Posted on

NFL 2020 Season: What Should We Expect From The New York Giants

It’s been some time since the New York Giants have appeared on the biggest football stage, but could things be about to change this year? With a new head coach on board, the team and its fans will be hopeful that they’ll do better during the 2020 NFL season than in previous years. But, as we’ve come to expect from the Giants, that’s far from guaranteed. There’s still much work to be done.

It almost seems unthinkable that the New York Giants, one of the most successful teams in NFL history, has endured such a lean period. Not only have they not tasted success for nearly a decade, but they haven’t even been close. By all accounts, it has been difficult to be a fan of the Giants since their last Super Bowl success in January 2012.

A Season Of Transition

Though things look rosier for the New York Giants than they have done over the past couple of years, we have to keep things in perspective. This is a team that can be categorized as “a work in progress.” When it comes to predicting NFL winners, most experts believe it’ll be last seasons’ winners Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, or the San Francisco 49ers that lead the way once we enter the postseason.

And that’ll be just fine for Giants. They’re not going into the 2020 season expecting to pick up Super Bowl LV at the Raymond James Stadium come February. It’ll be a successful year if they can improve on their dismal record of the past few years. If they can move in the right direction and set up a promising 2021 season, then their new coach just might choose to stick around. 

New Manager, New Hope

Much of the Giants talk surrounding the forthcoming NFL season has been of their new head coach. The appointment of Joe Judge in the close-season took some people by surprise, in large part because this is a coach who has never been at the helm before. He spent the best part of a decade as an assistant coach at the New England Patriots, and there’s no doubt that the Patriots were successful during his time there: they won three Super Bowls. With all due respect to Judge, the team’s success was not dependent on him. He played a role, no doubt, but it would be a big jump to think he can replicate the same achievements and bring success and a little happiness to the MetLife Stadium. And it could do with some happiness; the last time the Super Bowl and the Giants home ground were mentioned in the same sentence, it was a rather messy court case

But there are already some rumblings regarding Judge’s coaching methods. Things did not get off to a good start during the first training practice. Judge punished players who made mistakes by having them run laps. Treating the players like high schoolers drew negative comments from Shannon Sharpe, a Hall of Famer, who noted: “this is not going to end well.” Indeed, even one of Judge’s players, Sterling Shepard, went beyond the “high school” line, saying that he hadn’t had to run laps as a punishment since he was in middle school.

Of course, you can’t draw anything from this isolated incident. It won’t define Judge; in fact, it’s not even his idea. He’s taken the idea of punishing mistakes from Bill Belichick, who does the same thing at the New England Patriots. That said, all coaches are judged by their victories and losses, not the methods they use to get there.

Reasons to Be Hopeful

There are two ways to look at the appointment of Joe Judge. The first is that it’s a strange move that’ll end badly. The other is that it might just be a stroke of genius. There have been some fantastic rookie coaches in NFL history; what’s to say that Judge won’t add his name to a list that includes John Harbaugh, Bill Callahan, Don McCafferty, and George Seifert? He clearly knows how to win. Plus, there’s the matter of their draft picks. They’ve got around three years’ worth of talent on their roster. If this is the year when they all hit full stride, then we could find that things begin to look a little brighter for Giants.

Who’s Going to Shine?

If there’s one player to watch this season, it’ll be Daniel Jones. There’s a lot of hype surrounding the first-round draft pick. His first year was highly impressive. He had a fair amount of fumbles, sure, but which rookie doesn’t? There’s hope that now he’s got the bulk of his mistakes out of his system, then he might just be able to progress and wrack up some seriously impressive numbers. And there are other players around him who, if they can just keep form, could do some serious damage. Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, and Sterling Sheperd can all have a hugely positive impact, providing Judge uses them correctly.

Where They Need to Improve

So that’s the offense, where things look pretty good. What about the defense? Well, that’s another story. When we talk about how poorly the Giants have played in the past few years, we’re largely talking about their defense, which has been way below the standard you’d expect from the team. So it’s clear that the team needs to improve in this area of play. Can they do it? It’d be a smart bet. The issue in the past has been that the key defensive positions have been populated by young, inexperienced players, who, of course, make mistakes. This could be the year when things finally click into place, and they become a solid unit. Of course, the Giants will need to hope that their defensive players have indeed learned from their mistakes.

So what’s the conclusion here? It’s a “let’s wait and see” assessment. It’ll all have to click together, but if it does, then the Giants might just surprise us and show us that there’s life in the old beast yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.