Good morning, New York Giants fans!
The return of NFL regular-season football brings the return of a Big Blue View tradition, a ‘5 questions’ post with a writer from the opposing team’s corresponding SB Nation site. With the New York Giants facing the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, we are talking to Jimmy Morris Music City Miracles about the loss of DE Harold Landry, injury concerns about RB Derrick Henry, will QB Malik Willis see the field this year, and a player to take off the Giants roster for Tennessee (and may be the most surprised you will be all season)
This will be our first look at the Giants’ new offense under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka, and we’re not exactly sure what to expect from them. What can we expect to see from the Titans defense?
BBV's Chris Pflum's scouting report on the AFC South champs includes a key injury to their defensive front and a very young secondary that the Giants may be looking to attack.
Personnel changes for the Titans limit the explosive upside of a very conservative offense, according to BBV’s Nick Falato. Still, a clean bill of healthy for running back Derrick Henry provides the Titans a much needed catalyst to head coach Mike Vrabel’s identity.
The offense runs through the 6’3, 247-pound back, but can the pieces around Henry allow the two-time rushing champion to reach his ceiling? Will the Giants’ recent vulnerability at linebacker - with the departure of Blake Martinez - be exploited by the Titans?
Sunday is the culmination of 25 years since he walked into the William & Mary football office and asked for a job.
This is his 26th consecutive season as a football coach. Daboll, 47, was part of five Super Bowl championship teams in two stints with the New England Patriots and won a national championship at the University of Alabama. His mentors include coaching titans Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. He has worked with some of history’s best quarterbacks, including Tom Brady and Brett Favre. This year, Daboll reached the pinnacle of his profession when became the 20th head coach in Giants history.
For CB Adoree Jackson, its a return to where he started his pro career
WR Wan’Dale Robinson's selection in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft was a bit surprising, but it has made more sense with each passing day in New York. Kenny Golladay played late into the second half of the final preseason game and struggled. Kadarius Toney is nursing an injury once again, and training camp standout Collin Johnson suffered a season-ending injury in practice.
Robinson didn't do much in the preseason, but it's clear the Giants will get him the ball early and often. Look for Robinson to have the lowest average depth of target on the team, but for new head coach Brian Daboll to target him frequently as he did with Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie in Buffalo. It’s worth pointing out that Beasley and McKenzie (primarily slot receivers in Buffalo) totaled 138 targets last season. While Robinson won’t approach that number, don’t be surprised if he leads the Giants in targets as a rookie.
What the Giants think they have in Jones is a capable NFL starter, if he's surrounded by the right cast. That cast should be improved this season, especially up front, where they added veteran linemen Jon Feliciano and Mark Glowinski and used a first-round pick on tackle Evan Neal. Having a healthy Barkley back will certainly help. It would be really helpful if Jones' receivers — Golladay, Toney and Shepard — could somehow stay healthy, too.
But even if they don't, the facts of this season won't change. One way or another, the Giants have to evaluate their quarterback. They will have no choice but to make a decision on his future by February, which is only five months from now. So there is a ton riding on Jones' performance. Even the soft-spoken quarterback admitted, "There's certainly a lot going on."
The offensive ineptitude in the first half of the team’s 29-3 loss to the Bears in Week 17 — a fumble, an interception, a safety, minus-12 net passing yards — was too much for the second-year safety to take.
“I had reached a point where I was just mad,” McKinney told The Athletic recently. “I’m a competitor. I don’t like to lose. But there’s a way in how you compete. I just felt like that game, we weren’t competing. Sometimes you might lose games, it is what it is. But it’s easy to tell when somebody’s fighting to earn a spot or to win a game. When you see guys not competing, that’s where that frustration kicks in. So for me, that was a frustrating moment. I was mad. And I voiced that.”
The New York Giants on Thursday lost offensive lineman Wyatt Davis off their practice squad. The New Orleans Saints signed Davis, signed by the Giants on Sept. 1, to their 53-man roster. Davis was a third-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2021. He played in only six games last season, playing 28 special teams snaps and never appearing on offense.
To take his place on the 16-man practice squad, the Giants have brought back Nigerian offensive tackle Roy Mbaeteka. Signed by the Giants after being discovered by Osi Umenyiora at a tryout camp in Nigeria in May of 2021, the Giants watched Mbaeteka, who had never played football, during a tryout in Arizona and signed him to a free agent contract.
Slayton said that he intends to just keep his head down and play football. This is a contract year for Slayton, and it’s clear that the Slayton has his work cut out for him if he wants to stay a Giant. It also seems as though a trade market didn’t materialize for him, suggesting how the rest of the NFL values him.
“That’s my job, it’s what I do for a living. I tend to do it well and I plan to do it well this year,” said Slayton. “I think I’ve shown that in the past, but I look forward to showing that again and showing that I’m a better player than what I’ve been in the past.”
From one day to the next, McGaughey isn’t sure who will be available to him. But one player who is always present but rarely available for special teams is Saquon Barkley.
“He’s always lobbied (to return kicks),” McGaughey said of Barkley, who did return kicks at Penn State. “I told him, ‘You’re trying to get me fired, aren’t you?’ But no, Saquon is always itching to get back there....I’ve seen him do it before. I would venture to say you’ve got to have a situation somehow, someway, maybe, who knows.”
RB Gary Brightwell, who will be back returning kicks for the Giants, on getting ready for Sunday
Is Kayvon Thibodeaux the next in a long line of legendary Giants pass-rushers? For his part, he isn’t running from the pressure.
Both the New York Yankees and the New York Giants were among the top five most valuable sports teams, according to a new list from Forbes.
This week’s opponent
Titans rookie receiver Treylon Burks, like the rest of his teammates, has worked for months for this. On Sunday, the team's first-round pick will make his NFL debut after catching four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown.
"Words can't explain (how excited I am)," Burks said. "(I just) need to do the things I am coached to do, do the things my teammates hold me accountable for and just play ball. I just want to go out there and play my brand of football, and the team's brand of football. Be physical, fast, and go have fun."
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said this offseason that he needed help climbing out of a “dark place” after throwing three interceptions in the team’s home playoff loss to the Bengals in January and the start of a new season makes it possible for him to fully turn his attention to the future.
“I have a burning fire inside of me, there’s no question about that,” Tannehill said. “But at this point, it’s a new season. What happened last year doesn’t matter. But, no doubt, there’s a passion and a fire burning. [What happened last year] has been behind me. The past is the past. It’s a fuel, it’s a fire inside of me. But the past is the past and I am ready for this year.”
Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen made an eye-raising comp for QB Daniel Jones
Defensive backs Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Elijah Molden continue missing practice with groin injuries. Both players are likely trending towards the wrong side of questionable. They’ve been absent for several practices. Molden’s absence would open a hole at the nickel position, but the Titans are well-stocked to handle that. Caleb Farley could play on the boundary with Roger McCreary in the slot. Defensive back Ugo Amadi is also an experienced nickel corner. An absence for Lonnie Johnson would thrust A.J. Moore or Joshua Kalu into backup safety roles behind Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker.
Chance Campbell and Jamarco Jones were limited participants. The Titans are thin at inside linebacker with Monty Rice on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Jones is expected to back up both guard and tackle positions, but the Titans have Dillon Radunz playing in a similar role.
Around the league
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is dealing with a groin injury he suffered during practice on Monday. The injury is considered serious enough that he’s unlikely to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons on Bucs' Tom Brady: 'He wants to step on your throat like you a roach' | NFL.com
Ahead of Sunday night's Week 1 matchup between the Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Parsons verbalized what many around the NFL feel about Brady.
"We got to get him out of this league," Parsons said. "He's been dominating this league too long...You just see his competitive nature," Parsons said. "He has that fire inside of him. He looks to kill you. He wants to step on your throat like you a roach. That's what you look for in competitors. That's why, if you a real competitor you look up to Tom Brady. You look up to Kobe (Bryant) that Mamba mentality. You look up to Michael Jordan. I wouldn't ask you to do anything I wouldn't do."
Trey Lance, Kyle Shanahan react to 49ers’ starting QB not being voted one of six team captains | CBSSports.com
When the 49ers announced their captains this week, George Kittle, Trent Williams, Arik Armstead, Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward and Fred Warner all made the list, but Lance didn’t. Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about the perceived slight to Lance on Wednesday and he downplayed the situation.
“If you look into it that much, he was seventh in the voting,” Shanahan said of Lance. “I just didn’t want to put seven on there. Deebo [Samuel] was eight. ... We just wanted to go with six. They don’t allow eight to the coin toss, I don’t believe.”
Baker Mayfield has a reputation for coming up big in so-called "revenge" games, but the Carolina Panthers quarterback insists he's not looking at Sunday's opener against Cleveland that way even though his time with the Browns ended "abruptly and unexpectedly.''
"It's a great storyline,'' Mayfield said Wednesday. "Obviously, there's history leading up to this week. [But] there's other games in the NFL that guys are playing (against) their former team. It's just the excitement of leading up to Week 1 that is building that anticipation up. It's the familiarity.''
The Commanders seem pretty confident their trade for Wentz was a win.
“He has stabilized that position for us,” said Commanders GM Martin Mayhew. “And we’re excited about what he brings to the table in terms of his physical talent and also what he brings to the table as a person, as a leader. I look at our quarterback room and I think it’s been upgraded pretty significantly.”
“All the other teams in the NFC North, it seems like every single year, I think their fanbase and their teams feel like, ‘This is our year to win the North.’ Hasn’t really been the case during my time, for the most part,” Rodgers said.
Since Rodgers became the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008, Green Bay has won the NFC North eight times, Minnesota four times, Chicago twice and Detroit not at all. If Rodgers sounds confident, the rest of the NFC North has given him reason to be.
The Los Angeles Rams announced Thursday contract extensions for general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay that run through the 2026 season. McVay’s extension became public knowledge in August, but the club waited to announce it until Snead’s deal was done.
In case you missed it
- NFL Week 1 predictions 2022: BBV staff thinks Giants will fall to Tennessee Titans
- The Giants really were interested in trading for Russell Wilson, per report
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