Welcome to the Podcast AF offseason review series, astutely titled “The Probe” – the unofficial official NFL offseason review series of the Vegas Golden Knights. Here, like most NFL “writers”, I will regurgitate takes I read or heard somewhere else and pass them off as original thoughts. Will Ryan Tannehill breakout in 2018? Was Mike McCarthy abandoned by the run game as a child? Does Saturn have a playoff atmosphere? Your questions, answered! Sponsored by “Ready Player One”, in theaters now!
#13 – The New York Giants (3-13; Last NFC East)
I have a confession: I’ve been on a bit of a Pokémon kick this week. It isn’t just the perennial itch I get to replay the first and second gen games, I’m actually playing 5th-gen for the first time ever. It’s a whole new world, and I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. I don’t know any of the Pocket Monsters and am basically playing NFL GM where I’m catching types I need but if something better comes along then loyalty be damned, off to the wolves you go.
This isn’t the type of confession where I’m ashamed. It’s not a, “guilty pleasure,” as some folks say, because I don’t feel guilty about it, like Eli Manning selling “game-worn” memorabilia. I just do it and feel no shame. It’s no coincidence that this generation introduced Trubbish, the ultimate parallel to the 2017 New York Giants.
Except it really wasn’t the entire team. Even Eli did the best he could, playing with an extreme version of the Trump’s Wall OL, which I introduced in the Jets entry. After all, they do share the same walls in East Rutherford.
I’m now convinced a human could actually squeeze through there. This is why Yondu kept Star Lord for himself.
Even prior to the WRs corps being 9066’d to IR, the Giants offense was less effective than a Pidgey using Peck on an Onix. Aside from Orleans Darkwa doing the Sam Bradford shuffle in week 6 and tricking everyone into thinking the Broncos had a bad rush defense again, the Giants offensive line is what tanked, as I argue, the entire team. If the Giants were Trubbish, then their offensive line was Trubbish’s evolved form: Garbodor.
Really? That’s the best they could come up with? And to think this what in the FIFTH gen and that there are TWO MORE gens that I’ve never even played? What are they gonna do next, design a Pokémon that’s a key ring?
There’s a lot of steam behind the idea that the offensive line tanked the whole team. And for that reason, I won’t go into the rest of the offense too much. Eli is an aging QB who has succeeded in some schemes and struggled in others, isn’t accurate deep and at times has looked like the worst QB in the league. Odell is Odell (assuming he’s on the team), Sterling is Sterling, and Wayne Gallman is very underrated back entering his second season.
The Giants spent a first-round pick on TE Evan Engram and signed WR Brandon Marshall in an attempt to address the offensive line issue – a WR that has a large catch radius and TE who joins Odell and Sterling in being able to get open quick (since Eli won’t have much time). They could have addressed the offensive line issue by, and this may seem like a radical idea, addressing the offensive line issue. Sorry if that was too provocative. Next time I’ll leave a trigger warning.
Apparently the front office determined there weren’t any suitable o-linemen in free agency OR the draft, as they spent one pick on the OL last season: 6th round pick Adam Bisnowaty. Bisnowaty was cut before the season started, signed to the practice squad, activated on December 30th, and started against the Redskins the following day. I had some time on my hands so I went back and watched the first half of that game before deferring to his PFF grade – he showed ability to get to the 2nd-level in run-blocking situations but took a horrible holding penalty and was man-handled by Ryan Kerrigan because he wasn’t able to anticipate blitzes or recognize stunts. It wasn’t very noticeable because Eli got the ball out pretty quick in that game. PFF grade was well into the red, if you were wondering.
I don’t know why I just spent that much time and word count on a guy who played one game. Maybe it’s because the competition for starting RT is currently between he and Ereck Flowers, who shouldn’t be in the NFL. Nate Solder will play LT and free agent acquisition Patrick Omameh, who notably sucked for the Jaguars last season, is expected to start at LG. Former bully John Jerry is expected to start at RG, and Brett Jones, who started 13 games at either guard and center and wasn’t horrible should start at C.
Solder-Omameh-Jones-Jerry-Bisnowaty. That’s probably no worse than the offensive line Pat Shurmur was able to scheme around in Minnesota last season, and the Giants have a better QB and about the same at WR.
Movie Comparison: Killing Them Softly. On paper should have been great but was screwed by the studio.
The reason I believe the offensive line screwed the defense was because although this defense has an elite pass-rusher in Olivier Vernon, the best DT duo in the NFL in Damon Harrison and last year’s 2nd-round pick Dalvin Tomlinson, an elite SS in Landon Collins, an overlooked star in Janoris Jenkins, the fact the the offensive line caused the Giant’s offense, which finished 2nd to last in yards gained, to stall so quickly and frequently is directly responsible for the defense being on the field a disproportionately high amount. A lack of offensive line can truly have a ripple effect to the entire team.
JPP has been rightfully traded to the Bucs, and the acquisition of a 3rd and 4th for him is not only ironic as those are the same digits he blew off with a firework, but absolute theft. New DC James Bettcher brought Kareem Martin over, a pretty good edge rusher in Arizona’s 3-4 scheme. They could easily add another defender in the draft to form a rotation.
This could be a great pass rush and really help the secondary. I say “could” because everyone who either started or filled in at LB on this team was horrendous. As of now Alec Ogletree, who really hasn’t been good in LA’s 3-4 defense for a few years, is the only addition. It’s unclear whether Bettcher will switch over to his usual 3-4 scheme from the Giants’ incumbent 4-3; Ogletree’s acquisition could go either was because on one hand he comes from a 3-4 and on the other he didn’t perform well in that system the past few years (you could also point out that Wade Phillips’ 3-4 is different from a normal 3-4 from a gap assignment standpoint, to which the counterargument is dude, you had Aaron fucking Donald in front of you, not Trubbish. Show up and don’t screw up).
Again, if the pass rush improves then this secondary will look pretty good. Jenkins and Eli Apple are a fine CB duo, with either Riley Curtis or Donte Deayon as the slot CB, depending who wins that battle. Landon Collins at SS is great, but the weak link is Darian Thompson at FS, who’s entering his third season and will have a shorter leash with a regime and DC that didn’t draft him.
As I outlined, the big question here is whether Bettcher switched to a 3-4. The acquisitions of Martin and Ogletree could be indicators of a switch, as they could get away with a 3-4 over or under look as to keep Vernon, Tomlinson, and Harrison on the field at all times.
Major Draft Needs: Oh yeah, they might draft a QB. Idk. ;;;; LB, FS, might as well get interior line competition as well as RT, and RB, but I’d argue that’s not as big a need as other seem to think. Even if Gallman is as good as I think, who would actively not want Saquon Barkley?
Is the whole “Reader Question” thing getting old?” – John from Toronto, Canada
Not really. I was hoping for a Pokémon question but I basically updated that in the front of the post. I was thinking about something today in the shower: in my maturity I tend to only play the main story of a game (if I even play the game in the first place, which happened significantly less the past few years). We’ll see what happens when I get through Black, but I fear I’m going to finish the game and then just because disinterested. Options are limited when the story ends and all that’s left to do is train Pokémon until they get to such a high level that it takes forever to level them up, given that eventually you’re just doing runs through the elite four and the competition doesn’t actually skyrocket much. That’s why Skyrim, Fallout, and Horizon have slightly more allure to me, because you’re just leveling one character the whole time. Whereas in the Pokémon series, you’re leveling the Pokémon and not your character, so you could potentially have 50+ characters to work on. Just doesn’t align with my current values in my maturity as far as time consumption goes.
In honor of Pete Prisco telling me I’m dumb and that I’ll fail, here’s this entry’s edition of “Prisco’s Pickanosis,” where I highlight something the Tom Brady of acting like an infant on Twitter was completely wrong about.
If I did then hundreds of other people who know a lot more than I do also did.
Stats are ultimately mundane and assigning them to your opinion makes it no more correct than it may have been prior to the assigning of said stat(s). He isn’t wrong about what he says here, but intending it to mean Kaep isn’t good doesn’t tell the whole story. It actually illustrates how he was better in 2016 than he was in 2012.