Will Daniel Jones play Sunday? Can the New York Giants really win the NFC East? Are they really getting better? Some many questions about the Giants as the calendar turns to December. Here are a few ‘things I think’ as we roll toward Week 13 of the 2020 NFL seaosn.
The NFC East title
The Giants lead the division (thank you, Seattle Seahawks) and it’s fun to talk about the possibility of winning the NFC East and making the playoffs despite the Giants being 4-7. We will keep writing about that here at Big Blue View, but if I was you I wouldn’t obsess over whether the Giants make it or not.
The Giants might win the division. They might not. I’m sort of in the Logan Ryan camp on this. Asked about the division standings the other day the veteran defensive back said “who cares?”
Playoffs or not, this Giants team is not a legitimate title contender. It’s a team that is far complete. It’s a team that is at the beginning with first-year coach Joe Judge. The 2020 season was never about, and still is not about, winning now. As John Mara said at the beginning of the season, he wanted to know when the season is over that the Giants had taken steps toward becoming a championship team.
We have seen the Giants do that. They are playing better in many areas. They have won a couple of games they may well have lost in years past, and were the types of games they did actually lose early in the season. Daniel Jones has shown progress in recent weeks, as have many other young players who will be part of the team’s future.
The Giants are stepping up in class the next four weeks, beginning Sunday with a road trip to face the 8-3 Seattle Seahawks. Jones’ hamstring injury complicates the Giants’ chances to win the NFC East, and also to judge how the “real” Giants stack up against true playoff-caliber competition.
This season is still about progress, not playoffs, for the Giants and it certainly feels like they are making some. Winning games against the league’s better teams would be another step forward, and the Giants now have four straight chances to do that. We’ll see how it goes, especially while Jones is sidelined.
I guess this is just your friendly PSA that the season needs to be judged by progress, not playoffs.
The Alex Tanney signing
I think some fans misunderstand the Giants’ signing of Alex Tanney. Bringing in Tanney wasn’t about finding the best quarterback available — there are probably more talented quarterbacks out there. Shoot, the Giants kept Cooper Rush instead of Tanney at the end of training camp and could have gone out and plucked Rush off the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
This, though, was about immediacy and about the desire to bring in someone who could potentially be available and able to function on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks if needed.
The NFL has a six-day COVID-19 entry process for newly-acquired players. That means that if the Giants are going to get an additional quarterback through that process and onto the roster if needed on Sunday they had to get one into their testing protocol as of Monday. That meant getting a quarterback who was not on someone else’s roster or practice squad.
The other consideration is the “if needed on Sunday” part of the equation. Tanney already knows the nuts and bolts of Jason Garrett’s offense since he was on the Giants’ roster throughout the spring and summer. He knows the verbiage and could, if he had to, function at least at a basic level on Sunday. The same couldn’t be said for someone who had to come in cold, especially since the COVID-19 protocols mean that quarterback will not be on the practice field before Sunday.
The Eagles are a mess
I think I didn’t realize just how broken Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles are until I watched them lose to the Seahawks on Monday. Lack of discipline, a wounded and sieve-like offensive line, a complete lack of offensive weapons aside from Miles Sanders and a quarterback who is simply not playing at a functional NFL level.
After Philadelphia won the 2017 Super Bowl I thought they were a young team with many players already signed for the long haul, a star quarterback, great coaching staff and front office. I thought the Eagles were set up to dominate the NFC East for several years.
Now? They’re broken. It’s kind of flabbergasting, to be honest.