GETTING caught up in the Dallas Cowboys contract saga, we’ve all but stopped talking about the Redskins and the giants. While both of those teams were bottom feeders in 2019, one of them could see themselves buoyed by the sinking of the Cowboys in 2020. The question is: Which team will rise?
Early indicators say that the giants are going to be the bottom team, but that only looks that way on the surface. A deeper look says, the giants and Redskins may be more closely matched than people may realize. People are quick to knock the giants, but step back and don’t let the trees block your view of the forest. Let’s get to breaking this down.
Knock: The giants have a first year head coach.
Rebuttal: This is true, but who is Joe Judge? What is he likely to do on 3rd and 3? Either on offense or defense! How does he intend to deploy RB Saquon Barkley? How much rope will his assistant coaches get? This gives Judge not “the” but “an” element of surprise, if he can assemble even a half-decent team.
On the other hand, Redskins coach Ron Rivera has a 9 year track record. People know him already. They know his tendencies, his preferences. With a bad team in need of rebuild, what do you think he’s going to lean on? He’s going to lean on what he knows. He’s going to revert to familiar patterns. Out of sheer necessity, he will be more predictable than Judge will be.
Knock: The giants will run Jason Garrett’s system, The word is that the Cowboys will already know what’s coming and how to decode it, twice a year.
Rebuttal: Question. Which Jason Garrett system? The one where he was an up-and-coming OC and new HC? Or the one that featured Cowboys owner Jerry Jones coming down to the sideline to meddle? Because something tells me that those things will be quite different.
Also, when have the Cowboys ever had a player like Saquon Barkley, play in Garrett’s system? TE Evan Engram offers athleticism that Raider’s TE Jason Witten never could. The giants will not be pounding ball inside like the Cowboys did with RB’s Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarco Murray or Marion Barber.
Knock: The giants don’t have a decent offensive line.
What concerns me most is that when the Eagles, Cowboys or Redskins get discussed, people talk about both sides of the ball. When the giants get discussed, people only discuss the offense. Clearly everyone is sleeping on their defense, and the rate for being surprised by what you didn’t see coming, is 100%.
The giants front seven is going to be better than anyone realizes, even though their secondary will still be trash. (Especially after losing CB Deandre Baker.) That being said, this article isn’t about who will win the East. It’s about who’s gonna be the bitch that the other three teams keep chained up in the basement. The default, knee jerk answer is New York, but again, you may want to take a closer look at that assumption. Right Redskins?