As addressed previously, we’re in a weird dynamic right now where the games are a distant secondary to the upcoming offseason. This has pretty much been the case ever since the Giants lost heartbreakers to the Bills and Jets in Weeks 6 and 8, respectively. So now the Giants stand at 3-8, with two of the team’s three wins coming against the Washington Commanders. What makes matters even more depressing is that the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys continue to demonstrate on a weekly basis the huge gap that lies between them and the New York Giants. The Cowboys have already swept the Giants by a combined score of 89-17. The annual bitch-slapping by the Eagles will occur in Weeks 16 and 18.

Giants vs. Patriots? It used to have a special meaning. But those days are long gone.


  • RB Eric Gray (ankle – questionable)
  • WR Darius Slayton (neck – doubtful)
  • WR Sterling Shepard (hip – probable)
  • OC John Michael Schmitz (finger – probable)
  • LT Andrew Thomas (knee – probable)
  • RT Evan Neal (ankle – out)
  • OT Tyre Phillips (knee – probable)
  • NT Dexter Lawrence (hamstring – doubtful)
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson (back – probable)
  • ILB Bobby Okereke (hip/rib – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (concussion – probable)
  • CB Tre Hawkins (shoulder – probable)
  • S Bobby McCain (illness – probable)

Despite the team’s record, these remaining games are important for many players, and one of those guys is Tommy DeVito. Midnight may be approaching for the Cinderella story, undrafted rookie free agent who won “Rookie of the Week” honors for his performance against Washington. Instead of throwing three touchdowns this weekend, he is just as likely to throw three interceptions. But the Jersey kid seems to be having fun and making the most out of his opportunity. Despite being sacked nine times last week, DeVito did something Daniel Jones has not been able to do in four years, that is, throw three touchdown passes in one game. Now he has six touchdowns on the season. Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor have combined for four. What if DeVito has another strong performance? Do the Giants stick with him after the upcoming bye week, or does Daboll turn back to Taylor, if the latter is healthy? DeVito could make the decision easy or difficult for Daboll based on how he plays against the Patriots.

DeVito and the offense had a 24-point “explosion” against the 29th-ranked defense last weekend. The 16th-ranked Patriots will be a tougher test, especially given their top-10 run defense. Bill Belichick has a knack for taking away the opposing team’s best offensive threat so I anticipate him focusing the defense’s complete attention on Saquon Barkley as a runner and receiver (Barkley is coming off an impact game as a receiver). I also expect him to do a better job of confusing the rookie quarterback by more effectively disguising his coverages. Can DeVito and the coaching staff adjust? Complicating matters is that another favorite target for DeVito, Darius Slayton, appears to be battling a stinger injury.

The book on DeVito coming out of school was a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. His emphasis on looking for bigger chunk plays down the field paid off against Washington and stood in stark contrast to Daniel Jones, but it also led to nine sacks. Another day like that and DeVito has a good chance of getting hurt with Matt Barkley entering the game. While I am dying to see DeVito take a couple of deep shots to Jalin Hyatt, he also needs to use the short passing game more when coverage and/or the pass rush dictates that response.

Speaking of pass rush, the Giants’ offensive line continues to disappoint. While not all of the nine sacks were on them, it’s astounding that a team that was winning the turnover battle 5-0 had to rely on the sixth turnover to seal the victory. The nine sacks and shoddy first-half run blocking were a big reason why. Andrew Thomas, despite playing injured, is still clearly the best OL on the team. John Michael Schmitz is battling injuries and still learning on the job. Justin Pugh, Ben Bredeson, and Tyre Phillips are not playing well and likely are not NFL-calibre starting material. I find the decision to start Pugh over Glowinski more than a tad curious. I also wonder if Schmitz wasn’t so green that we might be seeing more of Marcus McKethan, but the coaches have already alluded to the benefits of Schmitz being flanked by two veterans. Regardless, the offensive line ONCE AGAIN needs massive work in the offseason. Evan Neal’s wasted year has been devastating.

Assuming the Patriots take Barkley out of the game, someone else needs to step up. Wan’Dale Robinson? Daniel Bellinger? Jalin Hyatt? Will anyone answer the bell?

One last item to note. With the bye coming up after this game, the Giants may be getting some reinforcements back in December such as Tyrod Taylor, Darren Waller, and Evan Neal.

The defense’s six turnovers won the game for the Giants last week. But that was clearly an anomaly. What is absolutely driving me nuts is Wink Martindale’s horrific run defense. I don’t get it. With the Ravens, in a very tough division, his run defenses were ranked 4th, 5th, 8th, and 1st the four years he was defensive coordinator. With the Giants? 27th and 28th. 2022 made more sense given the lack of quality and injury issues on the defensive line and inside linebacker. What’s the excuse this season? Wink’s defense is allowing 135 rushing yards per game. It just gave up 174 rushing yards to the Commanders. You can’t win consistently allowing these kind of numbers, and this is happening with arguably the best nose tackle in the game and an inside linebacker who is near the league-lead in tackles. It doesn’t make sense. I’d prefer the Giants to not change defensive coordinators this upcoming offseason, but Wink has a lot of explaining to do.

On the flip side, I was impressed at how well the Giants rushed the passer last week. I’ve harped on this for a couple of weeks, but the departure of Leonard Williams really hurt the team’s ability to get after the quarterback. The Giants’ two best pass rushers right now are Kayvon Thibodeaux and Dexter Lawrence. Opposing teams know it and concentrate the blocking on these two as no one else is picking up the slack. Azeez Ojulari has returned from injury, but thus far, he has been a complete non-factor. Don’t be shocked when the pass rush completely disappears against better offensive lines. The Giants don’t have the numbers to make other teams really sweat. It’s why as much as the Giants need to address quarterback and the offensive line in the offseason, pass rush is right up there too.

As for the Patriots, they are struggling this year because their quarterback play has been awful. It’s not clear who will even start against the Giants and we may see multiple quarterbacks play in the game. The Patriots are also not rushing the ball well, being limited to less than 95 yards per game. However, if Dexter Lawrence does not play or is limited, things could get really ugly in terms of the run defense and pass rush.

I do think the Giants signing developmental prospect Cade York off of Tennessee’s Practice Squad a few weeks ago was a bit of a red flag. While York was waived this week and re-signed to the Practice Squad, his presence in addition to the signing of Randy Bullock makes me wonder if Graham Gano’s knee injury has the Giants concerned beyond 2023. That would be bad news, not only because Gano is one of the NFL’s best, but because the Giants had just re-signed him to a 3-year, $16.5 million contract. This is something to note moving forward.

The special teams finally contributed on the field last week with a forced fumble that was recovered by the Giants. This is the type of play I talked about last week that was missing. Good job.

I find myself rooting for the Giants but worrying about losing draft position. I can’t help it. I know we still need that quarterback. The Patriots do too. So you can see where my mind is going here. Is a win really a win? Is a loss really a loss?