It’ll be interesting to see if the New York Giants can continue their momentum once they come off their Week 11 bye.
But head coach Joe Judge has shown he has full command of his team and will keep them focused, as the Giants are in contention to win their first division title since 2011.
Here’s what you’ll need to keep an eye on in the Giants’ final six games of the season en route to that prestigious accomplishment.
Are Daniel Jones’ turnover issues a thing of the past?
After committing at least one turnover in each of the Giants’ first eight games, Daniel Jones hasn’t turned the ball over the last two matchups — a significant reason why Big Blue was able to prevail against both Washington and Philadelphia.
Sure, two games is a small sample size, but it at least shows Jones is improving with his ball security. We’ll find out when the Giants play the Bengals on Nov. 29 if Jones can continue his success in that area, but there’s reason to be optimistic that his high turnover rate is a thing of the past.
Will the offensive line continue to improve?
After a brutal start to the season, the Giants offensive line has made steady improvements, and in the win over the Eagles, the unit was dominant. When Shane Lemieux was inserted into the starting lineup due to Will Hernandez contracting COVID-19, he seemed to give the line the nastiness it needed.
In addition, No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas and fellow rookie Matt Peart continue to make strides.
It was revealed this week that Judge had recently spent more time working with the offensive line and was bringing in Dave DeGuglielmo to work alongside offensive line coach Marc Colombo. From there, Judge and Colombo underwent a verbal confrontation over the idea, which led to the latter’s firing. Now, DeGuglielmo is the new offensive line coach.
If Judge and DeGuglielmo can continue to bring out the best in this group, it’ll bode well for Big Blue.
Will Xavier McKinney make his NFL debut?
The Giants defense has exceeded everyone’s expectations. James Bradberry and Blake Martinez are poised to make the Pro Bowl, and Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson are playing the best football of their careers.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham deserves a ton of credit for what he’s done with the unit, and he’s about to get another player in second-round pick Xavier McKinney, a rookie who will only strengthen this unit.
McKinney fractured his foot late in August and needed surgery, but it looks as if he’s bearing closer to his NFL debut. Many felt the versatile McKinney could be a possible Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. And while it’s unlikely he’ll start at any point this season, he could see significant time in nickel and dime packages.
Over the final six games, the Giants will face high-powered offenses such as the Seahawks and Cardinals, and getting a player of that caliber will help slow down those opponents.
Can the Giants defeat someone outside of their division?
If the Giants are going to have any chance of winning the division, they’ll need to defeat teams outside of their division. Their three wins have all been within the NFC East, a division currently undergoing a historically bad season.
The Giants have just one more division game — the Cowboys in the season finale. It will likely take six wins to win the NFC East, so they’ll need to go at least 3-3 the rest of the way. With the exception of the Bengals, all of the Giants’ remaining games are against ballclubs still in the playoff hunt (Seahawks, Cardinals, Brown, Ravens, Cowboys)
Thus, Big Blue will need to pull off some upsets if it hopes to be crowned division champs.