Good morning, New York Giants fans!
Saquon Barkley’s three worst rushing performances have come in the New York Giants last four games. The Giants, not coincidentally, have lost three of their last four games after winning six of their first seven.
- Is Barkley, now fourth in the NFL with 992 rushing yards, injured? Or, worn down from a workload that has him on pace for a career-most 400 touches? His previous career-high was 352 in 2018, his outstanding rookie season.
- Are opposing defenses ratcheting up the pressure, keying on Barkley so much that they are taking away his effectiveness?
- Or, is it as simple as the fact that injuries at tight end have taken some of the Giants’ most effective run blockers — and run-blocking schemes — off the table?
Maybe it is some combination of all of those things.
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Other Giant observations
Maintaining a standard of consistency and preparation has Big Blue sitting with a 7-4 record and smack dab in the middle of the NFC playoff race. But as the calendar flips to December this Sunday, and Washington visits MetLife Stadium for the first of six pivotal games to close this season, Daboll reminded his players of the urgency required to get to where they want to go - echoing comments he made the day after the Giants fell 28-20 to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
“The whole season obviously is in front of you right now. We have a long way to go,” Daboll said. “Obviously, the rest of December here and the early part of January. So, we have to focus on getting ready to play Washington, but you’re sitting at 7-4. You put yourself in a position to play meaningful games in December, which is important.”
Over their final six games, the terms of engagement are clear. Every NFL team that finished with at least 10 victories last year, and a couple that finished with only nine, advanced to the postseason. That likely means the Giants have to go 3-3 to secure their bid to The Dance.
Victories over Washington and Indianapolis at home would leave them in search of a split with 10-1 Philadelphia or a road win over the Commanders or the 9-2 Vikings to reach double figures. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not supposed to be easy. The first part of the formula — beating the Commanders at MetLife Stadium on Sunday — isn’t exactly a gimme. The visiting team is favored after winning six of its last seven games.
4. Giants (7-4) The luster of Brian Daboll’s arrival has worn off a bit, with both sides of the ball slowing amid waves of injuries. And truth is, as long as Daniel Jones remains unable to push the ball downfield (either because of his own abilities, or lack of receiving help, or both), they’ll be a one-dimensional club, allowing teams to zero in on Saquon Barkley. Still, Daboll has generally maximized the lineups he’s been afforded, and if they get healthier, they might have the trenches to surprise.
The Giants practiced in full pads today. The last time they did that was coming out of the bye week. "We'll do some good hitting, kind of see where guys are at and take it day-by-day and get to Friday, and hopefully we'll have some guys back," said Daboll
“I definitely try to take the vocal lead when it’s my turn,” said Gates. “When I’m the center, I feel like until Daniel is in the huddle, it’s my huddle and I’m going to take over as that guy and once Daniel steps in, it’s his. But I feel like that’s any center, every center has to kind of be the leader of the group and set the tone. They’ve just got to make sure everybody’s going in the right direction and just go play hard.”
'21 personnel' needed to help Saquon Barkley. The Giants are trying to use '21 personnel' -- or a two-back system -- to combat this. Gary Brightwell was the back paired with Barkley in this set, having five carries for 31 yards late in the game. New York has to get more creative on offense to get Barkley going, which hasn't been a problem until the last few weeks.
Thibodeaux notched nine total pressures on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys, more than doubling his previous single-game high. He did the majority of his damage against fellow first-round rookie Tyler Smith. This was the first game of his career with a PFF pass-rushing grade above 80.0, and it was by far the best overall grade of his season.
Regardless of where Beckham ends up, he’s expected to command a hefty price tag and a multiyear commitment. Beckham is reportedly expected to be seeking a deal that would pay on a prorated basis, like the contracts Chris Godwin and Mike Williams signed last offseason (three years, $60 million). Former NFL agent Joel Corry recently broke down what a deal like that might look like. It dives into the guaranteed money and bonuses that might make sense for Beckham.
Trey Wingo looks at recent performances and upcoming schedules and wonders if the strong starts for the Seahawks and Giants are coming to a crashing end.
Eli Manning tells Rob Riggle, Shaun O’Hara he is ready for the Legacy Game this weekend
It’s the @#$%^&* Legacy Game! pic.twitter.com/Z6Ajh6tDSi— New York Giants (@Giants) November 29, 2022
This week’s opponent
That change from Carson Wentz to the physically limited but faster-processing Taylor Heinicke, along with the availability and improving health of rookie running back Brian Robinson, pushed the change in offensive philosophy that we’ve seen increasingly since Washington’s Week 7 game against the Packers, but which—statistically, at least—actually began in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears.
The formula has been to run the ball—a lot—almost regardless of its efficiency.
"I lost a lot where I was, and still trying to progress sin this league with all this talent, it's a lot of work," Robinson said. "I'm insecure sometimes thinking I'm not going to live up to my name, but I'm just trying to stick to what I believe, and I believe I'm gonna be alright.
Around the league
“His overall team compatibility, his judgment, his behavior is not an issue with him,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “It is with many. It isn’t with him.”
Two days after exiting Sunday night's loss to the Eagles, the reigning MVP told "The Pat McAfee Show" Tuesday that he plans to suit up for Week 13's matchup with the Bears, citing "good news" from an MRI.
"Well we're not eliminated," Rodgers said of the Packers' postseason hopes. "And I got good news with the scans yesterday, so I plan on playing this week We've got a chance to run the last five and see where we stand after that. Listen, if we were 8-4, 4-8, 12-0, 0-12, I'd be wanting to suit up this week, and not just because it's Chicago. Because that's what you do. ... If you can go out there and compete, you go out and play."
Philadelphia Eagles safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson suffered a lacerated kidney in Sunday's win over the Green Bay Packers. The injury is reportedly a non-surgical one, and it's not expected to be season-ending for C.J.G.J.
“I wish I had that third down back and in all honesty, wish I would have called a timeout. Looking at the film, you could tell we were in disarray” Saturday said, who planned to tell the players he should’ve done something differently. “Listen, all my coaches, whether it was Tony [Dungy], Jim Caldwell, those guys were always very transparent with the team, whether it was public or not. I believe in that. Inside, I wanna make sure everybody feels that you own whatever portion is yours.”
Knowing what we know now, what would the teams drafting in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft do differently? T.J. McCreight does a draft do-over.
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