One of the standard posts I’ve become known for is the ‘things on my mind’ column that I do regularly. Today I’m turning that post on its head. Here are ’10 Things I Never Thought Would Happen’ During the New York Giants 2022-23 Season.
Giants make the playoffs
The Giants making the playoffs in 2023 was definitely not on anyone’s Bingo card when the season started. This may interest you : Polk State SGA president uses platform to raise awareness of sickle cell. But here we are.
I said, and still say, from the beginning that this season is not about winning. It was about laying the groundwork for a future that would hopefully see the Giants as playoff regulars for the next decade, rather than once-in-a-decade contenders.
The Giants didn’t need to make the playoffs this season to be successful. They had to show improvement from their 4-13 season in 2021. They had to show that the right head coach and GM were in place, and that there were at least a handful of players who could step forward. Those things are accomplished.
Playoffs? The Giants are playing with house money. Of course, it would certainly be fun if Dabol’s team had more surprises in store.
Daniel Jones earns the right to stay
Remember John Maro’s words after he hired Joe Schoen as GM? See the article : Foxboro Youth Football and Cheerleading is looking for volunteers….
“We’ve done everything we can to screw this kid up since he’s been here,” Mara said. “We are constantly changing coaches. We change offensive coordinators all the time, we change offensive line coaches all the time. I take great responsibility for that. But let’s get the right group of coaches in now and give him continuity, try to build the offensive line and then be able to make an intelligent assessment of whether he can be a franchise quarterback or not.”
Even with the brilliant offensive minds of head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka at the controls, it always seemed like an uphill battle for Jones to remain the Giants’ quarterback beyond 2022. My view has always been that Jones playing well enough to earn a return to the Giants was possible, but the odds were against it.
Well, Jones flipped that script. It doesn’t seem like the issue now is whether or not the Giants want Jones in 2023, but how much will it cost and how many years after 2023 will they have to commit to?
Isaiah Hodgins becomes the Giants’ best receiver
Well, this one is easy. To see also : Members of Down Syndrome of Louisville perform with Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders. Hodgins spent most of the season on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad, was waived by the Giants during their Week 9 bye, and did not make his debut for the Giants until Week 10.
GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, who knew Hodgins well, had to realize they were going to get something out of him. But this? Thirty-three receptions, 351 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. There’s no way they could have expected this.
Dexter Lawrence leads the team in sacks
I had the opportunity to speak 1-on-1 with Sexy Dexy for the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast during training camp.
“I just want to disrupt and I just want to crash games,” is one of the memorable things Lawrence said to me that day in August.
He did that better this season than at any point in his career, earning his first Pro Bowl selection in the process.
Teaming with Leonard Williams, Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux is Lawrence, who led the team in passing with a team-high and career-high 7.5 sacks.
Xavier McKinney’s season is derailed by a Can-Am
Injuries happen in football. Some players get hurt more than others, but it’s impossible to truly be mad at a guy who does his job, prepares and practices properly, plays hard and gets hurt.
For me, it’s a different story when a player hurts himself and his team by doing something he probably shouldn’t have done. Such is the case with Xavier McKinney and his Can-Am crash in Cabo during the Giants’ bye week.
McKinney missed seven games after suffering multiple broken fingers on his left hand that required surgery.
Boys will be boys, and young men with money and time will want to have fun, and no one can blame them for that. I wish McKinney had used better judgment, though.
Daboll talks all the time about doing the right thing on and off the field, both in and out of the Giants facility. McKinney did the wrong thing. Fortunately for him and the Giants, there don’t appear to be any long-term consequences.
Wink Martindale would be so funny
I knew Martindale would bring an aggression to the defensive coordinator role that the Giants hadn’t seen since Steve Spagnuolo’s first tenure as the team’s defensive coordinator. I also thought Martindale would be lovable and hate the media.
Martindale’s weekly press availability has turned into an unmissable party.
On wanting “playoff fans” in Week 17 for a potential game against the Indianapolis Colts:
“Everyone was talking about how we want playoff football here. Here’s what we need: We need playoff fans to show up at this game and be as loud as possible. I know it’s New Year’s, so if you have an event on New Year’s Eve, keep it up. And carry it through to the end of the game.”
About players who take time to play on Twitter:
“Why don’t I look like a big Twitter? I’m more of a TikTok guy (laughs). TikTok has good golf tips, the scare cam is one of my favorite things to see and lots of comedians.”
On the team’s schedule that changes due to playing on Thanksgiving Day:
“Are your watches thrown away because of these things? Or is it just the coaches and players? Like it’s usually Thursday, but now it’s Wednesday, or maybe I’m just old.”
On his shared taste in music with, of all people, rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux:
“I said it before, it’s like he has an old soul. We’re going to play some music before we start the defense meeting. It’s like old school Thursday, it’s my favorite day and he knows all the songs and bands and everything.”
What music did they play that day in training:
“Some players from Ohio, we played Zappa. I mean, we played some good stuff.”
On Thibodeaux, who has a lot of swagger:
On facing Aaron Rodgers (before they played Green Bay Week 5 in London):
“It’s like owning a python and saying, ‘don’t worry about it, it won’t bite’. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers. To me, it makes no difference. I think he’s just as effective today as he was five, six years ago.”
A fan alert before the home opener against Carolina:
“If you want to be a part of changing this culture here with the Giants, be loud and get that place rocking where people don’t want to come to our stadium. We’ll take care of the rest, and we’ll give you something to be loud about.”
After Bill Belichick complained that the Giants blitzed too much in the preseason opener:
On what he learned from dealing with injuries during his final season with the Baltimore Ravens:
“Don’t go to DoorDash to find a spare corner.”
On why he values players by length:
“I always say there’s a good place for a little person. That’s behind a big, tall person in this league, because you know, it helps everything. It helps in the open court fight and helps to break blocks and helps to get to the 50/50 ball. Length plays a big role.”
Sterling Shepard would become a cheerleader
The Giants have no cheerleaders. Still, they have Sterling Shepard. That’s really all they need when it comes to the cheering side.
The veteran wide receiver didn’t disappear from the Giants landscape after suffering a season-ending torn ACL, as most players on IR do. He’s always in the Giants locker room, and during games you’ll often find Shepard standing on the bench waving a towel and cheering on the crowd at MetLife Stadium.
“I just try to stay around the things that make me happy, and these guys make me happy,” Shepard told The Athletic.
“If you talk to the old, former players, that’s what they miss the most is the camaraderie and hanging out with the guys,” Shepard said. “I want to cherish those moments as much as I can. I’m closer to the end of my career than the beginning, so you have to appreciate those moments.
“Just because I’m hurt doesn’t mean I don’t have to be there anymore.”
Ben Bredeson would become so important
Who knew Bredeson, a third-year offensive line coach who had to earn a roster spot during training camp, would become one of the Giants’ most important offensive players?
Bredeson started the first seven games at left guard this season after Shane Lemieux, who was slotted in when training camp began, suffered a severe toe injury that required surgery. The Giants went 6-1.
Bredeson suffered an MCL sprain in Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After he got hurt, the Giants used Joshua Ezeudu, Jack Anderson, Nick Gates and Lemieux as the starters at left guard. They went 1-4-1.
The Giants are 2-2 and averaging 24.5 points per game since Bredeson returned.
Is he a charm? Or a good player?
Micah McFadden would be last draft pick standing
The Giants selected 11 players in Joe Schoen’s first draft as general manager. Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden, selected 146th overall in the 5th round, is the only one of the 11 draft picks who hasn’t missed at least some time with an injury this season.
Offensive lineman Marcus McKethan (5th round) and linebacker Darrian Beavers spent the entire season on IR. Wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (2nd round), offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu (3rd round) and defensive tackle D.J. Davidson (5th round) is also on IR due to season injuries.
And, yes, I apologize in advance to McFadden. I know I probably smacked him and he’s going to get hurt on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
I would get to speak with Laura Young
One of my favorite things about covering the Giants this season has been the opportunity I’ve had to speak with several women in key roles both on the coaching staff and elsewhere in the Giants organization.
Daboll calls director of coaching operations Laura Young a “rock star.” Schoen calls her the “MVP of the organization.”
Young doesn’t usually do interviews, but I had the opportunity to sit down with her 1-on-1 during the season. I also spoke with several other women who have prominent roles with the Giants. If you didn’t read about them in November, read about them now.
Why are the Jets and Giants not called New Jersey?
These New York teams really represent that metro area, not just East Rutherford, NJ or even just New York City. Real estate. The Giants played at Yankee Stadium. The Jets played at Shea Stadium.
Are the Jets NY or NJ? Three NFL teams claim the state of New York – the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
Are the Giants and Jets in New Jersey? MetLife Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 8 km west of New York City. Opened in 2010 to replace Giants Stadium, it serves as the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL).
Why are they called the New York Giants if they play in New Jersey? Although they are called the New York Giants, they do not play in New York. They play in East Rutherford, New Jersey. New York is across the Hudson River from East Rutherford, so they call New York home. The Giants play at MetLife Stadium, which they share with the New York Jets.
Why are the Giants and Jets called New York?
The Giants and the Jets represent the entire New York metropolitan area, which includes New York, New Jersey and possibly southern Connecticut.
Are the Jets and Giants in New York? MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, NJ, is home to the New York Jets and the New York Football Giants. It is one of the largest stadiums in the NFL with a capacity of 82,500 spectators.
Why are there two New York NFL teams? It has a huge population and the physical division into municipalities creates natural rivalries that create room for more teams. And New York happens to be in a climate zone where all of America’s major sports make sense.
Why are the Giants called New York?
The Giants’ legal name is “The New York Football Giants” to distinguish them from the New York Giants baseball team, which played in New York from 1885-1957 before moving to San Francisco.
Are the New York Giants named after a city in the state? So how did the New York baseball giants get their name? They got their name from all the giant buildings that sprung up in New York.
Why are the New York Jets in New Jersey? Before Giants Stadium opened in 2010, the New York Jets were trying to move to the west side of Manhattan and build their own place. The deal fell through when NYC lost its bid for the Olympics, so the Jets went to MetLife Stadium with the Giants.