By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
The New York Giants have finally reached their bye week and for all Giant fans; this season has been torture to say the least. The Giants are 3-6 and still have a 2nd half schedule (8 games) that presents a challenge. The first half brought us many lows and a few high’s and based on the off season projections; the first half should be deemed a disappointment. Many expected the Giants to compete for the NFC east crown, instead are trying their best to stay out of the NFC cellar. Here’s a quick mid season grade for each position.
Quarterback- Grade B+: Giving Jones an B+ might seem too high with a 3-6 record, but he has played well beyond what many expected and the fact that the OL has been in shambles and most of his offensive weapons injured for most of the games; speak volumes for Jones.
Running Back- Grade C-: Barkley’s been hampered once again with injuries and aside from him, only Booker has shown some flashes over the last couple of games. This grade could certainly improve if Barkley can stay healthy in the 2nd half. The Giants success and perhaps Barkley’s future as a Giant will strongly depend on his production in the final 8 games.
Tight Ends- Grade C+: The TE position hasn’t been utilized properly until the last couple of games. Perhaps the Giants will get them more involved in the 2nd half.
Wide Receiver- Grade B-: Got to like the makeup of this group when they are fully healthy; which hasn’t been the case in the 1st half. Hopefully this group will stay healthy in the 2nd half and their production will improve; along with their grade.
Offensive Line- Grade D-: a D– grade in my opinion is generous as this unit has been floundering downward over the last several weeks. Lots of question marks leading into the 2nd half and the off season; and with 10 picks in the upcoming draft; we better see at the very least two OL selected; I’m projecting three.
Defensive Line- Grade C-: I might be too generous with this grade as this unit has been horrible against the run and can’t rush the passer for the most part. Improvements needed in the 2nd half and expect a high priority of pass rushers and play making linebackers in the upcoming draft.
Outside Linebackers- Grade D+: No production from Carter or Ximines; as Ojulari and Roche have taken over and appear to have secured the starting OLB positions. This grade could improve immensely by the end of the season with Ojulari and Roche as the starters now.
Inside Linebackers- Grade D-: Once Martinez went down, so did the production at the inside linebacker position. Crowder and Ragland are not the long term solution and this should prompt the Giants to look for an inside linebacker this off season.
Cornerbacks- Grade D+: Lots of money tied into this position and draft capital over the last couple of years and not enough to show for it. I expect this grade to improve by the end of the season. If not, the Giants are tied up with a lot money with Bradberry’s and Jackson’s contract for 2022.
Safeties- Grade D+: Once believed to be one of our strongest positions on Defense at the start of the season, has resulted in poor 1st half performance overall. 2nd half could have a different outlook as McKinney is starting to heat up and could be turning the corner.
Punter- Grade B+: Dixon has been consistent thus far and a bright spot on this team.
Kicker- Grade B+: Cano very steady and very reliable, expect more to come.
The Giants have five of their eight games in the 2nd half against teams (Eagles/Washington/Dolphins/Bears) that are struggling as well and on paper have a good chance of winning those games. However; the other three teams (Buccaneers/Cowboys/Chargers) will present a major problem for the Giants and their hopes for a playoff spot. Trying to be optimistic, but the odds are strongly stacked against them and in my opinion; the final 8 games is more about which player/coaches will be back in 2022 than them making the playoffs. Overall Team Grade: C-