The NY Giants spent 5 consecutive years without a winning record. FIVE YEARS. 81 consecutive games. That is a pretty scary statistic. So when the team, a 5 point dog on the road versus a former playoff team, takes a 13-0 halftime deficit and goes out and steals the game, we better take notice.

Yes, it is one game. And we were fooled before, like when the team beat Seattle a couple of years ago. It turned out the Giants had a tell on Defense, and that is why they won. The only tells we had on Sunday in Tennessee were:

  1. Halftime adjustments. What is this? Frankly I forgot what a halftime adjustment was as a Giants fan. Really. Not kidding. For Daboll and Kafka, they ran the ball more, and slowed down the Titans pass rush. This was important. After giving up 4 sacks in the first half, that slowed to 1 sack in the second half. This is how you become competitive.
  2. Run blocking. What is this? Frankly I forgot what run blocking looked like. We were concerned (rightly so, swiss cheese in 1H) about rookie Ezeudu’s pass protection at Left Guard in the Preview. But we saw some very good run blocking by Ezeudu, a few blocks of which sprung Barkley for some terrific gains.
  3. Clock Management. Near the end of the game, the Giants are down by 7 but Daboll and Kafka are calm. The offense is calm. The clock is being managed instead of the Giants behaving like headless chickens.
  4. Discipline. Daboll giving Jones a well-deserved earful on the sidelines when the 4th year QB makes a complete meathead decision/throw for a pick in the end zone, squandering a special teams turnover. Daboll giving Kadarius Toney something to think about, playing behind 2nd and 3rd stringers with a grand total of 7 snaps. Parcells would approve.
  5. Cajones. Yah yah yah, the 2 point conversion could have failed. But that is ok. It is a rebuilding year and it did not fail. Younger Giants fans do not remember the cajones of Bill Parcells, who would do fake FGs and fake punts (sometimes in playoff games) and perfectly timed moments when nobody was expecting it. Take it from a professional risk manager- if you are not occasionally taking calculated risks, then you are not stretching your boundaries for success and testing the other team’s preparedness for your terms. Yes, Risk is an Asset, if used selectively and purposefully.
  6. Etc… I used to take notes during games so that I could blog the recap and not miss a lot of stuff. I probably missed a few additional points here because I was not intending to post this early in the season. But Daboll had other plans!

We nailed the Preview, despite the team surprising me and every single Giants fan by winning:

✅ Questions on availability of Toney

✅ Difference in coaching from Daboll/Kafka (see above list)

✅ back 7 weakness (Hilliard 2 TDs, defensive holding)

✅ LG weakness (sacks)

✅ Daniel Jones not the answer (meathead end zone INT, still no pocket presence)

✅ “Super Bullish” on one Giants player, who only amassed 194 yds from scrimmage, 1 TD, a 2 point conversion, and the Offensive Player of the Week in the NFL

The Giants should not be making any plans for their February 2023 Super Bowl parade yet. The Titans made enough mistakes and we will accept some charity. But the schedule is soooo soft that this is how the Giants could put up some Wins if they remain competitive.

Now let’s discuss one negative. Every regular to this NY Giants blog knows how much I hate drafting Wide Receiver in Round 1. “They are always available.” Round 1 is for QB, Protect QB and Rush the QB, which is why we were ecstatic about Neal and Thibodeaux. We also quantitatively ripped WR for not being cornerstone franchise players, as they do not stay on your roster. And then there is the Diva factor. Wide Receivers are the alpha’s alpha. These are the Touchdown makers. They are the ones mugging for the camera in the end zone while the Offensive Lineman busted his a** keeping the pocket clean so that the ball could get to the receiver properly. Give me Thomas, Ezeudu, Feliciano, Glowinski and Neal. These are the guys.

Is this (see Twitter clip above) the reason why Toney got 7 snaps? Confront the brutal facts and connect those dots. His availability is limited by injuries. We read stories about him not being up on the playbook. Now we hear and see how this WR is giving subpar effort. “That’s what exemplifies what you get from him on a daily basis,” says ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Just remember that Parcells had Gary Jeter shipped out and the team won a title 2 years later. I want Toney to excel as a Giant. He has the talent to win games for this team. But do not be surprised if his underachievement drives Daboll and Schoen to trade him.

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