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Last year: 9-7, second place in NFC East

Acquisitions: Brandon Myers, Aaron Ross, Justin Pugh, Louis Murphy, Josh Brown, Aaron Curry

Departures: Ahmad Bradshaw, Osi Umenyiora, Chase Blackburn, Mattellus Bennett, Chris Canty, Kenny Phillips, Lawrence Tynes

Vegas win total over/under: 9 wins

Verdict: PUSH

Five notable Eli faces from this new DirecTV commercial:

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Fan forecast, with KSK contributor BobbyBigWheel:

The 2011 Giants team that won the Super Bowl and the 2012 Giants team that missed the playoffs were mostly the same. They both finished the season 9-7 but when the Redskins upgraded from Rex Grossman to Robert Griffin III that was apparently worth a few wins. Both teams relied on Eli’s passing arm and a fantastic receiving corps (still a weird concept for Giants fans, we’re all Carl Brutananadilewski and think the team should run 40 times per game). Both teams had defenses that tried to bend and not break, but when they broke it got ugly.

The 2011 team had some great luck though. Tony Romo overthrew a wide open Miles Austin and a wide open Wes Welker dropped a pass. Either play would have killed their season. The 2012 vintage didn’t have that luxury. If they could get Tynes a better shot against the Eagles in Week 4 or RG3′s fumble doesn’t bounce right to Josh Morgan in Week 13 then the Giants would have made the playoffs and had a shot at another improbable run. Instead, we had to watch the f*cking Ravens win another Super Bowl. Lame.

So what did the Giants do in the offseason? They upgraded the offense by drafting a new right tackle (Gregggggg Easterbrook former MVP/DUI recipient David Diehl hasn’t had a decent season since 2009), swapped out Chris Canty for Fergus Cullen at defensive tackle (as well as add Ohio State’s massive run-stuffer in the draft) and are hoping that Corey Webster has a bounceback year after a horrific 2012. They also added Dan Connor to their linebacking corps, upgrading it from “way below average” to “a little better than way below average.”

But Giants fans know that it’s all about luck. The best team we’ve seen in the past 2 decades was the one that went 11-1 before Plaxico Burress shot himself in the ass. We saw Eli Manning throw four interceptions against the Vikings in November 2007 and wondered if the team doomed itself when it traded for him instead of settling for Ben Roethlisberger. You just need to get to the playoffs and hope for the best.

Thankfully we have a coach and a GM that we trust to make the right decision at least 75 percent of the time. In the NFL, that’s all you can really hope for. Get the mundane processes right and pray that the fluky stuff goes your way. So how are the Giants going to this year? They’ll probably contend. They could win the Super Bowl. They could get their hearts ripped out in Week 17. I doubt they’d do worse than 7-9 with a healthy Eli, but it’s still possible.

But you know me. I’m just going to get drunk and shouty during games because I still irrationally love a group of 53 strangers that are wearing the same laundry. None of it makes sense, but it’s fun, so who cares?