New York Giants head coach Joe Judge never promised the rebuilding process would be easy in transforming the franchise back into a consistent winner. But after 12 weeks, Giants fans should be confident the team will finish out the 2020 season strong.
The G-Men are trying to win their first NFC East Division title since 2011. This notion may be hard to fathom, especially if you consider the Giants were 1-7 at the halfway mark of the season. But if this group of unknowns and castaways have any shot of ending the franchise’s playoff drought (last appearance in 2016), then they must continue to play aggressive, error-free football.
2020 New York Giants Should Be Confident of Finishing the Season Strong
Expectations High During Giants Four-Game Winning Streak
Expectations are at an all-time high as the Giants are in a midst of a four-game winning streak. No one is trying to hand the Lombardi Trophy to the G-Men, but you have to be impressed by the results. This inexperienced group have banded together and are playing as one cohesive group. The Giants are hungry for success, which make them a dangerous team to play if they earn a playoff berth.
Judge felt this part of the rebuilding process would take some time, but the Giants have taken full advantage of their opportunities. The practice field has become the laboratory where the players have learned their trade in becoming serviceable NFL performers.
With five wins, the Giants have surpassed their win total from a year ago. But the remainder of the schedule won’t be easy to add-on more wins to that number. The one advantage for the Giants is three of their final four games will be played at MetLife Stadium. But each opponent (Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, at Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys) is a bonafide playoff contender. Still, skeptics will have mixed feelings on whether the Giants will win another game in 2020.
Each Unit Has to Contribute to the 2020 New York Giants Success
All season, one of the positives has been the play of the defense. And chances are very good, this unit will decide if the Giants are going to win the division. Offensively, the Giants have struggled to play consistent football all season long. The special teams unit has been outstanding as Graham Gano’s leg is the team’s leading (92 points) scorer. His superb kicking accuracy is the reason why the Giants have stayed in the NFC East title hunt.
The offensive inconsistencies have over-shadowed the play of the other two units. Part of the problem has been the lack of ball security shown by Daniel Jones this season. Through 12 games, the second-year quarterback has thrown for 2,335 yards and eight touchdowns, but the nine picks and six fumbles (four lost) has raised everyone’s concern level. But over his last three starts, Jones has done a better job of protecting (zero interceptions and fumbles lost) the pigskin.
Give credit to Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for developing a game plan that emphasizes Jones’ strengths. And it has allowed the unit to move the ball downfield. Still, the lack of execution on third-down contributes heavily to the offensive woes. But the renewed running game has put the offense in a good position to put points on the scoreboard. Moving forward, this is a work in progress offensively. During the current winning streak, the offense hasn’t been explosive, but quite efficient.
Giants Defense Reigns Supreme
Defensively, the Giants rank (fourth against the run and 19th against the pass) 10th in the NFL. The inexperience of the secondary has been put to test by opponents. But as the season progressed, so has the unit gaining more experience and confidence in making plays. The group’s progression has been aided by the veteran leadership of James Bradberry and Logan Ryan. Each has played at an All-Pro level this season.
In the red zone is where this unit (Giants defense ranks sixth in the NFL) excels as opposing teams score only 53 percent of the time. Top offenses are scoring at a 70th percent ratio inside the red zone this season. The league is learning fast that you cannot run against this front seven. No question, the Giants defense is ready to take that next step in becoming elite. And there is still time left in this season to hit that mark.
There is work to be done as the 2020 New York Giants know what is at stake in the last quarter of the season. Win every game and they’re NFC East champs.
But that is easier said than done.