Good morning, New York Giants fans!
From Big Blue View
- Giants injury updates: Ben Bredeson, Azeez Ojulari, Tony Jefferson designated to return from IR
- Giants-Commanders odds: Have oddsmakers lost faith in New York?
- NFC playoff picture: Giants remain at No. 6 heading into final stretch
- Film breakdown: Kayvon Thibodeaux’s big game against Dallas
- Giants vote Nick Gates Ed Block Courage Award winner
- Film analysis: Should Nick Gates continue to start at center?
- Giants vs. Commanders 2022, Week 13: Everything you need to know
Other Giant observations
“We’ve just got to be playing consistent football and everybody has to be on the same page,” center Nick Gates said. “First off, we’ve got to start by going 1-0 against Washington and winning this game this week. That’s where our focus is for the week, and we’ve just got to play good football. Definitely nice to play meaningful football in December. It’s the first time that’s happened in my career, so it’s definitely nice, it makes it mean something to you.”
Thibs knows December is moving month in the NFL
Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux said coach Brian Daboll opened the Giants team meeting today by saying “The season starts now.” pic.twitter.com/WAsbcYVTGB— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) November 28, 2022
One up: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux Key grade: 87.2 defensive grade. The fifth-overall pick had a breakout performance with a career-high nine pressures in the Thanksgiving loss to the Cowboys. He hit Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott five times.
Slayton, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, said he hasn’t thought about where he’ll be this time next year because he’s too focused on the present.
“I haven’t had time to come up and even try and entertain that. You know, I’ve just been focusing on finding my way, doing my job, doing what I can do,” he said.
If the NFL season ended today, all four NFC East teams would make the playoffs. We check in on the postseason outlook of the Cowboys, Commanders, Eagles and Giants.
Will the NFC East cannibalize itself?
If the playoffs started right now, the NFC East would send all four of its teams. That has never happened since the NFL switched to its current eight-division format in 2002. But don’t get too excited about the prospect of watching Taylor Heinicke and Daniel Jones in the postseason. One of the biggest reasons the division is currently supporting four winning records is that these teams haven’t played each other much thus far; through 12 weeks, there have been just six intra–NFC East games. That will soon change. The Giants just kicked off a four-game stretch against divisional opponents, including back-to-back games against Washington, which will probably act as a “play-in” series for one of those teams. Dallas and Philadelphia will play a game that could decide the division, and the Commanders will get another crack at the Cowboys.
The Eagles and Cowboys look like locks to make the playoffs, but if either of Washington or New York is able to sweep the home-and-home over the next three weeks, that could open up the race for the third and final wild-card spot. That would present a lifeline for Detroit, Atlanta, and possibly Green Bay, assuming Aaron Rodgers can stay on the field. Even the Panthers and Saints would have some hope at that point. If you’re a fan of chaos, you should be rooting for the Giants or Commanders to win their next two.
Bill Parcells offers that “one of the most important lessons I learned about athletes, which I carried into my coaching career, is that knowledge is confidence and confidence lets you play fast.”
Possible NFL coaching openings and best fits: A Harbaugh return? McVay to TV? Mike Sando’s Pick Six | The Athletic
4. The fascination with Odell Beckham Jr. as a differentiating WR addition could be outdated
As the Dallas Cowboys and other contenders approach the season’s stretch run, Beckham is continually mentioned as the sort of late-season addition that could help put a team over the top. He could become that, given his talent level and the glimpses of production he showed for the Los Angeles Rams last season, especially in the NFC Championship Game. But as he rehabs from a torn ACL suffered in the Super Bowl, perspective on actual vs. perceived production could help set realistic expectations.
NJ.com’s Bob Brookover writes that “On Thursday, the Giants will get to pitch Beckham on why he would should return to East Rutherford. Maybe they will see a more mature player than the one who talked his way out of town four years ago. And maybe they’ll be impressed enough with his physical that they think he’s worth the risk at the age of 30.
“It seems far more likely, however, that Beckham will be wearing a Cowboys uniform this Christmas and, given his history, that should be perfectly fine with the Giants and their fans. The time to add a star receiver will come soon enough and the options will be better than this one.”
Penny signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie out of Idaho in 2016. After two-plus seasons in the desert, Penny was signed to the Giants’ 53-man roster off of the Cards’ practice squad in September of 2018.
Penny remained with the Giants through the 2021 season. In 77 career games (seven starts), Penny gained 302 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown. Impressively, the fullback never dropped a pass nor fumbled the ball.
This week’s opponent
The Washington defense was the definition of bend but don’t break. They allowed 332 total yards to the Falcons, Atlanta’s fifth-highest total of the season, but they only gave up one touchdown and intercepted Marcus Mariota in the end zone with just over a minute left in the game. Taylor Heinicke made just enough plays, throwing two touchdowns to only one interception, while Brian Robinson’s career day (105 rushing yards) allowed Washington (7-5) to win the time of possession battle by about seven minutes: 33:09 to 26:51.
So, are the Commanders for real or just on a good run right now?
“Bit of both,” an NFC analytics executive said. “Tough for them to make a playoff run given their schedule and overall roster, but I could see it. Giants trending down helps them. Heinicke has been much better than expected, and that defensive front is dangerous.”
Stud—Daron Payne was disruptive all game long, collecting six tackles, two for a loss and three pressures. But no play was bigger than his tipped pass that Kendall Fuller picked off in the endzone. If it wasn’t for this play, the Falcons would have VERY likely won the game as the receiver was wide open.
Dud—Washington allowed 5.75 yards per carry to the Falcons on the ground. Del Rio tried a few different looks, including the BEAR front, a Buffalo-Nickle down in the box and multiple linebackers next to starter Jamin Davis...however none seemed to really be able to slow down the Atlanta attack. I do pin a lot of this on this staff for failing to bring in quality linebackers in the offseason, instead relying on Jon Bostic and David Mayo.
Brian Robinson, the rookie running back was the fuel for a running game that put up 176 yards with 105 of that on 18 carries. The fact that Atlanta was dedicating much of its defense to stopping him mattered little to Robinson, as he plowed forward through one defender after the next.
Ron Rivera called the performance "outstanding....He's running with more confidence. He's starting to get a little bit better feel as to cutbacks and running with his vision."
Around the league
Toney was out for Sunday’s win over the Rams and head coach Andy Reid said on Monday that the team will monitor things this week because they don’t want to bring Toney back too soon.
“Yeah, so he’s working hard at getting back and we are being cautious with it,” Reid said. “We’ll see how he does this week as we go forward with it. We’re going to try not to bring him back and then have any setbacks after that. We don’t want to go through that.”
The exchange, which didn’t appear to be friendly, was done with the hopes of bringing a spark to a listless offense, according to Purcell.
“Frustration,” Purcell told reporters after the game. “We want a spark on something. We’re all in this together, period. That’s the quarterback of our offense, they were about to take the field, obviously we let up a touchdown so we weren’t doing our job, but gotta get a spark somewhere.”
The Browns activated Deshaun Watson on Monday after he served an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. The 4-7 Browns will give Watson all the first-team reps this week in preparation for their road game against the Houston Texans on Sunday. It will be Watson’s first regular-season action in 700 days after he sat out the 2021 season in Houston.
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