Welcome to 16th ever edition of ‘The Super Bowl Race in the Perspective of Chase’, an almost daily article on your favorite NFL team. Today we are doing the New York Football Giants! We recently did the other team that plays in the same stadium, the Jets. But the Giants have been a much better organization than the Jets. They have four Super Bowls compared to the Jets’ one. They have owned New York football. But very similarly to the Jets, the Giants are in a rebuilding position, and are still trying to figure things out. Should they have traded Saquon Barkley? And at quarterback, will this be Daniel Jones’ final season in New York? Lets, get into this!
Real quick before we do I would like to let you know that we are doing something similar to this on the Cool Sports Newsletter for the NBA if you want to check that out. We are also ranking different NFL positions on there before the season starts if you want to also check that out!
The Giants have been between mediocrity and trash since 2017, after their final playoff appearance in 2016. However, they have had talent. But it hasn’t been good enough to succeed. Saquon Barkley went off in his rookie season, going for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns. The next year he fell to just a little over 1,000 yards since he missed three games. But then a season ending injury in 2020 after playing just two games, followed by 593 rushing yards in 13 games in 2021 has left Giants fans skeptical about if Saquon will ever get back to the point he was at in 2018. And in 2021, nothing really went well for the Giants.
For some reason going into the season I was high on the Giants and thought they were going to win the NFC East. Not one of my finest predictions! The Giants finished 4-13 and last in the NFC Least in 2021. But everything I had promise in for the Giants in 2021 didn’t come true. James Bradberry had been coming off a stellar Pro Bowl season where he had been mostly considered one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He fell off a gigantic cliff in 2021. I was high on Saquon. As I mentioned he struggled severely. I was high on the Daniel Jones-Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney connection, but Jones struggled in his 11 games (10 TD-7 INT), Golladay had just over 500 yards and Toney played well in just 10 games, but only started four of them. They needed help going into the offseason. They also had very big decisions to make.
First off, the quarterback position. Were they going to keep Daniel Jones? The Saquon Barkley trade possibility. Should they have traded a struggling, injury prone Saquon for assets? Were they going to keep Evan Engram and/or James Bradberry? What were they going to do in the draft? And the big decision, were they going to keep head coach Joe Judge after an underperforming season? All of those questions were quickly answered. They decided not to trade a low value` Saquon and made it clear early on. They decided to keep Daniel Jones by not severely reaching on a Kenny Pickett type in the draft. And in the draft, they selected one of my favorite players from the draft, Evan Neal 7th overall and my boy Sam Prince stole the show for the 5th pick, where “The New York Football Giants select, Kayvon Thibodeaux, defensive end, Oregon!”
Both picks were amazing moves. Thibodeaux was the #1 pick in the draft previous to the 2021 College Football season. The talent is there. They stole him at #5. And I thought Evan Neal should have been drafted #1 overall! I think he is an amazing offensive lineman that everyone is sleeping on. He has all of the potential to be a future 1st ballot Hall of Famer! They decided to let 2020 Pro Bowlers Engram and Bradberry walk in free agency (Engram signed with the Jaguars, Bradberry signed with the division rival Eagles). And they did it! They fired Joe Judge. After a very competitive season in 2020, he seemed to be safe for the future. But after the way the Giants played in 2021, it was the right move.
In free agency, they didn’t really do anything impactful. They kept the same team with new draft picks and no Evan Engram or James Bradberry. But how successful can that team be in 2022, after winning just four games in 2021. Well, I think they are going to surprise some people. I think Daniel Jones will play okay. I think he’ll increase his touchdowns up to around 18 (if he plays 17 games) and I think he’ll have around ten interceptions once again. I think Andrew Thomas will continue to develop into possibly a Pro Bowl player if his development speed increases and Evan Neal will probably make the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Because of this, I think Saquon will go off as long as he stays healthy. Last season, a lot of his struggles were because he seemed to be playing through injuries. But now with an offseason of healing from injuries and now being in a system with a much improved offensive line, I think he may have 1,300 rushing yards if he stays healthy!
Staying on that point, if Saquon has that success early on in the season, the Giants rebuilding process could take a big step in the right direction. If Saquon is playing like one of the best running backs in the NFL, his value will skyrocket and teams will be interested. One of the reasons he may have not been traded this offseason was because his value was too low. But if he plays amazing before the November 1st deadline, he may get traded. And if he does, it will be for some average players and extreme draft capital. This would give them a good chance to tank for Bryce Young for their next (most likely) 9-10 games left. Right now, I have them finishing with the 9th worst record in NFL (assuming they keep Saquon), but if their just running the ball for him to get his value up, they won’t win games towards the beginning of the season and then they won’t even have him for the end of the season. Does that sound like 2-3 wins to me?
But I don’t think the Giants are going to do this. I think they will keep Saquon, even though he will succeed. But will they end up keeping Daniel Jones? If they don’t use the strategy of ‘Give Saquon the ball, get his value up, trade him, then tank for Young’, than they won’t be bad enough to get Bryce Young. But, they declined to give Daniel Jones his 5th year option. Was that a mistake? Well, I think they are going to move on from Daniel Jones for the 2023 season for multiple reasons. First off, their could be some good quarterbacks in the draft. While they won’t be bad enough for a Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud type, they could take a Will Levis or Anthony Richardson (if they fall to #9) or take Jaren Hall. And there could be other quarterbacks whose stock goes in different directions throughout the college football season. Maybe like a Joe Burrow. And secondly, the Giants don’t want him! There is a reason why they declined to give him the fifth year option. And new head coach Brian Daboll said backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor may even get some QB1 reps in camp!
The Giants are an interesting team because they can go in many directions. But if they don’t trade Saquon, they’ll be more competitive, even if it won’t get them Young or Stroud!
My prediction: New York finishes 7-10, holds onto Saquon and moves on from Jones after 2022!
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