With the departure of Eli Manning and the arrival of a new head coach, the New York Giants are truly turning over a new leaf. And that is much needed the way the last three years have gone.
New York's 12 wins since 2017 are the fewest in the NFL over that span, even though the Browns went winless three years ago. The franchise is now putting its faith in rookie head coach Joe Judge.
Unable to match the Panthers' offer for Matt Rhule, the Giants turned to the little-known special teams coordinator, who instantly became the third-youngest head coach in the league at 38. What Judge lacks in quantity when it comes to experience, the team is hoping he can make up for that in terms of the quality of his coaching background, as he has spent the last 11 years under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick.
Judge has brought his tough-minded mentality to the field already. He's refused to use player names in press conferences and removed names from the back of jerseys. Judge punishes both coaches players with laps when they make mistakes. Will this translate to wins during the regular season? Time will tell.
Despite all the losses over the last several years, the Giants sport plenty of young talent. The offense is filled with skilled players from Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Quarterback Daniel Jones also showed promise in his rookie year, and the team will go as far as he can take them.
The Giants rebuild continues with more optimism than the team has had in years, so it's only a matter of time before the wins follow. Will that be 2020? Athlon Sports asked several editors to share their predictions for just how New York's season will play out and what the team's record will be when all is said and done.
New York Giants Game-by-Game Predictions for 2020
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Joe Judge didn’t get any favors for his debut in New York. The Giants open with the Steelers and 49ers at home, along with road trips to Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas in the first five games. Improving on last year’s 4-12 mark is easily within reach. But in order to do so, the Giants have to see more progression out of quarterback Daniel Jones and continue to improve a defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL. The schedule is tough and won’t provide many opportunities for guaranteed victories. Perhaps 4-12 is too low, but that’s the verdict I settled on for Judge’s debut in New York.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMark)
It was clear Pat Shurmur had to go after two disastrous seasons but to me, the hiring of 38-year-old, first-time head coach Joe Judge is a tacit acknowledgment of where things stand with the franchise. In other words, this is not a quick-fix situation Judge is walking into. Yes, he has talented players on both sides of the ball but they also are largely unproven, especially when it comes to quarterback Daniel Jones. The defense is just as much a work in progress as well, so expect plenty of growing pains and not a lot of wins for Judge's G-Men.
Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
I'm not quite sold on Daniel Jones yet — it's still as clear in retrospect as it was on draft day that they should have waited to take a QB — but I do think an improved defense could go a long way in preventing the team from being truly terrible. Free-agent additions Blake Martinez and James Bradberry should help shore up a unit that showed promise with young players like Jabrill Peppers and Dexter Lawrence. After years of odd Dave Gettleman drafts, I really liked the selections of Andrew Thomas and Xavier McKinney, but they seem more likely to become stars down the road than become forces off the bat. You can see a light at the end of the tunnel, however, this still is a young team that will only be favored in two, maybe three games all year.