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From Big Blue View
Kadarius Toney continued to be a spectator on Wednesday during practice, but New York Giants coach Brian Daboll said that the team is not considering placing the wide receiver on injured reserve. Daboll said that Toney is “getting better” and that he believes Toney will eventually contribute this season.
“He’s doing a good job rehabbing,” Daboll said. “Hopefully we’ll see I’m out here soon.”
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That weirdness fosters the great equalizer of professional sports: chaos. When the Giants line up on any given Sunday, they aren’t as good as the opponent they’re facing, so they try to cheese their way around the margins. They run stuff you haven’t seen, stuff you couldn’t have prepared for. Some of these gadget plays might go horribly, but guess what—if Jones just dropped back and ran any ol’ play that every team has seen before, there would be a pretty good chance of that play going horribly, too. When the gadget plays work? They create explosive gains, fourth-down conversions, and touchdowns the Giants otherwise wouldn’t have achieved. By creating chaos, the Giants are inviting more random rolls of the die and flips of the coin than the average NFL game has; all they have to do is get lucky and win a few coin flips, and suddenly they’re winning football games.
Is the narrative around QB Daniel Jones future with the Giants changing?
Somewhere in New Jersey, Dave Gettleman is smiling. The much-maligned fingerprints of the Giants’ former GM are all over this team. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kadarius Toney, Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Azeez Ojulari, Tae Crowder, Oshane Ximines, Julian Love, Xavier McKinney, and Graham Gano all became Giants on Gettleman’s watch. All except Toney, who is injured, have contributed to the Giants’ resurgence.
Of course, and most importantly, Coach Daboll, his coordinators, and GM Joe Schoen have made an enormous difference. The point is the cupboard wasn’t as bare as some experts and many fans had believed.
Strength Coaching: The Giants may have the best head coach/offensive coordinator/defensive coordinator combination in the NFL. Brian Daboll is getting the most out his roster through six games, which is why the Giants are a surprising 5-1. New York has overcome three 10-point fourth quarter deficits in six games, which is tied for most in single season in franchise history. Mike Kafka is the innovative play caller that has Daniel Jones fourth in the league in completion rate (67.3%) and 16th in passer rating (90.2) -- significantly higher ranks than in past years. Wink Martindale has the defense seventh in points per game allowed (18.8) and eighth in passing yards allowed per game (194.5) despite the thin cornerback position.
Weakness Wide receiver: The Giants just don't have the pass catchers that can make Jones improve even more. Kenny Golladay has been terrible since he arrived in New York and Kadarius Toney is always injured. Richie James is New York's leading receiver with 189 yards. The Giants have the third-fewest yards from their receivers in 2022 and have the second fewest yards per catch (9.6). They'll need to upgrade at the position.
Coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka continue to reach deeper into their bag of tricks each week. The Giants add a creative wrinkle to previous looks each game, with a few notable examples from Sunday.
“They’re always coming up with fresh ideas, new ideas and I think it just shows the guts they have to call those types of plays in those situations that can win the game or not win the game as opposed to a lot of people sometimes get cold feet and maybe go with the safe call,” WR Darius Slayton said. “I think they’ve done a great job of going for it and being aggressive and trying to win the football game.”
Jason La Canfora of the Audacy Original Podcast “In The Huddle” had high praise for Daboll and the Giants after another impressive win.
“It’s Brian Daboll. It’s Kafka, the offensive coordinator. It’s Martindale, the defensive coordinator. It’s the totality of that staff,” La Canfora said (4:55 in player above). “It’s Brian Daboll not trying to tell you how smart he is, not trying to reprove that I’m a great play-caller. We already know that. We know that you can do that, but you know what? I’m going to let Kafka do that because game management is tough and five of their six games have been one-score games.”
The New York Giants’ 5-1 start is one of the more improbable openings to a season in recent NFL memory. In order to sustain the playoff push, head coach Brian Daboll and his staff need to evaluate some of the offensive weapons on the free-agent market. The three named were WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Will Fuller along with RB David Johnson.
Two rookies—WR Wan’Dale Robinson and TE Daniel Bellinger—get the #BaldyBreakdown treatment
.@Giants it’s good to be a fan of #BigBlue and the rookies stole the show on Sunday @wanda1erobinson @bellinger_12 made big play after big play. When was the year 2 rookies scored TD in a game? Was YA Title the QB? #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/hK5c2RWud3— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) October 19, 2022
Expect the Giants to be in the mix if a player on a rookie contract with multiple remaining years of team control becomes available for a late-round pick or in a player-for-player swap. Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy, Steelers receiver Chase Claypool, Dolphins cornerback Noah Igbinoghene and young inside linebackers make sense to address needs.
Another possibility is a star whose multiyear contract is structured to fit under the Giants’ $3.6 million of salary cap space, according to NFL Players Association records. Panthers receiver D.J. Moore will make about $608,000 over the rest of this season but is owed $19.9 million guaranteed in 2023 — when the Giants have $50 million in cap space, per overthecap.com — and carries $30.7 million in salaries for 2024 and 2025 combined.
A perceived weakness, Shaun O’Hara breaks down RB Saquon Barkley picking up a blitz Sunday
This week’s opponent
Strength Offensive line: The Jaguars made improvements on the unit last season and Doug Pederson’s attempt to build a strong group up front is showing. Trevor Lawrence has been sacked just 10 times this season as his 4.7% sack rate per dropback is ninth best in the NFL. The Jaguars have allowed a 29.4% pressure rate per dropback, 10th best in the NFL.
Weakness Red zone defense: This is an area the Jaguars can improve in, as Jacksonville has allowed touchdowns on 11 of 18 red zone attempts (61.1% is 23rd in NFL). Jacksonville has allowed 70% of goal-to-go situations to be touchdowns (7 of 10), 17th in the NFL. The Jaguars could be better in that department, but the defense has improved as a whole.
Around the league
Head coach Dennis Allen told reporters on Wednesday that the team will be making a game-time decision about their starting quarterback. Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston have both been listed as limited participants in practice this week because of back injuries.
Whoever is at quarterback will continue to be without wide receivers Jarvis Landry (ankle) and Michael Thomas (foot). Both players have been ruled out, but Chris Olave could return after missing last Sunday with a concussion. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore (abdomen), tight end Adam Trautman (ankle), and guard Andrus Peat (chest) have also been ruled out for this week.
"I’ve been taught by founders of the league and, like I said, Lamar (Hunt) and Wellington (Mara) and Dan Rooney that you do what’s best for the Colts but what’s best for the league, too," said Irsay. "You have to protect the shield to protect the league, and I don’t like to see the shield damaged. And right now, the shield is taking some damage from all this.”
NFL owners voted 31-1 on Tuesday to permit their compensation committee to open negotiations on a new contract with commissioner Roger Goodell, but not before two of the league’s most powerful owners, the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and New England Patriots’ Robert Kraft, engaged in a heated exchange, league and ownership sources told ESPN.
Jones the lone dissenter in the owners-only session, eventually telling Kraft, “Don’t f--- with me.” Kraft replied, “Excuse me?”
“Don’t mess with me,” Jones said.
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