Team Capsules: New York Giants

July 25, 2023

A look at every NFL franchise heading into the 2023 season

© Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Last season was a classic case of good news, bad news for the Giants. On the positive side, New York finished 9-7-1 in its first season with Brian Daboll at the helm, earning a wild card playoff spot and Coach of the Year honors for their new leader. But the Giants went 3-6-1 after starting 6-1, limping into the postseason.

That begs one simple question heading into 2023: Which group was the real Giants? Are they the team that started hot and upset the Vikings in the playoffs? Or are they the team that stumbled down the stretch and lost 38-7 to the Eagles in the Divisional Round?

The G-Men certainly believe that the good version of last year’s team will become the norm. It’s part of why they invested a ton of money in Daniel Jones, giving the quarterback a four-year, $160-million contract.

What to like about the Giants…

  • Brian Daboll knows what he’s doing. He took over a team that went 4-13 in 2021 and turned them into a playoff team; that’s an impressive turnaround. But perhaps most impressively, the offensive-minded head coach helped turn Jones into a viable starting quarterback, making him a dual threat who spearheads the offense.
  • Speaking of Jones, he emerged as a competent quarterback in 2022; in fact, he was even dangerous at times. On the season, the QB completed 67.2% of his passes, throwing for 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns, while only tossing five interceptions. He also 708 yards and seven touchdowns.
  • New York added tight end Darren Waller in the offseason, providing a big-time target for Jones. Three years ago, Waller caught 107 passes, racking up 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns for the Raiders during the 2020 season. If he can stay healthy, that type of production is a possibility.

What not to like about the Giants…

  • New York wasn’t in the top half of the NFL last year in offense or defense. The Giants finished the 2022 season ranked 19th in total offense an 25th in defense. Normally, that’s not going to add up to a winning record, let alone a playoff team. So it reeks of the G-Men being a bit of a mirage.
  • Saquon Barkley is the key to the Giants offense. The running back racked up 1,650 yards from scrimmage and crossed the goal line 10 times on the season. But after paying Jones big money this offseason, the G-Men weren’t ready to shell out big bucks for Barkley. After being franchised tagged, which led to a brief hold old, Barkley was signed to a1-year deal worth “up to $11 million.” While that’s certainly “better,” it feels as if damage in New York has already been done, and the results could be unfavorable.
  • Philadelphia and Dallas give the Giants four NFC East games that won’t be easy. Their non-divisional slate includes the 49ers, Seahawks, Dolphins, Bills, Jets and Patriots. That’s 10 games against legit playoff contenders. That doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error if another postseason trip is in the offing.

Steve Quinne’s Pick… Giants under 7.5 wins (-110)

The Giants were great through seven games last season but struggled in their last 10. During that stretch, New York only managed to record wins over the Texans, Commanders and Colts. That’s cause for concern. It suggests that the clock struck midnight, only to be masked by the playoff win in Minnesota. This is a team that will suffer through double-digit losses this season, all while the debate rages in New York about whether the Giants should’ve bucked the trend of discounting running backs and locked up Barkley long-term.