After starting the season at 0-5, the New York Football Giants are now in the running for the NFC East title, having been 5-2 since then. The Giants are in first place in the NFC East at the moment at 5-7, sharing the same record with the Washington Football Team after their win over the undefeated Steelers last night. The Giants however remain in first place after sweeping Washington this season.
The Giants have taken big steps in the second half of the season. From all the talk of being in the running for star college football QB prospect Trevor Lawrence, to now potentially playing for their first playoff berth since the 2016 season. Daniel Jones had a very rough start to the season in the first half, having thrown just 2 touchdowns in the first 5 games with 5 interceptions and 4 fumbles. Since then, Jones has thrown for 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and 3 fumbles. Jones has not turned the ball over since week 8 versus Tampa Bay. Jones sat out in their upset over the Seattle Seahawks this past week, and the Giants are hopeful they can get their starting QB back in time to make this playoff push legit.
After losing their star RB Saquon Barkley, the Giants have taken a running back by committee approach, rolling with Wayne Gallman, Devonta Freeman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis. Freeman went to IR with an ankle injury, so now it has been the trio that has helped the Giants offense. The Giants run game was absolutely shut down in their first five games, having just one game that had 100+ rushing yards. Since then, the Giants have rushed for over 100 yards in every single game. Gallman leads the team with 6 rushing TDs and 504 rushing yards. The former Clemson running back is finally getting his shot to show what he can do after being shadowed by fellow teammate Saquon Barkley. Gallman and Morris have brought together a running style we have not seen since Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, a power running game. Despite Gallman’s size, he runs with power and muscle, and always keeps his legs churning. Dion Lewis provides a pass catching look for the Giants running backs and has also served as a pass blocker picking up blitzes.
The Giants defense has been tremendous this season, ranking in the top ten as a whole. They give up an average of 22 points per game and 339 yards per game. They have logged 32 sacks this year, 10 interceptions, and have forced 12 fumbles. LB Blake Martinez has lead the way with 111 total tackles, and was banged up with a lower back injury Sunday. The Giants hope to get him back, as the injury does not seem to be serious. DE Leonard Williams leads the team in sacks with 8.5, a career high for him. CB James Bradberry continues to have a Pro-Bowl caliber year with 16 passes defended and 3 interceptions, tying his career high. Bradberry has locked down many of the elite WRs that the Giants have faced this year, and has held his own. Dating back to last year, the Giants defense was a major concern for the future, but they have since proved everyone wrong. They have already tied their season high last year of 10 interceptions and are just four sacks away from tying their total sacks from last year of 36. Hats off to defensive coordinator Patrick Graham for the amount of work and effort and attention to detail he has shown to this team. Leonard Williams mentioned that Graham remembers very distinctive details about this defense, and can even remember what happened on numbered plays. This attention to detail is a major reason why this defense has played lights out this year.
Joe Judge has simply changed the culture of the New York Giants. He said from the start “we are going to line up and punch you in the nose for 60 minutes with a relentless, competitive attitude. We want to put a product on the field that the fans can be proud of”. Thus far, he’s done just that. Giants fans are starting to get excited again, their team is playing for more than just a draft pick in December. The last few years, many fans are rooting for the Giants to lose games in December to get a better draft pick. Now, they are cheering for a chance to make the playoffs and to turn this organization around. Joe Judge has implemented a winning culture, something this team hasn’t seen in a long time. The Giants could make the playoffs for the second time since 2011. Everyone who follows this organization knows that this is the best time for the Giants to get hot. This organization fuels on the under dog mentality. When they start to count them out, you better count them in.
The Giants have four games left, playing against the Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, and NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys. After beating Seattle with their backup QB Colt McCoy at the reigns, all of these games could be considered winnable. Washington has momentum too, winning three straight games. The Giants are in control of their own destiny, and I believe in Joe Judge and company to get it done.
About Dylan Davis
Dylan Davis is a graduate of the State University of New York at Canton, where he obtained a B.A.A in Sport Management. He is a former athlete of football and baseball and sports fan for much of his life. Dylan creates content for 366 Sports and New York Giants 366, and is also a host on his own show, “The J&D Sports Show”.