By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
Looking at the initial roster moves and how the Giants team currently structured; there are a few things that jump out for me as we head into the season. Of course the roster could certainly be tweaked as we move forward into the season, so here are my top 5 observations that I project in 2022.
- Run Defense: The Giants defensive line has a good mixture of players who have excelled against the run, and I believe this will continue this season. However, the Giants released former Captain and starter Blake Martinez recently, so it will be up to DC Wink Martindale to put the right players in position to keep their run defense as competitive as possible. Rookie Micah McFadden who had a very productive pre-season will more than likely be asked to take over the majority of the snaps in Martinez’s absence. Despite the changes, I believe the Giants will have a top 15 defense against the run.
- Offensive Production: The Giants ranked at the top in pre-season in total yards and although I don’t expect them to be #1 during the season. I do see them having a more explosive offense with less predictability. I believe Daniel Jones will prove a lot of non-supporters wrong and running back Saquan Barkley will recapture his rookie form and be a lethal weapon in both the running and passing game. The biggest obstacle for both will be if they can stay healthy as both have had a brief history of injuries that have either derailed, they career or stunt their growth.
- Secondary Question Marks: There’s concerns in my opinion at the cornerback position more than at safety. Until they prove me wrong, I can see the Giants pass defense to be somewhere between 25 to 30th in the league, while giving up big plays throughout the season.
- Health Issues: This has been a major concern for the Giants in recent history, as it continues into the 2022 season. The Giants need to keep the injuries to a minimum; specially to key players. On offense, all eyes will be on Barkley; but keep in mind that Golladay, Toney and Shepard have a history with injuries as well. On defense, all eyes will be on Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari who have each sustained minor injuries before game 1 and are doubtful against the Titans.
- Intangibles: If the key veteran players on both sides of the ball play anywhere close to their potential and the Giants get unexpected production from a handful of their draft picks, the fans should see a team improving right before their eyes. Another factor will be if the Giants can catch more breaks than their opponent, which could result in an extra win on the year.
I can see the Giants taking a few steps forward this season, but by no means do I expect them to make the playoffs. In 2021, this team won only 4 games and despite having a new regime in place with Schoen/Daboll and the rest of the coaching staff. It’s extremely difficult to turn your fortunes around in just one season. I consider this season to be a successful one if they can come close to doubling their win total and also having their key players and nucleus having productive seasons.