The New York Giants have wrapped up the first quarter of the 2022 season with another win after defeating the Chicago Bears, 20-12, on Sunday. It was a low-scoring affair, which was to be expected, but many did not expect Big Blue to finish the first four games of the season with a 3-1 record. Over the past four weeks, it has become quite clear that Brian Daboll has turned this team and the culture around, which has long been overdue for this franchise.
Bootleg All Day
It didn’t take very long for the Giants to figure out that play-action bootleg rollouts were working. The Bears bit on the play action almost every time, which allowed Jones to use the rollout as an option play to some extent. Jones scored two rushing touchdowns on Sunday, and both came off bootleg plays. The Bears did make some defensive second-half adjustments, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the ineptitude of the Chicago offense.
The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly
- Saquon Barkley – Barkley is back! He came into Week 4 with the most scrimmage yards in the league, and he had another stellar performance on Sunday, racking up 162 yards from scrimmage yards. Barkley has carried this team on his back this season and even more so on Sunday when Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor got injured. Saquon rallied this team and challenged them to fight for this win despite having both quarterbacks injured.
- Wide Receivers – If you haven’t noticed, this offense only consists of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley with a little sprinkling of Daniel Bellinger. The Giants have a serious problem at wide receiver as this group is concerning, underwhelming and unavailable. Dealing with injuries is hard enough, but you add the endless drops, inability to create separation, miscommunication, and lazy route running, and you’ve got yourself a real problem. Richie James is not paid 72 million dollars like a WR1, but he has been treated like one. Meanwhile, the 72-million-dollar man himself had another game where he was essentially useless except for one good block. Kenny Golladay did leave the game due to injury, but he has yet to make an impact this season for the Giants, with just two catches for 22 yards in the season opener.
- The Endless Injuries – Are the Giants cursed? Is it the turf? The training staff? Whatever it is, the Giants are consistently one of the top (if not the top) teams to sustain the most injuries. It seems Big Blue has players dropping like flies every week, and this week was no different. Losing Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor and Evan Neal was a significant blow to the team and forced the coaching staff to get creative to secure the win against the Bears. The hits keep on coming, and you have to wonder if anyone will ever take a serious look at why the Giants have so many injuries yearly.
Shining Stars of the Game
- Tae Crowder – Giants fans have been pretty critical of Tae Crowder, so his performance against the Chicago Bears was good to see. Crowder was all over the place and finished the day with 11 tackles, 2 QB hits, and one sack. The Giants have needed their linebackers to step up and Crowder did exactly that on Sunday. This might have been his best game to date.
- Mike Kafka – Credit to Mike Kafka for calling a fantastic game. If you watched the first series of the game and saw the Giants go three and out, you probably thought to yourself, “here we go again.” It was a slow start, but the offense eventually got going by getting the ball to Saquon Barkley and running the bootleg as much as possible. Credit to the entire offensive coaching staff that had to get creative when both quarterbacks went down.
- Special Teams – Usually, this special teams unit makes my “ugly” list, and they almost did again this week, except this time they stepped up when the team needed them with a monster punt and recovery to seal the deal and give the Giants their third win of the season.
The Giants are a gritty team as they have won ugly in 2022. It’s not every game that you lose both of your quarterbacks, and for many teams, that is an insurmountable problem to overcome but not for Brian Daboll’s new-look Giants. On Brian Daboll’s team, you fight. Fight for your spot, fight for the win and fight for your team. The G-Men are 3-1, thanks to great coaching and a full team effort despite the unusual circumstances that came their way.