Thursday evening was a tough night to be a New York Giants fan after a defensive masterclass by the New England Patriots’ league-leading defense. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ euphoric start to his career against Tampa Bay sent expectations through the roof only to see them now coming back down to earth with a bump after a beatdown from Brady and Belichick.
Here are three big reasons New York fans shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet.
1. Giants Key Offensive Weapons Will Be Back + Golden Tate
It is hard enough for most NFL teams to go to Foxborough against the 2019 New England Patriots, even when fully healthy. The New York Giants had to make the trip without three of their most crucial offensive weapons. There was no Saquon Barkley (ankle), arguably already one of the best players in the league. No Evan Engram (knee) who has been a potent threat at tight end all season, and no Sterling Shepard (concussion) who has assumed the role of wide receiver no.1 since Odell Beckham Jr. left. Poor Daniel Jones had absolutely no weapons at his disposal, even being stuck with third-string running back Jonathan Hilliman after Wayne Gallman was sidelined last week with a concussion.
All these injuries are hopefully temporary, and the emergence of Golden Tate as a new passing option for Jones leaves them with one of the stronger offenses in their division (when healthy). Let’s face it, Saquon Barkley alone would make the Giants a somewhat relevant team.
2. QB Daniel Jones’ Struggles Exaggerated by the Wind
It was a rough night, statistically, for Daniel Jones. The New York Giants’ new starting quarterback’s three interceptions were sarcastically hailed as a tribute to his mentor and teammate Eli Manning’s struggles with turnovers. Facing the historically good Patriots defense and with a ton of injuries, Jones also had to fight the fact that it was an extremely windy evening on the East Coast. Even the masterful Tom Brady made some strange throws in the first half before opting to mainly dink and dunk with his safety blanket James White. The wind might sound like a weak excuse, but remember that the Giants had a third-string running back in the game; ground and pound was hardly an option.
3. NFC East Title Isn’t Out of Sight After Dallas Cowboys Loss to Greenbay
The New York Giants are blessed this year with the fact that the Washington Redskins are a well-documented disaster. This means that only the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys stand in their way of a playoff berth. The latter has been struggling of late and doesn’t look like the world-beaters they did early in the season. At 2-4, the Giants are a little way off the 3-2 standings of their rivals, but if either Dallas or Philadelphia slip up this weekend, Jones and the gang could conceivably but just one game back in the NFC East.
Consider that the Giants get Dallas at home and also face the hapless Dolphins, struggling NY Jets, and the Redskins again before the end of the season. The one-win Arizona Cardinals are up next, and the Giants will host division leaders Dallas at home in a few weeks when their offensive stars should be healthy. The Detroit Lions will be a tough matchup on the road after Arizona, but at least their won’t be any wind.