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June 25, 2024

10 reasons the Giants will be a dumpster fire this season

From the owner to the coach to the quarterback, the New York Football Giants are in a rough position heading into the 2024 season.

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062424JoeSchoen Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

The greatest trick Joe Schoen has pulled is somehow getting people to not know he exists.

This week, all week long, we're taking a negative look at each of the teams in the NFC East, in detail. On Monday we roasted the Dallas Cowboys. Today we'll poke fun at the New York Giants.

To note, we will not be talking about the positives of any of the Eagles' NFC East rivals, because, well, that's no fun. This will be 100 percent vitriolic. And yes, we'll get to the Eagles as well at the end of the series.

1) Daniel Jones is still the quarterback

After a 2022 season during which Jones dinked-and-dunked his way to an improbable playoff berth, the Giants were faced with three unappealing decisions on his future during the 2023 offseason:

  1. Let him walk in free agency, thus starting over at quarterback after making the playoffs in 2022 for the first time since the 2016 season.
  2. Franchise-tag him, paying him roughly $32.4 million for one year and punting on a decision on his long-term standing with the team until the following offseason.
  3. Hitch their wagon to Jones, long-term.

They chose option No. 3, signing Jones to a four-year deal worth $160 million, tying him (at the time) for seventh among NFL quarterbacks at an average annual value of $40 million per season. (He has since been passed by five other quarterbacks.) 

In my opinion, option No. 3 was the least appealing of the three, as the Giants gave big money to Jones after one serviceable season. Sure enough, in 2023, he went 1-5 in 6 games with 2 TDs vs. 6 INTs before a ACL tear ended his season. The Giants did not score an offensive touchdown while Jones was on the field in five of those six starts.


Anyway, after Jones' injury, there was an Italian guy that the North Jersey locals seemed to like, and some otherwise forgettable football, and yada yada yada the Giants finished 6-11.

When they were on the clock at pick No. 6 in the 2024 draft, there were three quarterbacks available who ultimately got drafted within the first 12 picks. They were Michael Penix (8th overall), J.J. McCarthy (10th overall), and Bo Nix (12th overall). The Giants obviously didn't think enough of Penix, McCarthy, or Nix to make any of them their their new franchise quarterback. It will be interesting to see what becomes of their professional careers. Their decision to pass on those quarterbacks was likely at least partly guided by Jones' albatross contract.

For now, Giants fans will have to endure another season with Jones as the starter, which feels especially unfair given their season was over in 2023 before it ever really got started. And guess what... 2024 will be over before it starts, too.

2) Saquon Barkley is gone

Former GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants made the insane decision to select Barkley with the second overall pick in 2018 NFL Draft. He then mocked computer nerds far and wide for their egghead theories on why drafting a running back so highly is a poor use of resources:

(As a reminder, I'm contractually obligated to include that gif 👆 in every Giants dumpster fire post, even if Gettleman is long gone.)

Gettleman valued running backs, maybe more than any GM of the last quarter century. The new regime under Joe Schoen does not, as evidenced by their weird game of hardball with Barkley the offseason after he carried them to the playoffs in 2022. 

It's certainly not wrong to be wary of overvaluing running backs, given their extremely short NFL shelf lives. And yet, while the Giants may very well have been right to let Barkley walk in free agency this offseason, especially given his position and injury history, it is also inarguable that Barkley was the Giants' best offensive skill player over the last six years, and nobody else was even remotely close.

In 2022, he carried 198 times for 931 yards (4.7 YPC) and 6 TDs though the first nine games, and the Giants got out to a 7-2 start. He was on pace for over 2,000 yards from scrimmage at the time. In Week 9 that season, Barkley carried 35 times for 152 yards. But, he looked like the player he once was.

The over-usage caught up with Barkley and the Giants, as he was less effective thereafter. From that point on, the Giants finished out the rest of the season with a 2-5-1 record, and eked their way into the postseason. Barkley ended up finishing with 1,650 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs. He still had a big game in the team's playoff win against the Vikings, he made the Pro Bowl, and he finished third in NFL Comeback Player of the Year voting.

In 2023, the Giants franchise tagged Barkley to his dismay. He still showed up for training camp anyway and played the good soldier. During the season, the Giants cycled through three ineffective quarterbacks, and there were times when the Giants' offense was so bad that they just gave the ball to Barkley over and over. In 14 games, he carried 247 times for 962 yards and 6 TDs, with a yards per carry average of 3.89. While 3.89 yards per carry isn't good, it was (a) behind a historically awful offensive line, and (b) a hell of a lot better than all the other Giants' backs, none of whom rushed for better than 2.82 yards per carry.

2023 Non-Barkley Giants RBs Rush Yards YPC TD 
 Matt Breida55 151 2.7 
 Eric Gray17 48 2.8 
 Gary Brightwell19 2.1 
 Deon Jackson2.0 
 Jashaun Corbin1.0 
TOTAL 83 221 2.7 

Whether the Giants were right or wrong not to pay Barkley, they're a worse football team without him, and he's now also playing for a divisional rival that has owned the Giants over the last 15 or so years.

Barkley was replaced in free agency by Devin Singletary, a committee back who has played both for the Bills and Texans. He has a nice career 4.6 yards per carry average, though he had his lowest YPC average (4.2) in 2023 in Houston when he had the heaviest workload of his career (216 carries). Over the last six seasons, opposing defenses keyed on Barkley when they played the Giants. They will not key on Singletary, which will make the passing offense even harder to execute than it already was.

3) The offensive line still sucks

The Giants' offensive line is awful every year, and in 2023 the team surrendered a staggering 85 (!) sacks on the season, by far the most in the NFL:

 TeamSacks allowed 

The five teams in the above chart had a combined record of 25-60 (0.294). If you can't protect the quarterback, you're probably not going to be a very good team. #Analysis.

Those 85 sacks that the Giants allowed were good for the second-most in NFL history:

 TeamSacks allowed 
1986 Eagles 104 
 2023 Giants  85 
 1987 Cardinals78 
 2002 Texans 76 

As you might imagine, improving the offensive line was a priority for the Giants this offseason, and they signed five of them in free agency.

• Jon Runyan: Runyan has been a starter for the Packers the last three years. He's better in pass pro than he is as a run blocker. Three years, $30 million. He'll likely start at RG.

• Jermaine Eluemunor: Eluemunor has some guard/tackle versatility. He started at RT for the Raiders last season. Two years, $14 million. He's turn 30 during the regular season.

Aaron Stinnie: Stinnie started at LG for the Buccaneers in 2023. He's a below average starter, but he's probably better than anything the Giants had at guard last season.

• Austin Schlottmann: Schlottmann has started 14 games in five seasons with the Vikings and Broncos, mostly at center, but also at both guard spots. I won't pretend to know anything more about him than that. 

• Matt Nelson: Nelson also has 14 career starts, all with the Lions, all at RT.

The Giants' starting offensive line is projected to look like this Week 1:

Andrew Thomas Jermaine Eluemunor John Michael Schmitz Jon Runyan Evan Neal 

Thomas has developed into a good pro, and Runyan is solid enough. The rest is ugly:

• Neal is only a projected starter because he was the seventh overall pick in the 2022 draft. If he weren't, there would be no justification for him to be starting, as he has not only played badly, but also hasn't really shown flashes that could serve as reason for hope. He also had offseason surgery on his ankle.

• Schmitz had a bad rookie season. PFF had him down for five sacks allowed, a usually high number for a center, and (grain of salt) he was ranked 36th out of 36 centers by PFF.

• Eluemunor has been better at tackle than he has at guard over his career, but the Giants are moving him to guard, because of course they are. Most of his experience in the NFL — both at tackle and at guard — has come on the right side. It's an especially interesting choice to play Eluemunor at LG instead of RG because Runyan has said that he prefers playing LG over RG. So why are they playing Eluemunor at LG when most of his experience is on the right side and Runyan at RG when he has said that he prefers the left side? I would guess it's because they thought enough of Runyan to pay him $10 million per year and they want him to play next to Neal? If that's correct, then they're not only playing Neal without merit, but they're also shuffling their line otherwise to help him as much as possible.

4) They continue to let their rare good players get away

The Giants are paying Runyan and Eluemunor a combined $17 million per year. Neither player is special, by any stretch. Interestingly, $17 million per season is what S Xavier McKinney signed for in Green Bay, and it's also what it would have cost the Giants to franchise tag him this year. McKinney is still only 24 years old and he is one of the best safeties in the NFL. In 2023, he had 116 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and 3 INTs. It was a curious decision for the Giants not to tag McKinney, seeing as, you know, they don't have many good players. It's a lot easier to open up cap space than it is to find good players.

Personally, I'd much rather spend on my young, home-grown, top 5 type of impact safety than a couple of average offensive guards you can find with extreme ease.


This is nothing new under Joe Schoen. In previous offseasons, he let the following players acquired by the previous regime get away with nothing to show for it:

S Julian Love: Love was one of the best coverage safeties in the NFL in 2023.

S Jabrill Peppers: Peppers became a really good player in New England once he got away from the Giants.

CB James Bradberry: This maybe looks like a bad example at the moment given the bad season Bradberry had in 2023, but he was an All-Pro in 2022 who helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl.

TE Evan Engram: Engram has 187 catches for 1729 yards and 8 TDs in two seasons since leaving the Giants to play for the Jaguars.

If you're going to let good players walk, you better have a good plan to replace them, and so far Joe Schoen hasn't, which brings us to...

5) Joe Schoen has brought in almost exclusively crappy players

• In 2022, Schoen added the following outside veteran players:

  1. QB Tyrod Taylor
  2. OG Mark Glowinski
  3. iOL Jon Feliciano
  4. TE Ricky Seals-Jones
  5. RB Matt Breida
  6. DT Justin Ellis
  7. DE Jihad Ward
  8. OG Jamil Douglas
  9. OT Matt Gono
  10. WR Robert Foster

None of those guys are still with the team.

• In 2023, Schoen added the following outside veteran players: 

  1. TE Darren Waller (via trade)
  2. LB Bobby Okereke
  3. DT Rakeem Nuñez-Roches
  4. CB Amani Oruwariye
  5. S Bobby McCain
  6. WR Parris Campbell
  7. WR Jamison Crowder
  8. WR Jeff Smith

Only Okereke and Nuñez-Roches are still with the team, and Rakeem Nuñez-Roches stunk last season.

The Giants gave up a third-round pick for Waller, who retired after one irrelevant season. This was also the offseason during which Schoen gave Daniel Jones the $160 million contract.

Here was the Giants' draft in 2022:

Round Overall Player 
 1EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux 
 1 OT Evan Neal
 243 WR Wan'Dale Robinson 
 367 OL Joshua Ezeudu 
 381 CB Cordale Flott 
 4112 TE Daniel Bellinger 
 4114  S Dane Belton
 5146 LB Micah McFadden 
 5147 DT D.J. Davidson 
 5173 OL Marcus McKethan 
 6182 LB Darrian Beavers 

Aaaand in 2023: 

Round Overall Player 
 124 CB Deonte Banks 
 257 John Michael Schmitz 
 373 WR Jalin Hyatt 
 5172 RB Eric Gray 
 6209 CB Tre Hawkins 
 7243 DT Jordon Riley 
 7254 S Gervarrius Owens 

There's like one guy from those two draft classes who is clearly a good player, and the Giants took him at fifth overall. Between free agency and the draft, dude is batting like .079.


Schoen replaced Dave Gettleman, which is about as low a bar as a general manager could ask for, and there's an argument to be made that Gettleman was better than Schoen has been so far.

I'm sure the local beats have criticized Schoen, but where are the national folks? He's been legitimately horrendous in the biggest city in America and the average football fan couldn't pick him out of a lineup.

6) Are we sure the Giants won the Brian Burns trade?

When the Giants traded a high second-round pick (39th overall) and a fifth-round pick (141st overall) to the Panthers for Burns this offseason, it was regarded as a steal, perhaps partly because the Panthers are such a joke of an organization: 

If the Panthers hadn't gotten an insanely stupid offer for Burns previously, I'm not so sure the Giants' trade for him would be viewed quite as favorably. In addition to trading the two picks, the Giants then gave Burns a five-year contract worth $141 million (over $28 million per season), making him the second-highest paid edge rusher in the NFL at the time behind only Nick Bosa. (He has since been passed by the Jags' Josh Allen, by like $50K per season.)

Trade cost: Fine.
Contract cost: Very high.

Burns has 46 career sacks and eight forced fumbles in five seasons. His best year was 2022, when he had 12.5 sacks, the lone double-digit sack season of his career. He is a very good edge rusher, but he is being paid like an elite one. He has a more lucrative contract than guys like T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, and Maxx Crosby, to name a few.

7) Their run defense sucked (again)

In each of the three seasons during the Joe Schoen / Brian Daboll era, the Giants' run defense has been trash.

Giants run D 2021: Stat (NFL rank) 2022: Stat (NFL rank)2023: Stat (NFL rank) 
Run defense DVOA (32) (32)(29) 
Rushing yards per game allowed 129.0 (25) 146.3 (28)132.4 (29) 
Rushing yards per attempt allowed 4.5 (22) 5.3 (31)4.7 (31) 
Rushing first downs per game allowed 7.4 (25) 8.1 (30)7.9 (31) 

Last offseason, the Giants signed a couple of JAG DTs in A'Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nuñez-Roches. I didn't even mention them in our dumpster fire entry last year because, I mean, that wasn't really a serious way to address their awful run defense. On a side note, it always amazes me what some homer fans will latch onto as a way to discredit these articles. This dude Tommy, for example, chose my omission of Rakeem Nuñez-Roches, whose name he didn't even spell correctly:


"We signed Nunes Roches, clown!" 🤡🤡🤡. Lol. This Tommy fella also promised to come find me in a few months after Daniel Jones crushed it in 2023.


Update: I did not hear back from Tommy.

Anyway, once again, the Giants didn't make any real efforts to improve their run defense other than signing Jordan Phillips, who played for the Bills last year and who Eagles fans might remember as the guy who got mad because Philly fans were mean to him. And for the record, he was ranked 129th out of 130 interior defensive lineman by PFF in 2023.

Spoiler: The Giants' run defense is probably going to suck again.

8) Brian Daboll's leadership... 😬

At the end of the first half during their Week 6 loss to the Bills the Giants had the ball at the 1 yard line after a Bills pass interference call in the end zone. There were 14 seconds on the clock, and Giants had no timeouts. This is what happened:

As you can see, Brian Daboll lit into backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor like he was Tom Coughlin screaming at Matt Dodge.


Daboll's explanation of the play, via Kevin Patra of

"Had a play called, it was a run action pass play and ended up alerting it to a run. Didn't get it off," head coach Brian Daboll said tersely after the loss, via the official transcript. "He saw a look based on the play that we had, and he ended up alerting it."

Maybe don't call a play with a run option?

And Taylor's explanation:

"Yeah, it was a decision, looking back on it, definitely shouldn't have made," he said. "Alerted to a run, thought I saw a look that was beneficial for us, and it wasn't the right call. That falls on me, as a quarterback, as a leader, as the one that's communicating everything to everyone -- got to be better in that situation."

At a minimum, the Giants could have easily walked away from that series with three points. And, well, they could have used those points, seeing as the game ended like this:

Beyond the outcome of that game, I'd be concerned about Daboll's leadership if I'm the Giants. He publicly shamed Taylor on the field at the end of the half, and then threw him under the bus in the press conference after it. A couple weeks before that, he threw a tablet while reviewing a play with Daniel Jones:

And, I mean, just search "Brian Daboll mad" on Twitter and you could burn a half hour watching videos of Brian Daboll being extremely mad on the sidelines.

Daboll could have taken some accountability along with Taylor by stressing that it should have been on him and his staff to communicate that under no circumstances should Taylor alert to a run, and perhaps note that as a staff they'll have to be better at safeguarding against that kind of mistake in those situations going forward. But Daboll was basically like, "Nope, quarterback's fault." Taylor took accountability, while Daboll took none. Are you a coach, or a red-faced maniac? You can only keep up that kind of behavior for so long before you lose the players.

9) Fix your field, you morons

In an anonymous player poll conducted by The Athletic last season, MetLife was voted the worst stadium in the NFL. Beating out FedEx Field — a place where a railing collapsed, and where sewage rains down from the pipes, and where literally everything is awful — is truly an amazing feat.

And the reason why is simple. Players HATE the playing surface. Does John Mara intend on doing anything about it for the 2024 season? 

Nope. So they'll probably continue to be one of the most injured teams in the NFL, like they are most years.

10) They just don't have good players 🤷‍♂️

Who are the good players on this team? Dexter Lawrence is certainly good. Brian Burns? Kayvon Thibodeaux? Andrew Thomas? Is that it? And I guess we'll see about first-rounder Malik Nabers.

Back in May we put together a "Preseason All-NFC East team," offense here, defense here. No Giants made the offensive first team, two made the defensive first team.

So to recap, the owner stinks, the GM stinks, the head coach is a screaming maniac, they don't have a quarterback, and the supporting cast is bad. But other than that...

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