It feels awkward to use the phrase “getting good” in the same sentence as “New York Giants.” I’m still not sure we’re quite there yet, but with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones behind center instead of Eli Manning, the offense has discovered that drives can last more than four downs—and all without the services of an injured Saquon Barkley.
There have been signs of life from the defense, too. Not many, but there have been some.
Okay, “getting good” is still an overstatement; perhaps “less embarrassing and borderline entertaining” hits closer to the truth.
In any case, it’s safe to say the Giants are trending upwards. However, even that may be in jeopardy now.
A Bad New York Defense Gets Even Worse
While failing miserably in Week One against the Dallas Cowboys and in Week Two against the Buffalo Bills, the defense came through in the second half against Tampa Bay. They also made sure the hapless Redskins offense didn’t look any better last week (and kept them out of the endzone).
The defense did an admirable enough job that defensive back Janoris Jenkins ended up being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
But from a statistical perspective, they are not a good defense. The Giants unit ranks 25th in total yards allowed (through Week Four), 25th against the pass, 19th against the run, and they are 21st in scoring (24.2 points/game allowed). However, if their play over the last six quarters is any indication, there might be hope for them.
There is a little less, though, in light of the loss of linebacker Ryan Connelly, who suffered a torn ACL in last week’s game against the Washington Redskins:
Injury update – MRI confirmed LB Ryan Connelly suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s game vs. Washington pic.twitter.com/bZ3Ee0BRnM
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 30, 2019
Go ahead, Giants Nation—let that scream of frustration out.
Don’t Look Now But the Giants Are Still in Playoff Contention
At 2-2, the Giants are still in the thick of the NFC East race and are definitely alive for a wild card berth. Several things will need to go their way to actually earn a playoff spot, but it isn’t too hard to imagine a scenario in which it could happen.
The defense will need to fill the void left by Connelly’s injury. Playing well against teams like the Redskins is not much of an accomplishment. Along with a lot of defensive improvement, Daniel Jones will need to grow into the position and improve his game.
Of course, getting Saquon Barkley back will give the offense a huge boost.
Nine wins could get them into the playoffs. Nuts? Yes. But crazy stuff happens in the NFL every season.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.