Best and worst case scenario for 2022

Welcome to FanSided’s 2022 NFL preview! It’s time to look into our crystal football and take a glimpse at the New York Giants season prediction.

It is a new era for the New York Giants. Last season was an absolute disaster for them, finishing in last place in the NFC East, creating an angry fanbase that wanted to see change after sitting down and watching unwatchable football for the final month-and-a-half. Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge are out as general manager and head coach. Replacing them are former Buffalo Bills — assistant general manager Joe Schoen and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

There is hope that both Schoen and Daboll can bring some success to East Rutherford, N.J. as the Bills have become a perennial Super Bowl favorite in the past couple of years. However, with the team having very little cap space remaining entering the 2022 league year (thanks Gettleman), the team had to make some tough roster decisions. But, this is a true rebuild, one that the Giants have needed for quite some time. The true change will happen over the next few years.

Here is a preview for the Giants as we approach the 2022 season.

Giants 2021 season in review

  • 4-13 record
  • 4th place in NFC East
  • Didn’t Qualify for Playoffs

In 2020, the Giants were close to clinching a playoff berth, despite finishing with a 6-10 record. Even so, there was promise in the first year under Judge. But in 2021, things were an abject disaster.

The team played undisciplined football that cost them victories (i.e. Week 2 against the now-Washington Commanders). Quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a neck injury late in the season, forcing the Giants to utilize both Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm, which led to historically awful results. Then, there was Judge’s coaching.

If there was one thing that stands out from last season was Judge calling for two quarterback sneaks deep in their own territory to give the punter more room. It was a surrender formation…in the first half. This play decision was universally decried by the media and players themselves, the most prevalent of the latter being Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

That may have been a blessing in disguise for the Giants. After allowing general manager Dave Gettleman to get a victory lap at MetLife Stadium (despite only accruing 19 wins in his four years) before entering retirement, the Giants fired Judge, even though reports the day prior indicated that they were going to keep him.

New York Giants Giants NFL Draft class 2022

  • Rd 1: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE/Oregon
  • Rd 1: Evan Neal, OT/Alabama
  • Rd 2: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR/Kentucky
  • Rd 3: Joshua Ezeudu, G/North Carolina
  • Rd 3: Cordale Flott, CB/LSU
  • Rd 4: Daniel Bellinger, TE/San Diego State
  • Rd 4: Dane Felton, S/Iowa
  • Rd 5: Micah McFadden, LB/Indiana
  • Rd 5: DJ Davidson, DT/Arizona State
  • Rd 5: Marcus McKethan, G/North Carolina
  • Rd 6: Darrian Beavers, LB/Cincinnati

The fanbase as curious just how the new regime of general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll would tackle the NFL Draft. Sure enough, they crushed it in the first round.

With the fifth-overall pick, they selected Kayvon Thibodeaux to be their star pass rusher. He is already one of the odds on favorites to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Then, they solidified the right tackle spot by selecting Alabama’s Evan Neal with the No. 7 pick. Two prospects considered to be first-overall picks fell to the Giants. Neal at right tackle and Andrew Thomas at left tackle? After all of these years with offensive line problems, the Giants may very well have their tackle positions locked in for the foreseeable future.

In the second-round, the Giants brought in some additional wide receiver depth in Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson, who has the speed to make an impact in the passing and running games. Robinson could very well get some looks, especially when considering that the majority of this wide receiver corps was banged up last season.

Joshua Ezeudu looks to be in line to start at left guard, as Shane Lemieux was placed on the injured reserve ahead of the season.

Then, there is Daniel Bellinger, who is already slotted to be the team’s starting tight end from the get-go.

However, two of their rookies, Marcus McKethan and Darrian Beavers, are out for the season due to ACL tears.

Previewing New York Giants offense for 2022 season

  • Key offseason additions
    • QB Tyrod Taylor
    • OL Mark Glowinski
    • OL Jon Feliciano
    • OL Evan Neal
  • Biggest X-Factor: Saquon Barkley
  • Squeakiest Wheel: Daniel Jones

The Giants prioritized the offensive line this offseason, something that has been neglected the previous four seasons. Schoen managed to secure one of the Indianapolis Colts’ starting offensive linemen in Mark Glowinski to be their new right guard. That, and the Giants were able to bring over Jon Feliciano from Buffalo to be their starting center.

Perhaps the most important thing the Giants have done is they brought in a competent backup quarterback in Tyrod Taylor. He is a vast improvement over Glennon and Fromm, and will be some solid insurance policy in case Daniel Jones were to go down with an injury.

Speaking of Jones, this is his last shot to prove that he was worth the sixth-overall pick in 2019, or if Gettleman took a massive reach in selecting him. The Giants rejected his fifth-year option, meaning that he will be a free agent at the end of the season. It will be up to Daboll, who oversaw the progression of Josh Allen into a superstar in Buffalo, to see if Jones can improve. He showed flashes in the preseason of thriving in the offense this preseason, but that is different from the regular-season.

Saquon Barkley could be the biggest x-factor in New York’s offense. He has a much stronger offensive line in front of him, so there will be openings for him to run for huge gains. Not only that, but the Daboll/Mike Kafka offense could utilize him perfectly in the passing game.

Previewing New York Giants defense for 2022 season

  • Key offseason additions
    • EDGE Kavon Thibodeaux
    • S Tony Jefferson
    • S Jason Pinnock
  • Biggest X-Factor: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux
  • Squeakiest Wheel: LB Tae Crowder

The defense has taken a hit this offseason. The first big name to leave was cornerback James Bradberry, who was released by the Giants. To make matters worse for New York, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. That will leave Adoree’ Jackson as the top cornerback on the depth chart, followed by Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson, Justin Layne, and rookie Cordale Flott.

New York’s other shocking departure was linebacker Blake Martinez, who was released at the end of training camp. Martinez was just returning from a torn ACL suffered early last season. Now, middle linebacker is a huge weakness on the Giants.

Speaking of, Tae Crowder is now the top inside linebacker on the depth chart. Last season, Crowder recorded 130 combined tackles, six defended passes, and two interceptions. However, he surrendered 59 completions for 525 yards and four touchdowns on 74 targets, per Pro Football Reference.

The biggest x-factor on defense is undoubtedly their No. 5 overall pick in Thibodeaux. If he is able to not just sack the quarterback, but also put pressure on them as well, that will make the Giants’ defense’s life that much easier.

New York Giants coaching staff overview

  • Head Coach: Brian Daboll
  • Off. Coordinator: Mike Kafka
  • Def. Coordinator: Don “Wink” Martindale
  • 2023 Head Coach Candidate: Mike Kafka

The Giants have found that points were hard to come by in the past two season, especially in 2021. So, they managed to hire one of the top head coaching candidates in Daboll, who has received universal praise during his time coaching the Bills offense. Buffalo averaged the fifth-most yards per game (381.9) and third-most points per game (28.4).

Joining Daboll to help lead the Giants offense is Mike Kafka, the former quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Given how explosive their offense has been over the years, bringing in Kafka will bring more creative play calling to a Giants offense that has been notoriously bland under the likes of Judge and former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Finally, leading the defense is Don “Wink” Martindale, after Patrick Graham left to become defensive coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders. Martindale was defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2018 until 2021, and is known for his blitz heavy defense. With Thibodeaux, Leonard Williams, and Azeez Ojulari on the defensive line, there could be an increase in quarterback sacks this upcoming season.

As for who will be a 2023 head coaching candidate, Kafka has the best odds. Yes, Martindale was a head coaching candidate in the past (most notably a candidate for the Giants gig in 2020), but if Kafka can help increase the offensive production and get a career year out of Daniel Jones, there will be plenty of teams calling him for interviews.

New York Giants Awards Watch

Saquon Barkley, MVP

It is hard to find a suitable MVP candidate on the Giants roster. Normally, you would look at the quarterback position. However, there is uncertainty at the position with Jones. If there is one player who has the best chance of making a run for MVP, it is Saquon Barkley.

Barkley has the offensive line and the offensive minds on the coaching staff to get the most out of his talent. The Giants have received plenty of flak for selecting Barkley with the second-overall pick, but those forget that he was a truly incredible player at Penn State.

A running back has not won the NFL MVP award since Adrian Peterson in 2013. If Barkley can really put the offense on his back, he could get some NFL MVP love.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

Thibodeaux is already one of the odds on favorites to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, alongside Detroit Lions edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson. It could very well be a battle between the two throughout the season to see who gets the most sacks. Whoever does, is likely winning.

Brian Daboll, Coach of the Year

If Daboll is able to do what Joe Judge couldn’t and get the most out of the offense that remains relatively the same as in 2021, and lead them to a playoff spot, he will get some serious Coach of the Year love.

Biggest game on New York Giants schedule in 2022

The biggest matchup on the Giants’ schedule, as it is every year, will be the first game against the Dallas Cowboys. Usually, this serves as a litmus test to see just how good the Giants will be that season. If New York can pull off a win over a Cowboys team that is banged up on offense in Week 3, that would inspire a ton of confidence in the team this season.

New York Giants season prediction: Best case scenario

While plenty are writing off the Giants as being among the worst teams in the NFL this season, they forget that they have some winnable games on the schedule. The Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Detroit Lions are all on the docket for the Giants. If they are able to defeat all of them and pick up wins against the Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Commanders, they can very well sneak into the playoffs.

New York Giants season prediction: Worst case scenario

The worst-case scenario for the Giants would be ending up well below .500 once again. But that is actually a best-case scenario, as it would put them in prime position to either take a quarterback prospect like Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud (if Daniel Jones does not pan out), or a defensive prospect like Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter or Alabama linebacker Will Anderson.

So finishing with the same exact record (or in that territory) as last year would be the worst-case scenario for the Giants.

New York Giants season prediction for 2022

  • 7-10 record
  • 4th in NFC East
  • Playoff result: Do Not Qualify for Playoffs

Again, those who are counting out the Giants are not looking at their schedule. Yes, their secondary and linebacker corps is suspect on paper. Not to mention that the wide receiver corps has shown to be injury prone. But those games against the bottom of the AFC South (Texans and Jaguars) and NFC North (Bears and Lions) divisions are truly winnable.

The Giants are still a ways away from being a serious Super Bowl contender. They will finish the season with a 7-10 record.

Read more from FanSided’s 2022 NFL Preview here. For more New York Giants coverage, check out GMen HQ

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