It isn’t only New York Giants fans who are trying to digest the possibility that the long downtrodden Giants could actually be good in 2022. National analysts are also trying to come to grips with the Giants being 4-1.
Here is some of the reaction around the country after the Giants’ come-from-behind upset of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Fact of the matter is, the Giants’ 4-1 start this year is the leading miracle in a league full of them. They have absolutely nothing at wide receiver. The defense has been playing without its best lineman for three weeks. Jones, the fourth-year QB whose fifth-year option wasn’t picked up was playing on a bad ankle and led the team back from a 20-10 halftime deficit Sunday in London against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This week after Daboll was literally drawing up plays on the sideline for Barkley to run as the wildcat quarterback because Jones and backup Tyrod Taylor had left the game due to injuries. The Giants’ first three wins of the season were against the Titans, Panthers and Bears, so it was easy to say maybe they weren’t as good as their record indicated. But there’s no downgrading Sunday’s win.
Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION
I’m not even sure it’s close at this point. Nick Sirianni? Sure. Love what you’re doing with the Eagles and Jalen Hurts. Kevin O’Connell? You’re 4-1 overall, 3-0 in your division and seem to have your team at its best in the most crucial parts of the games. Andy Reid? Always. Even Mike McCarthy, for weathering the absence of his starting quarterback and keeping the Cowboys in the wacky NFC East race. But nobody’s accomplishing more on a weekly basis with less than Daboll is. He and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale are coaching their tails off, and you can tell this Giants team believes in itself even if no one else believes in it. That’s a testament to coaching, as is the fact that they are always in the game late. Heck, in their only loss — Week 3 against the Cowboys — they were up 13-6 in the third quarter before Dallas rallied. Long way to go, but if they gave this award out after five weeks, it’d be Daboll’s in a runaway.
“Anytime you have games like this people call them ‘built-in’ excuses, and I don’t want anyone in our organization to make an excuse about anything,” Daboll told PFT by phone after the game. “It’s not just always about X’s and O’s. It’s about leadership, about talking about resiliency. This league will humble you really quick. You get a two-game losing streak and no one’s gonna be happy, and it starts with me.”
When Daboll talked about eliminating excuses, it sounded like something he learned from his time with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. But Daboll already knew to resist built-in excuses longer before ever meeting Belichick. For Daboll, “no excuses” was instilled in him by his grandmother.
It’s a great approach. It’s the right approach. The standard is the standard, no matter what. No fretting or whining or whatever. Poor you. Just shut up and get it done.
.@Giants came to London on a mission; compete and lay the wood every chance you get. There is PRIDE in wearing the Giants Bucket. Love watching these cats run and hit. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/Bc8TCA5oGd— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 10, 2022
Coaches don’t win without players. Players don’t win without coaches. But of all the teams through the first month of the season, the New York Giants are the best example of a team that has gotten every drop out of its players through good teaching and coaching ...
The Giants, because of injuries, are playing five new defenders in prominent roles—like former Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith—and all played at least 20 snaps Sunday. On offense, without injured wideouts Kenny Golladay, Wan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney, offensive coordinator Mike Kafka has had to be imaginative. With Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor both injured last week, Kafka put Saquon Barkley in the Wildcat formation and he continued that in London against Green Bay. The Giants are improvising as well as any team in the league, and they may improvise all the way to the playoffs.
The Giants, after struggling through their own insistence to pair an outside coach with an in-house GM, hired Brian Daboll and, while they wait for the personnel to improve, have been winning games by any means possible early in the 2022 season. They came back against one of the most athletic defenses in the NFL on Sunday in London, using a cast of characters less recognizable than the Hamilton understudies’ understudies to take down the Packers.
The Giants are actually a good football team
Overreaction or reality: Reality
The Giants are well-coached by Brian Daboll and the coaching staff he put together. Mike Kafka is an innovator and creative play caller and Wink Martindale has transformed that defense into a unit that makes key stops and is always in position to make plays.
New York beat Green Bay despite having three healthy receivers on the active roster, a poor offensive line outside of Andrew Thomas, and a banged-up Daniel Jones. They also were down their top two edge rushers at the beginning of the year and two of their top four cornerbacks.
Can't fault the schedule. New York is 4-1 and will be a problem for many opponents throughout the year.
Coach of the Week: Giants' Brian Daboll
Somehow, New York keeps doing it. This time, the G-Men traveled to London, got an efficient day from a banged-up Daniel Jones, stayed creative with Saquon Barkley, and knocked off Aaron Rodgers to get to 3-1. Daboll doesn't have elite personnel on either side of the ball, but he's gotten the best from just about everyone on the field.
What to know: Daniel Jones and the Giants really showed something. They rallied from down 14 in the first half against the Packers to post a huge upset victory, perhaps their best win since beating the Cowboys late in 2016. Jones did it while clearly not 100 percent (ankle) and despite a questionable supporting cast. If anything, it put his toughness on full display. Jones went 13-of-14 passing for 136 yards in the second half. He also rushed seven times for 37 yards, before kneeling with the ball late. Jones carried a Giants offense that had Marcus Johnson, Richie James, David Sills V and Darius Slayton at wide receiver. A monster effort.
Yes, Daboll is absolutely Coach of the Year after five games. No one has done more with less, or, to put a kinder way, gotten more out of what he does have than Daboll and his Giants coaching staff.
Will Daboll, who worked for this opportunity for more than two decades, end up as Coach of the Year. Who knows? There are 12 games to go and, as Daboll reminds over and over, adversity will come and you have to be able to deal with it.
Here is an amazing thing, though. If the Giants go 6-6 over their final 12 games, that’s a 10-win season. I know I have said over and over that this season is not really about winning. The way the Giants are playing, though, you have to think that’s possible.