Then there were six.
Among them are giants.
This teaser, once again on Labor Day, likely elicited groans from fans who braced for another season riding in the non-competing lane. When asked which exclusive club would have expected the Giants to be in for two games a season, it likely generated a resounding response: Teams looking for their first wins?
General Manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll may have ushered in a sense of competence and begun to build a promising vision for the future, but both also noted that this is the situation in which operation will trump production. They cautioned that this will take some time.
But maybe not as much as anyone expected.
The Giants are one of six teams to score a perfect 2-0 record, and join some expected fast rookies (Bills, Buccaneers, Chiefs) and some unexpected teams (Dolphins, Eagles). Giants love to be judged by the company they keep.
The situation brings to mind the words of the Wellington Mara franchise patriarch on January 14, 2001. His giants were underdogs by two points that day, but they defeated the Vikings, 41-0, in an NFC Championship game. With the Giants Stadium fans still rushing into a frenzy to present the trophy after the game, Mara stepped into the microphone and He delivered the sermon perfectly:
“This team has been referred to as the worst team ever to win a home advantage in the National Football League. Today, on the clay field, we have proven that we are the worst team ever to win an NFC Championship. In two weeks, we will try to become the worst team to win the NFC Championship. Super Bowl at all.”
Well, it didn’t happen that way. Two weeks later in Tampa at Super Bowl XXXV, the topic of “worst team” hit too close to home for the Giants after their 34-7 loss to the Ravens.
This season, of course, is not that season. Giants, in fact, 2-0 For the first time in seven seasons, but no one should have the illusion that they’ll be able to hang out with the adults when the leaves start to fall. It’s not fair to say they are the worst 2-0 team in the league.
This does not mean that this sudden start will not have potential value in helping Daboll lay a solid foundation for the future. And while there’s nothing to dislike about this group, the slate doesn’t have the quality to survive in the great outdoors.
There may be no better illustration of this fact than looking at the six matches of the undefeated teams. Tom Brady, of course, is part of the pack. As well as the young and talented Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. Tua Tagovailoa was named top 5 draft last with the Dolphins, and leads the NFL with 739 yards. And Galen Hurts in Philly proves the skeptics wrong in his sophomore year, evolve into a legitimate threat that passes.
And the There is Daniel Jones.
Statistics tell the rest of the story.
The Giants average 20 points per game, pretty much a smack in the middle of the league (15 of 32). Their net pass of 318 yards per game ranks 31st.
Yes, Jones played an important role in the victories Over the Titans in Nashville (21-20) And the Panthers in the Giants House Opener (19-16). He has three touch passes and one interception while scoring with a passing rating of 99.4, and is the eighth best player in the NFL. But he 28th place in QBR for ESPN – A modified overall midfielder rating that takes into account the strength of the opposing defenses the midfielder is facing.
To be fair, Jones’ primary targets were Ritchie James, Sterling Shepherd, and David Sales, which is annoying. What’s even more disturbing is that Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay’s two matches were non-functioning. Tony played seven shots in the opening. Golladay played two pictures in week 2. The merit that Daboll embraces is a big part of the culture he instills, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But grabbing the most from the best players is also a skill, and the rookie coach needs to make more use of Tony and Goladay for the passing attack to rise from the bottom of the pile.
Golladay has been in a state of funk since training camp. He’s making $13 million this season and counting toward $21.2 million toward the salary cap. It can go one of two ways for him: either he gets out of it and increases his playing time, or he slips into disgrace and becomes a healthy game-day scratcher.
It’s also possible that something else is at work here. Guldai, 28, may be physically limited after picking up a thigh injury in 2020 with the Lions and dealing with several leg problems last season with the Giants.
Coming from a disappointing rookie season, Tony looks more mature And he sharpened it when he was sitting in his closet. That’s all well and good, but the Giants need him to look great on the court after his first-round pick knocked him out a year ago.
Whatever the reasons, Daboll hasn’t done it yet Show no confidence in Golladay And Tony because if he did, they would get the bulk of the shots.
So far, the running game has benefited from the slack. The Giants are fifth in the NFL in rushing at 170.5 yards per game (ie It bodes well for Sacon Barkley in the year of his decade). But with teams like the Browns, Eagles, Lions and 49 players ahead of the Giants in the team dash, it suggests that the top teams aren’t always first.
Jones, of course, is also in the year of his contract, because this new discipline didn’t pick up his fifth year option. The march orders for the quarterbacks start with a game win, two games in Jones is 2-0. His offensive line is clearly not impenetrable, but it has been improved. Barkley is healthy and strong. So far, Jones has done more than lose in matches. But recipients need to pick it up, especially Tony. Going forward, the side of the field and the catch in attack need to improve a lot.
In a strange schedule oddity, the Giants didn’t face the Eagles, a team in their own league, until December 11th during Week 14. Then they face their rival again four weeks later to finish the season.
Out of sight does not mean out of mind.
The Eagles put on a show Monday night in beating the Vikings for 24-7, joining the Giants atop the NFC East. It could prove that the Giants might be able to hang out in the division race with the Cowboys losing quarterback Dak Prescott for a while and the leaders seem stuck in the middle again.
The way Hurts played in Week 2, may be a warning shot that the Eagles are the team to beat. He completed 84 percent of his passes for 333 yards and touchdowns and ran for two TDs. His legs and athletic ability were never in doubt in his first two NFL seasons. If his arm and decision making are going to be big pluses in Year 3, the Eagles don’t seem to have many loopholes.
“He put in a lot of work,” Eagles coach Nick Siriani said.[The game is] slowing down. But it should – right? – at this point. He’s progressing in his process, and we’re talking about getting better every day and he’s living that. He is one of our captains and one of our leaders, living the theory of improvement every day. That’s why you see big improvements. It’s because of the type of person and the type of player.”
asked and answered
Here are two questions that have been asked recently and we will try to answer as accurately as possible:
It looks as if the defensive backcourt is playing well. Did anyone surprise you by going back there?
We all doubted the lockers were solid, probably much better than that. So far, Xavier McKinney and Julianne Love have not disappointed. We’ve also suspected that the No. 2 back corner and slot corner might be areas of concern, and two games in, that’s still the case, even though Darnay Holmes has shown signs he can handle the job like a nickel back – as long as he stops making penalties in late in the game.
The player who was excellent is one player who has to be excellent: Adoree’ Jackson. He’s CB1, but he entered the season surrounded by questions about whether he could take on the role. Well, he hasn’t missed a shot in two matches and his speed has flashed a few times. What is surprising is how aggressive Jackson is, especially in his handling in support of running. This was never known when he played for the Titans or last year he made his Giants debut. Perhaps this is the effect of Wink Martindale. The new defensive coordinator demands physical play from everyone on the court, and Jackson obligated it. He gave up one catch against the Titans and none in four goals against the Panthers. Very well.
Will the defense look drastically different when Kayfun Teboudo and Aziz Olguri return from injuries?
Thibodeaux (knee) has a chance to play Monday night against the Cowboys. Ojulari (calf) seems to be at least another week. The Giants are eager to get these two young outside full-backs on the field. Martindale did a decent job of putting pressure on the opposing midfielder, but needed real strikers to win over the streak of scrimmage and crush the pocket more quickly than the Giants were able to make their first two games.
At this point, there are only a handful of players representing every moment or players in nearly every moment in defense: Love, McKinney, Jackson, and defensive end Jihad Ward. The return of Thibodeaux should reduce Ward’s workload. Martindale Ward loves from their time with the Ravens, and Ward is an excellent running defender who can put the edge on. Tibodo’s return should also help cover the absence of linebacker Leonard Williams (knee), who looks set to be Outside for at least a few weeks. However, it is important to remember that Thibodeaux is a beginner and there will be a learning curve. Don’t expect a show in the sack from day one, but he was also the No. 5 pick overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Giants believe he could be a team-maker as a passing forward.