As the NFL comes back into our lives, we can count on one thing ahead of the upcoming season: inevitably, someone who was a basement team last year will rise and make the playoffs. Some of us call it parity, others call it randomness.
The New York Giants can be one of those teams this year. After a few years in the wilderness, with injuries depleting the roster and a coaching scheme that wasn’t generating offense, there’s a breath of fresh air with the hire of Brian Daboll on the sideline and Joe Schoen in the general manager’s office.
The NFC East is seemingly up for grabs every year. With the injuries to the Cowboys’ offensive line, and a “prove it” year for Jalen Hurts with his upgraded offensive weapons, the New York Giants could sneak into contention in this division. There are a few factors in their favor that could make them a contender in the NFC East.
New Coach & GM – Goodbye, Gettleman
Starting fresh happens a lot in the NFL. Last year, it came for Joe Judge, Jason Garrett, and Dave Gettleman. After Gettleman retired, Judge and Garrett were pushed out, and a new regime was brought in.
The new regime includes Joe Schoen at GM, who was the assistant GM with the Buffalo Bills over the last four years. He brought Brian Daboll, the Bills’ offensive coordinator, with him. New York Giants fans are certainly hoping that these two can build up a talented roster as the Bills have over the last few years.
Great Strength of Schedule
When trying to find those “new” playoff teams from the bottom of the standings last year, the strength of schedule is a great metric to use in identifying candidates who might have an easier path next year. The New York Giants have that in their favor this year.
They have the lowest strength of schedule in the entire National Football League. After opening the season on the road, their next 6 games are at home. After cross-country road trips to Jacksonville and Seattle, the New York Giants have a bye in week 9. It’s foreseeable that the Giants could be sitting at the bye week with the same number of wins they had last season (4).
Saquon Barkley Redemption Year
Many of the questions around the success of the Giants will start in the offensive backfield. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley have alternated absences over the last couple of seasons. Jones was out with a neck injury for most of 2021. Barkley tore his ACL in 2020 and wasn’t really himself in 2021.
Reports out of training camp this year are saying that Barkley has found the speed and explosiveness he had coming out of college in 2018. Giants fans hope he can get back to the stats he put up in 2018: 1307 rushing yards, 721 receiving yards, and 15 total touchdowns. If he does, the New York Giants will have one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the league, with the ability to break a game open at a moment’s notice.