Nobody affiliated with the New York Giants has put a quantity on the win whole the workforce is looking for. Nonetheless, all eyes inside 1925 Giants Drive are targeted on incomes a playoff berth—and ideally as a division winner.
The Giants, 6-10 final 12 months and in second place in a dismal NFC East division, will want much more than six wins to perform each goals. And so they’ll get issues began on Tuesday when the complete workforce checks in for the beginning of coaching camp with a prolonged to-do listing they’ll want to finish in the event that they need to attain their postseason aim.
Listed below are 5 questions the Giants might want to deal with earlier than the curtain rises on their 2021 common season.
Slender Down Saquon Barkley’s Standing
Each member of the Giants is vital, however maybe none extra so than working again Saquon Barkley, who continues his rehab from a torn ACL and reconstructive surgical procedure.
Neither Barkley nor anybody affiliated with the Giants has put a timetable on when the star working again shall be cleared to return. The seemingly motive is that they don’t need to put added strain on Barkley to hurry himself again earlier than he’s prepared, thus risking a setback.
Within the meantime, not having a tough time-frame may probably have an effect on how the Giants construct their preliminary 53-man roster. Though the Giants listing 5 working backs on the roster apart from Barkley, what they’ve is a set of gamers who can do elements of what Barkley brings to the desk all by his lonesome—and never essentially in addition to a wholesome Barkley can.
If the Giants do need to go just a few early season video games with Barkley restricted or sidelined, they’re going to need to have a plan in place to make sure that any limitations they’ve with such an integral a part of their offense isn’t impacted.
Kind Out the Cross Rush
Maybe no different place on the workforce apart from the cornerbacks obtained as a lot expertise pumped into it because the move rush.
And with good motive. The Giants, regardless of ending twelfth within the NFL final 12 months in sacks (40), ranked nineteenth by Professional Soccer Focus, who famous, “One of many more odd stats to return out of the 2020 common season was that the Giants’ high 4 strain marks all got here from inside defensive linemen. Leonard Williams (62 pressures), Dexter Lawrence (29), Dalvin Tomlinson (28) and B.J. Hill (22) all produced extra quarterback pressures than New York’s high mark from an edge defender — Kyler Fackrell with simply 19.”
If the Giants protection needs to enter top-10 territory, it is going to want a few of its exterior edge-rushing expertise to step up this season.
The workforce added Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith within the second and fourth rounds of the draft to go together with unrestricted free-agent signings Ifeadi Odenigbo and Ryan Anderson, and holdovers Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter.
The amount is there—however is the standard? The Giants are going to seek out out quickly sufficient.
Settle the Offensive Line
One can discuss quarterback Daniel Jones and the way he has to make that quantum leap from 12 months 2 to 12 months 3 all they need. Nevertheless, it gained’t matter a lot if the offensive line in entrance of Jones, which Professional Soccer Focus ranked lifeless final in its pre-season rankings and which Professional Soccer Community ranked twenty eighth, isn’t lots higher.
Apart from for just a few additions for depth, the Giants, similar to inside linemen Jonotthan Harris and Zach Fulton, didn’t add to the group in a big manner. As an alternative, they look like relying on a number of intangibles to assist the unit, which can have a brand new proper aspect, be higher.
These intangibles embody the additions of coaches Rob Sale and Pat Flaherty and the truth that the group is coming into 12 months 2 of the identical offense with many of the similar faces from final 12 months.
However there are nonetheless query marks. Will Hernandez, who misplaced his beginning left guard job to rookie Shane Lemieux final 12 months, is shifting to proper guard, a place he’s thought to have by no means performed earlier than.
And Matt Peart, who final 12 months flashed early on however who struggled mightily down the energy towards higher defenses just like the Ravens, is projected to be the beginning proper deal with.
Can they, together with left deal with Andrew Thomas, Lemieux, and middle Nick Gates—all of whom are coming into their second seasons at their present place, by the best way—grow to be a well-oiled machine by opening day?
The offense’s success—and the workforce’s—is dependent upon it.
Repair the Particular Groups
One of the crucial vital and disappointing developments of final season was that the Giants particular groups weren’t nearly as good as they’d been the earlier seasons, regardless of the addition of Decide and his particular groups background.
In 2019, the Giants ranked fourth (9.8 yards) and tenth (23.5 yards) in punt and kickoff returns, respectively, and tied for fifth (5.7 yards) and ranked first (18.1 yards) in punt and kickoff protection.
These rankings fell throughout the board, with the Giants ending sixth (11.4 yards) and sixteenth (21.9 yards) in punt and kickoff returns, and twenty first (9.3 yards) and sixteenth (22.2 yards) in punt and kickoff protection.
The issues with particular groups weren’t essentially the results of scheme modifications. The Giants punt protection unit, for instance, by no means received constant presence of efficiency from its gunners.
Punter Riley Dixon was inconsistent along with his directional punting, and the Giants by no means actually had a strong core particular groups group from week to week.
With particular groups being one-third of the sport—and an vital one in setting beginning discipline place—you’ll be able to wager that fixing this unit throughout the board is considered one of Decide’s high priorities this summer season.
Evolve The Offense
Final 12 months, the Giants, like each different NFL workforce, didn’t have a conventional low season or a slate of preseason video games. This made it more difficult for model new teaching staffs such because the Giants’ to get deal with on what gamers may do properly and what they couldn’t, a course of that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett alluded to not less than twice final 12 months.
This 12 months, issues had been extra again to regular for groups throughout the NFL. And with the Giants having introduced in some new playmakers similar to tight finish Kyle Rudolph and receiver Kenny Golladay, Garrett, whose design of the 2020 Giants offense typically left one thing to be desired, ought to have a greater thought as to the gamers’ particular person strengths and weaknesses.
And if he doesn’t money in on all of the expertise assembled, don’t be stunned if Decide appears to be like to go in one other route after this season.