Giants Offseason Wrap: Will They Be a Playoff Contender Again?
The New York Giants had a rollercoaster of a season in 2020. With a record of 6-10, they fell short of making the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. However, there is renewed hope amongst Giants fans as they eagerly await the 2021 season. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the Giants’ offseason activities and analyze whether they have what it takes to be a playoff contender once again.
A New Era Begins with Joe Judge
Heading into the 2020 season, the Giants made a bold move by hiring Joe Judge as their new head coach. Judge, previously the special teams coordinator for the New England Patriots, brought a fresh perspective and a winning mentality to the team. Despite the challenging circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge managed to instill discipline and a strong work ethic within the team.
Under Judge’s guidance, the Giants showed significant improvement, especially on the defensive end. Led by defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, the Giants’ defense exceeded expectations and ranked in the top ten for total defense. This impressive performance on the defensive side of the ball laid a solid foundation for the team moving forward.
One area where the Giants struggled last season was on the offensive side of the ball. The team lacked playmakers and struggled to find consistency. However, the Giants were proactive during the offseason and made significant moves to address these issues.
The most notable addition to the Giants’ offense was wide receiver Kenny Golladay. Golladay, previously with the Detroit Lions, brings a much-needed deep threat to the Giants’ passing game. With his exceptional ball skills and ability to make contested catches, Golladay will provide a valuable weapon for quarterback Daniel Jones.
In addition to Golladay, the Giants also signed veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph and drafted speedy wide receiver Kadarius Toney in the first round. These additions, combined with the return of star running back Saquon Barkley from injury, give the Giants a much-improved offense heading into the 2021 season.
Building on Defensive Success
While the Giants’ defense showed promise last season, there is still room for improvement. The team recognized this and made key moves during the offseason to bolster the defensive unit.
One of the most significant acquisitions was the signing of cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. Jackson, formerly with the Tennessee Titans, is a shutdown corner with excellent coverage skills. His addition alongside Pro Bowl cornerback James Bradberry gives the Giants a formidable pair in the secondary, which will greatly enhance their pass defense.
The Giants also focused on strengthening their linebacker corps by signing Reggie Ragland and drafting Azeez Ojulari. Ragland brings experience and physicality to the linebacker position, while Ojulari adds speed and pass-rushing prowess to the defense. These additions, combined with the development of young talents like linebacker Tae Crowder, make the Giants’ defense a force to be reckoned with in 2021.
Continuity and Growth
One often overlooked aspect of a team’s success is the continuity and growth of existing players. The Giants have a young core of talented players who gained valuable experience last season and are poised for further development.
Daniel Jones, despite his ups and downs, showed glimpses of brilliance and demonstrated improved decision-making towards the end of the 2020 season. With an improved supporting cast and another year of experience under his belt, Jones has the potential to take a significant leap in his development.
Furthermore, the return of Saquon Barkley from a season-ending injury is a massive boost to the Giants’ offense. Barkley, a generational talent at running back, has the ability to change the game and provide a dynamic threat both in the rushing and passing game. His return will undoubtedly elevate the Giants’ offense to another level.
The New York Giants offseason has been eventful, with several key acquisitions and the continued growth of existing players. The addition of playmakers on both offense and defense, combined with a strong coaching staff led by Joe Judge, has the potential to make the Giants a formidable playoff contender in the upcoming season.
While there are still areas to address and improvements to be made, the pieces are falling into place for the Giants to make a deep playoff run. With the right execution and a bit of luck, Giants fans have reason to hold high hopes for the upcoming season. Only time will tell if the Giants can live up to the lofty expectations and return to their former glory as a playoff contender.