We are hours away from the 100th anniversary of the National Football League, the new season, as the four-time Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants take center stage in Arlington, Texas this Sunday.
With little expected of Big Blue this season other than to make up the numbers, the Giants did all that could have been asked of them during the pre-season by going 4-0, defeating the Jets, Bears, Bengals, and Patriots. With the deadline for the 53-man squad passing just a few days ago, let’s have a look at three high points from the past six weeks in camp, and three less than stellar decisions.
GOOD: ‘Danny Dimes’ exchanges boos for cheers
Could we really start anywhere else? Daniel Jones made his long-anticipated first appearances in Giants blue, and oh boy, was it a treat. The #6 overall pick out of Duke finished the pre-season with an eye-raising 85.3% completion rate on 29/34 and 416 passing yards. He threw two touchdowns and no interceptions, finishing the pre-season with a Quarterback Rating of 137.3. Want a comparison with the two other first-round QB picks in 2019? Of course, you do!
Dwayne Haskins finished his first four games with a less-than-stellar 74.6 QBR, while the #1 overall pick Kyler Murray failed to throw a single touchdown as he mustered a 77.7 QBR. To summarise, out of quarterbacks that played at least one snap in every pre-season game, Daniel Jones had the highest QBR.
BAD: What does Alex Tanney have on Gettleman?
Okay, someone needs to pipe up with what they know. Dave Gettleman has a deep, dark secret which only Alex Tanney knows, I mean, that’s why he’s still on the team right? It’s the only explanation. Tanney isn’t a horrendous QB. That much is true. However surely with Eli Manning as option number one, and the pre-season rookie sensation Daniel Jones as back-up, Tanney’s spot on the 53-man squad would have been better served elsewhere?
Tanney finished pre-season having thrown 52.2% on 24/46 with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His passing percentage was worse than second-year QB Kyle Lauletta, who threw four touchdowns and no interceptions and recorded a 103.8 QBR, which was far superior to Tanney’s measly 62.0. At the age of 31 years old, riding high on his one fairly decent game for the Titans in 2015 as his only ever NFL appearance, there isn’t much on paper that could point as to why he’s still around.
GOOD: Champions of the pre-season!
Overall, the Giants actually scored the most passing touchdowns and threw for the most yards out of every team in the NFL during the pre-season. Offensively, the Giants couldn’t have realistically asked for a better build-up to the start of the season if they tried. Admittedly, pre-season is designed for the rookies, undrafted free agents and experienced players looking for another shot at the big leagues, but nonetheless, a win is a win.
Whether it was in New Jersey against city rivals the Jets or the formidable Chicago Bears, or whether it was on the road in Cincinnati or Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, the Giants found a way to win, which is a testament to their drive and willingness to find momentum heading into this Sunday’s big dance.
BAD: No Cinderella stories this time as rookies get cut
Unlike many of the other teams who used pre-season to find diamond’s in the rough, the unbeaten Giants signed none of their undrafted rookie class to their 53-man squad. A blow for sure to the likes of Jake Carlock, Josiah Tauaefa and CJ Conrad who all impressed over the last few weeks, and had to settle for spots on the practice squad instead. While Scottish punter Jamie Gillam won the starting job up in Cleveland, the unwanted clan at Big Blue just didn’t make the grade this time around.