The Dallas Cowboys host an NFC East rival when the New York Giants come to town on Sunday. As we usually do, we caught up with Big Blue View, SB Nation’s Giants blog, to get the lowdown on the G-men.
Blogging The Boys: Daniel Jones seems to be a polarizing figure as the Giants quarterback. Where do you come down on his play and is he the guy to lead the Giants as a franchise quarterback?
Big Blue View: Well, you happen to be asking this question after Jones just played what was, statistically, the best game of his career. He threw for 402 yards Sunday against New Orleans and led the Giants to 17 unanswered points to come from 21-10 down with 7 minutes to play to win in overtime. So, there is that.
Fact is, I’m bullish on Jones. I think the media and fan base are increasingly bullish, to be honest. Jones has played really well this year. Truth is, he has played really well since the middle of last season — with the caveat that he had hamstring and ankle injuries that seriously limited his mobility over the final few games last season. He threw one interception over the final six games he played last year. The only interception he has thrown this year came on a Hail Mary, so it really doesn’t count.
Is Jones a franchise quarterback? He’s certainly trending in that direction. He is not the reason the Giants are 1-3, he’s played well enough for them to be 3-1. I think he’s going to be Giants quarterback for the foreseeable future.
BTB: Our old friend Jason Garrett is still the offensive coordinator in New York. Should he be? Have the Giants offensive problems been mostly out of his control, or does he take a fair share of the blame?
BBV: Again, this is a question you are asking after the best offensive performance of Garrett’s time as Giants’ offensive coordinator. Should Garrett still be Giants offensive coordinator? Absolutely. I have consistently supported the Giants’ decision to bring Garrett back this season. A change would have put Jones in his fourth offense in four years, dating back to his time at Duke. Not good. Jones and Garrett seem to have a terrific relationship.
The Giants put up 29 points against Washington. That EASILY could have been 40 w/out a dropped touchdown pass and a bad penalty call that negated a touchdown. The offense was really good against New Orleans, even without Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton.
Garrett has taken a lot of heat. Some of it justifiable because there have been times when the offense has looked terrible, some of it just because he’s the former Dallas coach and he’s an easy target when things go wrong. It’s not Garrett’s fault Barkley got hurt last year. Or that Evan Engram couldn’t catch. Or that Jones got hurt. Or that there weren’t reliable weapons to throw to. Or that Andrew Thomas was terrible.
All of a sudden when the Giants had quality blocking last Sunday, the ball was being thrown vertically. Barkley was getting the ball in space, especially as a receiver. Kadarius Toney was getting the ball and making tacklers miss. Amazing what happens when you have a good quarterback, blocking, and healthy play makers.
BTB: Things went well last week for the team, what were the significant factors that turned things around in their win over the Saints?
BBV: There are a couple of things that I haven’t mentioned in my previous answers. The Giants’ offensive line is thought to be awful, but that line — despite major injuries and a lot of shuffling — has been better than people are willing to admit most of the season. Andrew Thomas has been a rock at left tackle, and the overall pass blocking has been pretty good.
The other thing that helped was that the Giants’ defense, which has been a disappointment thus far and has failed time after time to get stops when they were needed, finally made some stops in the fourth quarter to give them a chance.
BTB: How are you generally feeling about the direction of the franchise from the GM to the coach to the roster? Are you seeing the improvement you want, or do things need a rebuild?
BBV: Well, let me start with this. The Giants should really be 3-1. You are what your record says you are, but the Giants really were the better team against both Washington and Atlanta, and LOST both of those games because of bad mistakes and, in my view, a couple of poor coaching decisions.
I don’t know what is going to happen at GM. If this season goes badly, ownership is not going to be able to justify keeping Dave Gettleman. Even though it looks like, ultimately, he is going to be right about Jones and Thomas. Joe Judge, I think, is going to be the Giants’ head coach for a while. My one issue with Judge is how insanely conservative he is on fourth down. I’d argue that his conservative bent contributed to the losses against Washington and Atlanta. Of course, a conservative fourth-down decision in the fourth quarter last week worked out. So, there’s that. I think the roster is better than it’s been in several years.
Now, all of that said you have to win games. The Giants are 1-3. They are beginning a stretch against Dallas, the Rams, the Panthers, the Chiefs, the Raiders, and the Buccaneers. That’s brutal.
I think they are headed in the right direction. They have two first-round picks in the next draft, and 10 picks overall. Like I said previously, though, sooner or later all of those good signs have to lead to victories.
BTB: How do you think things will play out on Sunday, and what is your score prediction?
BBV: Oh, man. After all the years we have done these together you should know how much I HATE predicting games. Especially scores. I’m terrible at picking games, and honestly haven’t picked a Giants game right yet this year.
I think this. I think the Giants are not a bad team, and I do think they have a chance to walk into the JerryDome and win this game. Will they? I don’t know, but I’d really like to see it. Not because I’m trying to be a homer, but because if the Giants can win this game they get to 2-3 and would be a game behind Dallas in the division. That would make my job, and the NFC East in general, more interesting. I’m down for that.
I am going to pick the Giants to pull the upset here. For the last few years I have looked for games that could be “signature” wins for the Giants, and have predicted a few upsets. I’m always wrong, but I’m going to keep trying. This is one of those games that could be a “signature” win for Joe Judge as he tries to build the Giants into something. Giants 31, Cowboys 30
Thanks for the knowledge, Big Blue View.
We sat down with Ed Valentine from Big Blue View and dove into the Film Room with Matt Minich during this week’s Preview Show on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!