Giants get passing grades for ‘05: Offense

Ok, fans. It's time for the Giants final report card. And just remember that the players are being graded on their entire season's body of work, not just the terrible playoff game that ended the year prematurely. Players not listed received incompletes.

Here goes the offense:

Eli Manning – He wasn't as good as the fans wanted, but the Giants couldn't have been very upset with what they received from their first-year full-time starter. He threw for plenty of yardage (3,762 yards) and touchdowns (24), but also tossed the ball up for grabs way too often and was picked 17 times. His accuracy was not up to par, and it's obvious his mechanics need some work, but his teammates love his leadership ability and potential. Grade: B-

Tiki Barber – His best year yet. Barber showed his usual tough running and athleticism and added in more of a breakaway threat this season. His receiving out of the backfield was key for Manning's development as well. Barber is the perfect running back and is our choice as TGI's MVP. Grade: A

Jim Finn – Gave the Giants and Tiki Barber his usual excellent escort service. He also chipped in with 13 catches for 98 yards. All Finn does is his best on every play. Grade: B

Derrick Ward – The unknown Giant averaged 3.5 yards a carry, hardly anything to sneeze at. He contributed well on special teams as well. Grade: B-

Brandon Jacobs – After a very strong start that established big number 27 as a fan favorite, Jacobs hit some rough spots, including a couple unfortunate fumbles, as well as being stopped near the goal like more often that he'd like. However, he did score seven touchdowns on a team that boasts Barber. Grade: C

Plaxico Burress – Yes, he might have disappeared too often late in the season, although he had a huge game in Oakland, but Burress totally changed what New York's offense was all about. You'd love to see more consistency in his effort and catching ability, but he provided exactly what the Giants paid him for – a downfield threat that can go up and get the ball. Plax averaged a gaudy 16 yards per catch. Grade: A-

Amani Toomer – The reports of Toomer's demise were obviously greatly exaggerated. With 60 catches for 684 yards and seven TDs, Toomer had a rebirth season after it was basically thought that he'd be phased out of the offense. The crafty veteran receiver showed he still has plenty left in the tank. Grade: B+

Jeremy Shockey – As usual with Shockey, when healthy he's a big weapon. He caught 65 passes and gave Manning a solid dependable underneath option. He went through stretches of being unstoppable and then was not such a big part of the offense. All in all, the Giants have to be happy with what they got from big number 80. Grade: B

Tim Carter – Continued to come up small, as he has basically his entire Giants career. Don't expect to see him back next year. Grade: D

Visanthe Shiancoe – He did what he could when called upon, but continues to be a liability as a blocker and had a couple key drops/penalties this season. Grade: C-

Luke Petitgout – Played better than all his penalties would indicate. But Petitgout has to be wondering if he's definitely in the Giants' long-range plans. His play has been fine, but not up to the level of the big-time left tackle money he's making. Grade: C+

David Diehl – Just put him wherever you need him and let him go. Diehl finished his third full season at his third different position, and he played very well. His signature moment came in Philly when he had to switch to right tackle mid-game and hardly missed a beat. Grade: B+

Shaun O'Hara – The Giants' anchor in the middle, O'Hara has played as well as anybody on the line. His leadership ability is great during games and in the locker room. He has done a great job of leading the way on many of Barber's big runs. Grade: B+

Chris Snee – Probably the only future Pro Bowler on a solid offensive line, Snee just does the job as if he's been around for years, not like the second-year player he actually was. He's also the best at avoiding the penalties that have plagued the OL all year long. Grade: A-

Kareem McKenzie – The Giants' big-ticket signing certainly paid dividends and did a good job of adjusting to the NFC, where he's usually facing the other teams best pass-rushers. He's been there and done that, which makes the fact that he wasn't as dominant as expected a bit of a disappointment. Grade: B

Bob Whitfield – As a sub, he did more than expected. Whitfield stepped in at both tackle spots and the Giants hardly noticed the starter was out. There was even some thought that Big Blue was better off with him in the lineup instead of the starter he was replacing. The Giants should certainly bring big number 71 back. Grade: B+

Jason Whittle – Proved solid in reserve as well. Scheduled to make seven figures in '06, Whittle might need to take a paycut to remain. Grade: B-

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