The NY Giants had a huge upset over the Seahawks on Sunday to move to 5-7.
Last year the Miami Dolphins started the season off terribly at 0-7 but finished 5-11 including a signature win over the Patriots. This year the Dolphins are 8-4 and are currently fighting to win the AFC East division. Miami hired a coach from the Bill Belichick coaching tree with Brian Flores, and the NY Giants followed suit with Joe Judge.
The NY Giants sit in first place in the NFC East with a 5-7 record and thanks to a weak division might be ahead of schedule as compared to Miami last year. The Dolphins began turning the tide a lot later in the season than the Giants have this year. Even when the Giants were losing football games they were competing and turning some heads.
The similarities between the Giants and Dolphins are very real. The comparisons between two tough ,physical head coaches in Flores and Judge are very valid. It appears that both guys have changed the culture.
Offensively, the teams have had some unexpected similarities. The Dolphins have averaged 25.3 points per game and the Giants have been at 19.3. However over the last 5 they have went to 22 points per game and that’s while having essentially a game and a half of Colt McCoy.
Daniel Jones and Tua Tagovailoa were both top 6 picks in the NFL draft but have had plenty of doubters. Both teams have pieced together run games in unexpected ways. Trusted veteran leaders, Devantae Parker and Sterling Shepard both lead the way for the receiving cores for their respective teams. Both teams offensive lines have improved dramatically as well. The NY Giants offensive line has gone from a major issue to a strength of late.
General manager Dave Gettleman has took a ton of criticism during his Giants tenure but let’s give credit where credit is due. It appears he hit the 2020 draft out of the park. Andrew Thomas who struggled early has improved every week and didn’t allow a pressure last week. Matt Peart has allowed just 4 pressures on 64 pass block plays. Darnay Holmes has become a pivotal part of the Giants secondary. Shane Lemiuex, Tae Crowder, Carter Coughlin have all contributed. We haven’t witnessed what Xavier McKinney can do yet.
When it comes to defenses, both have been playing extremely well. The Giants are top 10 in the NFL in yards allowed per game. The Dolphins are just allowing 17.7 points per game. The NY Giants have been led by an emergence of young players. They also have been led by a veteran group of newly signed James Bradberry and Blake Martinez along with Leonard Williams and Jabrill Peppers. The combination of head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham have turned this unit around.
As the NY Giants continue the push for the division it’s important for the progression to continue. Daniel Jones has gone from a guy who fans weren’t sure would be here next year to the guy who they want for the long haul. Jones has to keep growing. He has made it a point to limit turnovers but has also improved dramatically on hitting his deep balls. The overall numbers don’t look great but they don’t tell the whole story. Jones is progressing.
The next step for the NY Giants this year is to keep improving and keep winning football games. For the Giants the they will need to take even more steps in the offseason. Hitting more home runs in the draft and free agency while keeping this core together. Continued development of young defensive players, continued development of Daniel Jones and young offensive lineman will be very important.
The NY Giants need to have a strong offseason like the Dolphins did last year. Look for the Giants to be in on big name wide receivers Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay and Chris Godwin who can potentially hit free agency. They will have Saquon Barkley return. If the Giants keep the momentum going next year you can be looking at the NFC East favorite.