People are going to talk about how the Giants have a favorable strength of schedule ranking.
Don’t pay attention.
Sure, the Giants’ 2022 slate seems manageable. But analyzing things on last year’s results and winning percentages is silly. Strength of schedule does not take into account the heavy travel required of the team this fall. Or, more importantly, the lack of talent on their roster.
The Giants may have had a strong NFL draft. But that only means so much in the present. They have lost more this offseason than they have added off a team that was bad to begin with. General manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll will never admit it, but they are clearly taking their salary cap medicine up front and punting on this season.
The Giants will compete to win, sure. And if Daniel Jones can somehow prove he is the long-term answer at quarterback, great. But no one should expect much of the former or for the latter to come to fruition.
This is going to be a long, ugly season. But how ugly? Let’s play the win-loss game.
Week 1 at Titans. Tennessee feels set to take a step back this year, but the Titans’ physicality is still going to be entirely too much for the Giants. You think they’re going to stop Derrick Henry? I didn’t think so. Loss, 0-1.
Week 2 vs. Panthers. We are going to get to relitigate so many things that week. Sam Darnold, Ben McAdoo, Matt Rhule, maybe a splash of Dave Gettleman hate. It’s going to be fun. If Carolina makes a move for Jimmy Garoppalo or Baker Mayfield, it’s a no-brainer. But assuming it’s still Darnold’s team, this is a coinflip. We’ll give the Giants this one for now because they’re going to need it. Win, 1-1.
Week 3 vs. Cowboys (MNF). The Giants are typically frisky at home in primetime. But they never actually win those games. And Dallas is better at everything. So. Loss, 1-2.
Week 4 vs. Bears. This game falls quite nicely for the Giants. Chicago is going to stink. It’s a manageable chance to get a second win. They should take care of business. Win, 2-2.
Week 5 vs. Packers (London). The Giants are 2-0 across the pond. We can safely predict they will not get to 3-0. Aaron Rodgers will have four touchdown passes by halftime. Loss, 2-3.
Week 6 vs. Ravens. This is a brutal turnaround during a brutal stretch. Fly to London, get crushed by the Packers, fly back and deal with Lamar Jackson and a physical Baltimore team. Loss, 2-4.
Week 7 at Jaguars. This is where the wheels officially come off the wagon. The Jags could be a sneakily competitive team if Trevor Lawrence makes big strides with Doug Pederson. This has lackluster road performance written all over it. Loss, 2-5.
Week 8 at Seahawks. Another marathon flight for a reeling team with little talent. Seattle may be rebuilding, but this is a bad, bad setup for the Giants. Loss, 2-6.
Week 10 vs. Texans. You are going to get the Giants’ best effort out of the open week because they will be desperate. If they don’t beat the Texans, they may not win another game. The bleeding stops. Win, 3-6.
Week 11 vs. Lions. A toss-up game where Detroit’s intensity wins the day. The Lions are going to win these matchups in Dan Campbell’s second season. Loss, 3-7.
Week 12 at Cowboys (Thanksgiving Day). The Cowboys are going to stuff the Giants in the big Salvation Army pot. Loss, 3-8.
Week 13 vs. Commanders. The Giants have been able to beat Washington with regularity in recent years. That will change. Loss, 3-9.
Week 14 vs. Eagles. No unexpected win over Philly this year. Loss, 3-10.
Week 15 at Commanders. FedEx Field in late December is miserable. Like this Giants season. Loss, 3-11.
Week 16 at Vikings (Christmas Eve). No chance. Loss, 3-12.
Week 17 vs. Colts (New Year’s Day). Ditto. Loss, 3-13.
Week 18 at Eagles. One of the worst seasons in franchise history comes to a merciful end, along with Jones’ career with the team. The Giants end on an eight-game losing streak after having a four-game skid earlier in the year. And then the Daboll/Schoen era begins in earnest, starting with the search for a franchise quarterback. Final record: 3-14.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]