The New York Giants are next up on the Dallas Cowboys schedule, so that can only mean one thing - a discussion with our old friend Ed Valentine at Big Blue View. He gives us the 411 on the Giants season so far.
Blogging The Boys: The obvious question coming from a Cowboys site, how has Jason Garrett fit in as the offensive coordinator? What is his offense like in New York?
Big Blue View: Of course you would start with Garrett. In all honesty, he is under some fire. That’s justified because the Giants average league-low 11.75 points per game. Now, how much of that is his fault I don’t know. Saquon Barkley is gone. Sterling Shepard is hurt. The offensive line is still figuring things out. Daniel Jones is still figuring things out, and making too many mistakes. That said it’s a dink-and-dunk passing attack with Golden Tate and Evan Engram averaging career lows in yards per reception — by a lot. There is hardly any vertical element to it so far, and that’s what I thought Garrett was bringing. Maybe that’s because the protection and the running game haven’t been there, but it’s not what I expected.
I think many Giants fans were pre-disposed to “want” to hate the Garrett hire, but the results aren’t giving them reason not to. I want to see more, and see how this develops over the remainder of the season.
BTB: Now that you’ve had a look at Daniel Jones for a bit, how do you feel about him as the QB of the future? Is there enough there to make you believe he can be the guy or are you ready to shop?
BBV: We talk so much about Jones at BBV. He has so many flashes of brilliance, he displays toughness, athleticism, can make every throw, he’s a smart guy, not a big ego. In many ways, everything you want. He’s just still making too many bone-headed mistakes. How much of that is because of learning a new system without an offseason and playing w/o Barkley and Shepard while dealing with a scuffling offensive line? I don’t know.
I am not “out” on Jones at all, but I do have concerns. Mostly that some of the mistakes he makes are instinctive, and I’m not sure they are truly fixable. Can he be the guy? I think if the Giants go 0-16 and get the No. 1 pick I think Jones will be part of the reason, and in that case you almost have to take Trevor Lawrence. Ideally, that doesn’t happen and the Giants can use whatever pick they get to build around him rather than start over.
BTB: With Saquon Barkley out, how has the running game looked and how has his absence affected the overall offense?
BBV: Well, Saquon had 19 carries for 34 yards when he got hurt — 1.8 yards per carry. So, things were not going well. The run blocking was an absolute disaster at the beginning of the season. That said, he is Saquon Barkley. He is the best player on the roster, a great running back and an outstanding pass receiver. So, it has a huge impact.
That said, I have always believed you do not need a great running back to have a solid running game. It’s about the blocking. Can Nick Gates, who has never been a full-time NFL starter or a center, settle in at that spot? Will Andrew Thomas get better after a slow start? Is Kevin Zeitler regressing? Can Will Hernandez ever be the player the Giants thought he would be when they drafted him? The Giants have worked hard to try and fix this offensive line, and there was a lot of optimism about this group. It has to play better for the Giants to have a chance to play good offense. Also, the Giants just don’t have enough on the outside at wide receiver with Shepard hurt.
BTB: How are you feeling about new head coach Joe Judge?
BBV: Very optimistic, to be honest. I know people got all crazy about the laps at practice and some of the stuff he said, but I think this guy has a chance to be a really good NFL coach. He’s smart. He’s adaptable. I think we just have to wait and see if he can develop this roster, and what kind of talent the Giants eventually add to it.
BTB: How do you think the upcoming game will go and what is your prediction for a final score?
BBV: I keep going back and forth. One minute I have the guts to pick the Giants to win this one. Next minute I think I’m crazy and figure the Cowboys are favored and should win. What I think is that the Giants can’t win this game if it gets into the 30s. But, I also think the Giants are going to win some of these NFC East games.
FWIW, RJ Ochoa came on my show and picked the Giants to win the game. If he can go out on that limb, so can I.Giants 27, Cowboys 24.
Correction: RJ Ochoa let me know that he didn’t pick the Giants to win on the BBV podcast, and this was confirmed by Ed Valentine, so that was a mistake.
Thanks for the knowledge, Big Blue View.