Week 2 of the New York Giants season ended with a win against the Carolina Panthers, which means Big Blue is 2-0 to start the 2022 season. The Giants haven't started a season 2-0 since 2016, reenergizing this fan base that desperately wanted to see their team return to being competitive and playing winning football.
The Giants appear to be building a solid foundation of winning football thanks to new head coach Brian Daboll and his ability to implement a culture of support, trust, and resiliency.
Make Some Noise
Last week, Wink Martindale challenged the fans by asking them to get loud this week.
During Martindale's press conference, he said, "I know New Yorkers are loud. We need to be loud in that stadium. They have to go on silent count. If you want to be part of changing this culture here with the Giants, be loud and have that place rocking where people don't want to come to our stadium. We'll take care of the rest, and we'll give you something to be loud about."
Wink Martindale gave us something to be loud about because MetLife Stadium was rocking all afternoon, which was nice to hear because there really wasn't much to cheer about for so many years.
The Good, The Bad, and The Downright Ugly
- Defense - This Giants defensive unit is emerging as a real threat, and they are taking great pride in putting the league on notice and showing everyone that they mean business. I predicted during the summer that the Giants' defense would finish in the top 10 this season, and I have no reason to believe otherwise (yet.)
- Daniel Jones – I never root for Jones to have a bad game. The last thing I want is for Jones to have a bad game and to watch the Giants lose. That said, Jones was tough to watch in this matchup against the Panthers. More often than not, I am left scratching my head at some of the decisions he makes. Jones looked sluggish for most of the game and missed a wide-open Toney and Shepard in the first and second halves. While Daniel Jones is the first to tell you that he must improve his game, I wonder at what point have we seen enough?
- Kenny Golladay – I tweeted on Sunday that someone needs to file a missing person's report for Kenny Golladay because he's been missing for over a year now. Once again, he was MIA in Sunday's matchup. Although Brian Daboll said he told Golladay during the week "that we were going to go with (Wide Receiver David) Sills (V). He acted like a pro. I said, 'Be ready to go.' Now, does that mean it's going to be that next week? No, because you see what we did from one week to the next. We're just evaluating all those guys on a game-by-game basis." To be fair, Brian Daboll has maintained that "it's a continual competition at wide receiver" all summer. However, when your highly paid number one receiver is missing from the game plan multiple weeks in a row, that is cause for concern.
Shining Stars of the Game
- Oshane Ximines - Ximines had a great day with two tackles, 1 QB hit, one pass defended, one sack and one tackle for a loss. Ximines said his increased playing time to show what he can do "is big" and that "Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux are hurt right now, and they're doing everything they can to get back. While they're out, I'm going to do everything I can to help the team win." It's nice to see Ximines emerging as a real playmaker on this defense and to be able to provide some much-needed depth.
- Graham Gano – Graham Gano is money honey. Nailing two huge field goals in the fourth quarter of over 50 yards is a piece of cake for Gano, who was full of confidence he could make that game-winning field goal kicking into the wind. Gano said he is thankful for the trust that Brian Daboll puts in him and said, "Brian Daboll looked at me and kind of just pointed and said 'Go out' and said 'Hey, can you make this?' and I looked over and said 'Yeah' and laughed and then I got out there and I was like 'Man, this is a long one. The wind is blowing our way.' The wind was no problem for the veteran kicker as he nailed the game-winning field goal for the Giants this time against the Panthers.
- Daniel Bellinger – Showing a little love to our tight end who did not see much action in Week 1 but stepped-up big time this week, scoring a crucial touchdown for the Giants. Bellinger praised the play calling saying, "It was a split-zone scheme, usually where I come back around and hit the defensive end. It was a good play call where I just flashed the defensive end and got open into the flat and it was a good play." Bellinger also recognizes that the tight end group is "a young group and we just have to keep growing" but he is excited to keep growing and looks forward to the tight end group making an impact on this offense. And we are excited to see more out of Bellinger.
The Giants are shaping up to be a gritty team that won't lay down just because the scoreboard says they are behind. I am encouraged by this team's willingness to fight for the win and adjust when needed. Seeing this Giants team have the grit and mental toughness to overcome less-than-ideal scenarios throughout the game and keep pushing forward has been refreshing.