Because, of course they are
The New York Giants have produced a decade of mostly-bad football. ESPN’s future power rankings, projecting the next three seasons, indicate a belief that isn’t going to change soon. ESPN’s panel has the Giants at No. 25 over the next three seasons.
Let’s go through some of the reasoning.
Why they’re here: The Giants proved in 2020 that they will not be pushed over. Coach Joe Judge immediately instilled a culture emblematic of his own tough, all-business approach to football. The floor for this franchise will be set by that, as the Giants should play quality defense and be disciplined in most areas. But the ceiling is set by Daniel Jones. Few players face the kind of pressure he does entering 2021, as a quantum leap from Jones would not only result in this franchise taking a huge step but also would turn questions next offseason from “Should the Giants find another quarterback?” to “How expensive will an extension for Jones be?”
Valentine’s View: Everything always comes back to the Jones question, doesn’t it? Either Jones proves Dave Gettleman right and the Giants’ future looks brighter, or he doesn’t and the Giants are back to wondering when and where they will find a long-term quarterback.
Biggest worry: It would be easy to point to Jones and Saquon Barkley as the things that concern me, but I think those two will play winning football. Instead, it is the offensive line that concerns me, as this unit has been miserable, particularly in pass protection. Without substantial improvements, this offense is not going to meet expectations.
Valentine’s View: Again, no news here. We have talked about this for months. Well, years actually.
What could change for the better: New York is getting the best out of highly regarded young talent — particularly on defense, with Leonard Williams and Jabrill Peppers having standout years last season. The offensive pieces could catch up soon, with the pressure on Jones to thrive and Evan Engram likely to see less defensive attention since the Giants are deeper at the skill positions. Also, expect a Year 2 jump from offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.
Valentine’s View: No one should expect an offensive juggernaut. If the Giants can get to 25 points per game, which is roughly league average, or better than that they should have a chance to win more often than they lose.
Stat to know: The Giants recorded the worst pass block win rate in the league last season and look poised to put another weak offensive line in front of Jones. It’s a tough way to evaluate a quarterback in what looks like a make-or-break season for the third-year signal-caller.
Valentine’s View: Yeah, we get it. Offensive line. Daniel Jones.