This article will delve into the Giants more in-depth for this article. We’ll be taking a closer look at the team that finished second in its division last year, nearly missing the playoffs (while still starting 2-7...) than we did in the divisional overview.
This team is so hot and cold. There’s a reason for optimism, but there’s also reason to doubt anything good will come of the New York Giants this season.
Let’s dive in!
The team did go out and get Kenny Golladay, the best receiver available on the market at the time, and what the team needed. They needed an alpha receiver that’s great at contested catches and someone that can provide a deep threat for their starting QB. They reallllllly needed that going into this season.
He’s been struggling so far, however. Started out the gate with a hamstring injury in camp, and reports have been saying he hasn’t been doing anything spectacular in camp either (hopefully this can be attributed to his hamstring injury). He was paid the big bucks, $72 million over 4 years, so it’s fair to say they can’t have this bust on them.
To be honest, I’m not super worried about him not impressing, since that’s most likely his injury mixed with being on a new offense. I’m more concerned with his hamstring injury, as that’s the same as what he had last year, and those injuries have a tendency to be unpredictable. It can make a player go in and out of the lineup, sometimes mid-game. The worst situation for a fantasy owner, and an actual team.
Saquon will be back this year.
Fresh off a torn ACL and MCL injury that ended his season in the second game of 2020. He’s had a year to heal from the injury, but it seems they are being really careful with him, so the healing process has definitely not finished. It does make the risk of reaggravating the injury higher.
But, I will say, he’s still very young and has been looking good in practice so far (he’s only done individual drills, but it looks like his athleticism hasn’t declined). When he’s been healthy, he’s been DOMINANT, including finishing as the RB1 overall back in 2018, his rookie year. He most likely won’t get that finish that high in a season since his targets dropped from 121 from Eli Manning to around 70 from Daniel Jones.
He’s still locked and loaded into a true bell-cow role and possesses the coveted 3 down skillset. In 2020, for his only full game, he went 15 rushes for 6 yards and didn’t score, yet somehow was the RB23 for the week because he went 6 for 60 yards in receptions, which helped pad his numbers.
He’s a surefire bet to finish in the top 10 at his position and a solid bet to finish top 5 if he’s healthy for most of the year.
The team drafted Kadarius Toney after trading back successfully in the 1st round with the Bears, giving themselves some nice draft capital going forward. Toney had a nice highlight reel from his college days, which was enough to give a drop of hope to the Giants fanbase.
Toney hasn’t been living up to expectations. He’s missing a lot of practice whether it be for this or that reason. They didn’t even give a reason as to why he’s missing time right now as of August 20th. It seems like he always has a reason not to practice. That could be a mental thing, which is a bad indicator for him. He had a late breakout age, which doesn’t correlate to success in the NFL. The late bloomers have a lower hit rate compared to other players in the NFL.
Their defense is actually a formidable unit. They finished top 10 as a unit in 2020, and have only added to their repertoire. They signed Adoree Jackson, drafted Azeez Ojulari, and re-signed Leonard Willams and Logan Ryan. Jabril Peppers, Blake Martinez, James Bradbury, and Dexter Lawrence will still be there. The DC is the same which is being held down by Patrick Graham. They brought back the key players and added the depth this offseason that they needed.
Well...their offense is not as formidable as the defense. Last year they were in the bottom 3 in terms of points scored. They did add some nice pieces to their offense, including Golladay, and Saquon will be back, but their O-line is still horrible. The hope is that Daniel Jones takes the next step and improves.
Daniel Jones has shown flashes for sure. He’s actually a good deep ball passer when throwing from a clean pocket. Problem is, he rarely ever has a clean pocket. He has a tendency to fumble and makes poor decisions under pressure which causes interceptions. Not having a clean pocket falls at the feet of the O-line, but the mistakes and interceptions fall at Daniel Jones’ feet. Not having a clean pocket is part of the game, and you have to prepare for when you don’t have one. From 2021 preseason footage, DJ is shown throwing directly to a defender, with no one even close. I know it’s cherry-picked footage for views, but still, not a good look.
Even their season last year was hot and cold. Over the first 8 games, they went 1-7 (COLD), then over the last 8 games, they went 5-3 (HOT). I personally think this is the defense taking a step forward more than the offense stepping up. As stated, the defense finished top 10 while the offense...did not.
There’s a lot riding on this season. Daniel Jones and Dave Gettleman, their GM, are both in the hot seat. If they have another losing record, both will most certainly be gone at the end of the year. Saquon’s future also will be determined by this year. If he can stay healthy, and look good out on the field, he’ll be getting a huge contract. If not, well then he’ll get paid somewhere else, but not nearly as much.
Even with all the changes, the team’s core is the same, with the same QB, Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Defensive Coordinator.
So the question remains: Will they finish hot? Or cold? Only time will tell.
(Photo Credit: Andy Lewis / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)