Through the first three games of the season, the New York Giants have a record of 2-1, and they are just one game behind the Philadelphia Eagles at the top of the NFC East.
Heading into the season, expectations were all over the place for this team. With a new coaching staff, a rebuilt front office, and young additions on both offense and defense, it was unknown how this unit would look. While they are still so early in the process of their rebuild, there is still no telling how good this team will be in the future.
But on the way to the Giants early season success, they have shown positives on both sides of the ball. Ranging from young players stepping up, to veterans proving why they belong, there have been several surprises.
Here are four pleasant surprises through the first three games:
4. Richie James has stepped up
The Giants pass-catching core has been a topic of conversation since Week 1. Kenny Golladay has been lackluster. Wan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney have been plagued by injuries, leading them to not make an impact on the field yet – and the Giants lost a leading receiver in Sterling Shepard due to a torn ACL.
But through it all, there has been one consistent option. Wide receiver Richie James has looked like a different player over his first three games with the Giants.
Before joining the Giants, James spent the first three seasons of his career with the San Francisco 49ers. During this time, he had a limited role, appearing in 40 games over these three years. He was used sparingly in the offense, recording just 38 receptions for 689 receiving yards and three touchdowns over this stretch.
But the Giants have managed to turn James into a reliable pass catcher. Over the first three games, he has recorded 14 receptions for 146 receiving yards on 17 total targets.
Quarterback Daniel Jones has looked at James as a security blanket at times. And he seems to be the only receiver that can consistently get open. Given time, the 27-year-old wide receiver could manage to find his way into the end zone. And when that happens, more people will be forced to pay attention to his production.