Let’s preface this by saying the New York Giants are without question heading in the right direction.
With new GM Joe Schoen taking the reins from Dave Gettleman and Brian Daboll aiming to provide stability at head coach following Joe Judge’s failed attempt to mirror the coaching philosophy of his mentor Bill Belichick, there’s reason to believe the Giants are on the path back to relevancy.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much Schoen and Daboll can do in one offseason to rectify the mess left behind by Gettleman and Judge (mostly Gettleman). Between shedding salary, reshuffling the offensive line, and taking high-upside players in the draft while also maintaining the team’s future draft capital, the new regime has laid the blueprint for building a future contender.
How long into the future remains to be seen, but ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson seems to think the future is now in East Rutherford.
On a recent episode of “Keyshawn, JWill and Max,” Johnson likened this year’s Giants squad to the 2021 Bengals. You read that right.
ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson is incredibly bullish on the 2022 Giants.
"“Your New York Giants, Max. They could shock some people,” Johnson said. “We don’t know Brian Daboll as a head coach, but we also know him as a quarterback — I guess so called whisperer. He fixed Josh Allen. First couple of years Josh Allen in Buffalo struggled a little bit, but then all of a sudden he caught fire and he’s been doing well. (He) got a few MVP votes a year ago. He wasn’t the reason the Kansas City Chiefs beat them in the end and went to the AFC Championship Game. We’ll see if Danny Dimes (Jones) and Saquon Barkley can all of a sudden live up to what their billing was when they were drafted. We’ll find out.”"
We’re all for spreading Giants propaganda, but Johnson reached beyond belief during this segment. For starters, Josh Allen’s superstar potential became apparent in his second season when he led Buffalo to the playoffs with a 10-6 record and threw 20 touchdowns to nine interceptions while leading the NFL with four fourth-quarterback comebacks and five game-winning drives.
Daniel Jones, on the other hand, is entering his fourth year and there are just as many questions about his ability to stay healthy as there are about his standing as a franchise quarterback. There’s no comparing the two.
Allen and Joe Burrow, on the other hand, is a different story. While nobody could’ve foreseen Burrow leading the Bengals to the playoffs in his second season, he at least showed glimpses of a stud as a rookie when he completed 65.3% of his passes for 13 touchdowns to five INTs behind an atrocious offensive line.
Burrow is largely responsible for the Bengals miraculous run to the Super Bowl in 2021 after they finished 4-11 the previous season. Despite getting sacked a league-high 51 times, he led the NFL with a 70.4 completion rate and 8.9 yards per pass attempt while finishing sixth in yards and ninth in touchdowns.
Johnson predicting Daboll can work his magic with Jones after just one offseason is wishful thinking by the former Pro Bowl receiver.
Beyond Jones, the Giants’ surrounding talent doesn’t compare to the 2021 Bengals, who had three studs at WR in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, a quietly dominant defensive front and two difference-makers in the secondary in Chidobe Awuzie and Jessie Bates.
Yes, there’s typically one team in the NFL that shocks the world each season, but the Giants, though expected to improve in 2022, are still at least a year away from being in the playoff hunt, let alone the Super Bowl conversation.