The Jacksonville Jaguars are three games behind the New York Giants. They have holes all over their roster. And yet... they’re 3-point favorites over Daniel Jones & Co. for today’s matchup.
In an effort to learn more about the 2022 version of Philadelphia, I reached out to my go-to guy when it comes to all things Giants—Ed Valentine, Editor-in-Chief for SBNation’s Big Blue View with five questions about the team ahead of this Week 7 matchup.
Q: Okay, I gotta get this out of the way. How the h*ck are the New York Football Giants sitting at 5-1 through the first six games?
A: Well … it’s not easy to point to one reason. It’s actually pretty hard to explain. I tried to explain here.
I think the biggest thing is that Brian Daboll and his staff are doing a fantastic job. Too many coaches talk about putting players in position to succeed, figuring out what they do best and letting them do it, etc. Daboll and his staff are actually doing that, not just talking about it. The Giants have certain things they do well, and they stay with them.
Daboll has gotten buy-in players. He believes in them, they believe in him.
They are playing well on third down and in the red zone, both offensively and defensively. They haven’t been beating themselves. And, they don’t quit.
It also doesn’t hurt to have Saquon Barkley 100 percent healthy.
Q: And another thing, how are the 2-4 Jaguars favored? I know they’re at home, but the 3-point spread means Vegas thinks these two teams are about equal on a neutral field.
I’ve been trying to figure that one out myself. Pretty obvious Vegas isn’t buying that the Giants are a legit 5-1.
Q: Our defense could really use a pick-me-up this week after getting clowned by Matt Ryan on the road. If you were the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator, how would you game-plan against this Giants offense?
A: Well, you have to crowd the line of scrimmage and play the run first. You have to try and slow Barkley. You have to respect the quarterback run game. Daniel Jones has made a number of big-time throws in critical situations this year, but the Giants are 31st overall in passing offense. Try to make Jones and his unheralded group of receivers beat you.
Q: On the flip side of this Jaguars team, what does Trevor Lawrence need to watch out for against New York’s defense?
A: Pressure. Pressure. Pressure. Pressure. Oh, and then MORE PRESSURE. Wink Martindale runs the Giants’ defense. Per NextGenStats, the Giants have blitzed a league-high 43.7 percent of the time. Wink blitzed Aaron Rodgers. He blitzed Lamar Jackson constantly. He will come after Trevor Lawrence.
Q: What specifically has Brian Daboll done to turn around this Giants culture?
Honestly, I think the biggest thing Daboll has done is inspired confidence by showing players—and coaches—that he believes in and trusts them.
He talks all the time about this being a player’s game and about putting games in their hands. And, he has backed that up.
Joe Judge often played not to lose, and in retrospect, it’s easy to see that he really didn’t trust his roster. He coached to try and avoid mistakes. That’s coaching to lose. Daboll coaches aggressively, and says he will live with the results if it goes sideways.
To read my answers to Brandon’s questions, head over to Big Blue View.