It has been a topsy-turvy opening three weeks for the New York Giants. The Giants were boat-raced by Dallas 40-0 in the season opener, pulled off the largest comeback in franchise history to defeat Arizona in Week 2, and then fought the 49ers hard for three quarters in Week 3 before the wheels fell off in the fourth quarter.
No team has seen the extreme highs and brutal lows New York has through three weeks. Daniel Jones's second-half performance against Arizona was any NFL player's best individual half performance this season. Conversely, the quarterback's Week 1 performance (both halves) against Dallas is a contender for worst.
How good are the Giants? How bad are the Giants? We don't know the answer to either of those questions, but we do know this team can compete when they execute properly. With that said, we take a look at some of the good and some of the bad for Brian Daboll's men in this piece:
Positive: Dexter Lawrence
The Giants defense has struggled to start the season, and that has completely overshadowed how dominant Dexter Lawrence has been in 2023. Lawrence, who received a four-year, $90 million extension last offseason, was the anchor of Big Blue's 2022 season and was graded by PFF as the second-best defensive lineman (one spot ahead of Aaron Donald), only trailing Chris Jones.
He's been just as good through three football games this fall. Lawrence is one of just five NFL defensive linemen to receive an elite (90 or higher) grade from PFF. Sexy Dexy's 91.0 grade is third for d-lineman, only behind Jalen Carter and Chris Jones. His grade is also the 13th best for all defensive players.
Despite having zero sacks, Lawrence has lived in opposing backfields. Big Blue's star has 13 pressures (five more than the next closest Giant), 10 tackles, nine stops, nine hurries, five assists, and four QB hits while serving as New York's primary nose guard this fall. Nobody on the Giants defense plays harder or more physically than Lawrence, who has set the tone for the rest of the Giants defense.