The New York Giants are within arms reach of a playoff spot for the first time in four years, overcoming the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10 to bring their divisional record to 3-4. The Giants are currently 4-7 on the season and are in first place in the NFC East after Philadelphia lost to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
The Giants overcame the Cincinnati Bengals to put them in first place, but it didn’t come without a cost. Quarterback Daniel Jones injured his right hamstring, which could keep him out for several weeks as they prepare for a four-game streak against winning opponents. The Giants have won three straight games for the first time since 2016 and have one of the best defenses in the NFL. However, without Jones, their offense will be difficult to spark, as back up Colt McCoy will likely get the start against Seattle in week 13.
The New York Giants are trending up:
Nonetheless, winning builds confidence and is a byproduct of success, but some fans will harp on the loss of a high draft spot in 2021. Since the Giants are in first place, if they theoretically win the division after 17 weeks, they will have the 19th overall pick in the first round (if they lose in the first round of the playoffs).
The Giants have adapted to a new mentality, and it doesn’t involve losing and tanking for a better draft selection. The players want to win, and while they might miss out on players like Ja’Marr Chase, Micah Parsons, or Gregory Rousseau, they will have a winning record on their back and confidence moving forward.
Considering the defense ranks 10th in points allowed per game and fifth in stopping the run, keeping that unit similar next season is all the Giants really need to do. They have rookies in Darnay Holmes, Cam Brown, Xavier McKinney, and Carter Coughlin working their way up and will have Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines back. I’m not entirely worried about the defense, but the offense is one unit that could use some support.
The OL is finally coming together with a band of rookies, and the receivers have done their job for the most part. They will be gaining back Saquon Barkley, who is capable of turning the offense on its head. Adding a top receiver in free agency is all the Giants need to elevate their team exponentially.
When looking at this team realistically, a high draft pick would obviously help but isn’t necessary if they’re winning football games and proving they can compete with the talent already on the roster. While the NFC East is historically bad this season, the Giants are trending up and competing against quality opponents. At one point, they were on a three-game losing stretch with a combined point differential of six. With a bit more momentum and healthy players, the Giants walk away with victories and are currently 7-4 on the season.
With a tough stretch of opponents coming up, it will give us an idea of who the Giants really are and what they’re capable of, but making the playoffs would be a massive step forward in their development and a huge testament to the influence of new head coach Joe Judge.