Jan 242023
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

Thank You to Eric and thank you to BBI for giving me the opportunity to put my thoughts here on this team weekly. I’ve been doing these reviews since the start of 2017, Evan Engram’s rookie season. This was the most fun I’ve had since then.


-Daniel Jones: 15/27 – 135 yards / 0 TD – 1 INT / 53.8 RAT … 6 att / 24 yards

A week after what I considered to be the most big-time performance of his career, Jones entered Lincoln Financial Field looking for his first ever road win against the Eagles. David vs. Goliath. The odds were stacked against him no matter what angle you looked at it. Jones was tasked with elevating the team around him to create something larger than the sum of its parts. Overmatched in the trenches. Overmatched in coverage. Overmatched on the other side of the ball. All of this against a team coming off an extra week of rest. I did not have sky high expectations here. I did want to see him elevate, however. Do things that outsiders did not think he can do. NYG was one loss away from, what I consider to be, the biggest decision of their offseason and something that strongly impacts the trajectory of the franchise.

Jones folded. He did not elevate the team. He sunk. He did not derive a larger sum, it went below zero. He threw an interception in PHI territory. He fumbled in the fourth quarter after holding onto the ball too long. He did not get into the end zone. Now, none of that gets pinned on Jones alone. But the turnover down 14-0, the under throw to Darius Slayton in the third quarter on his deepest pass of the day, the wild pass to Richie James on the very next play (a third-down conversion attempt), and the inaccurate ball on 3rd-and-6 to Slayton when NYG had a little taste of momentum in the fourth quarter were lost opportunities. Were they make or breaks for his future? No. Were they even make or breaks of this game? Probably not. But the point still resonates – he had a chance to step up, he instead fell down.


-Saquon Barkley: 9 att – 61 yards / 2 att – 21 yards

-39 of Barkley’s 61 yards came on a run in the third quarter. That ended up being the drive where NYG put seven points on the board. 11 touches for the team’s best player simply were not enough. The one negative of being reliant on a running game to get your best player involved was exactly this. NYG was down 14 points before anyone took their first pee break and no matter what coaches say, it does impact the offensive approach. Barkley subtly played a solid game. 7+ yards per touch is a good number against a defense like this. He played physically, he took what the defense gave him on those inside runs, he didn’t dance around. The game got away from NYG and the PHI defense put some serious attention on him in coverage. When he can’t be, or isn’t a big part of the offense, NYG is even more limited.

-Matt Breida carried the ball four times and gained 23 yards; he also added a 19-yard catch. He scored the team’s lone touchdown. If this game ended with a different result, we would be talking highly about Breida. I liked what he brought to the table this season and I think there is more in the tank for a team can get out of him.


-I am going to start with Darius Slayton and Richie James, both soon-to-be-free agents. Slayton had one catch for four yards. He was targeted five times and was the victim of multiple bad throws by Jones. Put me in the camp of people that is simply disappointed by this guy. The talent is there, and we know he can make things happen. He’s done it. But at some point, this guy needs to be the one who steps up and makes a play. The one that picks up Jones. He hasn’t done it and remains among league-leaders in drops. Speaking of drops, James let one bounce off his hands on a play that would have been a touchdown. He ended up leading the team with 7 receptions and 51 yards, four of which went for first downs. I thought these two were going to need to step up for this offense to put up sufficient points. Neither did.

-The reason I thought Slayton and James needed to get more on the stat sheet was PHI’s plan against Isaiah Hodgins. It was obvious they would put an extra defender on him because Jones has been looking his way in key moments for a month. The problem with that, Hodgins is not the kind of athlete who can overcome it. To make it worse, Jones did not or could not get much going with anyone else. Hodgins finished with 1 catch for 3 yards.


-Lawrence Cager had a first-quarter catch for 16 yards and Daniel Bellinger caught his only pass in the fourth quarter for 3 yards. I said prior to the postseason that I thought Bellinger could have been a sneaky-strong component to the passing game. He responded in the playoffs with 3 catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. I was hoping for more, but the looks were not there. The question with him will revolve around speed and ability to get open. I like his ball skills and he is sneaky-effective after the catch. But whether this front office and coaching staff believes he can run himself open will dictate a lot about what they do at tight end this offseason. I like Bellinger, but I think there is something missing from the position group.


-Really tough assignment for this group that did seem to solidify themselves over the past few weeks. But matched up against the deepest and best overall pass rush on long rest on the road? The interior was solid enough in pass protection. Nick Gates, Jon Feliciano, and Mark Glowinski allowed 1 pressure each. My negative on them, notably Gates and Feliciano, was the lack of movement they got off the ball in the running game. Again, it was a small sample size, so I won’t come down on them too hard. But watching the contrast in these two interior OLs was eye opening to me. The gap between the NYG line and PHI line is bigger than most think.

-Outside we saw the continued trend that has been there all year. Andrew Thomas was almost lights out, Evan Neal struggled mightily. Thomas allowed 1 sack technically, but I did not record it. It was an end-around sack and Jones held on to the ball forever. Can’t use that one against him. Neal was the turnstile again. He allowed 2 sacks and 4 pressures. There is a ton of ground to make up here for the #7 overall selection in last year’s draft. I will not sugar coat it. Yes, Andrew Thomas struggled in 2020. But if you want to play the comparison game (which is not necessary), the structure of Neal’s issues looks closer to Ereck Flowers than Thomas.


-The NYG pass rush was abysmal and I initially looked at the edge defenders for that cause. It is true that neither Kayvon Thibodeaux nor Azeez Ojulari even sniffed Jalen Hurts. They were overmatched by the PHI tackles and that is the shortcoming in both of their games. They lack a power rush component and I think it is a team-issue that needs to be addressed. But I want to give a tip of the cap to Thibodeaux. In a game where they allowed 38 points and simply got owned as a group, he had 8 tackles and several of them were high level plays. His straight-line burst combined with sheer effort in pursuit was a difference maker. Ojulari, on the other hand, had just 1 tackle and lost the edge on multiple occasions. Defending a running game like PHI is so much about getting and keeping a hard edge and I thought Ojulari did poor job there. He also did not look 100%.

-Jihad Ward gave an admirable effort. He had 2 tackles and 1 TFL, but also did a lot of the necessary dirty work. If others stepped up and the defense itself did not miss so many tackles as a group, we would be singing more of Ward’s praises. I’ve said this a few times, sorry if it is repetitive. Ward’s role in the Martindale scheme is very important and not easy to fill. I do see some options in the draft, but in all reality, I’m not sure they can play as stout as Ward does against the run. On a day where I was disappointed by several of the front seven defenders against the run, Ward was a guy who kept showing up. Also, a great locker room guy. If the market ignores him like they did last offseason, I will welcome him back while they groom a rookie behind him.


-I noted before the game how much the pass rush can throw Hurts off. It was a vital component to the defensive execution, more than usual. Whether or not Martindale built off his league-high blitz rate, we needed to see a big-time performance out of both Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. They did not rise to the occasion. Williams had one pressure and was put on ice skates against the run, finishing with two tackles. Lawrence did not get any pressure at all and while he did have 6 tackles, only two of them were near the point-of-attack. The PHI line had their way with these two.

-Ryder Anderson and Justin Ellis saw rotational snaps and will likely wind up on the PHI offensive line highlight reel. They were getting 4-5 yards of movement on these guys in all directions consistently. This defensive line is incredibly thin and will need serious attention this offseason.


-This was a two-man show. Jaylon Smith and Jarrad Davis both played 90% of the snaps. Smith led the team with 14 tackles and Davis had 5, one for a loss. Both missed one tackle each and Davis was flagged for an unfortunate personal-foul penalty that could have gone either way. Both play a very tight game. What I mean by that is they may look impressive with their straight-line speed and power, and it does make an impact when they guess correctly. But in a game full of subtle adjustments and quickness, they just don’t have it. A running game like this exposes that. They’re late and they can’t adjust. NYG enters the offseason in need of not one, but two starters at linebacker.


-Adoree’ Jackson did not look like he was at full strength. I went back and watched a half of a game from earlier in the season to confirm that. The movement out of his breaks looked less explosive and needed an extra step. He also had no power when fighting blocks. He did finish with 7 tackles, 1 for a loss. He missed a tackle and was beat for a couple of third-down conversions. The long speed was there though, as he was able to stick to A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith on deep routes. NYG can go into the offseason knowing they have a good starter here at a solid price.

-Behind him? One could make a case it is the second biggest need on the team. Nick McCloud was not tested much but when he was, he allowed a touchdown to Smith. The lack of recovery speed was apparent there. He had the angle on him and just got beat in a short window into the end zone. McCloud was also another victim of getting owned by PHI receivers when they blocked. Promising young player though who I would like to see on the depth chart next season.

-Darnay Holmes added one tackle and missed two of them. Defending the run against a team like PHI puts pressure on the nickel to fill hard and make tackles. He failed there. He was targeted three times and allowed three catches. Holmes is a little perplexing to me. He has all the talent and I think he plays with the necessary energy and physical nature. But he is the cornerback version of Jabrill Peppers to me. There just isn’t enough feel and instincts in his game and a good offense can eat that up whenever they want. Nickel corner is way down the list of team needs and Holmes is back on the final year of his rookie deal in 2023, but it is a spot worth looking into at some point this offseason for the sake of 2024.

-Fabian Moreau was not tested much in coverage and he added 2 tackles. What they do with him will dictate some of how they approach corner in the draft. On one side, you can’t trust him to cover good receivers consistently. On the other, the 28-year old is better than what a lot of other teams are using and his contract is small.


-I’ve noted and praised Julian Love all season for how versatile and impactful he has been for this defense. To keep this real, however, I have to say he had the most disappointing performance of the night. Coming into the game, he had 6 missed tackles all year (one of the best rates in the league, all positions). In this game alone, Love missed 5 tackles and allowed the biggest play of the day on the game’s opening drive. Compared to what he offered all season, Love let this defense down in a big way.

-On the flip side, Xavier McKinney made a couple of flash plays. He had 8 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass deflection at the line. I was excited for this kid at the start of the year and I know the coaches were too. The ATV accident was an unfortunate accident that reminded us this is all a part of life. It happens. Hopefully he learned his lesson because he may be one of the most important 3 players on this defense next year.

-Tony Jefferson and Jason Pinnock played just 7 snaps a piece. Pinnock should very much be a part of this team’s future. I think they have something here and at the very least, he is a stud special teamer. Jefferson was brought in because of the familiarity to Martindale’s system. Very common practice when coaches change locations. I expect that backup box safety role to be filled by a rookie next year.


-K Graham Gano: 1/1 XP
-P Jamie Gillan: 5 punts / 43.2 avg – 43.2 net


-S Xavier McKinney, RB Matt Breida, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux


-QB Daniel Jones, S Julian Love, OT Evan Neal


(1) Three games against the Eagles in under one month. On December 11, I wrote in the review that PHI would be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. Fast forward to right now, I think they should be a heavy favorite over SF. And I like SF a lot. The gap between PHI and the rest of the conference has been a mile wide all season and even though SF has forgotten what it is like to lose a game, PHI matches up well and is simply better across the board.

(2) The PHI offensive line is the part of their team I am most impressed by. I think it is the best way to build a sustainable winning team. A good offensive line can make other players look better. A great offensive line can make other players look great. I am under the notion that no matter where you stand, the offensive line needs to be fed via the draft and/or free agency year after year. It is not one position. It is five. Used two first rounders on the line in recent memory? Cool. That isn’t enough if the other three spots are below average or average. Three? Not enough. Four? Maybe enough. But if you find five guys that can be considered near the top of their respective positions, your offense is going to be elite. On the Ourlads All-Pro team, PHI has the 1st-team center (Kelce), and the 2nd-team LG (Dickerson) and RT (Johnson). The other two starters are probably considered top-7 in the league at their positions. This line is one of the best I have ever seen. Their starters were brought in via the draft, every single one. 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021. Their backups? 2019, 2021, 2022, 2022. All in the draft or undrafted free agency. Feed the trenches. Draft better linemen. Then draft their backups. It will work.

(3) Now, on this loaded roster of theirs, someone has to shake free in free agency right? That is correct. DTs Hargrave and Cox are going to be FAs. DEs Graham and Quinn are going to be free agents. OC Kelce and CB Bradberry are going to be free agents. LBs White and Edwards are going to be free agents. The one guy I want NYG to take a long look at? OG Isaac Seumalo. Starting experience at both OG spots. Known for his pass protection skills. Constant movement as an inside run blocker. Would Joe Schoen bring him in even though they signed Glowinski last offseason? It could be a tall ask, but he is a rock-solid player who strengthens the starting lineup AND depth, as it would leave the revolving door they had at left guard in positions to fight for backup snaps.


(1) How do you wrap up a season’s worth of reviews? I could go on and on. My simple statement here, though, is that this needs to be considered a wildly successful season for this franchise. More wins than anyone thought they would get, even those in the building I bet. The first playoff win in a decade. A coaching staff that seems to finally be right there with some of the best in the game. A forward-thinking front office that, all things considered, touched all the right buttons with limited resources and flexibility. NYG is back on the map and even though they’re still far away from the level of PHI and SF, they’ve at least entered the church and are walking toward the front pew.

(2) The 2022 rookie class officially has their first season in the rear-view mirror. Let’s take a very quick look and assess how it turned out to this point (but remember, a draft class can only be evaluated after 3 years). I consider a successful draft one in that over 50% of the players taken contribute and meet their expectation. More specifically, over 22% of day 3 picks. Over 65% of day 2 picks. Over 85% of day one picks. I still have some digging to do on that data there, but the success rate league wide for successful picks is around those ranges. When looking only at their rookie seasons: Thibodeaux and Neal are split as it simply was not a good year for the tackle. Robinson and Ezeudu saw enough time and I would consider them hits, as they both contributed and saw starting-caliber snaps and played well enough. I think both are competing for starting jobs next season. Flott is a hit. He will be a starter or heavy rotational player in 2023. Bellinger is a hit, no question. Belton and McFadden are both hits, both day three picks that saw starting caliber snaps at points and provided solid play. Davidson, McKethan, and Beavers are N/A because of injuries. This was a home-run draft class to this point for the front office and one of the reasons I feel optimistic moving forward. I’m not sure how many people understand just how good it was.

(3) Where do we go from here? The talks start with what this team needs the most in order to get them on the next level. Their top five needs, not necessarily in any sort of strict order are:

WR: At least one, preferably two starting-caliber guys who can play the outside and provide explosive plays. They need speed, one of them needs size.

Pass Rusher: Preferably one DL, one OLB. They can’t rely on the four-man nucleus for an entire year. They need depth in case one goes down but also, they need a couple guys who can give a credible 8-12 snaps per game, at least.

Offensive Line: A starting caliber OC or OG needs to be signed or drafted. That will improve the starting group but also give them a sense of plus-depth when injuries arise.

Linebacker: Two new starters. Maybe Beavers comes back strong and takes a spot. Maybe McFadden evolves into one. But, maybe not. At least one needs to be signed or drafted with the intention of starting.

Cornerback: Jackson is a good player and good value at a position that is hard to find both. Holmes and McCloud can offer solid competition and depth at nickel. I would love to see this team draft a young outside corner with the kind of upside they view as a team’s CB1 in the near future. I’ve only started to begin deep dives on the defensive side of the draft class, but I can see this corner group is one of the deeper ones I have seen in a long, long time.


The next order of business on this team will revolve around what to do with their money. Yes, NYG does have a lot of cap space this offseason AND even more slated for next offseason (depending on what they do in the next 2 months). But QB Jones, RB Barkley, OT Thomas, and DT Lawrence are going to swallow up a ton of those funds if all are re-signed. If you had to choose one to let walk, who would it be? Not an easy decision at all but positional value will lead to the notion that Barkley is the first on the list they let out the door. Franchise tags are always possible, but they always present issues to the team environment. This will be an interesting situation to watch. Of all 32 teams, NYG is set to have one of the most fascinating offseasons in the league.

Jan 222023
Matt Breida, New York Giants (January 21, 2023)

Matt Breida – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants Cinderella season came to a crashing end in Philadelphia on Saturday night as they were crushed 38-7 by the Eagles. The Giants finished their surprising 2022 campaign with a 9-7-1 regular-season record and a 1-1 post-season record.

The overall final team statistics were almost as one-sided as the final score. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (26 to 13), total net yards (416 to 227), net yards rushing (268 to 118), net yards passing (148 to 109), and time of possession (35:43 to 24:17). The Eagles won the turnover battle 1-0 and were 4-of-5 in the red zone. Philadelphia was also an astonishing 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) on 3rd-down conversion attempts while the Giants were 1-of-3 on 4th down.

The contest was basically over by halftime. The Eagles scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half possessions while the Giants were shut out. Philadelphia’s drives:

  • 8 plays, 75 yards, touchdown,
  • 8 plays, 52 yards, touchdown.
  • 3 plays, -3 yards, punt.
  • 9 plays, 63 yards, touchdown.
  • 14 plays, 67 yards, touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ first drive ended with quarterback Daniel Jones getting sacked on 4th-and-8 at the Philadelphia 48-yard line. On the second play of their second possession, Jones was intercepted by former Giants’ cornerback James Bradberry at the Philadelphia 46-yard line. New York’s other three first-half possessions resulted in a total of 17 yards, no first downs, and three punts.

At the half, the Eagles led 28-0. The first-half stats were equally bad, with the Eagles holding huge advantages in first downs (18 to 3) and total yards (258 to 64).

The second-half of the game was pretty anti-climatic. Both teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the 3rd quarter. The Giants then drove for their only score of the game, a 10-play, 88-yard effort that ended with a direct snap to Saquon Barkley, who handed off to fellow running back Matt Breida for an 8-yard touchdown. With 6:15 left in the 3rd quarter, the Giants trailed 28-7.

The Eagles picked up two first downs and then punted on again on their second possession of the second half. New York then also picked up two first downs, but Head Coach Brian . Daboll decided to punt the ball away on 4th-and-6 from the New York 42-yard line early in the 4th quarter, down by three touchdowns.. The Eagles responded with a 15-play, 70-yard drive that lasted almost eight minutes and resulted in a 30-yard field goal. With just over five minutes in the game, New York now trailed 31-7.

The final minutes were just as ugly. The Giants did convert on 4th-and-16 from their own 17-yard line. But four plays later, they turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th-and-8 from their own 36-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, the Eagles broke off a 35-yard touchdown run at the 2-minute warning.

The Giants then ran the ball three times in their final five plays simply to end the game.

Jones finished the game 15-of-27 for 135 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He ran the ball six times for 24 yards, but was sacked five times. Wideout Richie James was the leading receiver with seven catches for 51 yards. No other Giant had more than 21 yards receiving. Barkley broke off a 39-yard run in the 3rd quarter, but was held to 22 yards on his other eight carries.

The defense also played a bad game, allowing an unacceptable 268 yards rushing and only stopping the Eagles four times on 14 third-down conversion attempts. The Giants only had one sack and one pass defense. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was never hit except for the one sack. The team also did not force a turnover.

On Friday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) WR Makai Polk and CB Zyon Gilbert from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were WR Makai Polk, OG Jack Anderson, OG Wyatt Davis, DL Henry Mondeaux, ILB Micah McFadden, CB Rodarius Williams, and CB Zyon Gilbert.

CB Cor’Dale Flott suffered a hamstring injury and did not return.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Players will be available in an open locker-room setting on Sunday. General Manager Joe Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media on Monday.

Jan 192023
Scut Farkus

Eagles fans are unpleasant and unlikeable.

One of two outcomes will occur late Saturday night. The New York Giants will pull off one of the biggest post-season upsets in franchise history. Or the Giants and their fans will learn just how big the talent gap is between them and a Philadelphia Eagles team that will have won all three games against them this season.

Let’s address the unpleasant reality first. The Eagles are the better team. While the Giants have some very good players, the Eagles simply have more at all levels of offense, defense, and special teams. Almost as importantly, their depth is superior. When one of their starters leaves the game, the drop off isn’t as noticeable. The Eagles finished the season 14-3, best in the NFC and tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the best record in football. Philadelphia has the #3 offense and #2 defense in the entire NFL. That’s balanced dominance. Thus, the odds makers have appropriately favored the Eagles by more than a touchdown to handily defeat the Giants.

Giants’ fans are understandably giddy right now. Their team was not expected to win a playoff game, let alone have a winning record or make the playoffs in the first place. It appears the franchise will not have to start over again at quarterback, thus accelerating the rebuilding process. Beating the 13-4 Minnesota Vikings on their home turf felt great. However, the NFL post-season graveyard is filled with Wild Card winners getting smacked in the divisional round by superior and well-rested teams. There is a good chance reality is about to slap New York fans back into reality.


If I were a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, I don’t think I would be feeling particularly comfortable right now. Yes, your team has owned the Giants for the better part of the past decade, including the two regular-season games this year. But the Giants are clearly ascending at the right moment. Meanwhile, the Eagles seemed to prematurely hit their stride earlier in the season. There are questions about Jalen Hurts’ shoulder. And a group of predominantly second- and third-teamers just gave Philadelphia a tougher game than anyone expected less than two weeks ago against these very same Giants on your home field. Above all, divisional opponents have a way of making games far tighter than anyone anticipates. The Giants know the Eagles. Finally, Brian Daboll, Mike Kafka, and Don Martindale are far superior than the likes of Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur, and Joe Judge. Coaching won’t be an issue. The Giants will be ready to play.

Eagle fans are busy telling themselves this game is in the bag. The Giants are merely a road bump on an inevitable Super Bowl run. They believe the Giants did them a favor by beating the Vikings as it makes their playoff path that much easier. All of this might be true. But if being a sports fan has taught me anything over the past several decades, it is there is such a thing as karma. The more convinced you are of something, the more likely the powers that be will bitch slap you back into reality. Eagle fans are unpleasant and unlikeable people who live in an unpleasant and unlikeable city. Whatever self-awareness they might have is swallowed up by their ugly inability to relate to the rest of humanity. If anyone is due a karmic kick to the groin, it’s them.

Bring it on.


  • WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle – probable)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (quad – questionable)
  • ILB/S Landon Collins (ankle – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (back – probable)
  • CB Fabian Moreau (hip – probable)
  • S Julian Love (hamstring – probable)
  • S Jason Pinnock (abdomen – probable)

I have already covered the Eagles in two previous game previews. Much of this will sound like a broken record. Big picture is that while many pundits and fans love to focus on offense, defense still wins games and the Eagles have one of the best defenses in the NFL. In terms of yards allowed, only the San Fransisco 49ers are better (and only by ONE yard). If anything, the Eagles defense is underrated. They are #1 against the pass and a more pedestrian 16th against the run. Most importantly, they are #8 in scoring defense.

What happened this offseason is the Eagles built up their secondary, combined with further improvements to an already strong defensive front. Adding ex-Giant James Bradberry at cornerback and ex-Saint safety C. J. Gardner-Johnson significantly altered Philly’s defensive backfield for the better. Bradberry now teams with Darius Slay for one of the better and more-aggressive corner duos in the game. Gardner-Johnson is still tied with the league-lead in interceptions despite missing all of December with a lacerated kidney. He was just activated from IR and can fill in as a slot corner.

The Eagles did not stand pat up front either. They drafted Jordan Davis at DT with the #13 overall pick. During the season, they signed Ndamukong Suh and ex-Giant Linval Joseph. These three are the BACKUPS behind Giant-killer Fletcher Cox (7 sacks) and Javon Hargrave (11 sacks). Milton Williams (4 sacks) is no slouch either. Outside is another Giant-killer in DE Brandon Graham (11 sacks). He teams with Josh Sweat (11 sacks) and in-season pickup Robert Quinn (18.5 sacks with the Bears in 2021). To add icing on the cake, the Eagles also signed Haason Reddick (16 sacks), a player who has given the Giants fits in the past with other teams. Long story short, the Eagles lead the NFL with 70 sacks. No other team has more than 55.  (The Giants have 41 sacks with Dexter Lawrence leading the team with 7.5).

In the Eagles’ 48-22 drubbing of the Giants on December 11, just over a month ago, Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor were sacked seven times and officially hit 12 times. The Eagles also were credited with an extremely high 10 tackles for losses. Brandon Graham had three sacks, but the usual suspects all got into the act too, including Cox, Reddick, and Sweat. In his game review, Sy’56 wrote: “This was a match-up nightmare for the NYG offensive line. Not just from a macro-perspective (PHI DL simply being better than NYG OL), but also from a micro-perspective. The holes in the games of the NYG line – player by player – were exploited greatly by the skillset of the individuals along the PHI defensive line.”

Sy’56 then highlighted the difficulties all of the NYG offensive linemen had up front. Andrew Thomas allowed a sack. The interior of the line really struggled. Evan Neal got abused, allowing two sacks and five pressures. Four weeks later, Thomas and Glowinski sat, but Neal, Bredeson, and Gates all played. Neal struggled again. So did Bredeson.

You’ve heard me say it for years now when covering the Giants and Eagles. The Eagles have dominated the Giants in the W-L column because they have dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. It’s really almost that simple. The obvious target for the ire of most Giants fans right now is Neal, but the entire line hasn’t been very good at all against the Eagles. If Thomas, Gates/Bredeson, Feliciano, Glowinski, and Neal don’t elevate their game against a very talented and very deep defensive line, the Giants are going to lose this football game.

As for the skill positions, they will not be playing the terrible Vikings’ defense this week. The Vikings can rush the passer, but they were 31st in the NFL in defending the pass. The Eagles are #1. I will say that again, the Eagles have the #1 pass defense in the entire NFL. Folks say the 49ers are tough, but they are 20th against the pass. In other words, Isaiah Hodgins, Richie James, and Darius Slayton are not going to be running as free as they did a week ago. Philly’s corners are good and aggressive, and safety Gardner-Johnson is back in the mix. The Eagles are tied 4th overall with 17 interceptions and have generated 27 overall turnovers (4th in the NFL). And the tremendous pass rush is helping everyone in coverage.

Even if the OL plays great, Daniel Jones will be under duress much of the game. There are four guys on the Eagles who have more sacks (49) than the Giants do as a team (41). There is a psychological component at work here too. When guys like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham see Giants uniforms, think how Lawrence Taylor and Leonard Marshall used to salivate when playing the Eagles in the 1980s. They just knew they were going to feast. Daniel Jones is going to return in 2023. He has gotten markedly better. But we’re about to find out what he is really made of on Saturday night. If he pulls this off, Jones deserves to be showered with praise.

As for the game plan, the Giants must employ the quick passing attack to get the ball out of Jones’ hands quickly. Saquon Barkley, who was battling a neck injury in the first game, must be a difference-maker. He’ll need help up front of course. The 10 tackles for losses was far too much in the original contest. Jones will have to run the ball and he’s going to take a lot of shots after carrying the ball an astounding 17 times against the Vikings. If Daboll and Kafka have any tricks up their sleeves, this would be the time to use them. The New York tight ends, both as blockers and receivers, will be on the spot. Daniel Bellinger missed much of the first game with a rib injury that he suffered during the contest.

I’ve seen posts this week where fans say, “we need to keep the tight ends in to help Neal in pass protection.” Perhaps this is the smart way to go, but I don’t think the Giants can play scared and win this game. They will have to take some chances to pull off the upset. I constantly preach not making mistakes and turning the football over, but sometimes you just have to play the game straight up and take your chances. Be aggressive. Be the hammer, not the anvil.

On December 11th, the Giants gave up 27 first downs, 437 total yards, and 253 rushing yards to the Eagles. Philadelphia was 6-of-11 (55 percent) on 3rd down and 1-of-1 (100 percent) on 4th down. The defense only had two pass defenses and did not create a turnover. Jalen Hurt had a 109.2 quarterback rating, threw two touchdowns, and rushed for 77 yards and another touchdown. Wink Martindale’s defense gave up six touchdowns, two field goals, and 48 points. It was the low point of the season for his unit.

However, some important cogs were missing that day, including Leonard Williams, Adoree’ Jackson, and Xavier McKinney. Those three were sorely missed and change the entire defense by their mere presence. Newcomers Landon Collins and Jarrad Davis weren’t yet in the picture. However, Azeez Ojulari, who may have played his best game of the season against the Eagles on December 11th, is nursing a quad injury. Fabian Moreau is also not 100 percent.

Let’s address the scary parts first. Eagles are #3 in offense in both yards and points. They are dominantly balanced on offense with top-10 rankings both running (5th) and passing (9th) the football. You constantly hear coaches around the league preach about balance; the Eagles are as balanced a team as there is. In addition, the Eagles are 4th in red-zone efficiency and 2nd in big plays (20+ yards). Before he got hurt, Jalen Hurts was playing at an MVP level at quarterback. He has two dynamic, game-breaking wideouts in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. And just to add to the fun, Dallas Goedert is one of those tight ends who gives the Giants problems. Hurts has thrown 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions (101.6 QBR). But he can kill you with his feet too, 760 rushing yards and an incredible 13 rushing touchdowns for a quarterback. Throw in running backs Miles Sanders (1,269 yards, 11 touchdowns) and you have yourself a two-headed monster on the ground. Back-up Boston Scott has 10 career touchdowns against the Giants.

Loaded at the skill positions. But worse, loaded on the offensive line. And they get their stud right tackle, Lane Johnson, back. The man doesn’t give up sacks. But more than him, the Eagles have one of the best and deepest offensive lines in the game. They are the engine that allows for top-10 rushing and passing. The Giants are going to need the best from Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, and Jihad Ward up front. They have to play well, and play a lot of snaps. Guys like Ojulari are going to have to tough it out. Many eyes will be on the battle between Lawrence and Jason Kelce, who is an outstanding center.

Having Adoree’ Jackson and Xavier McKinney back is big and should help with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. If Moreau isn’t near 100 percent, we may see more of Cor’Dale Flott. He could possibly be a bigger asset in coverage against Smith. However, the thin-framed Flott is also likely to get abused in run defense. As much as damage as the Eagles can do throwing the football, their ground game is what makes that offense hum.

The potential fly in the ointment for the Eagles is Hurts. He’s no longer on the Philadelphia injury report and he may be close to 100 percent. But he will have to prove that both mentally and physically. If Hurts is as dominant running the ball as he was pre-injury, the Eagles are very difficult to defend. But if his shoulder prevents him and play-callers from being as aggressive, that will impact the offense. The pass rush can bother Hurts too, although he is extremely elusive and difficult to tackle. In a nutshell, the pressure is on Hurts to perform. The city expects him to lead this team to glory. They are not a very forgiving fan base.

As has been widely discussed, Martindale went against his tendencies in Minnesota and did not attack as much. I don’t think he can do that in Philadelphia. He’s got to take chances and live with the outcome. The key will be to mix things up to confuse Hurts and the Eagles as much as possible. After the last game these two teams played on January 8th, Hurts said, “(Martindale) does a great job. No doubt in my mind we will learn from that and if we see them again.” Wink has to anticipate what the Eagles will do to counter what he did on January 8th. Move and counter-move. Punch and counter-punch. I would not be surprised to see Adoree’ follow Brown. If he can keep him somewhat under control (a big if), then the questions are who can limit Smith and Goedert? And defending the all-important ground attack. Easier said than done.

Attack, attack, attack. Be aggressive. Gang tackle. Knock the ball loose. Intercept the pass. Win the turnover battle.

If there was ever a time for the Giants special teams to make a statement, here it is. The Giants simply cannot afford to lose the special teams battle. Every player on the roster, including the guys who just play special teams, can make or break this game. Be smart, stick to your assignments, but make a play. A block, tackle, downed punt, return, or kick can make all of the difference in the world.

Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale on Jalen Hurts: “Everybody’s saying he’s having an MVP season, and I agree because he can beat you with his legs. He can beat you with just being a drop-back quarterback. He can beat you with a sore shoulder. He can beat you a lot of different ways, and that’s a great challenge because there’s just a few quarterbacks that can do it that way. And you can have him dead to rights back there in the pocket, and he’s a magician. He’ll get out of it… It’s going to be a tremendous challenge.”

On paper, the Eagles should win this game. They are the better team. They are at home. They are healthy and well-rested. The last team they played was the Giants so they didn’t even have to study up too much for this contest. They view playing the Giants as Giants fans used to view playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s, an automatic win. The last time the Giants won in Philadelphia was 2013, nearly a decade ago. If these two teams, as they are presently constituted, play each other 10 times in a row, the Giants may win one of those games.

However, I can’t get over the notion that this may be that one game in ten. There is such a thing as over-confidence. There is such a thing as rustiness. There is such a thing as momentum. There is such a thing as karma. It doesn’t make sense, but I give the Giants a shot on Saturday night. They won’t be perfect. They don’t have to be. As I said before the Giants played the Patriots before Super Bowl XLII, the Giants simply need to play their game. Or as this coaching staff preaches, be smart, tough, dependable. The longer this game stays close, the more the pressure will mount on Philly’s coaches and players. What does Wink say? Pressure breaks pipes.

Be careful for what you wish for, Eagles fans.

Jan 102023
Lawrence Cager, New York Giants (January 8, 2023)

Lawrence Cager – © USA TODAY Sports


-Davis Webb: 23/40 – 168 yards / 1 TD- 0 INT / 75.8 RAT / 6 att – 41 yards / 1 TD

Such a feel-good story here for a kid drafted in the third round by NYG near the end of the Eli Manning era. The future coach has been waived five times since 2018, never started an NFL game, and had never thrown a pass in a regular-season game. That all changed as he took on the #1 seed Eagles in a game NYG was resting the majority of the entire offensive line and starting skill position players matched up against a defense that was throwing the entire starting lineup on the field. Talk about a tall order!

Webb earned the respect of everybody in this one. He was under pressure for most of the game but responded with zero turnovers and avoided taking one sack. His internal clock and escapability were the top two traits I saw out of him. Nobody is going to mistake Webb for the athlete Jones is, but he has such a good feel for when to take off and run. This game was a prime example for young QBs to see just how valuable it is to get the ball out in a hurry when an offense is overmatched. Webb took what the PHI defense gave and ended up scoring two touchdowns, one on the ground and one in the air. He may never get this opportunity again and I’m glad this lone career start went the way it did.


-Saquon Barkley stayed in sweats on the sideline, an easy decision for the staff. I don’t believe there was any debate with that one. Gary Brightwell was the biggest beneficiary, seeing a career-high 60 yards on 11 carries. He was impressive with how many tackle attempts he ripped through, gaining most of his yards after contact (47). The overall sample size is still pretty small, but this kid has shown he belongs. The burst, power, and passion he displays can be a difference maker. He has broken a tackle once every 5 touches this year. Incredibly low data, I know. But just for reference, Barkley broke one every 8 touches.

-Matt Breida gained 28 yards on 4 carries and added 7 catches for 12 yards. His explosion and speed in the open field is the best on the team and quite frankly near the best in the NFL at the position. If I had to choose one off-the-radar guy who I think can create a huge play against MIN next Sunday, it is Breida. This guy can fly.


-Kenny Golladay signed a 4-year, $72 million in 2021. It will go down as one of the worst contracts in league history when looking at dollars spent, and production posted. In the 26th game of his tenure with NYG, Golladay scored his first touchdown. It was a remarkable play that brought back the memories of his career in Detroit where he made several high-caliber, highlight-reel catches. He finished what I expect to be his final regular-season game here with 2 receptions for 30 yards.

-Isaiah Hodgins did not see the field. Darius Slayton only was in the game for three snaps. Richie James only saw snaps on special teams. That opened the door for Marcus Johnson, who led the position group with 36 yards and 3 catches. Webb missed him downfield on a broken play where PHI simply forgot about him. It would have been a 40+ yard gain, at least.


-Daniel Bellinger was a healthy inactive for this one, a sign of how much they value the rookie fourth rounder. This opened the door for Lawrence Cager, an overlooked in-season pick up who I wish had more opportunities when Bellinger was out. His receiving skillset is obvious. He led the team with 8 catches for 69 yards, showing elite ball skills on passes away from his body. There is a different level of twitch to the former wide receiver’s post-catch movement. It was his effort and power that converted a short pass on 4th-and-1 for a first down on the first NYG touchdown drive.

-Nick Vannett saw a season-high 55 snaps. He added 2 catches for 18 yards and some quality blocking on the edge.


-Evan Neal got the start at right tackle and played about half the snaps before Matt Peart relieved him. It was an ugly game for the rookie, who has piled up those performances this season. He allowed three pressures and was flagged for two false starts. I don’t want to keep repeating myself, but I want to reiterate that Neal is one of the most vital players on this team next week. His bad-caliber games can put such a restriction on the passing attack. He just does not have it right now. The losses on an island are the same every week. Big test for him.

-Tyre Phillips got the start at left tackle, while Andrew Thomas was inactive. He allowed four pressures, and all things considered, was not bad. I will not label it a victory for the third-year veteran, but his run-blocking performance did help his overall grade a bit. Matt Peart got some playing time at right tackle and appears to have the same shortcomings we have seen in the past. He was flagged for a false start and allowed a pressure. He does not even look comfortable in his stance, let alone on an island against the most underrated edge defender in the league, Haason Reddick.

-Inside we saw a mix of players, but Ben Bredeson and Jack Anderson were the two who played every snap. Their match-ups against the PHI interior defensive line is about as hard as it gets in the NFL. Both allowed two pressures and Bredeson allowed a TFL. There isn’t much to say beyond the fact there is such a big gap in talent between the PHI line and Bredeson/Anderson. Considering that, we got what we expected there, and I hate saying stuff like this, but it could have been much worse.

-Wyatt Davis got his feet wet with 26 snaps down the stretch when Nick Gates (who played well) went out, and Bredeson moved to OC. Remember, Davis was a recent third -round pick (2021). The 26 snaps were by far a career-high (he never saw more than 2 snaps in a game prior to this) and I liked his initial pop/power. He allowed 1 pressure and got movement in the running game. Definitely a guy I want to keep around.


-Azeez Ojulari, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Jihad Ward sat the game out. It was the right call in my eyes. That also opened the door for Tomon Fox and Oshane Ximines to get a full plate of playing time. They both played all 73 defensive snaps. Fox played a better game, finishing with 4 tackles and 2 pressures, one of which led to a sack. Ximines added 2 tackles and an untouched pressure.

-There is one thing I’ve noticed in recent weeks. Ward’s role (mix of OLB + DE + DT) does not have a true backup. It is not a big deal because you can fill his role with other guys based on the situation, but I think his spot is something NYG will be attacking in the draft. I have a list of at least five guys who can do it in the upcoming class.


-So much of this defense is on the shoulders of the DT duo of Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. I was glad to see them both inactive for this one. Ryder Anderson and Justin Ellis saw an uptick in playing time and it wasn’t pretty. Anderson did pressure Hurts twice, but he was on ice skates against the run. He was easily driven back 3-4 yards multiple times. Ellis, a much bigger body, was not driven back as much but he wasn’t stout either. Tough day for these two.

-Henry Mondeaux and Jack Heflin held their ground better. The former added 2 tackles.


-Jarrad Davis made his debut with the Giants. The former first-round pick has bounced between practice squads and backup roles on the 53-man rosters of DET and NYJ since 2017. This guy plays the high-risk, high-speed, violent brand of football that Martindale loves to use. He finished with 10 tackles, a half-sack, and a pressure. He is very linear. Meaning he can shoot downhill and make an impact, but the issue of lack of twitchy lateral adjustment is still there. Simply a guy who plays fast and strong, but not quick if that makes sense. No, I don’t think he will be a factor next week at all. I doubt he has a strong grasp of the playbook. But a fun tape to watch and maybe he turns into the next version of Jaylon Smith this upcoming offseason.

-Micah McFadden played his best game of the season on 35 snaps. He had 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, and the most physical hits of the afternoon on both sides. He has always been instinctive and solid between the tackles, but he appeared to have extra juice in this one. Perhaps a sign he is clicking mentally? McFadden needs to be kept out of specific space situations but his impact between the tackles can be a difference against Dalvin Cook next week.

-Landon Collins didn’t play a ton but I liked seeing him in coverage against PHI tight ends and backs. He also had some QB spy roles on Hurts which did help contain him on a couple of scrambles. Should NYG find their way to PHI again in a couple weeks, he will be an important player.

-Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown played just three snaps on defense.


-Adoree’ Jackson will return from his injury in the playoffs. He joined Fabian Moreau and Darnay Holmes on the sideline for this one.

-That left second year pros Rodarius Williams and Nick McCloud along with rookie Cor’Dale Flott. I’ll start with Flott. He finished with 3 tackles and 1 PD. He missed a tackle and continues to be just a hair late on throws that head his way. I am still pleased with his movement, but I am still worried about the lack of staying power in contested situations.

-McCloud had an active game. Martindale went blitz-heavy and McCloud was one of the main weapons. Because of that, he seemed to be around the action often. He had 1.5 sacks, a pass break up at the line, and 5 tackles. He was also flagged for a dumb roughing-the-passer penalty that could have been a major blow in a playoff game. I have wondered if he is a safer bet than Holmes at nickel. Less coverage penalties, similar coverage traits. I think Martindale loves Holmes, though.

-Williams led the team with 10 tackles, largely because Hurts was throwing in his direction all night. He allowed 8 catches on a whopping 12 targets for 101 yards. It has been 6 weeks since he’s seen action, and all of the sudden, he’s covering A.J. Brown. Tough situation for him.


-Julian Love and Xavier McKinney did not play. That opened the door for Jason Pinnock, Dane Belton, and Tony Jefferson.

-Belton had the best game of the trio. He finished with 6 tackles and an end-zone interception, his second of the year. He nearly had another one that went right through his hands. This was a solid rookie season for Belton, who fought through multiple clavicle injuries and was up and down on the field. I can see the traits in Belton that lead to optimism. The physical goods are there.

-Pinnock had 4 tackles and missed one on the Boston Scott touchdown while Jefferson added 2 tackles. Pinnock just needs more experience before we really know what we have. His game gets a little out of control, but I love the speed and physical nature he brings.


-K Graham Gano: 1/1 (Made 24)
-P Jamie Gillan: 6 punts / 44.0 avg – 39.0 net


-QB Davis Webb, TE Lawrence Cager, LB Micah McFadden


-OT Evan Neal, CB Rodarius Williams, DT Justin Ellis


Not sure I am heading into the bye week with a ton of confidence right now if I am PHI. If Lane Johnson comes back from his torn adductor injury (VERY painful), he won’t be 100% or even close. Jalen Hurts looked rusty and is now heading toward another week away from football. He will start the divisional game after playing in just one game over the course of 4 weeks and he hasn’t thrown a touchdown since December 11. But has thrown three interceptions since then. The roster is stacked, no question. But I don’t view them in the same light as I have previous #1 seeds. They’ve lost a lot of steam.

Most quarterbacks are better when kept clean than when up against pressure. Obvious, I know. But the gap between a clean pocket vs. pressure is something I like to track. The margin between clean vs. pressure for Hurts is wide. Very wide. The notion was strengthened when I re-watched this tape, and it was against the backups. This may be the biggest focal point to track for PHI in the postseason.

Does Nick Sirianni deserve to be the Coach of the Year? Absolutely not. He should not even be one of the top 3 considered. This team made the playoffs last year, their schedule difficulty was average at best. Their roster is absolutely stacked on both sides of the ball. If there is anyone in that organization who deserves a league award, it is GM Howie Roseman. What he has done to engineer this squad has been remarkable from every angle.


What better week than to take an extra deep look at…NYG kicker Graham Gano. A credible statement can be made that the most underrated player on this team is the 35-year-old kicker. Who are the best 5 kickers in the game right now? Like relief pitchers, it is a moving target. But let me take a crack at it. Justin Tucker (BAL), Daniel Carlson (LV), Matt Gay (LAR), Brett Maher (DAL), and Jake Elliott (PHI). How does Gano stack up since 2020 when he joined NYG? Third in FG percentage (91.8%). Second in percentage from 50+ (80%). First in percentage from 40-49 yards (96%). Gano enters a playoff game that is projected to be a 3-point contest as one of the best kickers in the NFL over the last three years. One of the subtle reasons why I like NYG in the match-up.

I don’t feel like getting too deep into the debate surrounding the decision to sit their key players. It does not have an objective resolution and a strong case can be made for both sides. I felt they did exactly what they should have, though. The depth is not good enough to lose someone to a silly injury (see Mike Williams, LAC). Some are already banged up. And NYG has a real shot at going to MIN and winning that game. This is the first playoff game that many of these guys have ever experienced. I don’t fear rust or extra rest hurting at all for these guys. They will be as amped up as we have seen any Giants team over the past decade.

My regular-season predication for NYG was 6-11. Let’s take a quick look at why I was so wrong by 3 games. The red-zone success (7th best) was a gigantic leap from 2021 (32nd). This was Daboll’s specialty in BUF and I did not think it would be enough to make such a difference right away on this team. I was wrong. Second, I questioned just how high a level Barkley could reach after looking like a shadow of his former self against contact. His three biggest red flags from 2021 were improved. Yards after contact, touches per missed tackle, and drop percentage. That and his 18 runs of 15+ yards were the most since his rookie season (20) and more than the previous three seasons combined (15). Lastly, I was wrong about how much Martindale could do with this defensive front. NYG ranked #5 in pressure percentage, #4 in knockdown percentage, and #1 in blitz percentage. They ranked 30th, 29th, and 18th in those respective categories just a year ago. What a difference he made!

On to the playoffs! A first for me as the writer for game reviews.

Jan 082023
Davis Webb, New York Giants (January 8, 2023)

Davis Webb – © USA TODAY Sports

Despite sitting most of their starters, the New York Giants’ second- and third-stringers made a respectable showing against a Philadelphia Eagles team that desperately needed to win in order to secure the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Giants lost 22-16 at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday and finished the regular-season with a 9-7-1 record (1-4-1 in the NFC East). The Giants will face the Minnesota Vikings in the first-round of the playoffs this weekend.

The final team statistics were also closer than one would expect. The Eagles out-gained the Giants in first downs (23 to 18), total net yards (342 to 284), net yards rushing (135 to 129), net yards passing (207 to 155), and time of possession (31:26 to 28:34). The Giants won the turnover battle 1-0, but did turn the ball over on downs on a failed fake field goal attempt.

New York’s starting offense was quarterback Davis Webb; running back Matt Breida; tight ends Nick Vannett and Lawrence Cager; wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marcus Johnson; and offensive linemen Evan Neal, Jack Anderson, Nick Gates, Ben Bredeson, and Tyre Phillips.

The starting defense was defensive linemen Justin Ellis and Ryan Anderson; linebackers Oshane Ximines, Tomon Fox, Landon Collins, and Jarrad Davis; cornerbacks Rodarius Williams, Cor’Dale Flott, and Nick McCloud; and safeties Dane Belton and Justin Pinnock.

The Giants also freely substituted throughout the game on both sides of the ball.

The first half of the game was very one-sided, however, as the Eagles gained 187 yards and the Giants were held to just 77 yards of offense. New York’s six first-half possessions resulted in just six first downs, five punts, and a failed fake field-goal attempt. On the other hand, Philadelphia scored on four of their five first-half possessions. The game would have been more out of hand except the Giants’ defense limited the Eagles to three field goals (32, 52, and 39 yards). The Eagles were only 1-of-3 red-zone opportunities for touchdowns.

At the half, the Eagles were up 16-0.

It appeared that Philadelphia was going to put the game away on their first possession of the second half. The Giants attempted an onside kick, but the Eagles recovered it at the New York 48-yard line. Seven plays and 41 yards later, Philadelphia faced 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line. However, quarterback Jalen Hurts’ pass was intercepted by Belton in the end zone.

The Giants gained one first down and punted on the ensuing series. The Eagles extended their lead to 19-0 by gaining 36 yards in seven plays to set up a 54-yard field goal. New York finally responded with their first scoring drive of the game. Webb connected with Cager for 14 yards, Breida ran for 16 yards, and running back Gary Brightwell broke off a 25-yard run. Two plays later, Webb connected with Johnson for 14 yards to the Philadelphia 8-yard line. However, two delay-of-game penalties set the Giants back and they settled for a 24-yard field goal to make the score 19-3 near the end of the 3rd quarter.

After a three-and-out by the Eagles, the Giants made things interesting early in the 4th quarter. A 4th-and-1 pass from Webb to Cager just barely picked up a first down at midfield. Brightwell gained another 17 yards and that was followed up by a 12-yard pass from Webb to Cager. On 1st-and-15, Webb scrambled up the middle for seven yards. Two plays later, he ran up the middle again, running over a tackler near the goal line for a physical 14-yard touchdown. Webb missed Johnson on the 2-point conversion, but the Giant cut the score to 19-9 with just over 10 minutes to play.

Nevertheless, the Eagles followed this up with a 15-play, 71-yard possession. While Philadelphia did not score a touchdown despite reaching the New York 3-yard line, they were able to take 6:43 off of the clock. And the 22-yard field goal extended their lead to 22-9 with just 3:21 left to play.

It took New York just 1:43 and seven plays to score after a 40-yard kickoff return by Brightwell. On the seventh play, Webb threw a pass into the endzone to Golladay, who made a circus catch for a 25-yard score. It was the first touchdown of Golladay’s career as a New York Giant. The extra point cut the score to 22-16.

The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Eagles, who then knelt on the ball to seal the win.

Webb finished the game 23-of-40 for 168 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions. While under pressure quite a bit, he was not sacked. Webb also carried the ball six times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Webb’s leading target was Cager, who caught eight passes for 69 yards. Brightwell led rushers with 60 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, McCloud was credited with 1.5 sacks while linebackers Micah McFadden (1) and Jarrad Davis (0.5) also got into the act. McFadden also had two tackles for losses.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) QB Davis Webb and DT Jack Heflin from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were DL Leonard Williams (neck), OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), RB Saquon Barkley, OT Andrew Thomas, DL Dexter Lawrence, and S Julian Love.

S Jason Pinnock injured his shoulder in the game. He said he suffered a stinger but expects to be available for the playoff game.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Head Coach Brian Daboll will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Jan 062023
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (January 1, 2023)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports

If I told you back in August that I would not be writing a typical game preview for the last regular-season game, you would have probably assumed that the New York Giants were on their sixth losing and playoff-less season in a row. Instead, the Giants already locked into the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs with a 9-6-1 record. On paper, a win on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles does nothing to help the G-Men. On the other hand, the Eagles desperately need to win in order to ensure they maintain their grip on the #1 seed in the conference. If Philadelphia loses, they could lose the division title, a first-round playoff bye, and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

The scuttlebutt says Brian Daboll is going to rest many of his key and injured players. If true, there is little chance the Giants will pull off the upset as they will treat this contest more like a preseason game. Is that the right course of action to take? There are rational arguments to be made on both sides. Momentum versus protecting assets on an already thin team lay at the heart of the debate. At this point, Coach Daboll deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Before quarterback Jalen Hurts injured his shoulder a few weeks ago, the Eagles were cruising and appeared to be the NFL’s top team. Despite losing their last two games with a back-up quarterback, they are still ranked #1 in defense and #2 in offense in the league. That’s as good as it gets. As I’ve talked about before in previous game previews between these two teams, Philadelphia’s dominance over New York is largely a result of superior talent on both the offensive and defensive lines. They are just damn good up front. They win in the trenches. The Giants may be catching up, but they are still in the chase position here. The Eagles also have vastly superior talent at wide receiver and at cornerback.

As giddy as we all feel right now (and we should), keep in mind that the Giants are playing way over their heads. Their fast 6-2 start that included surprising upsets against the Titans, Packers, and Ravens allowed them to survive a 3-4-1 post-bye record with only one win in the NFC East. And those three wins came against the Texans, Commanders, and Colts. Perspective matters.

Sunday’s game should not be close, but understand the situation for both teams. Perhaps New York will see them in a few weeks at Lincoln Financial Field again.


  • OC Jon Feliciano (back – questionable)
  • DL Leonard Williams (neck – out)
  • OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle – out)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee – doubtful)
  • S Xavier McKinney (fingers – probable)

I’m going to use my time here this week to discuss the state of the team moving forward, both in the short- and long-term.

The biggest outcome of the 2022 season is not the 9-6-1 record or the playoff appearance. It is the resurrection of Daniel Jones from the dead. Who the (blank) could have predicted that Giants fans would be giving Daniel Jones a standing ovation and chanting his name at MetLife Stadium in a playoff-clinching victory on New Year’s Day?!?

Unless I am completely misreading Daboll’s sideline and locker room interactions with his quarterback, for better or worse, Daniel Jones is going to be given big contract soon. If the Giants are right and Jones ends up being one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, then the Giants rebuilding effort just got a heck of a lot shorter and easier. They won’t have to spend expensive draft capital on the next quarterback and can use that on other positions. They also don’t need to “waste” 2-3 more years on grooming a rookie. If they are wrong, then the rebuilding effort has no end in sight. That’s why the QB decision is bigger than the rest of the team at this point.

But for now, let’s keep things positive. Unless you have some sort of weird, personal hang-up on having your negative opinion of Jones being correct, how can you not be happy for his redemption? The good-guy vilified by the media and masses, almost run out of town, somehow maintains his focus and poise, and ends up winning over his harshest critics? That reads like a cheesy, heart-tugging, formulaic Hollywood movie. All we need now is Roy Firestone announcing on the air during a live interview with Jones that he has been given his new contract. (Screw off if you don’t get the Jerry McGuire reference).

I will reiterate what I’ve said since August when asked about my opinion of Jones. I won’t formulate my final opinion until the 2022 season is over. I told myself back in the summer that I wasn’t going to play a week-to-week evaluation game with him, but judge him on the full 17 games, assuming he didn’t get hurt, which would have also factored into the equation since has been injury-prone. Since we don’t know if he will even play on Sunday, ironically, that 17th game may now be his first playoff game. What if he gets to 18?

Meanwhile, what to do about Saquon Barkley? While not as explosive as his rookie season, Barkley is having his career-high rushing year. More was expected out of him as a passing target, especially in this system, but he’s still the most dangerous player on this team with the ball in his hands. Since his heavy day against the Texans on November 13th, Barkley is averaging 14 carries and four catches per game. How much do you pay a player at that position who the coaching staff now has touching the ball less than 20 times per game? I am pretty darn sure Daniel Jones will be back. I also think Saquon Barkley will be back. But I also would not be shocked to see the Giants let him walk if his price tag is too high. Perhaps the Franchise Tag comes into play here. There is a good chance it will be the Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell show on Sunday.

Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka have clearly settled on the Isaiah Hodgins (possession) / Richie James (slot) / Darius Slayton (deep threat) triumvirate at receiver to go along with a once-again surging Daniel Bellinger at tight end. This is not a line-up that scares anyone, but it is what it is. Wideouts who were ahead of these guys on the depth chart just a few months ago included Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson, Colin Johnson, David Sills, and Marcus Johnson. Slayton barely made the team as the #7 receiver, James was considered almost strictly a returner (who fumbled), and Hodgins was on the Practice Squad of another team. Needless to say, in the short-term, the Giants have to be praying that no one else gets hurt. That’s why we may see more of Golladay and Johnson on Sunday. The Giants need to hit this position in a major way in the offseason.

Which brings us to the offensive line. As most SHOULD have expected, this is still a work in progress. Andrew Thomas is more than steady at left tackle and capable of silencing his opponent. Evan Neal is going through the typical rookie growing pains, but for some reason a large portion of the fan base doesn’t believe in rookie growing pains. He will likely be up and down for whatever games remain. Inside, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinksi, Ben Bredeson, and Nick Gates are coming off of their best game as group, but they have been shaky as well. The Giants may sit or cut short the playing time of many of these guys and that doesn’t bode well against one of the very best defensive fronts in the game. Tough spot for Tyre Phillips, Matt Peart, Jack Anderson, and Wyatt Davis. Long-term, one gets the feeling the Giants are at least one really good inside player away from having an excellent line.

If I told you back in August that Leonard Williams would be nagged and limited for much of the season with a neck injury, that Azeez Ojulari would miss 11 games, that Adoree’ Jackson would miss seven games, that Xavier McKinney would eight games, that starting corner Aaron Robinson would miss virtually all of the season, that two inside linebackers would be in-season pick-ups, and that some guys named Fabian Moreau and Nick McCloud would be starting at cornerback for much of the season where corners are often left on an island, your response would have been “Oh (expletive deleted)!”

The Giants’ 24th-ranked defense does not feel like a 24th-ranked defense. But here we are. They give up yards, but tough it out on 3rd down and in the red zone. Yet, they are still only middle of the pack in scoring defense (16th) and +2 in turnover differential (only five interceptions to go along with 13 fumble recoveries). Defensively, perhaps the biggest surprise has been just how bad the Giants are at defending the run (now 30th in terms of yards per carry). That’s bad news with Philadelphia, especially when the Giants are likely to sit Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams. Covering A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith with “starters” Moreau and McCloud or their back-ups is equally daunting. This could get ugly. We likely won’t see a lot of Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, Julian Love, and Xavier McKinney either.

Moving forward, long-term, I’m going to agree with Sy’56 here. As much as wide receiver is a desperate, desperate need on this team, I think corner is even more so. The Giants simply cannot afford to go into 2023 with the injury-prone Jackson (missed time in five of his six seasons), Moreau (who will be a free agent), Robinson (who will be coming off ACL and MCL injuries and may not be ready in August), McCloud, Darnay Holmes, Flott, Rodarius Williams, and Zyon Gilbert. You can scheme around wide receiver issues far easier than you can scheme around subpar cornerbacks. I would not be shocked to see the Giants spend two picks in the first four rounds on cornerbacks. You want a kick-ass, top-5 defense? You have to be able to cover people.

The other spot not getting enough attention is defensive line. Why do the Eagles and Cowboys do so well defensively? They come at you in waves up front. The Giants have Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams and that’s about it. Both play too many snaps and if one goes down, it affects the ENTIRE defense (see Leonard Williams this year). The good news is that D.J. Davidson was surprisingly productive before he got hurt; the bad news is he tore his ACL. Again, don’t be shocked if the Giants go defensive line earlier than you would expect. I expect Henry Mondeaux, Ryder Anderson, and Justin Ellis to get mauled by the Eagles’ starters, but this will be a good opportunity for them to prove us wrong.

Inside linebacker looks like another huge need area. The team was high on Darrian Beavers but he is another rookie who will be coming off an ACL. Jaylon Smith and Landon Collins feel like more stopgaps. We may see newcomer Jarrad Davis some this Sunday. Wink Martindale is an old inside linebacker coach. The position is still near and dear to his heart and he believes that speed at the position makes your defense play fast. Look for speedy inside guys who can play the run, cover, and rush the passer in the upcoming draft.

As long as the team can re-sign Julian Love, they look to have good talent and depth at safety. Same story with outside linebacker if they re-sign Jihad Ward to go along with Tomon Fox, who may see quite a bit of playing time on Sunday. Oshane Ximenes will get another chance to make his case. Dane Belton is likely to go through some more growing pains against the Eagles at safety. Nevertheless, this will be a good experience for him if he plays.

Many thought Jamie Gillan wouldn’t make it though the season. While he hasn’t shined, he is 15th in punting gross punting (47 yards per punt). It’s his net punting (40.8) that needs improving. His inside the 20 punting has improved a bit late in the season. He likely will be back in 2023. Where the team really needs to get its act together is finding dedicated punt and kick returners who can hold onto the ball as well as present a real threat to the opposing teams. Some fans think Thomas McGaughey is or should be on the hotseat.

Head Coach Brian Daboll on the game against the Eagles: “We have our meeting after practice. (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I talk after practice, in the evening, Saturday. That’s when we make our decisions (on who will play).”

Assuming that the Giants follow through and sit or reduce the playing time of many of their key players and starters, this game should not be close. Philadelphia is the superior team and needs this game desperately. If this game remains close at all, that should really make the Eagles and their fans nervous.

These two teams might play each again later this month in a do-or-die situation for BOTH teams.

Dec 142022
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (December 11, 2022)

Daniel Jones – © USA TODAY Sports


-Daniel Jones: 18/27 – 169 yards / 1 TD – 0 INT / 96.1 RAT

Jones added 26 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Brian Daboll pulled him in the fourth quarter as the game simply got out of reach and he was taking so many hits. Jones saw the typical and expected amount of pressure and he was working against the typical number of mismatches all afternoon. He did not turn the ball over. He had an impressive string of passes in the second half. He made plays with his legs that most quarterbacks in the league did not. All of these were positives in a situation where everything about this matchup was simply lopsided in PHI’s favor.

The deeper part of my assessment is not as friendly. Jones had multiple opportunities to show progress in the area where he has come up short on multiple occasions. He did not come through. Besides the quick-fire, one-read throws, Jones struggled to work his eyes and hips to the open target. On 3rd-and-10 from midfield in the second quarter, Kafka called a crossing route concept. Darius Slayton going from left to right and Daniel Bellinger from right to left. They intersected right in the middle of the defense where linebacker T.J. Edwards was in coverage. Jones did not make the read, Edwards read Jones like a book, and the pass ended up being a near-interception by two different players. Meanwhile Slayton ends up wide-open for a potential first down. These are the plays that Jones needs to be making by now. They may not mean much to some, but they’re some of the most important make-or-break plays in NFL games week-to-week. You can’t have them all, but the good ones get most of them. Jones does not make half of them.

-Tyrod Taylor came in late for the final two drives. The first one ended in a lost fumble and the second one ended in a touchdown pass to Richie James. The highlight of that drive was a 32-yard run on 4th-and-15. There is not much to evaluate here, as he was playing behind the second-string offensive line and the game was nearly over.


-Saquon Barkley: 9 att – 28 yards / 2 rec – 20 yards

Barkley was close to not playing, as he suffered a neck injury that made him a game-time decision. His 20 snaps were by far a season low. This was the most overmatched I have seen NYG at the point-of-attack this year. Combine that with the early 21-0 deficit and Barkley’s injury, it seemed everything was set up for him to be a non-factor in this game. I think the low-snap count had more to do with the game situation than his injury. I fully expect him to be back to a normal snap count in their do-or-die match-up next week.

Since his 32-carry game against HOU, Barkley has run the ball 53 times for 152 yards and caught 13 passes for 64 yards over four games. That is an average of 13 carries / 38 yards and 3 catches / 16 yards per game. He is nursing shoulder and neck injuries. He is not hitting the hole hard; he is not getting through tackles. Barkley is breaking down over the course of the second half of the season for the second straight year, had an ACL injury that forced him to miss 13 games, one year after missing four games with an ankle injury. Economically, he is making less and less sense even though he is the most talented offensive player on the team.

-Gary Brightwell was the most impressive runner on the team with 23 yards on 5 carries and 18 yards on 2 catches. He had runs of 13 and 4 yards on his first two carries. Those carries and one in the fourth quarter were the hardest, most physical we saw a back run in this game. I think there is something in him that NYG can use more of. In limited playing time, he is averaging over 5 yards per carry and while we cannot overreact to that lone stat, NYG should be able to gravitate toward him a bit more. Matt Breida added 15 total yards and a drop.


-Richie James led the team across the board with 7 catches for 61 yards. He brought in a touchdown late despite taking a nasty hit to the head immediately afterward. Watching the All-22 made something blatantly obvious to me. James is on a different level among the other targets on this team when it comes to simply getting open. While it is a strength of his game, the margin between him and the others in separation is enormous. Easy to see why he is targeted more than the others and easy to see that is the one trait this receiver room needs to add in the offseason. I will touch on this below, but James was destroyed on blocking attempts near the line of scrimmage, and it had a bad impact on the running game.

-Isaiah Hodgins had 4 catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. Nice work by him on the score where he quickly recognized Jones in the scramble drill. He got and kept leverage on the PHI defender and used his body correctly to shield him off as the ball approached. Hodgins is a nice underneath threat, but the lack of long speed showed up early in the game when Jones took a deep shot to him. There is no final gear there to get over the top.

-Darius Slayton had just 2 catches but one went for a 37-yard gain, the biggest play of the day for NYG. He added his 6th drop of the year, the third straight season he has reached that number. Jones missed him open a couple times on what I think would have resulted in 10+ yard gains.


-Daniel Bellinger and Nick Vannett split the tight end snaps for the most part while Chris Myarick was on the field for just 4 plays. It was an uneventful day for the group. Bellinger caught 3 passes for 19 yards and Vannett brought 1 in for 9 yards. The PHI front is such a strong, stout group against tight ends on the edge. This was one match-up I knew would go against NYG and it certainly did. Neither are going to fare well in situations like that.


-This was a match-up nightmare for the NYG offensive line. Not just from a macro-perspective (PHI DL simply being better than NYG OL), but also from a micro-perspective. The holes in the games of the NYG line – player by player – were exploited greatly by the skillset of the individuals along the PHI defensive line.

-Andrew Thomas allowed a sack and was getting beat initially off the ball more than what we are used to seeing. Really though, it was a solid game minus the sack for Thomas. He showed good recovery tactics, his footwork looked lighter and faster, and he got push in the running game. Rookie Evan Neal, however, had maybe the worst game of his young career. He allowed 5 pressures and 2 sacks. Week after week, we are seeing him wind up on the ground over and over. You can’t block if you’re laying down on the ground. He is not bringing his feet with him when he moves laterally. Way too much reaching, way too much bending at the waist. His power is a difference maker, as seen with a few quality run blocks. But we only see this when his feet are in the right spot which, right now, is not often enough.

-Inside, Nick Gates allowed a TFL, a sack, and 2 pressures. He was beat off the ball by Milton Williams, one of the quicker DTs in the NFL, a few times and it was ugly. Gates biggest weapon, however, is the grit he shows in recovery mode. He plays through the whistle and plays with a lot of desire. That eventually makes a big difference. Gates also made a couple key blocks on bigger NYG gains.

-Mark Glowinski allowed a TFL and Jon Feliciano allowed a sack. Glowinski has looked completely overmatched for a couple straight weeks. I do not think taking him out will be in the cards, but his play has significantly declined. Having that kind of player next to Neal, a rookie who simply does not look ready, makes for some really tough sledding on the right side.


-Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux played another strong game. Ojulari had 2 sacks and 4 tackles. This kid is an all-out hustler, all of the time. I love that about him, and it will create plays for the defense over time. Not all pass rushers keep their foot on the gas if they lose with their first and second moves. Ojulari has that T.J. Watt relentlessness to him that creates production. Thibodeaux did not fare well against the run, but he was disruptive again as a pass rusher. He had 3 pressures, one of which caused a sack, another caused a hold, and he could have been given credit for a half-sack on the one where Jalen Hurts was taken down near the goal line. The PHI tackles are top-notch players who play with tremendous power. Thibodeaux got under their pads and pushed the pocket well and also showed his outside burst. I am seeing more versatility out of his repertoire, and it is good to see him get stronger as the season goes on. Can’t say that for many players on this team.

-Jihad Ward did not play well as an edge setter. He was getting sucked inside by play fakes and his lack of speed/burst got exposed when the ball ended up going outside. He finished with just 1 tackle and did not break through as a pass rusher once.

-Tomon Fox and Oshane Ximines saw about a quarter of the snaps and neither showed up. No impact.


-Last week I spoke about the crazy amount of snaps Dexter Lawrence was seeing. With Leonard Williams out with a neck injury, I was intrigued to see what they were going to do with his workload. He played 72% of the snaps, his second lowest of the year and his lowest since Week 1. With the game out of hand the way it was, it was a good decision. We may see another 90+% day for him next Sunday. He finished with 1 tackle and 1 pressure, as he was doubled almost all afternoon.

-The trio of Ryder Anderson, Henry Mondeaux, and Justin Ellis played a significant number of snaps. Season highs for all three respectively, as a matter of fact. Anderson got off to a rough start, but I liked how he competed. He had 2 tackles and recorded his first career sack. Mondeaux and Ellis both finished with 1 tackle. They were simply overmatched and just could not beat blockers one-on-one. They lack the twitch, especially Ellis, to peel off their man and take out a ball carrier.


-Jaylon Smith tied for team-high 9 tackles, but it was a poor game by the veteran leader of the group. The PHI running game is a beautiful mix of scheme and execution. It is very tough to read and defend. Smith’s greatest weaknesses, anticipation and reaction time, were exposed in a big way. He is too slow to recognize, and the blockers got the angles on him. He was torched in the running game.

-Micah McFadden had 5 tackles and 1 TFL playing under half the snaps. I like the progress he is showing, and he continues to be a weapon between the tackles. Tae Crowder saw some action and missed a tackle and was owned by PHI center Jason Kelce on the Hurts rushing touchdown. Again, simply overmatched.


-The trio of Darnay Holmes, Fabian Moreau, and Nick McCloud got outclassed by the PHI passing game. While it was not a big day in the air because of how much the run game dominated, all three were beat in big moments. McCloud and Holmes were both beat for explosive touchdowns (20+ yards) and Moreau got flagged for illegal use of hands on a third-down stop. Another area where PHI is capable of just owning one-on-one matchups is at receiver. A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith are elite-level route runners. They can sell their double moves as well as anyone and both McCloud and Holmes are known for taking the bait. Those were easy wins in man coverage for PHI. I still think the biggest injury this team has suffered all year is Adoree’ Jackson. On a damn punt return.

One positive I see out of Holmes is the quick recognition of screen passes and underneath route concepts. When he is looking downhill at the action, he is at his best. Add in the aggressive nature and excellent play-strength for his size, he has some safety in him. I’ve thought of this before but never expanded much on it. While it is too late to make this kind of move for 2022, I will be curious to see if NYG or any team that eventually signs him would consider the move.

Cor’Dale Flott is showing quality coverage and foot speed. He is near the action and does not look overmatched in any kind of matchup despite the size shortcomings. That said, he is not forcing many incompletions. He is close, but I want to see him take that extra step toward actually breaking up a pass. There is still that slight hitch in his reaction to routes and it is forcing him just short of being in the right position at the catch point.

-Zyon Gilbert saw just 8 snaps but finished with a sack.


-Really solid efforts and performances from both Julian Love and Jason Pinnock. Because of the inability of the front seven and their run defense, both were given a ton of opportunities to make tackles. They combined for 18 (9 each) and didn’t miss a single one. Love strengthened his case for being considered the best tackling safety in the NFL and Pinnock’s play speed continues to improve. That tells me things are clicking mentally and when you see that with a lack of mistakes, good things are coming. He has put two solid games back-to-back now.

-Tony Jefferson was the third safety again. He made 3 tackles and added a pressure.


-K Graham Gano: 2/2 XP
-P Jamie Gillan: 6 Punts / 40.2 avg – 35.3 net


-EDGE Azeez Ojulari, S Jason Pinnock, WR Richie James


-OT Evan Neal, LB Jaylon Smith, EDGE Jihad Ward


(1) If I am taking one team to make the Super Bowl from the NFC, my answer is without hesitation the Eagles. This roster has been engineered so well by General Manager Howie Roseman, and the coaching staff has the players executing at such an elite level on both sides of the ball. I have seen All-22 tape of PHI 5 or 6 times this year and it is a true joy to watch. This is what top-shelf execution looks like on both sides of the ball. All angles, all situations, their timing and accuracy is precise. That along with the depth and fortunate injury situation has left them in the driver’s seat of this conference.

(2) Are there any lessons learned from how this roster was constructed that NYG can try to apply to their roster rebuild? I have a few. The top one being a dual threat quarterback who was not a first rounder. Remember that in a few months. The next one being a trade for a proven star receiver who became available at the right time. It was a pull-of-the-trigger that I think added the dynamic element to this offense that makes them truly elite, or at least capable of that level. Lastly, they add to their offensive / defensive lines every single year through the draft, free agency, and waivers. The depth they have and the value they’re paying for quality players in the trenches in the best in the NFL. Let’s hope Brandon Brown, the assistant general manager of the Giants from the Roseman tree, will bring in a similar approach and result.

(3) Haason Reddick is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. I mean that. If I had to create a list of the top 4 outside linebackers league wide, he is on it. I really wanted NYG to pursue him prior to signing a 1-year deal with CAR a couple years ago. Who knows where he would be now if they did, but they let him slip through the cracks. The size profile throws some people off but there is a player (maybe 2) in this upcoming draft class that reminds me a lot of Reddick. The size, speed, burst, and ability to move around a bit. This dude has always been a pure edge guy and the off-ball LB experiment did not work and almost pushed him out of the league. Now he is a potential All-Pro. Remember, always take what a guy does well and put him in that position. It is crazy how many NFL coaches do not do that with special talents.


(1) This game had a certain vibe to it. The same vibe NYG fans have gotten used to seeing in December. Complete domination on both sides of the ball. Getting toyed with by the opponent. A double-digit deficit before your first bathroom break-type vibe. Did we really get fooled that badly? Is NYG back in the cellar already? Injuries have piled up a bit but most of the nucleus to this roster is still out there. They have Barkley, they have their starting quarterback, they have most of their starting lines. And they were outclassed from start to finish. The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is what I and some others meant when we said this team is still far away from real contention.

(2) I have a serious concern with some of the run-game design. I am always hesitant to question play-calling and even more hesitant to question design. There is too much information I do not have access to. But I would love to get an answer why, three or four times, they had Richie James motion to the tight end’s spot behind the line of scrimmage (which brought another PHI defender into the box) and then ran a play right off of his shoulder. James got tossed out of the way like he was a fly, and the PHI defenders were in the backfield within a moment. Every time. And they kept calling this design over and over. It would be one thing if they did it with a receiver that had size (Hodgins?) – but they actually took the smallest player on the field and asked him to be a fullback/tight end hybrid. Watching the designs of these two running games was like watching the Lawrence Taylor getting blocked by a running back. A completely different league.

(3) The upcoming national spotlight game has a unique feel to it. While I am never in the camp where one game means so much more than every other, this match-up is close. They are up against one of the hottest teams in the NFL, on the road. They just played each other two weeks ago and WAS is coming off a bye. They’re getting healthier while NYG is losing more bodies. NYG has won just 1 game since the week before Halloween. Long term question marks surrounding the status of their QB and RB are creeping into more and more conversations because those decisions are right around the corner. They are still in playoff contention but make no mistake, they need to win this game. No excuses. No empathy pain. None of that. Win, or else. Perform, or else.

Dec 112022
Brian Daboll, New York Giants (December 11, 2022)

Brian Daboll – © USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants were annihilated by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, losing 48-22. With the defeat, the Giants fell to 7-5-1 on the season and 0-3-1 in the NFC East.

Predictably, the Eagles also dominated overall team stats, out-gaining the Giants in first downs (27 to 18), total net yards (437 to 304), net yards rushing (253 to 123), net yards passing (184 to 181), and time of possession (32:30 to 27:30). The Eagles also won the turnover battle 1 to 0.

The game became a blowout almost immediately with the Eagles scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions and the Giants countering meekly with four straight punts. Philadelphia’s first possession travelled 84 yards in 14 plays and took 8:05 off of the clock. Their second possession was a 12-play, 91-yard drive that took another five minutes off of the clock. The touchdown came on a 41-yard pass on 4th-and-7. Their third drive last one play, a 33-yard touchdown pass after a botched 15-yard punt that was ruled an illegal kick. With 8:16 left in the 2nd quarter, the Eagles were up 21-0.

The Giants finally got on the board later in the quarter after linebacker Elerson Smith blocked an Eagles’ punt that set the ball up on the Philadelphia 15-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Daniel Jones found wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins for a 2-yard score. The Eagles returned the ensuing kickoff 66 yards to the New York 35-yard line. After picking up one first down, , the Eagles were stopped inside the red zone and settled for a 29-yard field goal with under a minute to play.

At the half, the Eagles led 24-7.

The Eagles extended their lead to 27-7 after their first drive of the 3rd quarter, gaining 63 yards in eight plays to set up a 39-yard field goal. The Giants responded with an 11-play, 75-yard effort that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jones on 3rd-and-goal. Eagles 27 – Giants 14.

The Eagles immediately added another touchdown, driving 63 yards in eight plays again, this time resulting in a 10-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jalen Hurts. Eagles 34 – Giants 14. After both teams punted, the Giants drove to the Philadelphia 18-yard line with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, but New York turned the ball over on downs at the 23-yard line. The Eagles scored again with a 7-play, 76-yard effort that ended with a 40-yard touchdown run by running back Miles Sanders. Eagles 41 – Giants 14.

With six minutes left in the game, the Giants brought Tyrod Taylor in at quarterback but he immediately fumbled the ball away when sacked. The Eagles recovered at the Giants’ 23-yard line. Four plays later, they added their final touchdown with running back Boston Scott scoring from three yards out.

The Giants added a garbage-time touchdown on their final possession, driving 75 yards in nine plays with Taylor throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Richie James. Taylor also completed the 2-point conversion attempt to Hodgins.

Jones finished the game 18-of-27 for 169 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He was sacked four times and ran for 26 yards on four carries, including a touchdown. The leading receiver was James, who caught seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Pathetically, the leading rusher was back-up quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who ran for 40 yards on two carries. Running back Saquon Barkley was limited to 28 yards on nine carries. Taylor was also sacked three times as the Giants gave up seven sacks.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 437 yards and six touchdowns. The Eagles averaged 6.6 yards per offensive play and were 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) on 3rd down and 1-of-1 (100 percent) on 4th down. The Giants did accrue four sacks, with two by outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari. The team was credited with only two pass defenses and did not force a turnover.

Special teams was a disaster, allowing a 66-yard kickoff return and botching a punt that led to an easy touchdown.

GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS are available on YouTube.

On Saturday, the Giants activated (standard elevation) DL Ryder Anderson and CB Zyon Gilbert from the Practice Squad to the 53-man roster.

Inactive for the game were DL Leonard Williams (neck), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), OG Josh Ezeudu (neck), OG Shane Lemieux (toe), WR David Sills, TE Lawrence Cager, and CB Rodarius Williams.

TE Daniel Bellinger (ribs) left the game and did not return. Inside linebackers Micah McFadden (ankle/neck) and Jaylon Smith (unknown) underwent x-rays after the game. WR Richie James was also evaluated for a concussion after his late touchdown catch.

Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Brian Daboll and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

Dec 092022
Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York Giants (December 4, 2022)

Kayvon Thibodeaux – © USA TODAY Sports

The growing sense of gloom by New York Giants fans is understandable given 1-3-1 record over the course of the last five games. It has diminished the surprise and excitement of the 6-1 start. However, fans should not lose sight of the fact that this team has far surpassed preseason expectations, and had the Giants started off 1-3-1 and followed that up with a 6-1 surge, attitudes would be much different right now.

I keep saying the same thing, but the same thing needs to be keep being said: this is a rebuilding ball club. When the Giants hit the restart button again in January 2022 with the hiring of Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll, previous rebuilding efforts under different general managers and head coaches meant jack squat. Starting over means starting over. And if you really believe that Daniel Jones is not part of the answer moving forward, the current rebuilding effort is going to take a lot longer.

Exacerbating all of this is the competition in the NFC East. The two best teams in the conference are the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. One of these two teams is likely to be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl, and if they both meet in the playoffs, it is likely to be the game of the year in the conference. The Giants may have a winning record, a good coaching staff, and talented players, but the talent gap between the Giants and Eagles/Cowboys is huge. We’re not just talking about front-line starters here but overall depth as well.

Barring some unforeseen weirdness, the Eagles are going to easily defeat the Giants on Sunday. That’s not me being a pessimist or defeatist. The Eagles are simply a better team across the board on offense, defense, and special teams. There is a good chance they will be Super Bowl champions in a couple of months. The best the Giants can hope for this year is to limp into a Wild Card berth in a poor conference. On the flip side, there is also a good chance the Giants finish in last place in their own division again.

The main immediate competition for the Giants is the Washington Commanders, who the Giants play after the Eagles. That will be the game of the year for New York. Stealing a win against the Eagles would be fantastic, but due to tie-breakers, the second game against the Commanders is essentially a playoff game. The last thing the Giants need to happen is come out of the Eagles game with a loss and being more beat up. For psychological reasons, Daboll doesn’t want his team to be blown out by Philadelphia, but there has to be a great temptation to preserve his team’s strength and play it safe for the following week, when Washington will be coming off of a 2-week bye.

I get it. The frustration is growing that the Giants-Eagles and Giants-Cowboys are no longer real rivalries because these series are so one-sided. But the Giants are not at the same level as the Eagles. It is what it is.


  • RB Saquon Barkley (neck – questionable)
  • WR Richie James (knee – probable)
  • WR Kenny Golladay (illness – probable)
  • WR Marcus Johnson (illness – probable)
  • OG Josh Ezeudu (neck – out)
  • OG Shane Lemieux (toe – out)
  • DL Leonard Williams (neck – doubtful)
  • DL Henry Mondeaux (knee – probable)
  • CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee – out)
  • CB Darnay Holmes (shoulder – probable)
  • CB Nick McCloud (hamstring – probable)

This side of the ball is a mismatch. The Giants are 22nd in offense in the NFL. The Eagles are 2nd in defense. They also have the #1 pass defense in the NFL and will be facing a New York passing attack that scares no one.

The strength of the Eagles defensively, as it has been for years, is their defensive front. Again, it’s not just their front-line starters but their back-ups. They come at you in waves, just like the Dallas Cowboys do. The Eagles are second in the NFL in sacks with 42, averaging 3.5 sacks per game. Five players on the team have five sacks or more, led by LB Haason Reddick (9), DT Javon Hargrave (8), DE Josh Sweat (6.5), DE Brandon Graham (5.5), and DT Fletcher Cox (5). As we saw last week against the Commanders and their two fine defensive tackles, the interior of the New York offensive line is likely to mightily struggle against Hargrave and Cox in particular. RT Evan Neal will also have his hands full with Reddick.

Making matters worse is the Eagles have reached a new level defensively because of the play of their cornerbacks. The Giants wide receivers simply will not be able to get open against Darius Slay and ex-Giant James Bradberry, both of whom are playing at a top-notch level. The Eagles don’t give up big plays and the Giants don’t have the personnel to make big plays in the passing game. And the Eagles lead the NFL with a +13 turnover differential, having taken the ball away 23 times (15 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries).

The Commanders shocked everyone by beating the Eagles in Week 10. They did so because the Commanders ran the ball for 152 yards, limited wide receiver A.J. Brown to one catch, and won the turnover battle 4-to-2. The problem for the Giants is their interior offensive line is not as strong as the Commanders. It’s been one of the main reasons why the Giants’ offense has taken a step backwards in recent weeks. Worse, the Eagles have tightened up their run defense in recent weeks, controlling the likes of Derrick Henry as just one example. The Eagles are also not likely to turn the football over four times again.

The Eagles know their secondary can easily handle the Giants’ pass receivers. Defensively, they will dedicate their game plan to stopping Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones as runners.

Partly due to injuries, this side of the ball is also a mismatch. The Giants are 23rd in defense (18th against the pass, 26th against the run). The Eagles are 3rd in offense (12th in passing, 5th in rushing).

The Giants have two big problems. First, they have never been able to get their key defensive starters together on the field all year. Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale said on Thursday, “It’s just one of those years where you just walk around shaking our head like I can’t believe this because you’re playing so many different guys at different spots with the injuries that we’ve had.” So while the Giants get Azeez Ojulari back, Leonard Williams is now dealing with a neck injury. And the secondary is currently a mess with Xavier McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson out, and Darnay Holmes and Nick McCloud dealing with issues. The lack of depth is apparent. Again, it is what it is.

The second issue is the talent on the Philadelphia Eagles. Jalen Hurts has reached MVP-level performance as his passing game has evolved. He’s no longer just a running quarterback. “Jalen is getting into that level, that top-tier quarterback, because you can just see the jump,” said Martindale. “He’s really worked on his throwing mechanics, his footwork, and it’s paying off for him.” Despite being a downfield thrower (not dink-and-dunk), Hurts is completing 68 percent of his passes. He has thrown 20 touchdowns to just three interceptions with a quarterback rating over 108. Want to be more depressed? He’s still his team’s second leading rusher with 609 yards rushing and nine rushing touchdowns.

And with the NYG secondary ailing, guess who Hurts has to throw to? WR A.J. Brown (61 catches, 950 yards, 9 touchdowns) and DeVonta Smith (61 catches, 711 yards, 4 touchdowns). Both of these guys are game-breakers and will be matched up on New York’s no-name corners.

So you say the Giants have to win up front by stopping the run and getting after Hurts? Problem. The Eagles have no real weaknesses up front on their offensive line (RT Lane Johnson hasn’t given up a QB hit or sack all year). This group makes big holes for the Eagles’ 5th-ranked running game and gives Hurts tons of time to throw the ball. In fact, if you want answers to why the Eagles have owned the Giants for years, look no further than their dominance on the offensive and defensive lines. The Eagles win because they are strong up front. There is a lesson here for the Giants.

Mile Sanders is the team’s leading rusher with 924 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging almost 5 yards per carry. But be prepared for little used Boston Scott to continue his odd dominance against the Giants. Scott has eight career touchdowns against New York.

If the Giants are to pull off the upset, they have to dominate on special teams, something they have yet to do this year.

Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale on the Eagles’ offense: “I was telling the defensive staff, I know they’re not going to play the Pro Bowl this year, but they’re playing it in Philly because they’re talented across the board.”

Brian Daboll has to play a delicate balancing act here. He needs to preserve his strength for the Commanders game. At the same time, if his team gets destroyed by the Eagles, that could have a bad psychological affect that impacts the following week. The Giants really don’t have the firepower (and the Eagles do) to play a go-for-broke, up-tempo game. They are likely once again limited to runs and short passes, trying to slow the game down and eat up clock in a desperate attempt to keep the score close. It’s hard to see the Giants keeping the game close unless they win the turnover battle and something strange happens on offense, defense, or special teams.

How much better are the Eagles? They’ve scored nearly 100 points more than the Giants this year in just 12 games.

Dec 282021
Jake Fromm, New York Giants (December 26, 2021)

Jake Fromm – © USA TODAY Sports


“The most wonderful time of the year” had a different feel to it in 2021. The surge in Covid-19 cases continues to explode both within the league and in society itself. The impact it has had on everyday life over the past couple of weeks for many reminded us just how fragile the situation itself is. Sports have become an important escape for many. A time period, whether it be a 3-hour game or a full afternoon, to mentally escape the stresses created from this seemingly never-ending pandemic was what many had to look forward to. A classic NFC East matchup between the Giants and Eagles was on tap. Philadelphia was on the playoff bubble, sitting with a 7-7 record and winners of 4 of their last 5. The only loss within that stretch? November 28 vs. NYG. The Giants were all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, coming in at 4-10 with their last road win being October 3 at New Orleans. This game only added to the stress of life.

Jake Fromm got the nod at starting quarterback for the first time in the NFL. The hope was that a new face under center could help create a spark in what many consider to be the worst offense in the NFL. It certainly couldn’t be any worse, right? The first quarter was marred with poor offensive football. Both offenses gained one total first down each on the game’s first 6 combined possessions. Fromm last took on PHI starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in the 2018 National Championship. Boy have things changed for those two when it comes to their status regarding football.

NYG broke the scoreless tie via a 54-yard field goal by Graham Gano. Most of the offensive production on the drive came from running backs Saquon Barkley and Devontae Booker in addition to receiver Kadarius Toney, who saw the field for the first time since November 22. PHI kicker Jake Elliott missed a 41-yard attempt on the ensuing drive but did hit a 22-yarder after NYG went 3-and-out. The game was tied at 3 as the we headed into halftime with the two offenses combined for 225 yards, two thirds of which belonged to PHI.

Fromm was intercepted on the second play of the second half and that play spurred one of the ugliest in-game stretches of football this franchise has ever seen in an era of Giants football that is arguably the worst this franchise has ever seen. Boston Scott scored on a 3-yard touchdown run because a NYG vs PHI matchup doesn’t exist without him crossing the goal line. It was his 12th career touchdown, 8th against Big Blue in 3 years.

Fromm and NYG went 3-and-out again before PHI padded the lead with a 37-yard field goal by Elliott. Head Coach Joe Judge then opted to return Fromm to the bench to re-insert Mike Glennon. That confirmed that NYG did not have the next Tony Romo in Fromm. So close. Glennon went on to lead yet another 3-and-out drive before PHI scored yet another touchdown on a pass from Hurts to rookie Devonta Smith to bring the score to 20-3 as the game entered the 4th quarter. The first two possessions of that 4th quarter resulted in two more PHI touchdowns. One was a pass from Hurts to right tackle Lane Johnson right before a pick-6 that Glennon threw to PHI linebacker Alex Singleton. 34-3 with 10:19 left after NYG went up 3-0 in the 2nd quarter.

NYG then went on a meaningless 17-play drive that consisted of two third-down conversions and two fourth-down conversions. It ended with a touchdown pass from Glennon to Evan Engram. Perhaps it wasn’t so meaningless for those in their fantasy football playoffs but then again if you were relying on any Giants for your fantasy football matchups, you likely didn’t make the playoffs. The two teams traded scoreless possessions from there and this game couldn’t end soon enough. This season can’t end soon enough.

NYG loses 34-10.


-Jake Fromm: 6/17 – 25 yards / 0 TD – 1 INT / 19.5 RAT

-“Not ideal” for Fromm’s first career NFL start according to him. That is putting it kindly. To be blunt, Fromm looked like he didn’t belong on the field. For a quarterback who does not have tremendous arm talent, everything else needs to be near-flawless. Fromm’s accuracy was poor, the blocking in front of him was poor, and his ability to process the defense was poor. There was nothing positive to take from his performance.

-Mike Glennon essentially played the second half and went 17/27 for 93 yards and 1 TD / 1 INT. The one contrast I see between the two is arm strength and overall zip on the ball. Neither were particularly accurate, but Glennon throws a much better ball than Fromm and it isn’t close.


-Saquon Barkley was outproduced by Devontae Booker again. Barkley gained 28 yards on 16 touches, Booker 46 yards on 10 touches. The offensive line didn’t do them any favors as both, Barkley more so, was being contacted by defenders behind the line of scrimmage. Just an ugly overall game for the backfield that didn’t move the needle in either direction regarding the team’s future vision here.


-9 receptions for 62 yards. No, not by one player. That is the stat line for the entire wide receiver group. DeVonta Smith, a rookie for PHI, had 5 receptions for 80 yards.

-Kadarius Toney was back on the field and saw about half of the snaps. He ended with 4 catches and 28 yards. His balance wasn’t keeping up with his agility, as he looked rusty. On the PHI defensive touchdown, he didn’t finish his route and it gave Singleton that window to get his hands on the ball. The one issue with a receiver that is so intent on what he does after the catch is exactly what happened. He needs to remember: Get the ball first then make your move(s).

-Kenny Golladay didn’t bring in any catches until Glennon came in. With a quarterback like Fromm, one that is so limited when it comes to arm power and likely hesitant to throw into traffic, expecting Golladay to get looks was unlikely. He didn’t get to make many plays on the ball.

-Darius Slayton and David Sills each had 1 catch for a total of 12 yards.


-Evan Engram’s production also ticked upward after Glennon came back in. He had 3 catches from him for 19 yards including the team’s lone touchdown. Engram also added a drop to his season’s total.

-Kyle Rudolph was only on the field for a season-low 17 snaps. Interesting approach here for a team that couldn’t get the ball to receivers and on a team with an offensive line that was clearly overmatched.


-The PHI front is not a good matchup for NYG porous offensive line. In all honesty, we can say that about most lines NYG faces off against, but I didn’t think the NYG offense had a shot in this game for that reason.

-Nobody finished with a positive grade. Andrew Thomas was the closest. He allowed a pressure, a TFL, and was flagged for a false start. Derek Barnett, a free agent this upcoming offseason, won the 1 on 1 battle between the 2 over and over.

-Matt Peart suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury on the third drive. He had allowed 2 pressures on the first 2 drives, clearly overmatched by Josh Sweat. His movement and stiffness were so poor. Korey Cunningham came in and played 88% of the snaps and it was clear to me he is the better player than Peart. I don’t want to beat a guy while he’s down, but that may be the last time we see Peart starting a game for NYG. His improvement and development have been non-existent since being drafted. If anything, he’s gone backward.

-Inside was a mess. Matt Skura allowed 4 pressures and a TFL while Billy Price and Will Hernandez allowed a pressure and TFL each. The running game was overwhelmed by how crowded it got between the tackles. Not only do they lack push, but they were being driven back 1-2 yards at least on inside runs. You just cannot move the ball in that scenario. Wes Martin relieved Skura in the second half and offered more of the same, except he held his ground against the bull rush a bit better.


-Another week where I felt the defensive line got trounced in the running game. Dexter Lawrence continues to be an enigma to me. He finished with 3 pressures but was poor against the run. More on him below.

-Leonard Williams finished with 5 tackles, 1 pressure, and 1 PD. I am curious what this franchise plans on doing with him. Obviously, he is here long term, and I am more than fine with it. He is a unique player who can take over games, one of the top 5 DTs in the game. However, there are certain roles he just doesn’t excel in and one of them is 2-gapping the running game. Good blockers simply take him where he wants to go, and it opens massive running lanes. It is discouraging to say the least.

-The trio of Austin Johnson, Raymond Johnson, and David Moa did not offer much against the pass. They combined for 4 tackles and 0 pressures. Moa shows some grit inside but both he and Johnson were overwhelmed by the power run blocking of PHI.


-Another impressive day for Lorenzo Carter, who is making a late season surge. He finished with 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 3 pressures. He also forced a fumble that PHI ended up recovering. He has that twitch and explosion back. Can one make the argument that he is now far enough removed from his Achilles’ injury to show what he truly is athletically? Yes. How much does that weigh regarding his future? That will be the point of interesting and hopefully respectful debate.

-Rookie outside linebackers Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith also flashed. Encouraging signs from a longtime sore spot on this defense. Ojulari finished with 3 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 pressure. He made a couple of nice inside moves that I hadn’t seen yet. One of the focal points I have down for him heading into the offseason is more variety with his inside game. Good to see progress from him in this area right now. Smith only saw 13 snaps, but I saw exactly what I wanted to see on the play he got a pressure. Inside move with late bend and a tight-angled turn.

-Tae Crowder hasn’t been getting the best reviews from me this season and rightfully so. But what I like is just how hard he plays, start to finish. He is one physical dude but one who I hope is a backup next season, not a starter. He and Jaylon Smith were the main reasons why we see the NYG defensive backs making so many tackles. Just too late and not effective enough filling the gaps.


-James Bradberry and Jarren Williams handled nearly all of the snaps at outside corner. They excelled early on showing tight coverage, but it wavered in the second half. They were getting burned up and down, left, and right. Bradberry was inches away from an interception.


-The trio of Julian Love, Logan Ryan, and Xavier McKinney was very busy. In fact, they were the 3 leading tacklers, combining for 15 of them. Love missed 2, McKinney missed 1. These guys are all over the field and when watching the All-22, it’s hard not to be impressed amidst such an unimpressive team overall. The general feel of this team is so poor, but I strongly believe they are a couple pass rushers and perhaps a linebacker away from being a very good group overall. Not an easy order but at the same time, not an impossible task. This safety trio is one of the best 5 in the NFL and I mean it. They can be built around and where NYG sits in the draft should be able to net one of those pieces.


-K Graham Gano: 1/1 (Made 54)
-P Riley Dixon: 8 Punts / 36.8 avg – 28.0 net


-OLB Lorenzo Carter, S Logan Ryan, OLB Azeez Ojulari


-QB Jake Fromm, OG Matt Skura, WR Kadarius Toney


(1) Can PHI be the random wildcard team that gets hot at the right time and surges through the playoffs? When I think about Jalen Hurts being the QB, my initial answer is no. But when I think about how important offensive/defensive line play can impact the game, I think yes. The trench-combination this team has could be one of the best 3 or 4 in the NFL right now. Some of their young players are peaking at the right time and Fletcher Cox is one of the best 5 DTs in the game. After all, they are the number one rushing team in the league.

(2) PHI rookie DT Milton Williams is a name to watch in the future. The 3rd round pick came in a little undersized for inside play (6’3/284) but PHI has found a nice role for him, and he has been contributing since Week 1. I think my grade (mid- to late-day 3) was way off. We are going to hear his name more and more in the coming years. That kind of body type is always hard to project because they are very scheme and role dependent. There are a handful of these guys in the 2022 class who I think can be difference makers in a similar way. I hope NYG can get their hands on one of them in the middle rounds.

(3) Wide receiver DeVonta Smith was a very sought-after prospect by many of us heading into the 2021 Draft, myself included. PHI leap-frogged NYG in a trade with DAL and took him. I remember having that pit-in-the-stomach feeling knowing we would see him twice a year for a long time. How has his rookie year been? He hasn’t missed a game. He’s played 86% of the snaps. He is by far the team’s #1 WR across every metric. Only Jaylen Waddle and Ja’Marr Chase are ahead of him among rookies. The team hasn’t used his strengths consistently enough when it comes to deep routes but when they do, he has shined. He has the look of a Justin Jefferson type weapon if the QB play gets elevated.


(1) Dexter Lawrence, as noted above, is a tough player to truly figure out. Remember when he came into the league it was all about his size, presence, and sneaky athletic ability that we liked. A Linval Joseph-type with the upside of a Haloti Ngata. Simply put, he hasn’t gotten over the hump. Nice player? Sure. His pass rush is the one thing that has made somewhat of a difference here. However, the lack of consistent run stuffing has been a frustrating watch. Part of it is how he is used but I question him even if they move him to a true NT role. If there is one player on this roster who is marketable in an offseason trade, it is Lawrence. If he can be used to help build the OL or pass rush in any way, I pull that trigger.

(2) I just got done watching Miami play against New Orleans on Monday Night Football. While I think they are still a year away from credible AFC contention, I try to take some things away from the Dolphins in regard to building from the basement of the NFL in a competitive market. I’ve discussed their OL approach (it worked but it took years of patience with developing rookies). I’ve discussed their spending on defense with a quarterback on a rookie deal. But what can NYG do at WR when looking at MIA? I have a feeling that this won’t be taken well, but with one of those top 10 picks I think NYG should look hard at WR. I’m not sure the value will be there, but if it is, WR needs to be a consideration in addition to the OL. NYG needs to score more points and I’m not confident their skill position guys have the horses to do so despite how many resources that the team has already spent on the position.

(3) I am 36 years old. I began following this team in the mid-90’s and started to really follow this team closely in the early 2000’s. Then I got into professional scouting about a decade later, amping it up around 2014-2015. Not as long as some of you, I know. That said, this is by far the lowest of the low my eyes have seen. Forget about the record (which is horrific) since that Odell Beckham boat picture. I am talking about the simple quality of football and ability to compete. This is the lowest of the low. Completing passes to the flat seems like a chore. Blocking defenders at the point-of-attack seems impossible. Putting a consistent pass rush on the opposing quarterback never happens. We see as many drops and miscues and missed assignments as any team in the league. What exactly are we looking for from a head coach when evaluating him? Forget the pressers after games, almost all of them are worthless. I am talking about on-field evaluation. What are we actually looking for? A coach needs to be a problem solver and culture builder. Almost 2 years in, tell me what problems have been solved and which culture has been built? I’ll be waiting for that answer.