The New York Giants look to be headed into what can, at best, be called a rebuilding year. The team replaced a large number of players and it doesn’t look like the Giants have the experience or even the raw talent to compete for the playoffs at this point in time. At the beginning of the offseason, there were even predictions that the Giants would end up with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
There’s a difference, however, between the narrative from experts and the narrative coming out of the team itself, with the latter predictably being far more positive on the team’s chances. There’s been positive buzz during the mostly drama free OTAs, and now, running back Saquon Barkley has come on the record stating that the team is going to make the playoffs this year.
“I know why people may not think [so], but yes. I’m going to confidently say ‘yes’ until the day we are not, until the day we are eliminated from playoff potential I’m still going to say we are a playoff team. My opinion is yes,” Barkley said following his youth football camp, which was taken over from former Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
“I know we lost a lot of great talent. Obviously Odell — Odell is still a very good friend of mine — but at the end of the day it’s about team,” Barkley continued.
Barkley also brought up the example of the New England Patriots, who are known for winning based on their team despite having star player Tom Brady.
“They are guys who come out and work and do things right and win situational football and they win games. If we continue to do what we did last year, especially the second half, and win situational football and come back together as a team I don’t see why the sky is not the limit,” Barkley concluded.
The Giants did perform somewhat better in the second half of the season, but were already in too deep of a hole at that point to compete for the playoffs seriously. If the team is to make it in this year, they’ll have to push themselves harder than they did last year and keep it consistent through every game, not just the back end of the season. Whether or not this set of players, many of whom haven’t played with each other at all yet, can do it remains to be seen.