The Giants are keenly aware that in the fluid NFL standings, two weeks can shift the entire landscape of a division. The NFC East race is a prime example. The 6-2 Giants are tied for the fourth best record in the 32-team NFL but are technically only in third place in their division. It is a result of the 7-0 Philadelphia Eagles being the only undefeated squad in the league and the Giants losing 23-16 to the Dallas Cowboys in a hard-fought matchup at home in Week 3.
So as the Giants aim to maximize the valuable bye-week hours after falling to the NFC West leading 5-3 Seattle Seahawks on the road last Sunday, they are deep in preparation, assessment and analysis for what lies ahead with nine regular season games remaining. They will not play this week and their schedule resumes on Nov. 13 hosting the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium followed by a home game versus the Detroit Lions on Nov. 20.
The Giants are cognizant that they cannot overlook the Texans and Lions with the Cowboys looming in what will be a critical Week 12 rematch on Thanksgiving. Going into this weekend’s slate of games, the Texans (1-5) and Lions (1-6) have the two worst records in the league. Through their first eight games, the Giants have proven to be a constructed, well coached, disciplined team that has limited mistakes on both sides of the ball under first-year general manager Joe Schoen and rookie head coach Brian Daboll.
The most significant development has been the ball protection by quarterback Daniel Jones, who coming into this season had historically high turnover numbers. Jones had 29 interceptions and 39 fumbles. This season Jones has only two interceptions—none since the Week 3 loss to the Cowboys—and just two lost fumbles. His passing stats aren’t gaudy, throwing for 1,399 yards, completing 143 of 220 attempts with six touchdowns. But Jones has moved the offense effectively, particularly in fourth quarter drives that have decided the final outcome of several games.
His numbers would be much better if not for a receivers group that has struggled with injuries, a lack of production and far too many dropped passes. But Jones has overcome the issues of his receivers and prudently utilized noteworthy athleticism to rush for 363 yards, including 107 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7.
Defensively, the unit’s coordinator, Don “Wink” Martindale, who led the Baltimore Ravens defense from 2018-2021, has instilled an aggressive, attacking philosophy that has held opponents to 19.6 points per game.