Nobody is quite sure what to expect from the New York Giants in 2022.
That’s to be expected with a brand new first time general manager in Joe Schoen, a new first time head coach in Brian Daboll, and a new first time offensive coordinator in Mike Kafka. While Wink Martindale has a definite track record on defense, we’ve never seen Schoen, Daboll, and Kafka with the freedom to mold a team to their own philosophies.
The Giants have, once again, seen some significant roster churn since the end of a dismal 2021 season.
The Giants could have an offensive line with new players at four of five positions, a new slot receiver, and a new back-up quarterback. On the defensive side of the ball, they’ll have a new edge defender in Kayvon Thibodeaux, a new nose tackle in Justin Ellis, and a reshuffled secondary after parting ways with James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, and Jabrill Peppers.
How it all comes together is anybody’s guess.
Of course, accurately guessing how it’ll all come together kind-of a big deal for Las Vegas. Ian Wharton, writing for Pro Football Network, consulted Caeser’s Sportbook to see what the professional oddsmakers think of the Giants in 2022.
Vegas is, in general, not terribly optimistic regarding the Giants this year.
They have them as the favorites to finish last in the division, with 60-to-1 odds to win the division and 130-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl (cue the “You’re saying there’s a chance” gifs). While the Giants have one of the league’s easiest schedules based on 2021 winning percentage, they’re still only favored to win 3 games, with a fourth being a “push”.
Wharton writes that the Giants’ roster has “some great pieces ... but also apparent gaps.” That said, Pro Football Network themselves aren’t terribly high on the Giants’ roster as a whole. They recently released their preseason list of the Top 100 players in the NFL, and the Giants are one of seven teams to not have any players make the list.
The Giants fielded the second-lowest scoring offense in each of the last two years, and Warren Sharp found that the Giants even struggled to find the end zone when they didn’t allow a sack.
drive scoring % when not allowing a sack:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) July 22, 2022
50% LAR, CIN
49% KC, GB, BUF, LAC
48% IND, PHI, ARI
46% DAL, SF
44% TEN, BAL, LV
40% DET, SEA
38% CHI, CLE, PIT
35% WAS, ATL
34% CAR, NYJ, MIA
However, Wharton doesn’t believe that they’re a good bet to field the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL.
He wrote, “There’s not a clear pathway to scoring the fewest points even if quarterback Daniel Jones misses time because backup Tyrod Taylor is good enough for that outcome to not happen.”
That does track with what we’ve heard so far from training camp. We’ve seen a rollercoaster of highs and lows from Daniel Jones, while Tyrod Taylor has been steady — if not spectacular.
On the defensive side of the ball, rookie edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux might be the Giants’ best bet for post-season honors. Thibodeaux is currently second (+500) behind Aidan Hutchinson for Defensive Rookie Of The Year honors. Thibodeaux has an excellent first step and has talked extensively about honing his pass rush moves in his rookie training camp. We’ve seen technical proficiency lead to fast starts for young players at a variety of positions, and it’s reasonable to think that crisp moves will help Thibodeaux produce early for the Giants. That might be doubly true in Martindale’s defense, where we do know that the Giants will look to apply pressure on as many plays as possible.
But what does all this mean for the Giants in 2022? Like I said to start, nobody is really sure.
For his part, Wharton doesn’t believe the Giants have a realistic path to the playoffs in a “tough” NFC East. While Dallas will likely take a step back, they should still be good. The Philadelphia Eagles added several very good pieces this off-season and should be improved over a season ago. The Washington commanders added Carson Wentz, who could be good or terrible, but also have dangerous pieces on offense and defense.
That said, Wharton doesn’t believe the Giants are likely to post a 3-13-1 record to reflect the games in which the Giants are underdogs and favored to win (and their one “push”). He ultimately picked the Giants to win six games, though he says he feels that might be “generous”.
Will the Giants improve to a near .500 record this year? As with last year, they’ll need players like Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Aaron Robinson to take steps forward. At the same time, they’ll also need players like Adoree Jackson, Andrew Thomas, Azeez Ojulari, and others to maintain their play level from a season ago. It’s unlikely that everything will break the Giants’ way this year. We’ll have to see just how much comes down in the Giants’ favor and how many of their opponents have improved as well.
As we said at the top, nobody is sure what to expect from the Giants in 2022. There’s hope for this year, but the greater hope is that this is a team that’s truly heading in the right direction for the long run.