Written by Pat Pryor @patrpryorgraphic
The Giants sit at 3-5. Grabbing wins against the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Lions. The Cowboys, Bills, Redskins, Vikings, and Cardinals got the best of them. The Eagles sit atop the East at 6-2, with the Cowboys at 5-2 due to the earlier bye. The Cowboys won their week 7 matchup, important in the standings down the line, both teams beating the 3-5 Redskins.
Weeks 8-11: Harsh Reality
The Giants haven’t yet won at home, and with one of the greatest football matchups in history coming to Metlife. Dak Prescott has won without Zeke. Cowboys fans are excited. Only NFC runners up Saints and division rival Eagles bested them. Daniel Jones is 2-1, the defense is playing as some of the top in the league, especially the secondary. Never has a 3-5 team playing a 5-2 team had so much hype. The number 5 pick has played like one. A young defense is looking like they could rule for years to come. Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur are receiving praise for maybe the first time. Their first home win looks inevitable. It’s anything but. Metlife Stadium is nearly empty halfway through the fourth. It’s never a blowout, but it’s also never a close game. Dak Prescott isn’t winning any MVP awards for the game, and the defense won’t be talked about for months. But he doesn’t need to perform well. The Giants defense doesn’t put up much of a fight. The lack of depth in the front seven becomes apparent as Darius Jackson and Tony Pollard tear it up from the inside, and the linebacker corps can’t stop Dak Prescott from scrambling.
Daniel Jones had a tough game against the Cardinals in week 7, but nothing like this. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander-Eisch overwhelm him all game. Saquon Barkley can’t get the run game going, Wayne Gallman carries the workload for the first time this season. Going three weeks without throwing one, Daniel Jones finally tosses an interception. With the Eagles losing to the Bears, the 6-2 Cowboys are looking for a playoff spot.
Now 3-6, the Giants are playing at home, but will be wearing white as it’s against their roommates, the Jets. The Jets are 4-4, looking to improve with Sam Darnold getting better and Le'veon Bell is playing well. With 5 games coming up against sub 500 teams, the Jets could end up 10-4, fighting for the AFC East. The Giants will either go into the bye with a slew of hard teams coming up after losing with the season practically over, or a chance to surprisingly have above a .500 record. Daniel Jones is still out to prove himself. Two young quarterbacks, running backs in their first two years on the team, and young defenses. It should be an even matchup, fans in New York are excited. Yet again, it’s a disappointment. The Giants fall short, very short. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley play well, but no one else on the offense does. The throws are made, but catches aren’t. Calls for Eli Manning are already back, even though most fans still want to give Jones a chance. Meanwhile, in the other locker room, the Jets are looking towards their last 7 games, possibly going for their best season since 1998. Jamal Adams and Trumaine Johnson rock Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard, and CJ Moesly stops Evan Engram from catching anything coming his direction.
Two weeks ago, the 3-5 Giants were defying expectations, winning more games in the first half of the season than most critics expected them to all season. With games against the Bears, Packers, and Eagles coming up, fans are ready to see 3-7 to turn into 3-10. Pat Shurmur is determined not to let that happened. He put in Daniel Jones, and it’s all on him.
Weeks 12-14: The Hardest Stretch
8-2 Chicago Bears, Mitch Trubisky is stepping up to match the play of his elite team. With 2 divisional playoffs and 5 championships in the two teams’ history, it’s and underrated rivalry. Despite this, the game doesn’t have a lot of hype. The rookie quarterback performs well as his team loses around him. Not exactly a unique story. Coming into Soldier Field, no one expects the Giants to put up a fight. They do though, with the defense playing well, limiting both the run and the ground game. Kahlil Mack does provide a challenge, but Saquon Barkley does escape him a few times. In the end, it is too much. Despite being a closer game than anyone could have imagined, the league’s best defense is too much, and the Giants fall to 3-7.
The Packers are 7-4, going into Metlife with 4 straight wins. The Giants still haven’t won at home. Daniel Jones went from 2-1 to 2-3. The Giants are 3-7, but they put up a fight against one of the best teams, showing that they still have a future. Aaron Rodgers, a proven all-time great, comes up against a young but talented defense. He in turn, tears them up, midway through one of his best seasons. There’s no solution. The Packers can’t get the ground game going, but with the way Aaron Rodgers plays, they don’t have to. Similarly, Saquon Barkley has a great game, making sure it isn’t a blowout. Daniel Jones, once again has an alright game, but doesn’t do anything special. Giants fans are getting used to disappointment. The division is far out of reach, and so is a winning season, with their 9th loss.
The Eagles are 8-4, with the 10-3 Cowboys beating Chicago the Thursday before this Monday game. If they lose this game, it’ll be a lot tougher if they lose to the Giants. They are playing for the first time this season. In these last four games, the Eagles are counting on two wins from a bad New York team, especially when they’re playing the Cowboys in between. Carson Wentz is healthy and playing well. Their defense is as good as ever, and simply put, the Giants never stood a chance. Daniel Jones is getting valuable experience, but hopes aren’t high for anyone in the Giants locker room. The season is essentially over. The only question is will they go 3-13 or manage to grab a win in these final three games.
Weeks 15-17: Moving On.
The 1-13 Dolphins are the only reason that the Giants aren’t looking for the number 1 pick. Daniel Jones started his career well with a 2-1 record, but hasn’t won since. Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been going back and forth. There’s a good chance that Eli, or even last years fourth round pick Kyle Lauretta may get a few snaps if Jones doesn’t do well. However, Xavien Howard is the only bright spot on a terrible team. One of the least watched matchups this season, the Giants finally win at home, their first time since playing the Lions. Daniel Jones plays well enough to keep his starting spot. The defensive players are still performing well, enough to give fans hope for the next few seasons.
Now 4-10, the Giants face the 5-9 Redskins in Washington. Neither team has had a good season. There have been exciting moments for New York, and there’s a future. Things aren’t going as well for the Redskins. They have talented players, Dwayne Haskins, but need a lot of pieces to make a formidable team. Currently, they are still better than the Giants, with Dwayne Haskins notching a win a few weeks after he wins the starting job. The Giants put up a fight, with the front seven performing the best they have all season. But with a few good plays, the Redskins sweep the Giants in the 2019 2020 season.
4-11. The Giants will be a top 7 pick. With Dallas holding the NFC East, the Eagles want a wildcard, and the Giants don’t have much to fight for. Daniel Jones is the only starter to play the whole game. Carson Wentz leads his team to victory and will be starting in the playoffs for the first time in a while.
The Giants season was disappointing, but with a silver lining. The pieces didn’t match the season. They didn’t come close. But they had plenty of talent. Pat Shurmur keeps his job, Daniel Jones has most of a season under his belt. The record doesn’t show, but things are looking up for big blue.