The New York Giants have only made one playoff appearance since they last won the Super Bowl in 2011. The franchise is currently stuck in its worst rut since the 1970s, though they look like they may finally be able to turn it around soon.
Gone are Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin. Even Odell Beckham Jr. was shown the door last year. Saquon Barkley has arrived to carry the mantle for the team and headlines a very talented group they have on offense. A once-awful defense could be on its way up as well.
That puts a lot of pressure on Daniel Jones, the rookie that ended 2019 with more doubters than believers. Can Jones be the guy who leads New York back to glori? If not, then could this franchise be wasting its chance to take the next step?
The NFL season is almost upon us! Over the next few weeks I will be previewing each of the 32 NFL teams, and ranking them 1-32 as to how likely I believe they are to win Super Bowl LV. This week we continue the list with teams on the fringe of the playoff conversation.
24. New York Giants
Believe it or not, the Giants offense is pretty damn good.
There is obviously Barkley, the 2018 second overall pick who took the league by storm. He already looks like a Hall of Fame lock somehow, and whenever the ball is in his hands, he is a threat to score.
The receivers are great as well. Golden Tate, a name Lions fans are very familiar with, may be the fifth-best receiving option. Darius Slayton had a huge rookie season that reminds me of Kenny Golladay early in his career. Evan Engram—though he is often overlooked—is still a top-tier pure receiving tight end. Sterling Shepard has had trouble staying on the field throughout his young career, but when he is around, his route running has proved hard to deal with for opposing defenses. Then, obviously, there is all of the work Barkley can do as a receiver.
All of the talent at receiver should make things easier for the young quarterback, but it also add a lot of pressure. If he cannot do it with this much talent around him, can he ever?
The defense was awful in 2019, but they should be improved this season. Markus Golden erupted as a star edge rusher last season and was retained this year. Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams create a decent 1-2-3 punch inside as well that can shut down the run and even provide some pass rush, too. Other teams may have trouble dealing with this defensive front.
Unfortunately, behind them there is not much going on. The addition of Blake Martinez should help shore up their run defense, but I do not think run defending is a problem anyways.
James Bradberry—a free agent cornerback addition from the Carolina Panthers—is really all they have to stop the passing game. Grant Haley struggled immensely last season, Julian Love looked fine in a small role last season but is untested. Rookie safety Xavier McKinney may contribute—and could be the deep third free safety the greatly need—but there is only so much you can expect year one from a second rounder.
New York has potential to be an exciting team this season. Similar to the New Orleans Saints in the mid 2010s, they might have an exciting, high-scoring offense mixed with a defense that will just get torched through the air week after week. If Jones does not step up, though, then they will just be a mess of an offense with a defense that still cannot stop anyone.