It’s week 18 of the NFL season and the 6-10 Washington Football Team will be facing a 4-12 Giants team on the road at MetLife Stadium this Sunday at 1pm EST. Neither team can make the playoffs, so we’ll have to see how far “playing for pride” can take them.
The Giants have had a rough season, but it’s been really rough since Daniel Jones went out with a neck injury in Week 12. The Giants were 4-7 with Jones as the starter, but have been 0-5 since then. Not only that, but the Giants have lost by double digits in each of those last 5 games. The Giants have the 31st ranked offense by yards gained. In addition, the Giants OL has performed poorly overall, with a 25th ranked pass block win rate and 13th ranked run block win rate, according to ESPN analytics. 2nd-year LT Andrew Thomas has performed well though, with an 80.0 PFF score so far on the season.
The Giants defense has performed better (but still not well) as the 20th ranked defense in terms of yards allowed. It should be noted that it is not easy for a defense to perform well statistically when the offense is struggling, as many of those yards allowed came due to turnovers and lack of possession by the offense. One of the biggest weaknesses for the Giants defense is lack of pass rush, as they are ranked 31st in pass rush win rate.
To learn more about these and other issues, I asked Ed Valentine of Big Blue View five questions about the state of the Giants and what to look for in this game.
1) What do you think of Daniel Jones as a QB and what is his future with the Giants? Has the complete collapse of the offense after his injury changed fan opinion on him?
I think the poor situation around Jones the last two years has made it hard to see the top end of what he can be. I think he is a decent starting QB you can win with if he is surrounded with the right talent and a good plan. His future? We’ll find out. I think he should be the starter in 2022, but what will the new GM think? Will there be a new head coach? Is there really a chance at a Russell Wilson trade? I think the situation on offense hasn’t changed opinions on Jones. It has made it obvious the Giants did not take the backup QB position seriously.
2) What do you think the Giants should do in picking their next GM and what do you think they will do? Are there any lessons to be learned about the process that resulted in Gettleman being the choice last time?
I think they should cast a wide net and hire the best person, regardless of whether that person has ties to the Giants or Joe Judge. Then, I think the Mara family needs to get out of the way and let that GM do his job. [Read this for more on that] Lessons? Yes. In that search, they barely did a search. They turned to someone they had a long history with (Dave Gettleman) and to someone who told them what they wanted to hear (that Eli Manning could still play). The lessons are a) do a thorough search and b) don’t tell the candidates they have to keep this quarterback, that coach, those front office people.
3) What do you think about Joe Judge as a head coach and whether or not he should be retained?
This is hard. Judge has not “earned” a third season. The Giants are undisciplined, unorganized, they seem to have no plan on offense. The Giants are embarrassingly non-competitive in too many games. Judge is trying to sell the idea of behind the scenes improvements since he can’t sell on the field results. I think the Giants should allow the new GM to decide. If it were me making the call I would give him one more year simply because he would be the third straight coach fired after two seasons, and you can’t get anywhere if you keep blowing up the roster every two years. I would tell him he needs to blow up the offensive coaching staff and start over. I would tell him I don’t want to hear about process or culture or September games being an extension of the preseason, which is something he really said. I would tell him flat out that he needs to put a quality product on the field in Year 3 or there won’t be a Year 4.
4) What have been the bright spots on the Giants this season and what is the core that the team needs to retain and build around?
The development of Andrew Thomas as a stud left tackle is the biggest one. Xavier McKinney turning into a really good safety is another. Those were the team’s first- and second-round picks in 2020. The play of second-round pick Azeez Ojulari. Beyond those three there aren’t a lot of foundational pieces. I would add Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence and that’s about it. I’d like to add Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, but I don’t think I can.
5) What do you think of MetLife Stadium and how does it compare to Giants Stadium?
I was never actually inside Giants Stadium, but I always liked the idea that it was ‘Giants Stadium’ and not a generic stadium shared 50-50 with the Jets. MetLife is a gray, lifeless building without any personality. It was built that way on purpose because it is shared by two teams and doesn’t “belong” to one or the other, but it’s kind of a bummer. I mean, it’s better than FedEx Field, but it doesn’t hold up against some of the other stadiums that have been built recently.
Thanks again to Ed Valentine for taking time out of his day to answer our questions about the Giants.
As of right now, Vegas has Washington as 7 point favorites over the Giants. How would you bet?
This poll is closed
Washington wins by more than 7 points
Washington wins by 7 or fewer points or it’s a tie
Giants win outright
As of now, Vegas has the over/under for this game at 37 points. Which would you bet?
This poll is closed
37 or more total points are scored (both sides combined)
Fewer than 37 total points are scored (both sides combined)
What best describes your opinion of Daniel Jones?
This poll is closed
He’s a franchise QB
He’s a low-level starter
He’s flashed intriguing ability, but not consistently. Worth developing if acquired cheaply.
He’s an NFL backup
He isn’t worth having on an NFL roster
Who would you rather have starting for your team?
This poll is closed