The New York Giants have been struggling to get back to the NFL Postseason since the prime of Eli Manning has descended. New York last made a playoff appearance in 2016. Remember, they got decapitated at Green Bay on Wild Card weekend losing 38-13. Since 2016 they have lost one of the games prolific play makers in OBJ. Also, their 2 time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning has retired. So now what? The three following seasons since that playoff game has resulted in wins of 3, 5, and 4. However, those losing years helped them land the phenom Saquon Barkley in the 2018 Draft and now franchise QB Daniel Jones in 2019. The Giants can finally be optimistic about their three failed seasons being behind them. What is the best way to capitalize on having a top five running back in the NFL and your Franchise QB going into his first training camp as the starter? Drafting an Offensive Tackle with the fourth overall pick. Selecting Andrew Thomas was a fabulous choice. It not only protects your quarterback but also maximizes your run game potential.
The Schedule Ahead
The Giants definitely have a tough schedule in 2020. Their biggest challenges outside the division consist of the Buccaneers, Seahawks, and the 49ers. But, I can’t see them performing less than .500 in their Division. Even with last year going far from planned, the G men were able to play tight games in all six of their division match ups. The biggest obstacle they will face is having a first year Head Coach to go with their young but talented roster. It is extremely rare for a first year Head Coach to have success with new ownership and an unfamiliar roster. Matt LaFleur of Green Bay was the only first year Head Coach in 2019 to have a winning record. Joe Judge has been part of the Patriots coaching staff for several years. He was present for both Super Bowl victories over the Falcons and Rams. So there should be a higher expectation for him to make an immediate impact in a positive fashion.
The Cowboys and Eagles are front runners to win the division and my agreement lives with that argument. However, my purpose for this article is to predict the Giants over achieving on 2020 expectations. The wise guys from the desert have the Giants season win total locked in at Over/Under 6 wins. I believe the Giants are capable of more than just a 6-10 campaign once the football is snapped on opening night in September. The Giants should have two guaranteed wins under their belt due to the Washington Redskins being a division opponent. That leaves the four remaining division games vs Dallas and Philadelphia that should result in going a minimum of 1-3. There is even a possibility of 2 or 3 more NFC East wins depending on injuries and other uncontrollable factors.
The Giants have been at the basement of the NFL the past few years. I expect them to rise significantly this season and become a middle of the pack team with a bright future. A new Coach paired with a young franchise Quarterback and Running Back are just a few of the reasons why the Giants should be excited heading into 2020. Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram put together an elite group of pass catchers for Daniel Jones to use to move his offense up and down the field. If the defense can play just a tick above average, expect the New York Giants to double their 2019 win total number and have a ceiling of 9 wins but most likely finish with an 8-8 or 7-9 record.
-Fred O’Brien @FOBSportsNFL