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Giants news, 12/31: Giants offense, Daboll’s focus, red zone efficiency, more headlines

New York Giants headlines for Saturday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Giants-Colts: What to expect when the Giants have the ball

Mike Kafka and Brian Daboll have attacked Cover-3 teams in the past with hitch-seam, double smash, and anything to the curl-flat areas of the field. The Giants also have attacked middle-of-the-field closed (MOFC) concepts with deep one-on-one shots, so four-verts with benders from the No. 2s to hold the safety will create outside opportunities for Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, or even Marcus Johnson.

The Giants may go under center and try some of their deep drop play-action Yankee concepts with the deep over and post to put the safety in conflict. Protection would be essential for that type of play to work successfully, so seven-man protection with three routes, one being a crackdown, could be a way to create an explosive game-changing type of play for Jones and the offense.

Colts DC Gus Bradley uses some Quarters and Cover-1, but his defenses are primarily MOFC, which could lead to some explosive plays through the air for Daniel Jones and the Giants’ offense.

From Big Blue View

Other Giant observations

Saquon Barkley - Giants don’t want to leave playoff fate to chance |

The New York Giants can clinch a playoff berth Sunday at home against the Indianapolis Colts to end a five-year playoff drought. They really don’t want to leave it up to a Week 18 matchup with the NFL-leading Philadelphia Eagles.

“Yeah, you don’t want to leave it to chance,” running back Saquon Barkley said. “The way you do that is by doing what you’ve got to do this week. That is really it. “Obviously, the first four years it didn’t happen. Now there is a chance, it’s a possibility. It’s a beautiful thing when looking at all the ups and downs, whether it’s in my personal career or as an organization what we’ve been through the last couple years. It will be special. We have a chance to do it.”

The win-and-in Giants smell ‘blood in the water’ against the hapless Colts | The Athletic

The Giants may not be as inclined to air it out against a Colts defense that doesn’t allow big pass plays due to its Cover-3 scheme. The Giants also will need to contend with a dangerous pass rush. Defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue (9.5 sacks) and Kwity Paye (6.0 sacks) will put the Giants’ tackles to the test, with Paye primarily lining up across from struggling right tackle Evan Neal.

This matchup could lead to a return to the quick passing attack the Giants used in their Week 15 win over the Commanders combined with a steady diet of Barkley on the ground.

Dabs’ Digest: Maintaining focus in playoff hunt |

Q: Are you determined to get through this week without publicly saying the word “playoff”?

Daboll: “Yeah, I just try to practice consistency. We’re playing the Colts. That’s who we’re playing. We’re not playing anybody else. It’s not a playoff game. It’s a regular season game. Does everybody understand the results are what we want them to be? I’m sure they do. But there’s no use wasting time concentrating on that when you have to focus on your opponent, your game plan, all the things you need to do each week.”

The radio voices of the Giants approve of the approach the head coach has taken this week

Which slumping contenders can earn a postseason berth ... and take off when they get there? |

With the emergence of Kayvon Thibodeaux and the newfound ball protection skills of Daniel Jones, I don’t see why the Giants couldn’t pull off a playoff upset, especially if they draw the Vikings again.

Giants’ Isaiah Hodgins received NFL education from father and Buffalo Bills star receivers |

“I think people are just beginning to see what he is capable of and if he wasn’t a hard worker that wouldn’t be showing now,” James Hodgins said.

Giants offense receiving high marks for impressive red zone efficiency | New York Post

The respected analytics site Football Outsiders ranks the Giants as the second-most efficient offense inside the 20-yard line, according to its DVOA statistic that measures a team by comparing success on every play to a league average based on situation and opponent.

The Giants have scored touchdowns on 61.9 percent of their red-zone trips this season, up from 44.7 percent last season without many significant personnel upgrades.

2023 New Year’s resolutions for all 32 NFL teams |

Keep Daniel Jones in the fold. Notice we’re not saying “guarantee Jones the 2023 QB job.” If there’s a young/rookie signal-caller New York likes and can obtain, they should make it happen. But re-signing Jones shouldn’t break the bank, enabling the club to focus on more pressing holes across both sides of the ball. No matter how this year ends, the former first-rounder has probably earned another shot under Brian Daboll, but this time with better weapons at his disposal.

2023 NFL Free Agency: 11 Players Earning Super-Sized Contracts | The 33rd Team

Former NFL Executive Jeff Diamond thinks Jones is headed toward an extension with the Giants that will pay him $35 million per year (but for just three more years so he can cash in even more if he continues to elevate his game). Absent that, he’ll get hit with the franchise tag unless the Giants prefer to franchise his running mate, in which case Jones’ price tag would likely go higher as a true free agent.

Additionally, Diamond opines that Barkley will get a $16.5 million per year deal to slightly surpass Christian McCaffrey’s deal (which is two years old) but it will include significant active roster bonuses so he has to be on the field to max out the deal.

S Xavier McKinney reminded the Giants staff what they were missing during practice this week

Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson Highlight 2022 All-Rookie Team | Football Outsiders

Kayvon Thibodeaux got off to a slow start as well, but he's a league leader too—nine quarterback hits, more than any other rookie. His performance against Washington is his signature piece so far—12 tackles, three TFLs, and a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, and touchdown. He's not quite at star levels as those pressures and hits aren't fully translating into sacks just yet. But they will come, and he has ramped his pressure rate up dramatically as he has gotten healthy and comfortable.

We expected the Giants to be a disaster this season. They were dead last in our DVOA projections. Four of us picked them to have the first overall pick. Instead? They're 8-6-1 and on the verge of a playoff berth. The turnaround engineered by Brian Daboll puts every coach who ever complained about needing time to get established to shame. The Giants hadn't had eight wins in a full season since 2016; Daboll has made them relevant once more despite the lack of talent in the receiving corps or on the offensive line. More work is needed to keep the Giants relevant in years to come, but Daboll's first impression has been a phenomenal one.

Politi: Giants co-owner John Mara’s road to redemption started with an angry grandma |

But the important part came this fall. That’s when the Giants, week after week, put a better product on the field. That’s when the team proved that John Mara’s promise that he would overhaul the franchise and finally get things right this time were proven to be more than empty words.

That’s what mattered to 85-year-old Maryann Villa.

“I think they’re going in the right direction,” Villa said. “That coaches finally know what they’re doing. They have a plan. I trust them.”

Ranking the Top 5 Giants stories of 2022 |

The Giants are typically a franchise with a lot of stability from the top down, but the 2022 calendar year has been quite the ride for Big Blue. From changes at general manager and head coach to two Top 10 picks in the draft to a 6-1 start, it's been a busy year for a team looking to get back to its winning ways.

Bob Papa Giants fan has to be 'ecstatic' with season |

“Every Giants fan has to be ecstatic with the way this year has gone,” Papa told Sal and Jerry on Friday. “After the last four or five years, and being eliminated basically before you go trick or treating. And if they were able to pull off that game last weekend, they would have been able to clinch a playoff spot before Santa came....It’s amazing what a good front office, good coaching, and a good staff can do."

This week’s opponent

Colts Rule Out WR Dulin, TE Granson, CB Moore II For Week 17 |

The Colts on Friday ruled out wide receiver Ashton Dulin (concussion), tight end Kylen Granson (ankle) and cornerback Kenny Moore II (ankle) for their Week 17 game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, interim head coach Jeff Saturday said.

Dulin entered the concussion protocol after a vicious hit by Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. on Monday night – a hit James was ejected from the game for delivering. Moore sustained an ankle injury in the Colts' Week 12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and has not played since, while Granson sustained an ankle injury in Week 15 and will miss his second consecutive game.

Matchups to Watch: Week 17 @Giants | Stampede Blue

Kwity Paye vs. Andrew Thomas / Evan Neal. Kwity Paye has been having an underwhelming sophomore season, as he ranks just 8th in pressures and 10th in PRP on players from his draft class, and 24th on PRP when you include players from the 2020 and 2019 classes, which is definitely not great for a former first round pick. Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal have been having two very different seasons, as Thomas has emerged into one of the top tackles in the entire NFL while Neal is still adjusting to the big leagues. Paye will get the final two weeks to showcase he is far from his ceiling and that he could become a weapon in the future

No Quick Fix at QB for Colts |

Refuse the “quick fix” at QB. Jacoby Brissett. Philip Rivers. Carson Wentz. Matt Ryan. Enough is enough, right? Derek Carr probably falls in this category of no-nos, but he’s at least much younger than Ryan if Jim Irsay can’t help himself. They’ve got other things to address (that O-line chief among them), of course, but under center, if they aren’t spending an early pick on a future starter, they ought to make younger veterans like Jordan Love (or Trey Lance, if he somehow becomes available in San Francisco) their top targets.

Around the league

Eagles ‘haven’t decided’ between Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew |

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni did not commit to a starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, leaving it open whether Jalen Hurts or Gardner Minshew would get the nod in a game that could clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs for Philadelphia.

“We’re still sorting through that,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, Jalen had a good practice [Thursday] and looked like he did some things really well. ... Still haven’t decided anything yet. We’ve still got a couple days.”

Jerry Jeudy, Broncos teammates go to bat for Russell Wilson |

Wilson's teammates went to bat for the embattled quarterback. Receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler tweeted their support. Offensive tackle Garett Bolles likewise took to social media, noting, "We have his back and know he wants nothing more than to WIN."

Joe Burrow: Bills game isn't a measuring stick | ProFootballTalk

“Yeah, I mean, we’ve beaten everybody,” Burrow said in a press conference. “We know we can play against everybody. We’ve done it in the biggest moments. So like I said, we’re treating every game the same. We’ve played everyone in the last two years. We haven’t played the Bills yet, so that will be a fun challenge, but they’re good on defense, got a lot of veteran guys and know how to play within their scheme, they play hard, they play fast, they play schematically sound so it’ll be a fun challenge.”

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson 'progressing well,' but will miss fourth straight game |

David Blough will start for Cardinals after Colt McCoy experiences concussion symptoms | ProFootballTalk

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