Are you believing yet, Giants fans? With the statement win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Giants have cemented themselves as a playoff threat in the NFC hierarchy. What was once considered only a “rebuilding” season has now turned into a build as you win season. Best of all, their next 4 games are against inferior competition with a golden opportunity to further cement their status as contenders. We have a competent coaching staff that won’t allow this team to look past those games and should keep them on track. Looking back on Sunday’s victory, we finally saw the majority of the new regime’s draft class make an impact on the field. While not every pick has been able to see the field enough yet due to injuries or need for development, fans should be pleased the top half of the class represented themselves well in week 6. Here is what the Giants are looking at for the foreseeable future.
On offense, you don’t have to look far to find the bright spots with the rookie class. What was looking like a rough 1st 4 games for 1st round Right Tackle Evan Neal has now turned into a positive. The best part is, we haven’t even seen the man at his best so far. The pancake blocks and big takedowns are not on display yet but keeping himself out of the referee’s and commentator’s ire is certainly a positive for the young lineman out of Alabama. We also saw UNC 3rd round pick Joshua Ezeudu get more snaps than he saw the week before. Meanwhile, we saw the diminutive dynamo Wan’Dale Robinson make key grabs in crunch time while collecting his 1st career TD. It is too soon to say how good the 2nd round pick out of Kentucky will be, but he certainly came up big against a quality team and that is what matters. The final draftee on display is 4th round pick, Daniel Bellinger out of San Diego State. You can make an argument he has made the biggest impact of all the draft picks thus far. He has demonstrated mental toughness and the ability to be more than just the “blocking” Tight End with key scores in back-to-back games (including as a runner). I really feel there are shades of Mark Andrews within this hulking target and is continuing to develop into a difference maker.
On defense, we have seen another 4th round pick in Iowa’s Dane Belton make a delayed debut due to a collarbone injury, but it hasn’t stopped him from making an impact. He has shown a knack for gravitating to the ball carrier and has shown it as more than a Safety. He has played snaps at Linebacker and has even demonstrated he can be useful as a nickel corner in size related matchups. LSU 3rd round pick Cor’Dale Flott and 5th round Indiana Hoosier Micah McFadden didn’t get to play this game between injuries and adjusting to the nuances of the NFL. I do not count out these young guns yet as the schools they come from have a long history of providing pop at their respective positions. Best of all, our prized top pick Kayvon Thibodeaux has immediately become a franchise stalwart. The talk of work ethic and toxic personality has been squashed with each game and beloved antic in the locker room (my favorite being him playing reporter during a Barkley presser). The 1st round Oregon stud notched his 1st sack and forced fumble in clutch fashion against arguably the most dynamic NFL Quarterback in Lamar Jackson. The emotion he showed during and after the game is proof this man can be a franchise talent for many years to come.
All in all, this 5-1 New York Giants team has shown grit, mental toughness, and discipline in the face of dire adversity. The fact this team has more wins than all of last year before their bye week is proof there is clear progress being demonstrated. This team doesn’t care if they are not the most talented team in the NFL, they don’t care if they are not favored in every game, and they definitely don’t care if nobody believes in them because they believe in themselves (and each other). The culture being cultivated by this new regime is a breath of fresh air for both the franchise and fans all around. It hasn’t been a full year yet and there is already more work done now than in the last 4 years combined. It is safe to say the hire of Head Coach Brian Daboll and General Manager Joe Schoen have been epic homeruns thus far, and their 1st draft class has this team trending in the right direction. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for Big Blue this season. On to week 7!