The New York Giants faced a ton of scrutiny at the beginning of this season after selecting Daniel Jones with the No. 8 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft — hoping the Duke product could serve as Eli Manning’s successor. So far, it seems like they made the right choice. However the offseason decisions they made before Jones appeared in a game seem to have set them back.
New York sent its star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland and didn’t pull the trigger on a trade for Pro-Bowl safety Landon Collins, who ultimately joined division rival Washington as an unrestricted free agent. The Giants aren’t without young talent though, as Jones, Saquan Barkley and Evan Engram are all quality offensive pieces. But they certainly could’ve made more in return for the valuable assets they did have.
The Giants also battled a serious injury bug in 2019, as the group that might’ve formed the team’s best offensive unit didn’t manage to log one snap together on the year.
Total snaps the Giants will have Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton on the field at the same time this season: zero. That’s a bummer.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 17, 2019
It’s not likely that the Giants will acquire a talent like Odell Beckham Jr. again anytime soon, so the focal point of their offense should be Barkley. A healthy Barkley is one of the most dangerous football players in the world, but he needs protection to thrive.
Even with a middle-of-the-road offensive line, Barkley has accrued 2,029 rushing yards and 1,044 receiving yards in 27 career games. With the right additions up front, both Barkley could ascend to another level.
According to Football Outsiders, the Giants’ offensive line has the tenth-highest adjusted sack rate (7.9%) in the NFL, which can certainly be a challenge for a young quarterback like Jones to work with — even if he is mobile and poised. If New York can give its two most important players more space and time to operate, they should improve.
The 2019 NFL season is coming to a close and while the playoffs are just arriving, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2020. We won’t know the full regular season schedule until April, but even with the 2019 season not finished, we know each team’s list of opponents. The NFL has a formula they use to determine opponents, with divisions and conferences rotating each year.
The Giants face their divisional opponents a total of six times. The NFC East faces the NFC West, which adds four more opponents. The NFC East faces the AFC North, which adds four more opponents. The final two opponents are the teams that finish in the same standing position in the NFC South and NFC North.