Good morning, New York Giants fans!
BBV's Ed Valentine looks into his crystal ball on what to expect for the second half of the season, including if the Giants will make the playoffs, two wide receivers who will impact the offense in the second half, a linemen who will make the Pro Bowl and why the Giants will have the 72 Dolphins popping champagne bottles once again.
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Other Giant observations
The Giants have been great closers this season, outscoring their opponents 61-36 in the fourth quarter overall and 56-12 in their six victories. Their ability to finish is the No. 1 reason they are coming out of the bye week with a 6-2 record and have an outstanding chance to end their five-year playoff drought. Now, in their final nine games, starting with Sunday’s home meeting against the Houston Texans, they’d like to figure out how to start faster.
Former Giant Tiki Barber: “The expectation has got to start rising”
A few weeks ago, with the Giants having already stunned the outside world with their fast start, head coach Brian Daboll played a clip to his players of the late, great Kobe Bryant being interviewed with his Lakers owning a 2-0 lead in the 2009 NBA Finals.
In the clip, it showed Bryant being asked why he didn’t seem happy with his team having a commanding lead and two games away from clinching an NBA title and Bryant, stone-faced, responding: “The job’s not finished.’’
This is the Giants’ mantra at the moment.
"Playing well at home—and winning—helps everybody," said Daboll. "As much credit as I give Pete Guelli and our marketing department, and obviously our team, the players and coaches, the biggest credit goes to the fans. Coming out each game, supporting us, I mean the crowds have been electric. I always talk about the process with our team, and I believe in that, but we’re in a results world. And when you have a fan base like this, that has shown up every game and bought in—been there at the start and stayed there to the end – that has an impact on the football field."
Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas makes the list.
The third-year pro is establishing himself as one of the best young linemen in the game, consistently grading out as a top performer at his position while anchoring the line of a Giants offense that has made significant strides under Brian Daboll’s direction. Thomas finished ahead of perennial Pro Bowl selection Trent Williams, who despite missing three games with an ankle sprain, remains one of the NFL’s best left tackles.
TE Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants. Bellinger had been Steady Eddie out the gate for the Giants, hauling in 16-of-17 targets for 152 yards and two scores through seven weeks before injury struck. He fractured his eye socket against the Jaguars, so it’s not yet known whether he’ll return this season.
"Look, I enjoy everything about this job except losing," said Daboll. "Talking to different departments in the building, eating lunch with different groups, meeting with different sides of the ball, the media obligations, the leadership part of it, the adversity part of it – it's not the easiest thing – but I enjoy every part of this job. I feel very fortunate and blessed."
Eli Manning, back in the lab
This week’s opponent
RB Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans. Kenneth Walker III and Breece Hall have lived up to their pre-draft billing and then some, but this spot belongs to Pierce at the moment because he is putting the Texans on his back as best he can so far.
The 22-year-old isn’t just good for a rookie — he’s already standing alongside the best in the NFL. He ranks fifth at the position in rushing grade (90.4), fourth in yards after contact per attempt (3.79) and third in missed tackles forced (50).
Houston Texans Jerry Hughes discusses what's changed for him in 2022 to get sacks | HoustonTexans.com
Through the first nine games, the Houston Texans veteran pass rusher leads the team with 7.0 sacks, surpassing or tying his total from nine different seasons. With 3.0 more sacks, Hughes will reach his season-best 10.0 sacks reached twice in Buffalo (2013, 2014). Hughes has logged multi-sack games against the Colts, the Bears and on Thursday night against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. His three games of multiple sacks are tied for most in the AFC and second in the NFL.
Around the league
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