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5 Giants story lines to follow in 2017 NFL season

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87)

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) scores on a pass in the end zone in the second quarter on Sept. 11, 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Shepard rolled his ankle at practice Aug. 2, 2017. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS) Photo Credit: TNS / Rodger Mallison

TOP TARGETS

No one on the team is saying that the Giants have the top receiver group in the NFL . . . yet. “Obviously, the goal is to be the best,” said Odell Beckham Jr., who will be joined by Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard. “If you’re not doing it to be the best, I don’t know why you’re doing it.”

SAFETY FIRST

Michael Strahan was the last Giant to win Defensive Player of the Year (2001), but safety Landon Collins has made that his aim this year. “He does all the extras, and that’s the beginning of going from good to great,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “Hopefully, his goal will come to fruition.”

STREAKING

If Eli Manning starts all 16 games this season, his streak will reach 215. He can move past his brother Peyton’s 208 straight regular-season starts in Week 10 against the Chiefs and into second place. Brett Favre’s record of 297 is still more than six seasons away.

NO REST FOR THE GIANTS

The Giants will play an NFL-high four teams coming off byes: the Broncos, Seahawks, Rams and Chiefs. Per ESPN, the Giants will have 22 fewer days of rest than their 2017 opponents, by far the most lopsided number in the NFL.

GRAND EXPECTATIONS

The Giants haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2012, one of just four teams to go that long (Panthers, Jaguars and Browns). “We have high expectations for ourselves looking at what the other running back groups have done in the league,” Paul Perkins said. “That’s definitely a motivating factor for us.”

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