New York Giants playoff bound next season?
By: Jeremy Trottier
The New York Giants have had a very impressive offseason, bringing in a lot of new members to the team and really improving it in all facets. The Giants also only missed the playoffs last season by one game, and even though they were in a notoriously weak 2020 NFC East, they were still able to be in that position with rather lackluster receiving options and lacked depth. In this article, I will be going over three reasons the New York Giants can return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Hugely Improved Roster
As I previously mentioned, the Giants have made some significant improvements to their roster and
have really given Daniel Jones every single opportunity to succeed in the 2021-2022 season. The most notable two additions for Jones will be Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, who both bring some elite separation factor to the roster, granted in different ways. Toney reminds me of almost an Alvin Kamara of sorts in terms of how insanely elusive he is, obviously not that level of playmaker yet but his shifts and lateral agility are absolutely off the charts. Having a short-range receiver like that who can turn five yards into 25 is massive.
Outside these two additions they also brought in players like Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith to help the linebacking front, Rodarius Williams for CB depth and even potential to start eventually, and OL depth in Jake Burton and Raymond Johnson III. It is also notable that they will have a returning Xavier McKinney for a full season of play potentially and his young capabilities should sure up an already solid secondary.
Daniel Jones is Ready for the Next Step
One of the most notable things in the NFL is when quarterbacks really learn the NFL landscape and make the jump from solid to good. Josh Allen did it last season (year three), Baker Mayfield really improved from season two to season three, even players like Ryan Tannehill improved extremely when getting more weapons around them, in his case a new system and team.
Daniel Jones did have a relatively down year in 2020, no doubt, throwing almost as many TDs as interceptions and less than 3000 yards, however, who can blame him? When your primary receiving threats are a not yet developed Darius Slayton, Sterling Shephard who has been mediocre and struggles with separation, and Evan Engram who despite being a Pro-Bowler last season really has trouble holding onto the ball, you are bound to have issues passing. Also take note he did not have Saquon Barkley out of the backfield to pitch to when he was under pressure. With that said, he has the weapons, he has a somewhat developing O-line, and a phenomenal defense to get him the ball back. He should perform at a new high level in 2021 based on all of this.
The NFC East is…Interesting
Finally, we take a look at the surrounding teams, all of which have huge deals of question marks. Starting with the Dallas Cowboys, who yes, should be contending for the playoffs, however, this is provided Dak Prescott is actually able to play at the high level he did previously, and the injury did not change him heavily. Even if so, the Cowboys did go 2-3 prior to Dak’s injury last season, and one game was pure because the Atlanta Falcons had a miscue on special teams.
Then you have the Washington Football Team, who yes are also primed to make a playoff push potentially. With that said, again, is their QB a set thing? Ryan Fitzpatrick did do well with the Miami Dolphins, but this is a completely different offense, and many forget Fitz was not extraordinary and consistent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not too long ago. The WFT also are missing strength along the O-line to protect Fitz, and could definitely use some more in terms of secondary depth and potentially even another CB.
Finally, the Philadelphia Eagles, who most have written off as the bottom team in this division right now, as they are mainly banking on Jalen Hurts and Devonta Smith to push this team forward. With a continually aging offensive line, a relatively dismantled defense outside a few players like Fletcher Cox and Darius Slay, they really look like they will struggle unless something sparks heavily.