Two of the teams with the worst records in the league face off on Sunday at FedEx Field. Washington is 4-6 following a close loss to Seattle. New York has won only two games, but one of those was against Washington a month ago. The Giants are banged up and have been blown out in the last two games.
I asked Ed Valentine of Big Blue View some questions to see how the Giants are doing and what he sees in their future.
1) Neither team has covered itself in glory since the Giants won the last game between these teams. The Giants are 0-3, while Washington is 1-3. With the Giants out of the playoff hunt, what are Giants fans hoping to see in the remaining seven games of the season? What would represent success in that stretch?
Well, that depends on who you ask. For some, success would be finishing 2-15 and getting the No. 1 overall pick. For the organization, the coaches, the players, I think they need to see better play overall. They have been embarrassed two weeks in a row, and several times this season. Those lopsided, non-competitive games need to stop. I think they would hope to see young players take strides forward and the offense to look at least functional.
2) As of now, the Giants are in position to have one of the top picks in the 2024 draft, potentially the #1 pick. That is the best opportunity a team usually gets to select a potential franchise QB. How likely is it that the Giants front office will pick a QB in round 1? Is there a fan consensus about what the team should do with the top pick?
I think the Giants are in a situation where, if they have a chance at Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, they have to take that swing. I like Daniel Jones, it’s just that it’s been five years and the Giants are where they are. Jones has suffered a lot of injuries and his play this year wasn’t good.
I don’t know that there is consensus over which guy. Williams is the one thought of as the top guy. Maye seems to have all the traits Brian Daboll would love. The big question is what do the Giants do if they are outside the range of being able to get one of those two.
3) Washington fans would like to thank the Giants’ offense for taking over first place in the race to surrender the most sacks this year. Pretty clearly, both teams have weak offensive lines. Although Washington has underinvested in the OL for years, the Giants have put two top 10 picks in the draft at the OT positions and have gone after several free agents to bolster the line – and yet the OL does not seem to improve. Are the Giants’ OL issues simply a matter of injuries, or are there deeper problems in talent selection, coaching, and schemes?
I think there have to be deeper problems. I have not understood a lot of the decisions made on the offensive line this year, and OL coach Bobby Johnson is taking heavy fire from the fan base. Whether that is justified I don’t know, but things haven’t been good. I think the players are better than they are playing.
All of that said, missing Andrew Thomas for seven games was devastating. He is one of the league’s premier left tackles. Evan Neal has missed some time, and hasn’t played well when he has been healthy.
It’s been a mess.
4) Wink Martindale’s defense steamrolled the Washington offense with 6 sacks a month ago, but they have only sacked the QB a total of 15 times this year, the second-lowest total in the league. What’s going on with the pass rush, and why aren’t they reaching passers not wearing a Commanders’ uniform more often, even though they blitz more than anyone else in the league but the Vikings?
The simple answer is they don’t have enough good pass rushers. Kayvon Thibodeaux is really good, but his splash plays seem to come in spurts. There are times when he goes 2-3 weeks without being heard from. Dexter Lawrence is a great player, but he is the only other real pass rusher they have.
Leonard Williams got traded. Azeez Ojulari has been hurt most of the year and done nothing. Without blitzing, the Giants have no one else who can rush the passer. The blitz issue I don’t know. Isaiah Simmons has been disappointing, and you can’t live with the corner or safety blitz all the time.
5) Washington has been the Giants’ little b***h in recent years. Do you think the Giants will win one more time against the Commanders on Sunday? DraftKings Sportsbook has the Giants as 8.5-point underdogs. What is your prediction for the final score?
I think the Giants could win, but there’s no chance I’m going to pick them to do it. They have scored 20 points ONE TIME all season, and now they are using an undrafted rookie free agent at quarterback with tight end Darren Waller on IR. I think if the Giants can keep it a low-scoring game they can cover the spread. That’s as far as I will go in terms of predictions.
Thanks again to Ed Valentine for taking time out of his day to answer our questions about the Giants.