The Giants went 9-7-1 last season and not only made the playoffs but beat the Vikings before getting absolutely torched by the Eagles team that would make it to the Super Bowl. A very successful season in the eyes of many Giants fans who had watched the team struggle for several years previously, and even more successful for Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen who showed that not only can they survive outside of where they began in Buffalo, but they can thrive. This season the Giants look to carry last year's momentum into week 1 and beyond.
HC: Brian Daboll: Daboll is entering his second season as a head coach after winning coach of the year in his first. He is an offensive-minded coach but has surrounded himself with smart and experienced people to help him fully understand the duties of an HC, he developed well over the course of the year and seems to be getting used to the change if he isn't already. I expect him to be fully prepared to show some new material with the new players on the roster.
OC: Mike Kafka: Kafka is only in his second season as an OC but he brings a lot of experience with him. Kafka was the QB coach and passing game coordinator for the Chiefs, the team with the most explosive passing game in the league at the time and probably still because of Patrick Mahomes. Working in a system like that coaching under Andy Reid, I'm sure you learn a lot. Kafka showcased his creative side last season when there weren't enough skill players to satisfy the offense, with a depth of WRs that fit his scheme now, I anticipate the Giants offense will make a small jump.
DC: Wink Martindale: Wink is truly a special DC, a guy who sticks to his guns no matter what the case, and a guy who brings a lot of experience to this staff. He led the Ravens to a league-best scoring defense over the course of time he was there and had similar success with the Giants defense last season. The Giants were 5th in 3rd down defense last season and Wink is likely a major part of that along with his unique blitz packages. The defense only got stronger in the offseason, so the Giants are well prepared on defense besides a few holes here and there.
LB Bobby Okereke
DT A'Shawn Robinson
WR Jaylin Hyatt (R)
CB Deonte Banks (R)
WR: Cole Beasley
LB Isaiah Simmons
S Julian Love
CB Fabian Moreau
WR Richie James Jr
G Jon Feliciano
G Nick Gates
Depth Chart Strengths
DL/EDGE: Wink loves to blitz and he needs the personnel to do it. This year he has it, straight up. Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, A'Shawn Robinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Azeez Ojulari will get to the passer with solid backups like Jihad Ward coming in and giving the defense fresh legs when they need it. This could be a dangerous group with Wink's blitz tendencies.
TE: Darren Waller joining this group really completes it. With him, Daniel Bellinger, and Lawrence Cager as well as Tommy Sweeney, there are several more receiving options for Daniel Jones in the short game that will help him when he is facing trouble/pressure. Waller should also open up the receivers with his dangerous seam routes that demand attention.
WR: While the star power isn't there, the Giants have the right group of receivers for their scheme. Isaiah Hodgins had a great year in this offense last year, they added Cole Beasley, Paris Campbell, Jaylin Hyatt, and Jameson Crowder to a room that already had Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard. This team is going to dominate in. the short game and use Waller/Hyatt as their deep threats to keep safeties occupied. These are (mostly) guys who are great at running intermediate routes, have sure hands and can run after the catch.
Depth Chart Weaknesses
CB: While there is definitely potential in this group, there is still a clear weakness. BOTH outside corners will be rookies to start the year with Adoree Jackson playing the nickel position. This won't boot Jackson out of plays as the Giants run nickel quite frequently, however, opponents are going to target the rookie corners IMMEDIATELY. Tre Hawkins (6th round) and Deonte Banks (1st round) will be thrown into the fire, if they come out unscathed then the Giants are good to go, if not, there are not many other choices on the depth chart. Amani Oruwariye was discarded from the Lions roster, Cor'Dale Flott is still unproven, so is Darnay Holmes and Aaron Robinson is on the PUP list. This is a thin group that will be playing a lot of man coverage since Wink blitzes a lot, not usually a recipe for success unless the rookies hold their own.
G: While Ben Bredeson and Mark Glowinski did enough to win the starting jobs in camp, their regular season play has been sub-par in the past, and the guys they beat out I have no faith in. Josh Ezudu seems like he isn't even trying when he gets reps and the team has no idea where to put Shane Lemieux to get the best out of him. they are set at the tackles, but the guard positions may become a point of concern, especially in the running game.
Weak side LB: I know I'm being picky right now and maybe Isaiah Simmons comes in and takes this spot and this doesn't end up being a weakness at all, and while I like Darrian Beavers, the fact remains that he is coming off of a major injury, and his backup, Micah McFadden has struggled when given opportunities in the regular season. This is another spot that could make or break the defense, if the offenses know the Giants are weak there, they will attack that zone.
Week 1: vs Cowboys: WIN
Week 2: @ Cardinals: WIN
Week 3: @ 49ers: LOSS
Week 4: vs Seahawks: WIN
Week 5: @ Dolphins: LOSS
Week 6: @ Bills: WIN (controversial I know)
Week 7 vs. Commanders: WIN
Week 8 vs Jets: LOSS
Week 9 @ Raiders: WIN
Week 10: @ Cowboys: LOSS
Week 11: @ Commanders: WIN
Week 12: vs Patriots: WIN
Week 13: Bye Week
Week 14: vs Packers: WIN
Week 15: @ Saints: WIN Week 16: @ Eagles: LOSS
Week 17: vs Rams: WIN
Week 18: vs Eagles: LOSS
FINAL RECORD PREDICTION
First of all, I'll just get to the elephant in the room, Yes I think the Giants can go into Buffalo and win. I'm not as high on Buffalo as a lot of people are and they were way better with Daboll. I think he knows Ken Dorsey, their OC very very well, and what he likes to do, and I think the Bills will be stunned at playing against their own system but with different players. I also think the Giants offense matches up well against the BUF defense. Secondly, while I don't believe the Giants are on the Eagles level or really close for that matter, I think they are much closer to the Cowboys than a lot of pundits seem to think. Coaching matters, a LOT. The Cowboys do not have a good coaching staff, straight up, Mike McCarthy is bad, Kellen Moore left them, and the Giants personnel matches up perfectly with their scheme. Joe Schoen has built this team in Brian Daboll's image, and while the star power may not be there with the receiving group, they are deep and they have weapons. I think Daniel Jones will be strong, he has been working out/training like a maniac this summer and he wants to prove the people who call him "overpaid" wrong. Saquon wants to prove he is worth more than he is getting paid and Waller wants to prove he can stay healthy. This is a young team with a lot to prove and they are built to play in the system they are in.I may be biased, but I don't believe I am wrong and I believe their schedule is not as hard as people think it is.
As many of you may know, if my record prediction is much different from Vegas projections, I'll put my money where my mouth is. the Giants win total on Fanduel right now is 7.5 and I have them at 11 wins. As a result of this, I am putting down the maximum amount of units that I place on a future bet which is 3.
Giants OVER 7.5 wins -104 3u @ Fanduel