Some people are fans of the New York Giants. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the New York Giants. This 2021 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: New York Giants.
Your 2020 record: 6-10. But they ended the season 6-5, which means I get to spend the entirety of this month hearing about how they’re on the right track. I also get to hear about how the poor Giants were robbed of the NFC East title last year—again, at 6-10—because Doug Pederson benched Jalen Hurts with an hour left in the season and handed the division to Washington in the process. CLASSLESS. Mister Mara would never have done such a thing, sir.
Anyway, the most exciting thing that happened to the Giants in 2020 was a fistfight between its coaches that never actually happened. Aside from that, the Giants were a dentist’s waiting room, the way they always are. They teamed up with the Jets to start their respective seasons a combined 0-18. Their franchise running back tore up his knee on a 2nd-and-19 draw play—incredible tactical work there—one quarter into the second game. His replacement got the ball Bruce Lee’ed out of his arms. Their offensive coordinator got the rona. Their average starting field position all season long was the two. Their quarterback fit snugly into Eli Manning’s shoes by blowing a game late against the Rams. Their latest tight end bust blew a game against Philly by dropping his 5,000th pass. And they blew a chance to force overtime against the eventual Super Bowl champion Bucs thanks to a rescinded PI flag. Again, if you ask any Giants fan, this was the definitely the best team the NFC East had to offer. I want to burn things.
Your coach: This gem of a man.
As long as I have lived, any coach who has used the phrase “disrespect the game” have NEVER been worth a shit. That’s the kind of phrase you hear Mark Schlereth use after he sees a wideout make the first down signal. ZOMG WHAT IF MY KIDS SEE THAT AND START SMOKING THE REEFER?! Joe Judge went 6-10 last year, and Giants players are retiring en masse rather than ever play for him again (come work for Defector, men). But the Giants’ last-gasp attempt at a backdoor NFC East title was enough to not only convince Giants fans that he has potential, but our most generic pundits as well. Like this SI pud:
The New York Giants’ 6-10 season screams disappointment. But in taking a closer look, there’s a lot more than what initially meets the eye. That’s the best way to sum up the “Fighting Joe Judges,” a team that a lot of national analysts had little to no hope of ever amounting to more than a hill of beans at the start of the season.
Or Paul Schwartz of the New York Post:
Navigating through his second offseason with the Giants, Judge showed he can deliver the goods
They’re getting better. They’re improving. I like their coach. I just know he has established some law and order, and I think that’s a good thing.
Let’s check out some of that law and order in action.
Keep in mind that Bill Parcells hasn’t won a thing since the first Bush administration. Doesn’t matter. Ask any Giants fan and he’s still the embodiment of football innovation. So when this fat slob is like JOE JUDGE IS MY FAVORITE COP, you better believe that area Giants fans like Vinny Garbaggio and Brian Dice Clay are gonna make room in their medicine cabinets for a celebratory bottle of Vicodin. Every mirthful Joe Judge profile reads like a PR video released by the PBA of a cop giving black children lollipops, five minutes before a different video shows that cop tasering them. The Giants beat all of one winning team last season. Fuck Joe Judge WITH that lollipop.
Do they have a Guy on the coaching staff? Jason Garrett, who didn’t spend four years at coaching medical school just to be called “Jason,” thank you.
Your quarterback: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
This will be Year 3 of “We don’t know if Daniel Jones is good,” with just eight or so more years of that left to go. It’s like the Ryan Tannehill discourse, only Tannehill eventually provided a refreshing answer. After switching teams. By contrast, I put the odds of Daniel Jones blossoming into a stud—be it with the Giants or with the Edmonton Elks—at an optimistic three percent. I know who drafted him. I’m not stupid.
Your backup is Mike Glennon, who leaves segments of his neck in every city he’s ever lived in. It’s his calling card.
What’s new that sucks: Free agent pickup Kelvin Benjamin was so fat that he tried switching to tight end and failed at that even faster than Tim Tebow did.
Elsewhere, the Giants signed Kenny Golladay to a huge deal, because they enjoy watching former Lions wideouts take their money and then suck. They also signed former Titans corner Adoree’ Jackson, who’s already talking up being used in trick plays. The Giants’ specialty is mixing things up once every four games by running a gadget play that NEVER works. If you like the cocktease of a halfback option pass or a flea-flicker, but you don’t want the payoff, this is the offense for you. It’s a real event in Giantsland when someone you rarely see get the ball is gifted a chance to get stuffed on second and long.
Because the Giants are still trying to replace Mark Bavaro, Kyle Rudolph is here from Minnesota. Kyle Rudolph has been the most overrated tight end in this sport for a decade now. He’ll fit right in alongside Evan Engram, who hasn’t caught a pass cleanly since birth. All of these moves are guaranteed to earn general manager Dave Gettleman Executive of the Year for 1966.
Now, I have a little surprise for you Giants fans about this year’s BLUEprint—huh? Huh?—for success. Hear me out: receivers, but still no pass protection. I know! FUCKING WILD. To realize this vision, the Giants traded down in the draft (handing Justin Fields to Chicago) and yet somehow reached AGAIN for a player when they took Kadarius Toney at the 20 spot. Every draft night, I can count on some slug in a frayed Carl Banks jersey hearing the pick announced and looking as if he can’t find his wallet in reaction.
What has always sucked: Just like fellow New Jersey resident Eric Adams, the Giants get away with claiming New York for themselves. They don’t even have to put much effort into it. All they have to do is wear drab uniforms, refer to their team as a “program,” start a quarterback who’s good for one surprise comeback victory against a bad team per season and nothing more, and hire a coach who thinks he’s as funny as Parcells but is actually as funny as Charlie Weis. BOOM. Done. What an effort. This is a two-bit operation owned by America’s most dignified failchildren that lives to cater to fake Italian Jerseyites who think getting a rest stop named after you is the greatest honor any human can achieve.
And you know what the worst part is? The Giants play in the East, which means I have to hear about them ALL THE FUCKING TIME. I usually reserve this complaint for the Cowboys. But honestly, the Giants get just as much unearned TV coverage, and they end every primetime game punting from midfield. No team on Earth is more determined to be as scrappily mediocre as this outfit. I’m gonna build the Giants their own bike lane on the turnpike and then watch all of them get sideswiped by an oil tanker going 90.
Saquon is a bust. The O-line is a storm drain. Sterling Shepard scores exactly three touchdowns a year.
Ratto says: Also didn’t make the playoffs in the worst division ever, and Dave Gettleman has been loaned to the Museum of Natural History for further study. Since their last Super Bowl, they have won 9, 7, 6, 6, 11, 3, 5, 4 and 6 games, for a record of 57-87, precisely the same winning percentage (.393) as the career winning percentage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the worst active team in football. BEST NAME TO HEAR ON TV: Cullen Gillaspia.
What might not suck: As presently constituted, the Giants resemble last year’s WFT as a team that could potentially win a horrible division with a defense good enough to tolerate its offense scoring 10 points a game.
HEAR IT FROM GIANTS FANS!
For some reason, Giants fans grade this team on the most lenient curve this side of a New Jersey Montessori school.
My cousin died unexpectedly the morning of December 19, 2010. At least the Giants were up 31-10 on the Eagles with eight minutes left in the game.
Man, I don’t want to watch this team.
I watch the Knicks more than the Giants and have for at least 10 years.
We’re collectively about as edgy and exciting as an erectile dysfunction pill ad in a golf magazine.
I am 38 years old and I have been a Giants fan my entire life. I did not watch one second of one game last year and I have, literally, never been happier.
PS Fuck Kerry Collins.
I’m 43 and resigned that I will spend my final 40 years longing for Eli Manning.
Looking forward to them having an entirely unremarkable 7-9 season that will still be their second-best in the last eight.
Two different morons have overhauled this defense in the last six seasons, and they still cannot get off the field on third down. The organization is set up like a crime family. Evan Engram couldn’t catch COVID at a Trapt concert.
The quarterback’s nickname is Danny Dimes and he’s somehow worth less than a penny.
The Giants are the worst version of the proverbial team that only needs competent QB play to be better.
Can’t wait to watch Daniel Jones take this team to a 5-12 record and lose the division to the 6-11 Eagles.
TWENTY-NINE career fumbles. That’s why we invested a first-round pick on a gadget WR who specializes in jet sweeps. Gotta put more players in the fumble recovery zone.
The only lesson Daniel Jones seems to have remembered from Eli Manning is to make sure you turn the ball over at a point in the game that will maximize the number of souls crushed. Just blindfold me and walk me into traffic on the Jersey Turnpike.
It’s the most painful thing in the world to hope that Daniel Jones can one day resemble Prime Eli Manning.
I bought a Jones jersey for half off in the wake of the Modell’s bankruptcy sale. I still feel like I paid too much.
Daniel Jones is going to break the record for QB sacks with the longer season and he’s going to turn the ball over for a touchdown on half of those sacks. I know who we are.
I am not sure what the Defector CMS can hold GIFs wise, but I hope the write-in section for the Giants is just an endless scroll of Dan Jones turfing out on that wide open touchdown run.
Our half-finished clone of Eli Manning fucking tackled himself on a 90-yard freebie. Last year Saquon rushed for 0.4 YPC in Week 1 before his ACL was shredded on a routine tackle in week 2. Same shit will probably happen again this season. Having quads the size of a Buick doesn’t matter.
Meanwhile, Sal from Staten Island Sal is treating Joe Judge like a genius because we were in the playoff hunt until week 17. Please ignore that we finished at 6-10. The bar is so fucking low, yet we still fail.
You will not meet a more delusional fan base. There’s no coming back. We’re fucked. We’ve started seasons 2-6 and I find myself saying “You never know . . .” out the side of my mouth. We are in year 10 of what will be a two-decade rebuild with a skittish quarterback with no o-line and an overpriced injury prone receiver corps coached by a man whose main strategy is “have you tried doing it harder” and all I can say is, it’s our year babbbbbby!
Fifteen years of a QB with all the brains and charm of a bowling ball, and when it finally comes to time to replace him, we bring in someone duller and yet more boring.
But hey, at least we replaced Ben McAdoo with an ambulatory rowing machine.
When I signed up for a paid subscription to Defector, there was a warning stating that you should be careful selecting your username, as it can’t be changed. I chose DanielJonesMVP as my username.
I feel like I have the internet version of a much-too-early championship tattoo.
They do not lose games like a normal team. Six losses a year involve either a record-setting field goal or a miracle drive with nine seconds on the clock. They sold their soul to the devil in exchange for beating the Patriots twice, and now for the rest of time we’ll watch our team play games that end with Kenny Albert screaming about how this is one of the great moments in Carolina Panthers history.
Our most exciting player plays the least important position and his legs keeps exploding.
The only thing our quarterback does well is run in a straight line and even then he sometimes trips over his own feet. He’s 4-18 against teams not owned by Dan Snyder. Our fanbase is still convinced he’s on the verge of greatness.
Ereck Flowers has been gone for a few years but his spirit lives on.
The fact that the Giants still employ and actively trust the decision-making of Dave Gettleman gives me a similar feeling to seeing my parents getting extremely animated over watching strange QAnon YouTubers on a 75-inch TV during the height of the pandemic.
The highlight of the New York Giants 2021 season will be the 12 seconds on April 29th that I allowed myself to think there was even a CHANCE the front office would come to their senses, take Dave Brown 2.0 behind the barn and shoot him, draft Justin Fields, and give the fanbase even a moment of ephemeral hope and excitement. I should have known better. The Giants drafting a black quarterback? John Mara’s monocle would fall right into his soup.
Saquon is one more injury away from being shipped to the Browns.
The Giants were more interesting when they were shooting themselves in nightclubs or blowing their hands to smithereens with fireworks during the offseason.
Saquon. You can pick the best guy in the draft and it can still be a bad pick, and the Senior Bowl’s Biggest Fan in the GM office won’t get that through his leaden skull. The Colts traded the pick right behind the Jets for four players with a combined 81 weighted career value (Saquon is at 23). Three of those guys have played 42 or more games (Saquon has played 31). Rock Ya-Sin is the fourth guy, he was drafted a year later, and he’s appeared in only three fewer games than Saquon. Coming off a three-win year, the Giants chose that one guy over all of the other holes the GM could fill and he still compares him to Barry Sanders without a whiff of how much of an indictment that is.
In 2019, we paid a combined $32M to a WR no longer on the roster and a QB that ended up starting four games. I wouldn’t trust Dave Gettleman to run a fucking Subway franchise.
Signing Kenny Golladay will only make me more pissed when we spend 3.5 quarters every game running dive plays into our garbage o-line.
Dave Gettleman finally trades back in a draft only to take a WR with multiple red flags and injuries. Kadarius Toney also can’t seem to find a pair of cleats that fit him.
The Giants have a 15-33 record under Dave Gettleman but don’t worry, THIS is the year his plan comes together. After all the draft/trade/salary capital he’s spent, maybe they’ll field an offensive line that is only the third worst in the league instead of dead last.
All of our fans are still named Kevin.
Maybe it’s because the Jets share the same market, but the fans and ownership don’t seem to realize that it is not normal to have 5-6 year runs of complete ineptitude where the only respite is a single good year. The fans have adopted the Maras’ obsession with continuity as a good in and of itself, becoming obsessed with not rocking the boat rather than results on the field. The Ravens and Steelers and Patriots have continuity because they have good personnel in their front offices, but Giants fans seem to think the reverse is true. When Gettleman gets fired after this year, there should be one question to every applicant to replace him: “Have you worked with the Giants organization before?” If the answer is yes, throw their resume in the trash and move on. But in actuality, the only question will be John Mara asking “Did you know my dad?”
Also, Saquon Barkley is not good. His boom-or-bust style means that the 2 or 3 times a game he actually has a good run, if he doesn’t score a touchdown on that play you can guarantee the next few runs will be right into the offensive line and they’ll have to settle for a field goal.
We won a meaningless game against the WFT two years ago and now Chase Young gets to terrorize us for the next decade, and now DeVonta Smith is going to torch us (and only us) for 12/175/2 twice a year.
The Giants’ entire teambuilding strategy is to make it 1986 again through science or magic. Their GM’s best job qualification is ” was friends with the owner’s dead dad.” The only fun part of watching the quarterback is wondering how strong a gust of wind will get him to fumble. That’s not even mentioning the defense where all the safeties are actually linebackers and all the linebackers are terrible. And the worst part of it all is that even when they do come to their senses and fire Gettleman, John Mara will just hire anyone who has “met Wellington Mara” on their resume, so we’ll just be in for five seasons of George Pataki as GM.
Being a Giants fan is all about protracted nothingness: Kevin Gilbride calling a draw on third and 6th in the fourth quarter. Years of excruciating games with exactly one OBJ/Saquon play worth watching. The never-ending abyss behind Danny Dimes’s eyes.
People from outside the fandom might think, “Oh the New York Giants, so formal and stuffy.” They’re from New York. Their version of playfulness is inserting the world Football between New York and Giants. Their owner’s first name is Mister. They’re the team for the erudite man about town.
That’s incorrect. Nobody in Manhattan or the trendier parts of Queens or Brooklyn actually cares about the Giants. Because the only people who actually own property in these parts of the city are Saudi royalty, and their chosen pastime is the most dangerous game. I spent years mostly seeing fans politely nodding and maybe chortling at one of their random Super Bowl Championships. “[Billy Zane voice] Haha. Very well done, Elisha Manning.”
Then I moved to the suburbs of New York and are now surrounded by actual Giants fans, and I want to be suffocated to death by a Jumbo Elliott jersey.
Submissions for the NFL previews are already closed, alas. Next up: San Francisco 49ers.