last season. Big Blue's defense allowed the NFL's most yards and third-most points (hence the offseason shopping). But if the offense elevates to another level, it would be hard for any defense to drag them out of a playoff berth. And it'll make the decision of promoting the in-house offensive coordinator look very shrewd.