Last season, the New York Giants shocked the NFL by making the playoffs. Their NFL lines win totals were set at 7.5 in 2022, but the Giants finished with a 9-7-1 record. New York made the playoffs as a wild-card team, beating the Minnesota Vikings before being dismantled by the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round.
Everything seems to be trending in the right direction for the Giants, using an offseason to re-sign or extend key players, sign depth pieces in free agency, and add talented rookies. In theory, the Giants are a much better team, but given their division, NFL betting is uncertain about them.
Giants Standing Pat in NFC East
Despite all the Giants’ roster upgrades, they are still in a tough division. The Eagles just narrowly lost the Super Bowl and, for the most part, dominated the NFC. Then there is the Dallas Cowboys, who beat the Giants twice in 2022, finishing with a 12-5 record and making it to the Divisional Round.
The NFC East had three teams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, proving to be one of the top divisions. However, for the Giants, that puts a cap on their success within their own division.
In five games against the Eagles and Cowboys, the Giants showed how far behind they were compared to those rivals, losing each time. Their only wins within the division were against the Washington Commanders, tying with them in Week 13 and winning in Week 15 on the road.
All this points to the Giants once again finishing third in the NFC East. They did enough to hold on to their advantage over the Commanders but didn’t improve to the level of the Eagles or Cowboys.
Giants Still Can Make Playoffs
Right now NFL odds are set at -200 for the Giants to miss the playoffs. That is somewhat surprising given that the team had a pretty solid offseason, made the playoffs, and won in the Wild Card last season.
Two of the three most significant weaknesses on the roster, between offensive line, linebacker, and wide receiver, have been filled. The offensive line could still be an issue, with the Giants undecided on their starting guards, but the center is locked up with rookie John Michael Schmitz Jr.
However, linebacker and wide receiver are two positions where the Giants have legitimate talent. New York signed Bobby Okereke in free agency. He looked great last season with 151 tackles for the Indianapolis Colts.
Then, right before the final preseason game, the Giants traded for the former eighth overall pick from the Arizona Cardinals, Isaiah Simmons. Simmons has yet to find a consistent role in the NFL, but he is a fantastic athlete and should be put in the right positions by defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.
At receiver, the Giants are trying to find better options for quarterback Daniel Jones, who just signed a four-year, $160 million extension. That started with the Giants trading for tight end Darren Waller. When he is healthy, Waller is a top receiving tight end with two seasons of over 1,100 yards.
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Daniel Jones 1st drive of preseason
8/9 69 yards 1 TD
Just flawless stuff from Daniel Jones and oh hey Darren Waller is sick pic.twitter.com/6KNzaDoU53
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) August 18, 2023
The rest of the receiving corps is still complicated. Isaiah Hodgins and Darius Slayton remain the top options, having had success last season. Wan’Dale Robinson was a rookie in 2022, showing promise, but injuries plagued him. Finally, the Giants signed Parris Campbell and drafted Jalin Hyatt to build a solid wide receiver room. There is not a lot of top-end talent, but they are by far the best receiving options Jones has had to work with in his career.
With the improvements at linebacker and wide receiver and the ability to retain essential players from last season’s playoff run, the Giants should be able to replicate that success.
On top of that, head coach Brian Daboll helped the team find an identity last season, which will only get stronger in 2023 and potentially create a winning environment.
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