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NFL power rankings, Week 3: Giants remain an enigma

It’s hard to rank a team as hot and cold as New York

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NFL: New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

How is anyone supposed to evaluate the New York Giants now?

The Giants have long been one of the most frustrating and inconsistent teams in football, and they’ve played that part to perfection through two weeks of the 2023 NFL season. They were shutout by the Dallas Cowboys 40-0 and outscored 20-0 by the Arizona Cardinals in one half. Then, they finally put everything together to score 31 points in the second half against Arizona — a point total they reached in just one entire regular season game last season.

Accordingly, the national media is split on where to place the Giants in this week’s power rankings. Some have them even lower than last week, as it’s hard to place much faith in a defense that can let the Cardinals’ decrepit offense walk all over them. In other lists, the Giants skyrocketed in the hopes that they’ve finally found some explosiveness on offense.

Aggregate ranking: 22

Last week: 23 (28)

Through their first 90 minutes of football this season, the Giants were outscored 60-zip by their opponents, putting them in serious danger of occupying the 32nd slot on this list. Over the next 30 minutes against Arizona, the Giants outscored the Cardinals by 23, giving them one of the biggest comeback wins in franchise history. Big Blue hadn’t overcome a 21-point deficit since the 1940s. But the triumphant vibes were short-lived; Saquon Barkley suffered an ankle injury after fueling the rally with two second-half scores. It’s a game the Giants probably felt they had to have, given the short turnaround for Thursday’s matchup in San Francisco — after all, 0-3 starts and playoff berths are rare dance partners.

ESPN (23)

Contract to monitor:

Player: RB Saquon Barkley

Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

The Giants and Barkley failed to agree on a long-term deal this offseason. He is currently playing on a revised franchise tag that provides him the opportunity to make up to $11 million. And now after Week 2, Barkley is dealing with a right ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for three weeks, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Giants also have another franchise tag to potentially use at their disposal again next year. Barkley’s admittedly in a tough spot. — Jordan Raanan

CBS Sports (19)

That was a miraculous comeback against the Cardinals to avoid an 0-2 start. But now they face a tough game Thursday against the 49ers on the road.

Bleacher Report (20)

The good news for the New York Giants is that after getting demolished by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, they rallied to notch their first win of 2023 on Sunday.

The bad news is literally everything else that happened in Glendale.

For starters, the Giants were forced to rally after being dominated in the first half. Over the first six(ish) quarters of the season, the Giants were outscored 60-0. It was the third-most points given up before scoring since 1950, according to Sportradar.

However. the Giants went off in the second half to notch win No. 1 on the season.

Sportsnaut (23)

The miraculous comeback is great and it provided the New York Giants with plenty of reason to believe Daniel Jones will earn every dollar of his contract. However, New York also trailed Arizona 20-0 at halftime. When a team only has one quarter of good football through two games, we don’t see a reason to have confidence in the Giants.

Pro Football Talk (13)

Disaster avoided. Or maybe it’s just disaster delayed.

USA Today (25)

They’re lucky to be 1-1 after salvaging a win in Arizona. They’re not so lucky to be headed to San Francisco on a short week, which will likely be the first of several without injured RB Saquon Barkley (ankle).

FOX Sports (26)

Credit to them, they got the win. But how impressed are we supposed to be by the Giants frantically rallying to overcome a 21-point deficit to Arizona? Daniel Jones was amazing after halftime, but how did the Giants fall into that hole in the first place? And now Saquon Barkley is dealing with an ankle injury after a big day. It’s better than 0-2, but it’s hardly encouraging.

Sporting News (21)

The Giants had a great desert escape in Arizona but Daniel Jones still looked shaky and now Saquon Barkley is hurt. There’s no excuse for the defense to play that poorly.