It is tough to argue against the fact that the New York Giants had one of the best offseasons in the NFL. They shored up their defense with young free agents such as MLB Blake Martinez, CB James Bradberry IV and EDGE Kyler Fackrell, the oldest being Fackrell at 28. In the NFL Draft, Andrew Thomas, a potential Franchise LT, was selected with the fourth overall selection, and Safety Xavier McKinney fell to the Giants in the second round at pick 36. All of these moves directly improved weak spots, and the New York Giants, with a new coaching staff, are bound to see an improvement in 2020 from the recent years.
But, the question is, how much will they improve? Here are 4 reasons why the Giants will and won’t make the playoffs.
Will #1: Daniel Jones will fix his Fumbling Issues
Rookie QB Daniel Jones had a pretty good rookie season for the most part. He threw for 24 TDs and 12 INTs in 12 games. He also added in 2 rushing TDs. Seeing as how the rookie record for passing TDs is 27, and Jones was close to breaking it in just 12 games, it is clear that he is a good QB. However, a main issue with Jones was fumbling. In 2019, he fumbled a whopping 18 times, only recovering 3. While this is an extraordinary amount of fumbles, it is relatively normal for rookie QBs to experience ball handling issues, and it is usually rectified by their Sophomore Season. If Jones can lessen his fumbling, the Giants offense will be a force next season.
Will not #1: The Defense is Not Ready
The 2019 season was not a good season for Big Blue’s defense. Due to a lot of injuries and lack of depth at nearly every position, the Giants defense struggled mightily. Linebackers couldn’t tackle, defensive backs were awful. The only positive aspect was the defensive line, who killed the run game once Leonard Williams arrived in a midseason trade with the Jets. The Giants defense is pretty similar besides the additions of Blake Martinez, James Bradberry IV and Xavier McKinney, and is still young. With questions about their pass rush and EDGE Markus Golden still in FA, the Giants defense may be just as bad this year.
Will #2: Saquon Balls Out
How can one talk about the Giants without mentioning Superstar RB Saquon Barkley? Arguably the best RB in the NFL, Saquon does it all. He can break tackles, juke out and hurdle defenders, and is a good receiving back. With an improved offensive line, Saquon will have the blocking, and may be a player to watch for 2,000 Rushing Yards. He can carry an offense, and even a team.
Will not #2: The Wide Receivers
The Giants WR room is lackluster to say the least. Headlined by sophomore Darius Slayton, who led all rookies in TDs in 2019, there is not much depth behind Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. In addition, Sterling Shepard has dealt with concussions throughout his career, and especially so last season. There are not too many weapons out wide for Daniel Jones to throw to, and WR is one of the Giants biggest needs.
Will #3: The Secondary
The Giants Defense was atrocious last year, in part to a young secondary (outside of dinosaur Antoine Bethea). This season, James Bradberry will be added to mix as well as rookie Xavier McKinney. Bradberry has been an under the radar stud. Facing Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin/Mike Evans, and Julio Jones twice a year, he allowed just 27 catches on 43 targets, while picking off the QB twice, and allowing just one TD. He is a true lockdown corner, and he fills a big need for the Giants, who after the release of veteran Janoris Jenkins, were in dire need for a CB1, and with DeAndre Baker under lockdown, rather than being lockdown, it was amplified even more. In addition, Xavier McKinney will be an instant starter and upgrade over the slow, and awful Antoine Bethea.
Will Not #3: Injuries
The Giants dealt with a lot of injuries in 2019. Key players in every position such as QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, WR Sterling Shepard, TE Evan Engram, MLB Ryan Connelly, and SS Jabrill Peppers all missed significant time with Injuries. If an injury-riddled season repeats itself, and history for some players such as Engram and Shepard say it will, the Giants will be cellar-dwellers once again.
Will #4: Jason Garrett
The infamous clapper was fired by the Dallas Cowboys from their Head Coaching Role, and landed on his feet as the OC for the Giants quickly. His inability to run an entire football team, however, is not a knock on his Offensive Scheming ability. He usurped the role of HC because he was such a good Offensive Coordinator, and he will be a good OC for the Giants. A former QB himself, Jason Garrett could help develop Daniel Jones into a Top 10 QB.
Will Not #4: Schedule
The Giants have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. In one year, Big Blue plays the 49ers, Seattle, Ravens, Buccaneers, and Eagles (twice), who all made the playoffs last year (except the Buccs, but they vastly improved) and are all going to be tough games for the Giants.
The Giants have a low floor, but a high ceiling next year. They could go anywhere from 5-11 to 11-5, depending on a ton of factors. With the extra Wild Card coming into play, this Giants team could be a Dark Horse playoff team.