The team hasn’t won three games in a row since 2016. But the New York Giants head to Cincinnati feeling pretty good about themselves.
On Thursday in Arlington, the Washington Football Team handed the Dallas Cowboys a 41-16 setback. It dropped Mike McCarthy’s team to 3-8 as well as 1-3 within the division. Meanwhile, it elevated 4-7 Washington to first place – at least temporarily – to first place in the indescribable NFC East. The New York Giants travel to Cincinnati for a Sunday clash with the Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
Ah, the New York Giants. Under the command of first-time NFL head coach and former New England Patriots assistant Joe Judge, the club got off to a 0-5 start. This came after a combined three seasons where the team managed a dismal 12-26 record. But the club has won three of its past five games and looked especially solid in its last two outings – victories over Philadelphia and Washington.
One of the keys has been a defensive unit that has really grown as the season has unfolded. And the Giants’ secondary is suddenly full of performers making big plays. Cornerback James Bradberry was one of the best moves by any team in free agency this offseason. The former Carolina Panthers’ standout has four takeaways and leads the club with 14 passes defensed. Versatile veteran Logan Ryan, now at free safety, is second on the club with 58 defensive stops and has been all over the field. And Jabrill Peppers has really come into his own on defense and is arguably enjoying the best season of his brief career.
The defensive front is anchored by underrated Laken Tomlinson and former Jets’ first-rounder Leonard Williams – the latter leading the club with five sacks. Linebacker Blake Martinez leads the club with 96 tackles. Only five teams in the league are allowing fewer yards per game on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, second-year quarterback Daniel Jones and the offense have gotten better when it comes to ball security. The Giants did not turn over the ball in defeating Washington and the Eagles. In their first eight games, Judge’s team gave up the pigskin a combined 15 times – 13 by Jones.
And it is also worth noting that Big Blue swept Washington this season. The club has an opportunity to finish 4-2 within the division as they will host the Cowboys in Week 17. The NFC East has been very ugly this year and for the second straight season no team in the division will win at least 10 games. So could the club in the NFC East that waited the longest to win in 2020 be on top when this NFL season is all said and done?