The New York Giants made the playoffs a year ago, snapping a streak of four consecutive seasons without a postseason appearance. After ending the 2016 campaign with a loss to the Green Bay Packers on Wild-Card Weekend, Big Blue has a chance to come back even stronger in the 2017 NFL season.

Playing in one of the best divisions in football, New York’s playoffs betting odds at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook aren’t heavily in the team’s favor. The Giants have -140 odds to miss the postseason, and they are +120 underdogs to reach the playoffs. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a legitimate Super Bowl contender and a threat to finish ahead of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

READ: Will The Dallas Cowboys Make The Playoffs?  

Dallas is the clear favorite to win the division. They led all NFC teams with a 13-3 record in 2016, rolling through the regular season with maybe the best rookie quarterback-running back tandem in league history. Two of their losses came at the hands of the Giants, who had success with an elite defense.

New York’s defense returns mostly intact. The team re-signed defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency, giving him a four-year, $62 million contract. Safety Landon Collins is back after finishing third in voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, as is Pro Bowl cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

The only significant departure was defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts. New York selected defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson with their second pick in the draft, and Damon Harrison might be the best run stopper in all of football.

There are plenty of reasons to believe that the Giants’ defense, which ranked second in points allowed last season, will be just as good in 2017. The onus will be on the offense to at least be productive, something it had trouble doing for much of 2016.

Eli Manning Odell Beckham New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham and quarterback Eli Manning, pictured at FirstEnergy Stadium on Nov. 27, 2016 in Cleveland, have a good chance to make the playoffs in the 2017 NFL season. Photo: Getty Images

It’s hard to believe the unit won’t be better than it was last year when only six teams scored fewer points than the Giants. New York signed wide receiver Brandon Marshall and drafted tight end Evan Engram with their first overall selection.

"We're doing some good stuff, Brandon and I, getting on the same page," Eli Manning said Monday, via ESPN.com. "Every day there's something new that comes up though. A route here, a concept, just getting on the same timing. You can kind of talk about everything, but you've got to get in as many live reps, one-on-ones, get running different routes, getting on the same timing with things will be good.

"Same with Evan. He's making some plays, doing a lot of good things, but the more one-on-ones, the more situations, different things come up every practice. There's something to learn from it every day."

Manning didn’t mention Odell Beckham Jr., who’s been with the team for three years. He might be the best playmaker in the league, and he’s seemingly a lock for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns at a minimum.

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Manning is inconsistent and often throws bad passes that force Giants fans to shake their heads. His overall numbers haven’t been bad in head coach Ben McAdoo’s offensive system, however, and many of his struggles are related to the play of the offensive line.

If Manning has time to throw the ball in 2017, New York can be one of the NFL’s best teams. Otherwise, it could be the Philadelphia Eagles or the Washington Redskins that challenge Dallas atop the division.