Two things can be true about where the Giants are now: This season has been a huge success under first-year head coach Brian Dabul, And the This team is not as good as its record would suggest.
This may be an uncomfortable truth to reveal as the season progresses, but it’s not a fact that Giants fans will have to toil or argue about for the rest of the season. This is the best year they’ve had since 2015, and it will likely lead to a playoff game unless something goes wrong during the back half of the season. This is a reason to celebrate where the Giants are – and Sunday’s game is a reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done.
The Giants have been playing closely contested games basically all season, and learning how to win those games and get across the finish line. However, if the Giants want to be a team that can start repeating these performances for years to come, it’s important to realize that this is just the first step toward continued dominance. Good teams falter from time to time, but they usually don’t struggle to hold offensive defenses against what has been the worst defense in football all season, as the Giants did against the Lions. This was a game where the lack of depth that previous systems built reared its ugly head.
Although the Giants are 7-3 on the season, their advanced stat profile isn’t all that interesting, especially on defense. According to Ben Baldwin of The Athletic, the Giants are 22nd in expected points added per game on defense (0.043) and 17th in success rate (44.2%). Not bad for a team in its first year with a new coaching staff, but it doesn’t really indicate a team ready for a deep playoff run. To be fair, they fare better on offense, ranking ninth in expected points added per game (0.055). Daboll has certainly positioned himself in the Coach of the Year race with how the season has unfolded.
The shocking loss of the Lions does not dampen what should be a great future for this Giants system. Losing rookie wide receiver in the second round Wan’Dale Robinson due to a torn ACL, but they received some good play from other young players like Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas, Evan Neal, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and others.
This past weekend must have reset the fanbase’s expectations for the rest of the season, but their future is still exciting. They still have a great chance of making the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year and that’s something to be excited about, even if they likely won’t play in the Super Bowl.