Football

One Playoff Loss, One Giant Leap Forward

New York Giants
Giants head coach Brian Daboll celebrates with quarterback Daniel Jones following their win over the Titans. AP – Paul Schwartz

The last thing fans want to hear after their team gets eliminated from the playoffs is “Well look on the bright side…” That’s especially true when a hated division rival is the one to eliminate you. But the fact of the matter is this Giants team was never going to win the Super Bowl, and they were never really going to get close. What they did do, was have the most successful season anyone in their position could ask for.

After years of inadequate play from Daniel Jones and questions about his future as a Giant, he finally has answered. Yes, with the right coach, Daniel Jones can be the leader and future of the Giants. The numbers this year weren’t gaudy by any means. They barely put up a winning record. But what they did do extremely well was play their style of ball. Run the ball whenever possible. Jones himself ran for 708 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. His previous records were 423 yards and 2 scores.

Granted, it helped having the most talented player on the roster back. After dealing with one injury riddled season after the other, we were finally treated to a full Saquon Barkley season, and he didn’t disappoint. Barkley ran for 1,312 yards and 10 scores en route to a fantastic comeback season. He was another player that faced doubts as he struggled to stay on the field. As both he and Jones face questions about whether they’ll be back, it feels as though they’ve both quieted those talks down. Expect to see both men back in blue next year.

These two carried an injury plagued team to the divisional round. As of today, the day after their loss to the Eagles, 11 players are on their injured reserve. This includes wide receivers Sterling Shephard and Wan’Dale Robinson, both of whom were slated to have big roles in the offense before their injuries. There were also injuries to the offensive line especially at the guard position. While the unit held up well when running the ball, they were lackluster when trying to protect their QB. Rookie TE Daniel Bellinger was decent but struggled to make much of an impact as rookie tight ends so often do.

By no means did anyone think that the Giants were making the playoffs this year. Even those who are injured who were important aren’t exactly household names. So, when factoring in all of those injuries, many people would have and did give them even less of a chance to have a successful season. But they didn’t. Dabolls leadership and his player leadership in Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley dragged the team to an exceptional finish to the season. With a little more talent around these guys, the potential is there. Assuming the Giants sign them back, this will be a team to watch out for.

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