The New York Giants were never supposed to be in this position. They haven’t played meaningful football this late in the season in years, and most analysts and fans predicted a total of somewhere between five and seven wins for the 2022 season.
The fact that the NFL has decided to flex their divisional matchup against Washington to the primetime Sunday night game this week is a testament to the unlikely position of relevance within the league that the Giants happily find themselves in.
At this point, however, exceeding preseason expectations is no longer enough. After a 6-1 start, the playoffs seemed more than likely. Fans were over the moon, analysts pegged head coach Brian Daboll as the coach of the year, and the Giants had become the darlings of the NFL.
Since then, they’ve gone 1-4-1 and found themselves at a crossroads. Injuries have decimated both sides of the ball, and a lack of playmakers at the wide receiver position has limited Daniel Jones’ ability to get the ball down the field.
The loss of top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has been especially difficult for a defense that’s looked like a shell of what it was throughout the start of the season. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s defense is predicated on a blitz-heavy approach, which leaves the Giants’ cornerbacks on an island in man coverage. Relying on practice squad caliber cornerbacks has allowed opposing offenses to move the ball at will.
Daboll and his coaching staff have done a remarkable job in putting the Giants in a position to make the playoffs. It now falls on them to right the ship, and it starts on Sunday night – in primetime.
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