The New York Giants are in a funk following a four-week stretch with zero wins added to their record. After starting the season at 7-2, the Giants’ record has plummeted to a disappointing 7-5-1. The mask has been ripped off and the truth of this Giants roster has been revealed. Big Blue has some major holes and weaknesses across the depth chart. But as the Giants look toward the future, there are a few weaknesses that stand out above the rest for the Giants. These four positions need to be addressed first in the 2023 offseason, or sooner, as the Giants attempt to fight their way into the playoffs.
Interior offensive line
For as great as Andrew Thomas has been in the 2022 season, the rest of his teammates on the offensive line have been rather disappointing. The Giants have promise in the tackle positions with rookie right tackle Evan Neal being a quality prospect and Andrew Thomas emerging as one of the league’s best this season. But every other player on the offensive line has been a liability week in and week out.
Mark Glowinski, Joshua Ezeudu, Jon Feliciano, and Nick Gates have surrendered a combined 12 sacks and 70 pressures this season. Left guard, center, and right guard will all be positions of need in the upcoming offseason. The Giants have been unable to open up their offensive game plan this season as Daniel Jones has had minimal time in the pocket to read the field. Saquon Barkley has also had a tough time finding rushing lanes on the inside. The New York Giants’ offense is being held back entirely by the team’s interior offensive line. If the Giants do manage to make their way into the postseason, they will need the unit to improve its play drastically.
The linebacker position has been a weakness for the New York Giants for years. New general manager Joe Schoen made a couple of attempts to rectify the situation this offseason, however, none of them seemed to pan out accordingly. The Giants hoped that Blake Martinez would be able to recover from his injury and make an impact, but, ultimately, Big Blue had to let Blake go and now he is retired. Rookie Darrian Beavers also looked like he could make an impact this season, turning heads during the preseason. However, Beavers suffered a season-ending knee injury before the regular season even came close to kicking off.
Now the Giants are left with a shell of what they imagined in the center of their defense. Tae Crowder has been nearly phased out of the lineup after a string of poor performances exposed him as a liability. The linebacker position is now primarily manned by the likes of rookie Micah McFadden and veteran Jaylon Smith. Both players have been solid contributors, but they each have their limitations, flaws, and room for improvement.
The Giants’ lack of receiving talent has been well-documented. A unit that started out with promise has quickly been dismantled. To start the year, the top-four projected receivers included Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and Wan’Dale Robinson. Golladay has disappeared on the sideline, Shepard and Robinson are done for the year with injuries, and Toney was traded mid-season. Other players that could have contributed, like Collin Johnson and David Sills, have also been lost to injury or removed from the lineup for inactivity.
Daniel Jones is now left with Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, and Richie James as his top weapons on offense. New York is struggling to pick up wins down the stretch of this season. The lack of offensive firepower is a big reason why. As the Giants fight to sneak into the postseason as a wild card team, they need to rely on Hodgins, Slayton, and James to pick up the slack and start exceeding all expectations.
With Adoree’ Jackson out of the lineup, the New York Giants’ secondary has been on life support. The Giants’ lack of cornerback depth has been on full display since Jackson suffered his knee injury in Week 11. A revolving door on the boundary has been implemented, seeing Rodarius Williams, Darnay Holmes, Fabian Moreau, and Zyon Gilbert all rotate in and out of the lineup.
Adoree’ Jackson should soon return to the lineup. Upon Jackson’s return, Wink Martindale will have the freedom to run his defense accordingly. The Giants prefer to run a man-blitz-heavy defensive scheme. This system, though, relies on cornerback talent to jam opposing receivers as the pass rush gets home. That factor in the secondary has been absent without Jackson.
If the New York Giants fail to reach the postseason, these four positions will be to blame for the team’s demise. The Giants have a tall task ahead of them as they prepare for the final stretch of the regular season. But after being embarrassed by the Eagles in Week 14, it’s clear to see the shortcomings of the Giants’ 2022 roster. If the New York Giants can bolster these position groups in the upcoming offseason, they should be able to build on their 2022 season and find success in the near future.