New York Giants name 2021 team captains ahead of Week One

New York Giants, Nick Gates

The New York Giants are days away from kicking off their regular season. The team has announced its new team captains for the 2021 season with kickoff only six days away. There are a few players returning as captains with a couple of new names also added to the mix.

New York Giants 2021 Captains

Offensive Captains:

  • Daniel Jones
  • Saquon Barkley
  • Nick Gates

Defensive Captains:

  • Blake Martinez
  • Logan Ryan

Special Teams Captains

  • Jabrill Peppers
  • Graham Gano

Offense

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is entering his second season as a captain of the team. This is his third career season, one that fans expect to be a big breakout year. He is a carryover captain, along with star running back Saquon Barkley. Saquon was named a captain in 2019 and has maintained that role ever since.

The new captain on offense is starting center Nick Gates. Entering his third season with the team, Gates has been named a captain. Nick Gates has proven to be the definition of a good teammate and a hard worker during his time in New York.

Defense

For the first time in his nine-year career, Logan Ryan is a captain. Ryan spent many years as one of the best players on the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots defenses but was never named a captain. The Giants signed Ryan late last offseason and he instantly proved himself as one of the team’s best leaders. The Giants have awarded Logan Ryan with a captain’s patch in his second year with the team.

Blake Martinez is a captain for the second consecutive season. Martinez was one of the Giants’ splash signings in last year’s free agency period. He quickly proved himself as one of the best players on the team and had a career year with the Giants last season.

Special teams

Graham Gano is another new captain on the Giants. Another player entering his second season with the team, Gano earned his captain’s patch after having a phenomenal 2020 season where he made 31 of his 32 field goal attempts.

Jabrill Peppers earned his captain’s patch for the second consecutive season. Peppers brings that energy every Sunday and leads the team’s defense and special teams. Peppers contributes primarily as the team’s starting safety, but also as a punt returner. The Giants are expecting a huge year out of Peppers in 2021.

Will the New York Giants receive any compensatory picks this year?

New York Giants, Cleveland Browns

The New York Giants are not expected to be awarded any compensatory draft picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants hold the 11th overall pick in the 2021 Draft. They will only have six picks overall to fill the many needs on the roster.

In addition to their first-round pick, the G-Men will have the 42nd overall pick in round two, No. 76 overall in round three, No. 107 overall in round four, and two sixth-round selections — No. 172 and No. 177, the latter received in exchange from the Arizona Cardinals in the Markus Golden trade.

The Giants do not have a fifth-round selection due to the trade with the New York Jets for Leonard Williams. Big Blue also does not have a seventh-round selection either due to the trade with the Denver Broncos for Isaac Yaidom.

According to the compensatory draft pick cancellation chart compiled by “Over The Cap,” the Giants are not due any additional selections due to their aggressive shopping spree in free agency last March. They signed cornerback James Bradberry, linebacker Blake Martinez, kicker Graham Gano, outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell, quarterback Colt McCoy, tight end Levine Toilolo, and safety/special teamer Nate Ebner.

Safety/Special Teamer Michael Thomas was signed by Houston, but according to the chart, he is listed as non-eligible for compensation.

New York Giants have no players selected to the 2020 All-Pro team

New York Giants, Blake Martinez

The New York Giants have been shut out of the 2020 NFL All-Pro team. This is now back-to-back years where the Giants have had zero All-Pro selections. Their last All-Pro selection came in 2018, with Saquon Barkley making the second team along with Aldrick Rosas.

No Giants made the All-Pro teams this year, despite having a number of worthy candidates. The Giants’ defense in particular saw numerous players put together standout seasons in the 2020-2021 regular season. Some Giants players received votes for the All-Pro teams, but no one received enough votes to actually earn a spot.

Who received votes?

Blake Martinez, Leonard Williams, James Bradberry, and Graham Gano all received votes for the 2020 All-Pro teams. Williams and Martinez received two votes each while Bradberry and Gano each received one vote.

Arguably the most confusing snub on the list of Giants snubs is cornerback James Bradberry. The Giants’ cornerback had a career-year and even made Pro Football Focus’s All-Pro team this season. Bradberry was second-team All-Pro via PFF, behind Jaire Alexander.

James Bradberry was phenomenal this season, totaling a combined 17 interceptions and pass breakups on the year, the third-most in the NFL. Bradberry was also selected to the Pro Bowl this year for the first time in his career. So he did receive some recognition, but one could argue that James deserves far more recognition than he is getting after seeing the 2020 All-Pro teams.

Leonard Williams also had a career-year in 2020, but he did not receive any recognition. Despite totaling a career-high 11.5 sacks and racking up an insane 62 pressures, Williams missed both the Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections. Granted, there is a lot of strong competition amongst interior defensive linemen, but Big Cat had an elite season that should have seen him earn some recognition.

Graham Gano is another player that received no recognition, despite a phenomenal 2020 season. After missing all of 2019 with a hip injury, Gano came back strong with the Giants. Graham hit 30 straight field goals this year, a Giants record. He also missed just one kick (57-yards), making 31 of 32 attempts (97%). Gano was not selected to the Pro Bowl and only received one All-Pro vote, but he was truly dependable for the Giants this year.

Finally, Blake Martinez, one of the Giants’ biggest 2020 free-agent acquisitions, also received zero recognition from the league for his phenomenal season. Martinez totaled 151 combined tackles this season, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 0 touchdowns allowed in coverage. At the very least, Martinez should have made the Pro Bowl.

These Giants were snubbed but a good part of the reasoning why could be the team’s win-loss record. Finishing 6-10, the Giants were never a top team in the NFL. Many voters might have held the team’s lack of success against these individual players. Regardless, the Giants and their fans know the level of talent that these players possess. This All-Pro absence will only serve as motivation for these players as they look to build towards the 2021 season.

New York Giants: Record aside, Giants pose a difficult playoff matchup

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Despite a lackluster 4-7 record, the New York Giants are in first place in the NFC East and have the makings of a difficult matchup in the playoffs.

In a typical year, if the New York Giants were sitting with a record of 4-7 in December, they would likely be looking forward to the next season, with their playoff hopes seemingly dashed. However, this is 2020, and the 4-7 Giants sit atop the putrid NFC East and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

The disappointing 4-7 record is a bit misleading, as the Giants have not been nearly as bad as their record would indicate. In their seven losses, the Giants have lost by an average of 7.86 points per game. When you take away the 36-9 drubbing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, the average drops to only 4.67 points per loss.
Of the seven losses that the Giants have suffered, six have been against teams with defenses currently ranked in the top 15 in the league, including the Steelers (#1), Rams (#4), Bears (#8), 49ers (#11), Eagles (#14), and Buccaneers (#15). Additionally, they have defeated the Redskins (#6) twice and the aforementioned Eagles. To say that the GMEN have faced a gauntlet of difficult defenses this season would be an understatement.

The Giants have some difficult defensive matchups remaining on the schedule with the Ravens (#3) and Cardinals (#13) still to come. The Giants’ offense has shown the ability to hang with the best defenses in the National Football League, which is something they will undoubtedly be tasked with again, should they make the playoffs.
Speaking of excellent defenses, the Giants boast a stout defense of their own.

Currently, Big Blue has the tenth-ranked defense in the National Football League. They have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards in the league and are currently 19th in the league in passing yards allowed. They are tied for 11th in sacks with 27, tied for 14th in interceptions with nine, and tied for third in forced fumbles with 9. This season, the Giants defense has shown the ability to come up with big plays, something that has been severely lacking in recent seasons.

The defensive line has been excellent against the run and has also shown the ability to get after the quarterback.  Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, Jabaal Sheard, and B.J. Hill have outperformed expectations along the defensive line. Meanwhile, Leonard Williams has been extremely productive, recording a career-high six sacks already this season for the Giants.

The linebacker play has been better than expected as well. Offseason free-agent addition Blake Martinez is currently in consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year Award with 101 total tackles, two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. The outside linebackers have done admirable after losing two of their top pash rushers, Lorenzo Carter (ruptured Achilles) and Oshane Ximinez (torn rotator cuff) to a season-ending injury and trading another in Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals. A combination of David Mayo, Kyler Fackrell, Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, and Devante Downs have stepped up to fill the void of losing the top trio of outside linebackers.

The secondary for the Giants has been excellent as well. James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, and Julian Love have become one of the more formidable secondaries in the league. The four of them have combined for six interceptions, four forced fumbles, and 33 pass deflections. Isaac Yiadom and Darnay Holmes have provided serviceable play as well in the secondary. The Giants received another boost to their defensive backfield last week, when their uber-talented second-round draft pick, Xavier McKinney, made his debut. As McKinney receives more reps and gets a more prominent role in the Giants secondary, this defensive backfield looks to be a major strength as the team heads into the final part of the regular season.

While the defense has been excellent for New York this season, the offense has struggled. Currently, they are ranked 30th overall in points scored, 28th in passing yards, and 29th in rushing yards. On the season, Big Blue has averaged a paltry 19.5 points per game. However, over the past seven weeks, the team has averaged a much more respectable 27.14 points per game.

A lot of the offensive struggles for the GMEN can be attributed to the fact that nine of the eleven teams that they have faced have featured defenses ranked in the top 15 in the league. Some of the offensive ineptitude is a direct result of injuries. Superstar running back Saquon Barkley was lost early in the second game of the season, and Sterling Shepard missed four weeks of action after being injured against the Bears in Week 2.

Perhaps the biggest hindrance to offensive production early on for the Giants was due to poor play from the offensive line. The lack of preseason games negatively impacted the early performance along Big Blue’s offensive line. Nick Gates had not received any game action at the center position after moving from the tackle spot. Draft picks Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, and Shane Lemieux did not benefit from NFL game action prior to being inserted into the lineup. Cameron Fleming didn’t receive any reps with his new linemates after coming over via free agency from Dallas.

The initial results were indicative of an offensive line with a lot of new personnel, a new coach, and little to no experience playing next to one another. However, Big Blue’s offensive line has shown improvement over the past few weeks. The improvement in the offensive line has been apparent in the reduction of turnovers from Daniel Jones, as well as the ability of the offense to have a productive running game in recent weeks. Through the first nine games of the season, Daniel Jones had 14 turnovers (nine interceptions and five fumbles). In the past two weeks, Jones has not turned the ball over.

During the first five games of the season, the Giants averaged a pathetic 79 rushing yards per game and had only one game with over 100 yards (136 against the Rams). Over the past six games, the Giants have rushed for over 100 yards in every game and are averaging 142 rushing yards per game. If they can continue to rush at the clip they have over the past six games, their rushing attack would rank in the top five in the NFL. The GMEN seem to have found something in Wayne Gallman, who has rushed for 293 yards and six touchdowns over the past five games.

The passing attack for the GMEN has not been as good as it was in 2019 when they averaged 233.2 passing yards per game. Currently, they are averaging 200.5 yards per game on the season. However, they have averaged 216.16 passing yards per game over the past six contests, further evidence of improvement from the offensive line. The recent emergence of Evan Engram and the return of Sterling Shepard should help further the advancement of the Giants’ passing attack moving forward.

Another major asset for New York this season has been the addition of Graham Gano. After the team cut Aldrick Rosas following his arrest for a DUI, the kicking game for the Giants was thrown into disarray. The team would ultimately sign free agent Graham Gano who was released in July by the Carolina Panthers after he missed the final four games of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season due to a leg injury. Gano has been nothing short of spectacular this season for the Giants, going 25-26 in field goal attempts and 17-17 in extra-point attempts.

Last week, Gano set a Giants record by making 22 straight field goal attempts. Currently, he is 4th in the NFL in field goal percentage at 96.2% and is 9th in points with 92. Big Blue wisely signed Gano to a three-year $14 million extension. Gano gives the Giants arguably their most clutch kicker since Lawrence Tynes.

Certainly, losing Daniel Jones to a hamstring injury during this playoff run is not ideal. Jones was able to practice in a limited capacity this week, suggesting that his absence may not be prolonged. The dual-threat that he poses at the quarterback position presents a challenge for opposing defenses to gameplan against. The Giants will need backup Colt McCoy to basically be a game manager this week against the Seattle Seahawks if they hope to win. Luckily, Seattle comes in with the worst pass defense in the league, which should help his cause.

While the Cowboys and Redskins both arguably have easier remaining schedules, the Giants seem to have a better team than both of their division rivals. If they can get past Seattle, the Giants have the Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, and Cowboys remaining. They will need to continue to show improvement if they hope to capture their first division title since 2011.

Should the New York Giants make the playoffs, there are a lot of reasons to believe that they will be a difficult matchup. From their defense, which has performed well thus far and continues to improve, to their young athletic offensive line that seems to be improving each week, to their newly found rushing attack, to their quarterback who is always a threat to tuck it and run or to find an open receiver for a big play, to their clutch weapon in the kicking game, or the bravado that this team brings with new head coach Joe Judge at the helm, this team has shown the ability to hang with some of the best teams in the National Football league and likely is a team that contenders are hoping to avoid a matchup against in the playoffs.

New York Giants lose starting kicker and punter to COVID-19 list

New York Giants, Graham Gano

The New York Giants have been lucky this season in dealing with a pandemic. While the team hasn’t come out without any problems at all, they’ve mostly avoided having players and staff get sick and the COVID-19 list hasn’t seen much use by the team. However, that’s starting to change as the Giants’ special teams unit has been hit hard recently and could see big changes for their week 12 game against the Bengals.

Starting kicker Graham Gano ended up on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be ready in time to make a return against the Bengals. As if that’s not bad on its own, the Giants also lose starting punter Riley Dixon to the list. He was placed on it Wednesday along with long snapper Casey Kreiter.

However, there is no guarantee that these players actually tested positive. It’s possible for players to end up on the list simply because they were around contacts who did, or were at higher risk for infection.

The team didn’t report new positive tests on Wednesday when Dixon and Kreiter were placed on the reserve list.

The Giants have brought in alternative option Ryan Santoso from the practice squad to fill in for these two players. Santoso is a dual kicker and punter and played in three games last season for the Titans. However, he was waived by the team in December and joined the Giants during September of this year.

Graham Gano definitely did test positive for the virus, unlike Dixon and Kreiter, so it remains to be seen if all three players will be ready to go against Cincinnati. If not, the Giants might just have a relative unknown player kicking their big field goals for them.

New York Giants sign K Graham Gano to three-year extension

New York Giants, Graham Gano

Coming fresh off of a clutch win over Philadelphia, the New York Giants have signed their kicker Graham Gano to a contract extension. Graham Gano was signed this offseason to replace Aldrick Rosas after he found himself in some legal trouble. The Giants signed Gano to a one-year deal and he has exceeded all expectations.

The Giants signed Gano to a three-year extension worth $14 million in new money and $9.5 million fully guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport. New York rewarded their kicker who has been as consistent as possible throughout the 2020 NFL season.

Through 10 games, Gano has made 21 field goals on 22 attempts. He was also the Week 9 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. In today’s huge victory over the Eagles, Gano was perfect, making 2/2 field goal attempts and 3/3 on extra points. His longest field goal was a clutch 44-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Whenever the Giants need a field goal to be made, Gano has delivered for the team this season. New York has locked in their kicker position through the 2023 season, hoping to see Gano maintain this high level of consistency as he enters his mid-thirties.

According to Giants.com, on Oct. 11 in Dallas, Gano set a Giants’ record with three field goals of 50 or more yards. That gave him four long field goals for the year, tying the franchise’s single-season record. He has been arguably the MVP of the New York Giants this season, making this a well-deserved contract extension.

New York Giants: K Graham Gano wins NFC Week 9 Special Teams Player of the Week

New York Giants, Graham Gano

The New York Giants are coming off of a clutch victory against the Washington Football Team. This victory improved New York’s record to 2-7, keeping them in the hunt to win the division.

One of the deciding factors in this game: special teams. The Giants’ special teams unit was excellent on Sunday, as it truly has been all season. New head coach Joe Judge is a former special teams coordinator, so many expected to see the Giants’ already solid special teams unit get even better. So far, it certainly has, and one of the main reasons why is the Giants’ new kicker, Graham Gano.

Graham Gano was signed by the Giants after former starting kicker Aldrick Rosas was released due to legal issues. This has turned out to be an excellent signing as Gano has been one of the Giants’ best players this season. In the team’s Week 9 victory, Graham Gano was stellar and earned himself the honor of being the NFC’s Week 9 Special Teams Player of the Week.

Graham Gano Stats and Highlights

In the New York Giants’ Week 9 victory over Washington, Graham Gano was perfect, hitting all three of his field-goal attempts while also going a perfect two for two on point-after tries, scoring a total of 11 points for the Giants. Gano was perfect on Sunday as he has been for much of the Giants’ 2020 season.

Through nine weeks, Graham Gano has kicked 20 field goals, connecting on 19 of them for an impeccable 95% field goal percentage. He has also gone made perfect 100% of his PAT’s (13/13). This top-tier season is extra impressive when considering the fact that Gano missed the entirety of the 2019 NFL season with an injury.

In his comeback 2020 campaign, Gano has looked like the same player he was before his injury. Graham truly has not missed a step. Some might have considered Gano a risky signing since he was coming off of a pretty significant injury. But it has been an indisputably excellent signing by Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge, and Thomas McGaughey.

The New York Giants have a new offensive star and he’s carrying the load

New York Giants, Graham Gano

It has been three games since New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has thrown a touchdown pass, and that fact alone is simply unacceptable. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has deployed a scheme that simply doesn’t maximize Jones’s strengths.

Garrett has schemed his wide receivers into tight coverage and lacks creativity through five weeks. We saw a spark of action against the Dallas Cowboys in the first drive of the game, utilizing more pre-snap motion and imagination, but it ultimately tapered off as the game went on.

A lack of talent in all phases has significantly limited the offense, but that decision making from Jones has undoubtedly played a part. Turnovers remain a major issue, and a fumble against Dallas, which was taken for a touchdown, was a major turning point in the contest.

However, through five weeks, the offensive star for the Giants has been kicker Graham Gano. He is currently hitting 92.9% of his field-goal attempts, securing three from 50+ yards on Sunday afternoon. Ha has only missed one attempt this year, from the 50+ yard range, hitting everything before that mark. He has also been perfect on extra points, having only attempted four due to a lack of offensive power.

If not for the Gano’s impressive leg, the Giants would never have reached 34 points against Dallas, who currently holds the worst defense in the NFL and a historically bad unit within the franchise.

After undergoing season-ending surgery last year with the Carolina Panthers, the Giants originally brought in Chandler Catanzaro to replace Aldrick Rosas, following his DUI issue. They quickly released Catanzaro to add Gano, who had a career year in 2017, reaching the Pro Bowl. He hit on 96.7% of his attempts, including 10 for 10 from 40 yards and beyond. The fact that he’s had to operate from 50+ yards this year is not a testament to a successful offense, in fact, it is embarrassing the Giants can barely get into the red zone.

Thanks to poor wide receiver separation, pass and run blocking, and bad decision making from Daniel Jones, the offense has sputtered to a halt in most games.

Of course, factoring in Jason Garrett’s vanilla scheme, which operates on outside zone blocking with poor run blocking from their tackles and short route concepts from incapable pass catchers, finding points was always going to be problematic. In other words, thank goodness for Gano and his near-automatic leg from long distance.

New York Giants Already Move On From Chandler Catanzaro

New York Giants, Chandler Catanzaro

The Chandler Catanzaro era didn’t last long for the New York Giants special teams group. The Giants were left in an awkward position this offseason by Aldrick Rosas’ sudden legal troubles, and it looked like Catanzaro was a possible replacement, but at the end of the day the Giants found someone else.

According to Adam Schefter, the team has moved on from Catanzaro already. The Giants originally picked him up at the beginning of the month, once it was clear that relying on Aldrick Rosas is a bad idea going forward. Rosas was released by the Giants only a few days before they picked up Catanzaro. However, the new addition just wasn’t destined to make it as the actual replacement for the former starter.

The Giants chose to release Catanzaro in favor of Graham Gano, who is currently a free agent. Interestingly enough, Gano isn’t actually on the roster yet. He was last signed to Carolina, the same team the Giants got GM Dave Gettleman from.

Gettleman was GM of the Panthers during some of the time Gano was there. It’s possibly why Gano is the preferred choice right now. Likely, the Giants only gave Catanzaro a chance because he’s already familiar from playing with the Jets for two stints.

As for Gano, his 90.9% field goal percentage from his last season in the league back in 2018 is an improvement over the 70% Rosas had in his slump season during 2019. He’s still a 33 year old that hasn’t been in the league for a bit, so it’s not a perfect signing. But the Giants aren’t making an obvious mistake with this one.

With the kicker question mostly solved, there probably won’t be too much more news about this subject this offseason.

New York Giants Expected To Sign Kicker Graham Gano

New York Giants, Graham Gano

The New York Giants‘ special teams unit is receiving an overhaul in 2020. Long-time long snapper Zak Deoisse has retired after an NFL career that saw him win two Super Bowls in Big Blue. Along with his departure, the Giants cut their kicker Aldrick Rosas after he found himself caught up in serious legal issues.

Overseeing all of this overturn in the unit is the Giants’ new head coach, Joe Judge. Judge is a former special teams coordinator with the Patriots and he emphasizes the importance of a good special teams unit. Today, the Giants made another roster move for the unit, this time an addition.

After cutting Aldrick Rosas, the Giants signed kicker Chandler Catanzaro. Now New York is expected to sign another kicker- Graham Gano. According to Art Stapleton, Graham Gano is expected to sign with the Giants and join the kicking competition with Chandler Catanzaro once he passes entry testing protocols.

Graham Gano Stats And Highlights

Giants fans may remember Graham Gano from the brutal Week 5 loss against the Panthers in 2018. Gano was the Panthers’ kicker at the time. The Giants lost that game 31-33 after Graham Gano made a 63-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. That field goal was one of the longest in NFL history.

That was a few years ago, though, and Gano has not made many kicks since then. Gano did not play a game in 2019 as he was placed on injured reserve with a fractured femur before the season started. Gano also missed the last four games of the 2018 season dealing with an injury.

Prior to his injury in 2018, Gano was having a great season. He made 14 of his 16 field-goal attempts and 30 of 33 extra-point attempts. Gano has been in the NFL since 2009 and has had a long career filled with success. His career-average field goal percentage is 82.1% and his extra-point percentage is 95.3%. In 2017, Gano led the NFL with a 96.7% field goal percentage, hitting 29 of 30 attempts.

Graham Gano is expected to compete with Chandler Catanzaro in training camp. But if Gano is fully healthy and returns to form, the job should be his.