When the 2021 season started for the New York Giants, fans of Big Blue were full of optimism and hope. Many fans thought that if Saquon Barkley returned to form, it would lead to a successful Giants season. This season’s success for the Giants is tied to how Saquon bounces back from his ACL injury and what Daniel Jones would provide as their quarterback.
If you had told fans that Barkley would play the first three games and have 190 yards from scrimmage and a TD, would they be happy with that? Most would be unimpressed. If you told fans that Daniel Jones would average 260 yards passing and better than 50 yards rushing a game, would they be happy with that? Fans would see that as a step forward in the quarterback’s growth. If you had told fans that the offensive would be 26th in sacks allowed, would fans consider this an improvement from 2020? Since there was no place to go but up from 2020, I think they would!
On paper, it looks like Jones is having a good start to the season. Jones has three fumbles, only one lost, and zero interceptions, along with four total touchdowns with his 300+ yards of offense a game. In addition, the offensive line has performed well enough to keep the Giants in each of the first three games. So could the issue be with the “great Giants defense”?
The defensive unit for New York has allowed better than 75% of passes to be completed. The secondary has been the weakness of this group, much like the start of the 2020 season. In weeks two and three, the defense allowed the opposing team to march down the field to kick the winning field goal. There is nothing more frustrating for a football fan than losing to a field goal as time expires.
Even John Mara was frustrated as he showed a bit of emotion when he kicked a trash can on his way out of the stadium. Sorry to say this, but it’s mostly his fault! The hiring of Gettleman seems to look more and more like a mistake. Joe Judge’s inability to close out these close games is leading to way too many losses. Finally, let’s not forget the scouting and player personnel teams responsible for poor draft picks in early rounds.
Fans are furious that this Giants team started 0-3 this season. Evan Engram was pretty much booed off the field as he had a fumble and continued to drop critical 3rd down passes. Fans also think it’s time to clean house, and a complete overhaul of the GM, scouting, player personnel, and maybe even coaching.
Many may have liked Joe Judge’s attitude and grit, but it seems like he could not build on the late-season success from 2020. Jason Garrett and fan-favorite Patrick Graham have been responsible for the play-calling on offense and defense. Unfortunately, neither coach has been able to find a way to seal a victory in these last two games. Many fans want Garrett out as offensive coordinator, but it’s doubtful the Giants make a change mid-season.
In the next three games, the Giants face the Saints, Cowboys, and the Rams. They have the hardest strength of schedule remaining in the NFL. It’s looking like a long season as losses begin to pile up for fans of Big Blue.