We are on to week 11 Giants fans! The injuries keep on piling but so do the wins, and that’s all that matters. I know people don’t want to hear this but as fun as the wins have been, there are some downsides to winning at the clip this team has been going. That’s not to say we should just “stop” winning, but it is certainly something to monitor as time goes on. Here are some things that can potentially get negatively impacted with a great regular season record.
One thing that gets affected is the team’s draft position. As a rebuilding team, we need to get the best picks possible but winning has gotten “in the way”. As fans we don’t mind this as we enjoy winning 1st and foremost, but we cannot ignore the fact it takes the Giants out of range for premium talent. That could ruffle the feathers of the “Anti Jones” crowd given they want a new QB, but there is always a trade up chance, right? Not necessarily.
Trading up for a player the Giants want is absolutely in the realm of possibility, but with a strong record, it makes their lower picks less appealing to trade partners versus teams with worse records carrying higher picks. Yes, we have seen the Buffalo Bills trade up twice to nail their franchise QB, but this team is better than that 2017 Bills squad and there are arguably more QB needy teams this year than 2017 that are equipped with better resources than us as well (higher picks, cheap/expendable talent etc.). Could trading up for a premium WR/CB/QB talent still happen? Absolutely, but its easier said than done.
A final reason this early success can hurt the Giants is the distortion of the state of the franchise. While Bill Parcells’ saying of “you are what your record says you are” holds true, you can’t lose sight of what the team is in terms of the sum of its parts. This offense as a whole can’t produce regular big plays (whether you believe it’s QB limitations or WR limitations is up to you) and the defense is doing its best to work its strengths while playing the “bend but don’t break” style. This is not a sustainable way to win.
As a result, this could create a false expectation for next year given the number of narrow wins they achieved this year. Fans can’t get upset if this team regresses to the mean and wins only 9 games next year versus the 11 plus wins they are projected for this year. It won’t mean the team is regressing, but the style of how their trying to win games is regressing. Players can fall into this funk just as easily, but fortunately we have a competent coaching/management staff to mitigate this. Luckily, a lot can change here between now and then, so this shouldn’t be something to worry about right away. This team not upping its win total from the previous year should not cause alarm but be understood as a sign of balancing out previous good fortunes.
Overall, this assessment is not to downplay the success of this team. They are building something that should last not only this year, but for many years to come. The Daboll/Schoen brain-trust has given us every reason to believe in what they are doing for the best of the team. We just need to be conscious of the factors of the team’s great record and what ramifications it could have on the road to this team’s long-term success going forward. The “Anti Jones” crowd might not get what they feel is their “franchise QB” right away and the “Pro Jones” crowd might not get that stacked WR room for their QB rapidly either. Just sit back and enjoy the wins as they come and be patient with the growth of this team. GO BIG BLUE!