Just how will the New York Giants fare in 2022? That’s the question about a week from the start of the NFL regular season.
Everyone wants to know how their team stacks up against the competition. And while power rankings abound throughout the year, rankings take on a particular significance when they come from executives inside the NFL.
Mike Sando of The Athletic polled five NFL executives for their takes on the 32 NFL teams, ranking the 16 NFC and AFC teams. Each executive gave his ranking for the 16 teams in each conference, and those rankings were then averaged for the final ranking.
Perhaps predictably, the Giants didn’t fare well, ranking 13th in the NFC.
13. New York Giants
Votes: 15-16-13-10-9 | Avg: 12.6 | Median: 13
Execs expect the Giants’ offensive line and offensive coaching to improve, but the margin for error is small for a team lacking in depth and short-term flexibility.
“How many wins do you get just by becoming more competent from a leadership standpoint?” one of the voters asked. “I don’t think they are a playoff team by any means, but could they surprise and win eight? Maybe.”
In a separate piece, the Giants were projected to win 6.6 games by The Athletic’s staff. That would put them under the 7-7.5 win total projected by Las Vegas.
In that piece, Dan Duggan writes:
“This seems like the right total to set for the Giants, as I’ve seen overly optimistic sportsbooks place the number at 7 or 7.5. The schedule is undeniably favorable, and there’s reason to believe the coaching staff — at least offensively — will be a major upgrade. But the Giants have won six or fewer games in each of the past five seasons. I’m skeptical that streak gets snapped in the first year of a rebuild with a very thin roster.”
We’ve talked about concerns regarding the Giants’ overall depth here several times before, and those concerns are echoed by Duggan as well as the NFL executives. A big part of winning over the course of an NFL season does come down to a matter of depth and attrition. Every team experiences injury, but not every team is able to withstand those injuries equally. The Giants’ roster was lacking when Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll were hired, and they’ve had neither the time nor the resources to fully rebuild. So far this year, the Giants have had a few injuries to starters, but their depth has been hit hard as well, which makes every other injury more impactful.
There are also concerns with the offense. The Giants have fielded one of the very worst offenses in the NFL over the last two years, and past offensive performance is a strong predictor of future performance. And even though the executives didn’t come out and say “offense wins championships”, a quick ‘control F’ search had the word “defense” come up just seven times in the whole piece, while “offense” was mentioned 24 times.
We know that you have to win on offense in the modern NFL, and there isn’t much confidence in Daniel Jones to get it done. NFL executives ranked Jones in the middle of the fourth tier of quarterbacks (30th overall), making him a peer to players like Marcus Mariota, Sam Darnold, Mitchell Trubisky, and Drew Lock.
The good news is that the regular season is almost here, and we’ll get definitive proof of how the Giants stack up to the rest of the NFL. Will they make incremental improvements on the field? Or will they out-play their rankings and projected wins?