The New York Giants defeated the Carolina Panthers, 19-16, in Week 2 at MetLife Stadium. The win improved their record to 2-0 and they are now one of just six remaining undefeated teams in the NFL.
The stunning start has caught the league’s attention and propelled the Giants into many heated debates. That includes where they rank or should rank among the NFL’s top teams.
As we enter Week 3, here’s a look at where the Giants place in a multitude of power rankings.
19. Giants (20): If you thought 2021 was a disaster for big-money free agent WR Kenny Golladay, it’s apparently going much worse in 2022. He has two receptions this season and was in for two plays Sunday.
No coordinator has done more with less through two weeks than Wink Martindale with his hodgepodge gang of Giants defenders. The temptation is to say Martindale’s blitz-heavy tendencies will come back to bite the Giants when they play a good quarterback, but the Giants’ schedule is so easy that might not end up being so much of a problem. Per TruMedia, only five of their remaining 15 games are against quarterbacks in the top 15 of EPA per dropback against the blitz since last season, and only two of those (Aaron Rodgers in Week 5 and Lamar Jackson in Week 6) are before Thanksgiving. The offense, which ranks 24th in EPA per drive, is probably not for real.
No one had high expectations for the Giants going into 2022 (that includes me; I had them no. 27 in The Ringer’s preseason rankings). They had the worst odds of any NFC East team to win the division (+700), and only the Seahawks and Falcons had worse odds to win the conference. The hard pivot from the Dave Gettleman–Joe Judge era to first-year head coach Brian Daboll and first-year general manager Joe Schoen was an intentionally fresh start to a long-term rebuild for a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2011. Fast-forward to Week 3, and Daboll’s Giants are one of six 2-0 teams in the league. They’re finding ways to win games they shouldn’t, and their new head coach is dancing at the center of it all.
Big Blue is 2-0 in the Brian Daboll era and has the Dallas Cowboys (minus Dak Prescott) coming in for a Monday Night Football game in Week 3. Could the Giants actually be 3-0? We shall see.
After a convincing road win against last year’s No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Giants could have made a statement against the Carolina Panthers. Instead they played with their food, needing a 56-yard Graham Gano field goal to win. New York can still make a big statement with a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in Week 3.
The Giants’ offense doesn’t appear to be any better than it was a season ago, even with Brian Daboll taking over as the offensive architect. After blowing up the Titans on the ground a week ago, the Giants averaged just 3.1 yards per carry against the talented Panthers’ defense.
Daniel Jones hasn’t made some magical leap in his fourth season so far, which could make the Giants’ decision that much easier in the offseason.
The Giants, like the Dolphins and Vikings, also made a good offensive-minded hire with Brian Daboll, a smart coach who has experience with both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. But the story of their early surprise, on top of a rejuvenated Saquon Barkley, has been a gritty rushing-based attack and solid defense, even minus Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari.
The Giants’ next two games are against the Cowboys and Bears at home. Is it possible we’re looking at a 4-0 start for Brian Daboll? The Giants might not be all that good, but strange things can happen when a team gains some confidence early in the season.