Hello fellow Giant fans. Are there any left? Is anybody out there reading this? If so, you are probably a glutton for punishment like I am. If not, I totally get it.
Most New York Giant fans stray away from anything related to this team the past 2 years (and 5 out of the last 6). Mostly because, every damn article you read is about how the team sucks, ownership sucks, coaching sucks, Eli sucks, etc.. The problem is, those articles haven’t been wrong.
Sorry I am not sorry for not posting after the horrible Redskins loss. I know, I know. I am supposed to shower you guys with positive thoughts through these dark times. When you start back to back seasons off at 1-7, it is super hard to find anything positive to write about. Mr. Glass-Half-Full will not be adding to the countless amount of negative articles written about this team. I WILL NOT DO IT!
So, in this piece, I am going to talk about the positives during the 1st Half of the season (there aren’t many). I will also talk about what we can look forward to the rest of the way, as Giants play out the, what seems like, endless string of games towards another Top 5 pick.
Saquon Barkley: You can scream to the heavens how the Giants should have drafted a QB with their #2 pick, as a lot of you like to do. While all these rookie QBs have shown some promise (along with a ton of interceptions; i.e. Sam Darnold), there is no doubting the Giants drafted the most talented player in the 2018 Draft. Barkley has been everything the Giants could have asked for and WAY more. He has rushed for 519 yards to got along with rushing 5 TDs. He has been Manning’s safety valve (that is used WAY too much) to a tune of 58 catches and 497 yards to go along with 2 receiving TDs.
Mind you, he is doing all of this with a shell of a Quarterback and a bottom-three Offensive Line. If the Giants could ever put a semblance of an offensive line in front of this kid(and that is far from a given), he will no doubt be the best running back in the league. I truly believe that. Please Mr. Gettleman, get this guy a couple more Hog Mollies to run behind!
Odell Beckham Jr.: For all the antics and hysteria about our Diva wide receiver, the guy still has 61 catches for 785 yards and 2 Tds in an offense that can’t score. Odell is everything you want in a receiver, and going to back to what I said about Barkley, if they could ever build an Offensive Line, OBJ’s game would explode. Given that Eli has no time to find OBJ down the field, Odell’s game has been limited. Imagine being limited and still putting up those stats through 8 games. Makes you sad to think about.
Wil Hernandez: The kid looks like an absolute keeper. He is the very definition of a Hog Mollie that Dave Gettleman was looking for. Per all the metrics and scouts that know what they are looking for, he is one of the better Guards in the league already. If and when this Giants team gets a full offensive line together and begins to run the ball more, they will play to this guy’s strength. He should not be pass blocking 40 times a game, and you have seen him have some rough stretches because of that. I am not worried at all about that and these rookie mistakes will make him better in the long run.
Lorenzo Carter/B.J. Hill:
The number 66th and 69th (nice) players drafted in the 3rd Round of the draft have turned out be very solid players for the Giants. This is what happens when you don’t REACH for players in the draft, but instead, select solid players that have great track records of success in college (I am looking at you Jerry Reese). Both players have come in and have flashed big time in the first 8 games of their careers, and both appear to be big parts of the defensive core for years to come. B.J. Hill has been an absolute load in the middle of this defense since Day 1 and is constantly playing in the opposing team’s backfield. Lorenzo Carter has flashed speed and big play ability while showing off his raw tools. Once this guy puts on NFL weight and learns some pass-rush moves, he is coming to be a PROBLEM coming off the edge of this 3-4 defense.
The Kicking Game:
Both Aldrick Rosas and Riley Dixon have done very well to solidify the Giants special teams. Rosas is 17/18 this year and his only missed kick was a 50+ yarder in the Eagles game that he routinely hits, but was suffering from an injured quad that game. The Giants absolutely made the right move keeping this kid after a rough rookie season. Riley Dixon has looked like the best punter the Giants have had since Steve “We’re going to the mothereffin’ Super Bowl” Weatherford was wearing Blue. Another nice get from Mr. Gettleman there.
Honorable Mentions: Sterling Shepard, Landon Collins
What to Look Forward To!
Just playin’ with y’all. There are a few things that we can look forward to during this LONG ENDLESS 2nd Half of the season that will hopefully give us Giant fans a glimmer of hope moving forward.
- Pat Shurmur’s offensive progression, or lack-thereof. At some point, we need to see this offense progress, bad offensive line or not. There are worse offensive lines with less talented skill position players on other teams that are scoring more points that the Giants. At some point, we need to see Shurmur’s scheme working. I am hoping that now that the Giants have 8 games under their belt in a new scheme, we will start to see some progress. Better late than never?
- Ditto for James Bettcher’s defensive progression. The defense has played well enough, but we have not see then attacking sort of defense that Bettcher employed in Arizona. This defense is not THAT much less talented, so I am hoping that the players finally grasp his concepts and system and we start seeing some solid work on that side.
- The Giants were able to claim Jamon Brown off of the waiver wire last week due to their them being so shitty last year and having 2nd crack at claiming any players on waivers. Brown was a former 3rd Round pick of the Rams that started every game for the Ram offense in 2017. Still only 25 years young, Brown was suspended the first 2 games of this season and never got his job back because the Ram offensive line was humming along. It was a curious move met by some scorn from Rams fans and several other teams put in a claim for Brown, so that bodes well that he was that well-thought of. Gettleman has an eye for these under-the-radar type of O-Lineman. Brown can’t be worse than what the Giants have trotted out at RG, so he will be given ample opportunity to earn the job and hopefully keep it for the foreseeable future. The Giants need all the help they can get on the Offensive Line.
- The continued progression of the 2018 rookie class. Barkley, Hernandez, Hill, and Carter have all flashed big time talent. R.J. McIntosh was finally activated this week, so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the table as a quick interior defensive lineman. The Giants have lacked pass rush from that spot, and he could be a major piece there.
- Lastly, there is the infamous Kyle Andretti, I mean, Lauletta. After his little run-in with the Weehawken cops last week, Lauletta has taken a step back in trying to start for the Giants at some point this season. However, there have been conversations has between Eli Manning and Pat Shumur over the bye week were probably in reference to Eli needing to step up or he could be benched sooner than later. The team will need to see what Lauletta has to offer in this final stretch to find out if they have anything in him going into next year. It may or may not have an effect on whether the Giants pick a QB in the first round of next year’s draft, depending on who is available.
- The final chapter in Eli Manning’s illustrious career. It’s here folks. It came a little quicker than I (and some of you) would have liked, but our boy looks cooked. He has been battered for too long now and looks like a boxer that has taken one too many head shots. It was a fun ride Elisha and they can never take away those two Super Bowl runs, which provided some of the greatest sports stretches these eyes have ever seen. I really hope the Giants can at least set up one last start for Eli before signalling a change in guard to Lauletta. It will bring fans to the stadium for one(probably the last time you will see Metlife full the rest of the year), and it will allow us to give proper thanks to the best quarterback in this storied franchises history. The guy deserves that much after all the years of shit he has taken from the media, fans, and ownership for not giving him a good enough Offensive Line to compete these last 7 years.
So, that is it folks. While the Giants play out this string, I will be writing less and less about games and more about the overall state of the team and what they should be doing going forward. Let’s hope that this team can at least play competitive football during this last stretch, and I don’t know, maybe score a touchdown or two along the way.
Go Big Blue
P.S. If Nick Mullens lights up this defense, I may lose my shit. Everyone is WAY too high on a kid that just lit up a Raiders defense that has effectively quit on the season.