Good morning, New York Giants fans!
Entering Sunday, most sites that offer playoff forecasts had the Giants at an 80 percent or higher probability of being a playoff team.
- NFL Playoff Picture gives the Giants a 65 percent chance to reach the playoffs.
- FiveThirtyEight has the Giants with a 51 percent chance.
- Team Rankings puts the Giants’ chances at 64.2 percent.
- ESPN’s Football Power Index shows a 61 percent chance the Giants will be a playoff team.
Still, the road gets tougher for the Giants. Per Tankathon, the Giants have the NFL’s toughest remaining schedule. Their seven games, including two against the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles (-7), are versus teams with a combined winning percentage of .678. The only team with a losing record remaining on the Giants’ schedule is the 4-6-1 Indianapolis Colts (-3), who suffered a one-point, last-minute loss to the Eagles on Sunday.
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- Wan’Dale Robinson injury: Torn ACL ends season for Giants’ rookie wide receiver
- Giants vs. Cowboys 2022, Week 12: Everything you need to know
- What can we learn from Giants’ Pro Football Focus grades, snap counts vs. Detroit?
- Giants-Lions ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: Giants’ ugly performance deserves a ‘Wet Willie’
- Giants-Lions: 5 plays that led to New York’s loss
- Giants vs. Lions: Stats and analytics from a disappointing loss
Other Giant observations
Here’s the part the Giants need to embrace: they control their fate. They’ll be outmanned against the Cowboys and the Eagles, especially with the injuries endured Sunday, knocking out five starters, including cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, with both likely staring, at the very least, extended absences.
Every game is important, of course, but the two against Washington in the coming weeks are critical in a playoff chase. The Commanders have won two in a row, following their upset of the Eagles by beating the Texans.
One of the key figures this week will be offensive linemen Nick Gates
So, now we see how Daboll and his team respond to the first true adversity that’s rattled this feel-good, overachieving season that had people talking about them winning the NFC East and Daboll as Coach of the Year.
There is, of course, still time and possibility for those things to happen, but Sunday represented an alarming three hours of what Giants fans hope is not a glimpse at the final seven games of this season to come.
The Giants are still in a good spot even after Sunday’s loss. Splitting the next two games against Dallas and Washington would give them at least a 55 percent chance of making the playoffs and this team matches up well with the Eagles on paper, so there’s still an outside shot it will get back into the NFC East race.
But if that’s going to happen, we’ll need to see an improvement out of Martindale’s defense, which now ranks 22nd in EPA allowed, per RBSDM.com, and may have to carry more of the load if other defenses are able to copy the strategy that rendered Barkley ineffective on Sunday. There isn’t an especially high ceiling for the Giants on either side of the ball, given their personnel shortcomings. But somewhat surprisingly, that’s not because of the quarterback position.
DL Leonard Williams says no time to look back
FOX.com's Ralph Vacchiano questions the decision to have now-sidelined CB Adoree Jackson to return punts.
But the impact of punt returners is minimal in today's NFL, and it's still a risky job with the other team heading full-steam at the return man with a 40-to-50-yard head start. On a team as thin as the Giants are, especially at cornerback where it was really Jackson and a bunch of nobodies, and in a secondary that already lost safety Xavier McKinney to a broken hand, how could it be worth the risk just to maybe pick up five or six yards?
Before Hodgins’ fumble, it was looking for a moment like Sunday might serve as a crucial day in the evaluation of Jones’ chances of returning to New York next season.
Now they’ve seen him for 10, and a defining comeback victory in which the team had to rely on Jones’ passing would certainly have aided his cause. That didn’t happen Sunday, yet it’s fair to suggest that too much around Jones went wrong to truly learn much more than was already established before the game.
Nothing was going right Sunday. So even though a comeback was set up for the quarterback, it was tough to completely evaluate him as pieces dwindled and mistakes piled up.
“If the run game isn’t going you’re kind of tied with one hand behind your back,” Barkley said. “You’ve got to pass the ball, so that’s why it’s important to myself to get this run game back on track and the best way to do that is moving on and getting ready for Thursday.”
The franchise tag could come into play for Barkley or Jones, but New York can only use it on one player. Barkley is the face of the Giants offense, but Jones plays the game's most important position. Deciding who to tag, who to extend and/or who to let go won't be easy for New York.
This week’s opponent
After the 40-3 pummeling of the Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys owner was asked if his team is a Super Bowl contender.
“A resounding yes. Yes. Unequivocally,” Jones said. “I think we’ve had adversity. We very easily could have more adversity ... Yes, I think if we use the experience of what we’re having in the season, then we’re going to be playoff ready. But I sure do think that what I see out here right now is the team like that you could go get a Super Bowl with.”
Thanks to an incredible performance — frankly on both sides of the football — the Cowboys’ defense is now third in the NFL in EPA/play, behind the Patriots and the Broncos. And their seven-sack performance sees them maintain their place atop the league, with 42 sacks on the season. Dallas was dominant on defense against the Vikings, holding Minnesota to just 73 rushing yards, 159 passing yards, and allowing the Vikings to convert just 1 of 11 third-down opportunities.
How did DC Dan Quinn’s unit pull off this performance? By working in perfect concert, and playing great team defense.
Brilliant stuff from "America's Team" coming off an erratic loss to the slumping Packers. They took out all their frustration on Green Bay's rivals. It was evident in the big workload for Tony Pollard, whose explosiveness left Minnesota's linebackers in the dust. It was evident in Dak Prescott's calculated strikes. It was especially evident in the terrorizing way they dominated the Vikings' battered front, with Micah Parsons headlining the most persistent pass rush Kirk Cousins has literally ever faced. Even Brett Maher got in on the action with a perfect 60-yard field goal (and a second one that didn't count). Dallas has finally teased its potential when everything is clicking, and it's not ludicrous to suggest they, not the Vikings, could be the Eagles' biggest threat to the No. 1 seed.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed a report from last week that the free agent receiver will visit the team after Thanksgiving. The Cowboys play the Giants on Thanksgiving Day.
“We’re planning to get together,” Jones said. “Certainly it’s time for us to sit down and visit.”
Around the league
Kadarius Toney, whom the Chiefs recently acquired from the Giants in exchange for a compensatory third-round pick and sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, exited the Chiefs’ 30-27 win over the Chargers in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. After originally being ruled questionable to return, Toney was later ruled out.
After undergoing an MRI on Monday, the Falcons tight end is believed to have suffered a torn MCL, which would require surgery, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. Pitts is seeking a second opinion before determining how he will proceed.
Gordon, 29, is the Broncos' leader in carries (90) and rushing yards (318) this season. But in Sunday's 22-16 loss, Gordon fumbled for the fifth time this season at the Raiders' 2-yard line just before halftime. Though Broncos guard Quinn Meinerz recovered the fumble, kicker Brandon McManus' 25-yard field goal attempt was blocked on the next play. After the game, Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett called the lack of points on the drive "unacceptable.''
When you’re fired as a coach, you’re not the only one who goes through adversity. Your family goes through it, too. The day I was fired, I remember getting home and my 9-year-old daughter coming in the door with tears in her eyes, saying, “Daddy got fired,” and the fear of, “What’s this mean?” That’s a moment that will be echoed in my brain forever. That was hard.
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