We have officially entered some bizarre, surreal, Twilight Zone territory. Almost overnight, the Tommy DeVito story has turned into what seems a real-life Hollywood production. You may love it. You may hate it. But at least for a small moment, it has made the New York Football Giants fun and interesting again.

Before we dive into the very meaningful short-term ramifications of Monday night’s huge (and it was huge) upset of the Green Bay Packers, we need to address the elephant in the room. Most of us are so very tired of talking about it, but the impact of DeVito-mania on Daniel Jones must be recognized.

I’ve long said to fans on the site, “It can always get worse.” Well, I broke my own mantra a few weeks back when I erroneously claimed that the 2023 season could not have gone worse for Daniel Jones. It just did. Not only did Jones only win one game in 2023, injure his neck again, and tear his ACL, but now an underdog local kid has captured the hearts and minds of much of the fan base. At this point, Jones has to be wondering what he did to deserve all of this.

The odds that Tommy DeVito ends up being the real deal are not good. It’s much more likely his name will the answer to some obscure trivia question years from now. The NFL graveyard is littered with quarterbacks who flashed early, were proclaimed the savior by the fanbase, and then unceremoniously disappeared into oblivion once opposing defensive coordinators figured them out. Two upcoming games against the Philadelphia Eagles are also likely to be an ugly wake-up call.

However… what if Tommy DeVito continues to flash? Even if the Giants don’t come out victorious, what if DeVito throws touchdown passes while minimizing mistakes? What if he truly is the best quarterback on the current roster? That’s not such an absurd statement anymore. Give Sy’56 credit. For several weeks he has been saying there is something more here than meets the eye with DeVito. You can’t ignore three straight games with a QBR over 100. No Giants quarterback has done that since Eli Manning almost 10 years ago. And Manning was an 11-year veteran at the time with two Super Bowl rings. Most importantly, DeVito is winning. He’s 3-1 as a starter.

Which brings us to the complications. I’m not going to get into the losing for a draft pick vs. winning for culture debate, but simply point out there is a legitimate downside at play here. If you had your mind set on drafting a new “franchise” quarterback in April, that’s starting to look more problematic. A lot of teams need new quarterbacks and the Giants are now falling down the draft board with each win. So that raises a number of new questions. Do the Giants still draft one of the second-tier quarterbacks early in the draft? Do the Giants risk going into training camp with just Jones, DeVito, and some free agent veteran? By signing or not signing a free agent veteran in March, aren’t the Giants telegraphing what they may do in the draft in April? Will Jones be designated the incumbent before camp even starts or will there be an open competition? Life didn’t just get strange for the Giants, it may have gotten a lot more complicated for Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll.

Somewhat lost in DeVito mania is the Giants won a game on Monday night that no one expected them to win. While the Packers may have only been 6-6, they had won three games in a row, including over the Super Bowl contending Lions and Chiefs. This was a must game for them. The Giants had nothing to play for except pride. Just as significantly, the Giants were 0-8 in their last eight Monday night games. The Giants had become the NFL’s version of the Washington Generals in primetime. The win not only (barely) put the Giants back into the playoff picture, but it arguably was one of the team’s most memorable wins in recent memory. And it happened after it appeared that the Giants had once again embarrassingly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with the Saquon Barkley fumble. There was nothing fluky about the win. It was legitimately earned.

So in the short term, the upset win has changed the entire meaning of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. The Giants are miraculously still alive and they can stay alive with another upset in the bayou. Of the four regular-season games remaining, this is the game the Giants are most likely to win. Af the very least, the Giants have changed the narrative from when I prematurely wrote last week, “The offseason can’t get here fast enough.”


  • WR Wan’Dale Robinson (quad – probable)
  • WR Parris Campbell (knee – probable)
  • TE Darren Waller (hamstring – questionable)
  • RT Evan Neal (ankle – doubtful)
  • OG Justin Pugh (calf – questionable)
  • DL Dexter Lawrence (hamstring – questionable)
  • DL A’Shawn Robinson (hamstring/finger – probable)
  • ILB Isaiah Simmons (ankle – probable)
  • ILB Cam Brown (hamstring – probable)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (shoulder – probable)
  • CB Cor’Dale Flott (shoulder – probable)

“Let’s pump the brakes on DeVito. It’s only been four games.” No shit. We know this. We also know that the clock may strike midnight for Cinderella at any time. Moreover, as I said last week, quarterback development is not linear. Even veterans have good and bad games in their prime.

However, as mentioned above, DeVito has QBRs of 137.7, 103.9, and 113.9 in his last three games with a 5-0 TD-to-INT ratio. That’s not supposed to happen for a rookie, let alone an undrafted player. Not only is he not making killer mistakes, but he is making plays with his arm and feet to win games.

So what is going on? For one, somehow the moment doesn’t seem too big for him. “It’s just a game.” What will be interesting to see if the off-the-field hype and interest starts to impact his play. Can DeVito shut out the exterior noise and continue to remain sharp? Most people can’t do that. The pressure gets to be too much. Secondly, to date, he’s not making the mistakes you expect a rookie to make, especially someone with a still shaky offensive line (don’t let the zero sacks on Monday fool you; and he has been sacked 28 times). Thirdly, his pocket presence on Monday was noticeably better. In previous games, including going back to his collegiate days, DeVito had a tendency to hold onto the ball too long and take unnecessary sacks. Was Monday night an anomaly or is he responding to coaching? Remains to be seen. Fourth, he’s been aggressive throwing the ball down the field and allowing his receivers to make plays. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, DeVito has done a good job of reading opposing defenses and throwing to the open receiver. This sounds simpler than it really is. And rookie quarterbacks are supposed to struggle with this. Some have argued that he is processing information faster than Daniel Jones. It sounds good and it makes sense, but I don’t know if it true. Only the coaches would really know. If true, that is very surprising for both the 5th-year veteran Jones and the rookie DeVito.

So I will repeat what I wrote last week: “Can he keep this up?” The odds say no. But what if he does?

There has been a lot of discussion about the play of the offensive line, especially by those who claim DeVito is only doing better than Jones because of improved OL play. This is only partially true. The loss of Andrew Thomas for seven weeks was huge and had a domino effect on the entire line. The injury bug was also impacting the position to the point where there was a new line combination every single game. At one point, the Giants fielded the greenest OL in football. The return of Thomas and the presence of veterans Ben Bredeson and Justin Pugh helped to settle things down, but the line still has not been good. The Giants continue to have issues run and pass blocking. While many Giants fans have turned Evan Neal into a bogeyman, the team needs him to get back on the field again, even if his ankle injury and rustiness leads to more problems. Neal is still part of the team’s future and he needs the work, even if the results are ugly. Tyre Phillips is not the future.

The improved play at quarterback has made the receivers more productive. Jalin Hyatt won “Rookie of the Week.” We’re seeing flashes of what Isaiah Hodgins did last season. Most notably, Wan’Dale Robinson has been improving each game. Don’t underestimate what this means for the team moving forward. For a player whose game is based on quickness, the ACL injury he suffered last year could have been career-impacting.

If the Giants are going to defy all of the odds and make a mini-run here, then I will go out on a limb and say that Darren Waller is going to have to be a big part of that. Despite the fact that Waller has been nagged by hamstring issues all season, and despite the fact that he has missed five games, Waller is still the team’s second-leading receiver with the 36 catches he caught in the first eight weeks. If he is anywhere near full-go, Waller is a match-up problem. He will open things up for Saquon Barkley and the other receivers.

What about the Saints, a 6-7 team in a bad division? Who have they beaten? Titans, Bears, Panthers (twice), Pats, Colts. Not exactly a murderer’s row. That said, statistically they have a respectable defense, 13th overall in yards allowed and 10th in points allowed (20 per game). Pass defense has been top-10, but run defense has been bottom tier, very similar to the Green Bay Packers. We may see a heavy dose of Barkley on Sunday.

In the first six games of the season, during the team’s 1-5 start, the Giants were -3 in turnover differential. In the next seven games, during the 4-3 rebound, the Giants were +9 in turnover differential. Sy’56 and others have correctly pointed out that turnover differential is one of the most important predictors of team success. The problem with turnovers is that you can’t count on them. They come and go, being at the whim of the football gods. My point here is we will have to see how the defense performs when the turnovers cease.

One of the most important developments from Monday’s game was the mini-breakout of Azeez Ojulari. He not only was a factor rushing the passer (sack and three pressures) but he actually did a nice job in run defense. Like with Waller on offense, if the team is going to make a mini-run here, Ojulari probably is going to be key on the defensive side of the football. The questions remain with him, however. Can he stay healthy? Can he be consistent both rushing the passer and playing the run?

There have also been a number of random points I’ve wanted to raise in recent weeks, but failed to do so. These are issues Schoen, Daboll, and Martindale will need to consider moving forward. While not spectacular, Xavier McKinney and Jason Pinnock have been a very reliable and consistent safety duo this season. They play every snap and there are few games where you point to them being an issue. To date, Deonte Banks has had a very strong rookie season. Even on plays where he is “beat,” he’s been right with the receiver. Early in the season, it appeared Adoree’ Jackson would be relegated to nickel corner with Tre Hawkins possibly also starting. However, Jackson has largely regained his outside starting spot. It will be interesting to see how the team now handles the cornerback spot opposite Banks moving forward. One also gets the sense that the team wants Cor’Dale Flott to nail down the nickel spot. While he has flashed and played well at times, he keeps getting nicked up and has struggled too.

Isaiah Simmons did make a game-winning interception against the Commanders, but the late round fliers Schoen spent on him and Boogie Basham have not worked out. Since both Schoen and Daboll saw Basham up close and personal in Buffalo, the latter deal is even more of a head-scratcher. Basham was a healthy scratch last week.

Oddly, one of the most underreported/underappreciated developments this year has been the play of Kayvon Thibodeaux. Only a couple of months ago, many fans were lamenting his selection with the #5 overall pick. Through 13 games, Thibodeaux has 11.5 sacks despite not having a complementary outside threat opposite of him. While some offensive coordinators have taken advantage of his aggressiveness (see the Packers’ end arounds), his run defense at the point-of-attack has been much better this year too. In other words, he is developing into the player originally hoped for.

As for the Saints, the guy to worry about is running back Alvin Kamara, both as runner and receiver. Kamara leads the team with five rushing touchdowns and is second on the team with 63 receptions. This despite missing the first three games of the season. This is real test for Bobby Okereke, who has been a very good free agent addition for the Giants. But Kamara may be too quick for him. The Giants may have also caught a break with leading receiver Chris Olave being gimpy with an ankle injury. “Quarterback” but jack-of-all-trades, gadget player  Taysom Hill is a threat running and catching the ball too.

Overall, the Saints are 13th in offensive yards, being middle-of-the-pack both passing and running the football. Ex-Raider Derek Carr is the quarterback. He’s been what he has been throughout his a career, a guy who plays well one week and doesn’t the next. Much depends on which version of him you get on Sunday.

Returner Rashid Shaheed, who has been battling a thigh injury, has a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown this season. He also returns kickoffs.

Wink Martindale on Kayvon Thibodeaux: “I said that the guy has no ceiling. You remember me saying that before. The reason why he doesn’t have a ceiling is because he doesn’t allow himself to have a ceiling. He’s in here working every day. He and (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew (Wilkins) are in there watching tape from everything from A to Z because that’s what he does. He’s dropping in coverage, and they handle all that. So, I can’t say enough about his work ethic, and he has that knack. To me, he’s a finisher at the football, whether it’s a sack, a strip sack, or the play you saw on Monday night when we had (Jordan) Love held up and he dug the ball out. He’s leading the defense. I mean, he’s a vocal leader out there. Like I already said, it’s crazy, because the guy is only 22 years old. He’s becoming that football savant in the NFL where he sees things before they happen. He knows what’s coming. That’s a testament to, like I said, he and Drew Wilkins, and how hard they study the game. It’s fun to watch.”

According to one statistical analysis, the Giants have less than a 1 percent chance to make the playoffs. So the odds are atrocious. Still, from fan and team-building perspective, it would be fascinating to see Tommy DeVito play at Lincoln Financial Field with something on the line for both teams on Christmas Day. To get to that point, the Giants must win a winnable game against the Saints first. Can the Giants win four in a row and reach 6-8?