The New York Giants were riding high a year ago. They were in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and had just beaten the Minnesota Vikings on the road for their first post-season win since 2011.
Expectations were unsurprisingly high for the Giants coming into 2023, which made the team crashing back to Earth all the more painful. Now, they’re once again studying the draft while other teams are preparing for playoff games.
The team didn’t fire Brian Daboll, marking the first time since 2015 that they’ve had a coach with a longer tenure than two years, but it’s clear that they’re once again a team in flux.
Leonard Williams has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks, the team could be parting ways with Adoree’ Jackson, Xavier McKinney, and Saquon Barkley. There are also questions as to who will be their starting quarterback after 2024. And that’s all leaving aside the messy divorce between the Giants and now-former DC Wink Martindale, among other changes across the coaching staff.
Of course, there were bright spots as well.
Dexter Lawrence has emerged as a top-five defensive tackle in the NFL while Kayvon Thibodeaux took a big step forward in his development as an edge defender. Deonte Banks looks like a high-quality cornerback and Jason Pinnock is a reliable and versatile starting safety. The Giants finally have a competent (even good) linebacking corps with Bobby Okereke, Micah McFadden, and Isaiah Simmons. There are similar signs of hope on the offensive side of the ball as well, with Andrew Thomas, John Michael Schmitz, Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt, Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Daniel Bellinger.
All of that begs the question: Will the Giants rebound in 2024?
Was 2023 a fluke, and this is who the team really is? Are they a team that’s too bad to win consistently, but too good to benefit from the NFL’s drive for parity and get better?
Or can the Giants better than they appeared for much of 2023 and able to overcome a potentially fraught schedule in 2024 to return to the playoffs?
Or, as a third option, are they on the upswing but will need another year to climb out of the mire that 2022 only papered over and will finally start taking strides in 2025?
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