The New York Giants 2021 season is not off to a good start. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and the team are already 0-3 and well on their way to the franchise’s fifth-straight year of 10-plus losses. There is one thing Big Blue fans can take solace in, though. The Chicago Bears are terrible this season, too, which is great for the Giants’ future.
The New York Giants are (once again) one of the worst teams in the NFL
The New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2011, beating the New England Patriots on a last-minute drive by Eli Manning. The Giants only have two winning seasons and one trip to the playoffs in the ensuing nine seasons.
The winning seasons came in 2012 (9-7) and 2016, a year the team went 11-5 but promptly lost to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card game.
The Giants record from 2012-2020 is 57-87. Since the 2016 playoff appearance, as the team transitioned out of the Manning Era and into QB Daniel Jones’ tenure, the record is even worse.
The New Jersey-based franchise has lost double-digit games in each of the last four seasons. The organization put up a combined 18-46 record for four head coaches (Ben McAdoo, interim coach Steve Spagnulo, Pat Shurmur, Joe Judge).
In 2021, the season is shaping up to be as bad, if not worse, than the preceding ones. The team is 0-3 and has crushing last-second losses to two other teams projected to finish the season near the bottom of the league: the Washington Football Team and the Atlanta Falcons.
There is still time to turn it around for the G-Men, but, as a legendary New York athlete once said, “It’s getting late early” for the Giants this season.
New York Giants fans do have one thing, though, that should make them optimistic about the future.
The Giants have the Chicago Bears first-round pick thanks to the Justin Fields trade
Despite the team’s struggles, there is a path for the Giants to get better quickly through the 2022 NFL Draft. That’s because the organization owns the Chicago Bears’ first-round pick.
As part of the Bears’ misguided draft-day trade to go get Ohio State QB Justin Fields, the Windy City franchise gave up their 2022 first-rounder, which now looks like it could be a top 10 pick.
While the Bears’ 1-2 record is slightly better than the Giants’, the team is not in a good spot. Starting QB Andy Dalton is out injured, franchise savior Fields looked rough in his debut, and head coach Matt Nagy is openly speculating about starting any one of his three signal-callers in Week 4, per ESPN.
There are plenty of signs that the season in Chicago could be a disaster, which is music to Giants fans’ ears.
Two top 10 picks mean that New York could move on seamlessly from Daniel Jones by taking Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler or North Carolina’s Sam Howell. They could also build around whoever the quarterback is with college stars like Alabama tackle Evan Neal or Ohio State wide reciever Garrett Wilson.
Building the defense into a unit similar to the ones that won Super Bowls in ’07 and ’11 is another option. The front office could do this with defensive playmakers like Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux or Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton.
Another season of 10-plus losses is likely on the horizon for the Giants, but past that, the future looks a little brighter.
ESPN predicts the draft order with its Football Power Index
In addition to the New York Giants and Chicago Bears in the top 10 of next year’s draft, ESPN projects some other likely candidates as well. The Worldwide Leader uses its Football Power Index (FPI) to calculate the percentages that a team will earn the No. 1 overall pick or a top-five spot.
The (FPI) is “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season.” The index uses offensive, defensive, special teams, and strength of schedule metrics to give each team an FPI score. Then, ESPN runs 10,000 simulations to predict the rest of the season.
Based on the current ESPN FPI projections, the New York Jets should take home the No. 1 overall pick based on an average draft position of 4.2 in the simulations. However, right behind the Jets is the Jacksonville Jaguars (4.3 ADP) and their chances to end up in front are actually better.
The FPI puts the Jaguars’ chance at clinching No. 1 at 25.7% and their top five certainty at 74.4% compared to the Jets at 23.5% and 72.6%, respectively.
Rounding out the projected top 10 for the 2022 draft are the Detroit Lions (No. 3), Giants (No. 4), Houston Texans (No. 5), Atlanta Falcons (No. 6), Giants via Bears (No. 7), Washington Football Team (No. 8), Philadelphia Eagles (No.9), and Indianapolis Colts (No. 10).
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference