It’s no secret the Giants have been a bad team for about a decade now. There’s a million reasons for that, but one thing that has always been frustrating, is that even when the Giants are good on one side of the ball, they are very bad on the other. This obviously isn’t a formula for success in football, and is a part of the reason the Giants have had just 2 winning records and 1 playoff appearance since they won Super Bowl XLVI. Take a look at the Giants rankings in terms of yards every year since they won the big game:
- 2012-14th ranked offense, 31st ranked defense
- 2013-28th ranked offense, 8th ranked defense
- 2014-10th ranked offense, 29th ranked defense
- 2015-8th ranked offense, 32nd ranked defense
- 2016-25th ranked offense, 10th ranked defense
- 2017-21st ranked offense, 31st ranked defense
- 2018-17th ranked offense, 24th ranked defense
- 2019-23rd ranked offense, 25th ranked defense
- 2020-31st ranked offense, 12th ranked defense
- 2021-31st ranked offense, 21st ranked defense
Now, these rankings don’t tell the whole story. This is obviously just yards and not points, and when people say football is the ultimate team game, it’s true. How many times last year did the defense hold teams to minimal points just for the offense to go 3 and out over and over? Eventually, a defense is going to break if they’re on the field the whole game. With that being said, looking at this list is frustrating. In 2012, 2014, and 2015 the Giants fielded a top 15 offense in terms of yards. In all 3 of those years the Giants fielded a bottom 4 defense. The same goes for the other side of the ball as the Giants fielded a top 15 defense in 2013, 2016, and 2020 and the highest their offense ranked in any of those years was 25th.
It’s hard to win football games when you are a liability on one side of the ball, but could this be the first time in a long time that the Giants are respectable on both sides of the ball?
Now before you kill me, I’m not saying that the Giants are going to be juggernauts on either side of the ball. But it FEELS like the Giants have competent coaching on both sides of the ball. Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka come from 2 of the best offenses in the NFL and Wink Martindale is a proven defensive coordinator in this league. Defensively, the Giants ranked 21st last year, but were a top 12 defense the year before. They still have most of the weapons on defense that made them so solid 2 years ago, and have what looks like even better players at certain positions like Xavier McKinney, Azeez Ojulari, and Kayvon Thibodeaux. There are still holes on this defense at spots like nose tackle and especially at cornerback now that James Bradberry is an Eagle (that one hurt by the way). One think that should help them is that the offense should be better because, well, IT CANNOT GET WORSE.
Offensively, the Giants have always had weapons, and that doesn’t change this year. They are returning Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and Saquon Barkley and added W’andale Robinson in the draft. Obviously, all of these players come with question marks in the health department but if they stay on the field they should produce, but another aspect of this offense appears to have improved: the offensive line. Joe Schoen and company has filled holes and created competition for veterans on this offensive line. The tackles appear to be solved as Andrew Thomas is returning for a 3rd year and as long as 1st round draft pick Evan Neal plays up to expectations, the right tackle spot should be filled for a long time. The Giants biggest splash in free agency was bringing in former Indianapolis Colt Mark Glowinski to play Right Guard. The center and left guard spot will likely be some sort of combination of Jon Feliciano, Max Garcia, and Shane Lemieux. Is that an all-world line? No, but it likely will be the best offensive line the Giants have had in a longggg time.
I want to emphasize again that I’m not saying the offense, or the defense are going to be top ten. There are still holes, but with the coaches in place and the talent that is on the team, they could have both a respectable offense and defense. Of course, that depends quite a bit on players staying healthy and young guys playing up to, and above expectations.
Let’s just hope when the Giants start playing football, we’re not calling for either coordinators head.
(Photo: Andrew Mills/nj.com/TNS)