The last three years have been a dismal stretch for the New York Giants bay any measure. The team has averaged four wins a year and have generally failed to look competitive against all but their worst opponents.
Tuesday ESPN released its predictions for the 2020 NFL season. The sports media giant's "Football Power Index" is predicting that the Giants will win six games this year (6.2 games to be precise). The FPI is also predicting a 12 percent chance that the Giants will make the playoffs this year.
ESPN explains the FPI:
"Preseason ratings are based on each team’s Las Vegas win total; last season’s performance on offense, defense and special teams; the number of returning starters; coaching staff changes; and starting and backup quarterbacks."
Interestingly, ESPN ranks the Giants at 26 in the league, ahead of the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions despite both teams projected to have higher win totals and better chances to make the playoffs. All told, the Giants are projected to have the fifth-lowest win total and fifth-lowest chance to make the playoffs.
ESPN's projection of (roughly) six wins is in line with their projection for the 2019 season. Last year they projected a 6-10 season for the Giants.
Whether or not the Giants manage to improve their record is anyone's guess. But it is worth noting that they finished below expectations despite playing the second-easiest schedule in the league (by opponents' win-loss record). This year the Giants face a beast of a schedule and the odds makers in Las Vegas predict the Giants will have the second-hardest schedule in the league. The Giants will also be facing a rest deficit as they face more road games on short weeks than any other team in the league. That's far from an ideal situation for a team with a second-year quarterback and a true rookie head coach, as well as transitioning to new offensive and defensive schemes.
Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles finished fifth and sixth, respectively. The Cowboys are projected to have 9.3 wins with a 69 percent chance to make the playoffs, while the Eagles are projected to have 9.1 wins and a 66 percent chance to make the playoffs.
The Washington Redskins are projected to finish last in the NFC East at 31st overall with 5.5 wins and a 6 percent chance to make the playoffs.