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Daniel Jones, Giants Have Fans Optimistic About Future Despite Lopsided Eagles Loss

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 22, 2023

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick, right, applies pressure on New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The New York Giants' fantastic season ended with a massive thud Saturday as the Philadelphia Eagles jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead en route to a 38-7 victory over Big Blue in the NFC Divisional Round.

The Eagles outgained the Giants 258-64 in the first half, scoring touchdowns on four of their five drives.

Any concerns about quarterback Jalen Hurts' sprained right shoulder were completely extinguished as the third-year pro accounted for three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and 188 total yards (154 rushing, 34 passing) while leading a smooth and sharp attack. The Eagles' running game also waltzed through the Giants' defense (268 rushing yards, three scores) in the process.

On offense, New York could not protect quarterback Daniel Jones, who was pressured all night and took five sacks (1.5 each from Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick). Only two players (wide receiver Richie James, running back Saquon Barkley) finished with more than one reception.

New York showed some signs of life after a Matt Breida eight-yard touchdown run capped a 10-play, 88-yard drive with 6;15 left in the third quarter. But the Giants never got past the Eagles' 49-yard line for its final three drives as the offense reverted back to its first-half form. Philadelphia added 10 more points down the stretch with running back Kenneth Gainwell hammering the final nail in the coffin on a 35-yard rush after the two-minute warning.

The end of this season couldn't have been much worse for the Giants, especially against a hated NFC East rival that has now beaten them 25 of the last 31 times dating back to 2008.

It was also a huge callback to Earth after the Giants went into Minnesota and defeated the host Vikings 31-24 in the Wild Card round behind a 301-yard, two-touchdown day from Jones.

However, some perspective is needed.

The Giants entered this season with two winning seasons (2012, 2016), one playoff appearance (2016) and no playoff victories in the last decade. The team started over this season with a new general manager (Joe Schoen) and head coach (Brian Daboll).

Expectations certainly weren't high for the team in year one of the rebuild, although there certainly was tremendous talent left over from general manager Dave Gettleman's era (e.g. offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and cornerback Adoree' Jackson).

Jones and Barkley were coming off disappointing 2021 campaigns, but those two had previously flashed the talents that led to them becoming high first-round draft choices.

Ultimately, the Giants engineering a surprising and exciting run to the playoffs with those playes leading the way.

Jones had his best season yet, accounting for 22 touchdowns (just five interceptions) and completing a career-high 67.2 percent of his passes. Barkley ended the year with 1,650 total yards and 10 touchdowns. Thomas and Lawrence earned All-Pro bids. Jackson became a shutdown corner, although his presence was clearly missed when he suffered a knee injury returning punts midseason.

Unsung heroes emerged all year too in players such as wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, cornerback Fabian Moreau and linebacker Jihad Ward.

Rookie edge-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux also shined and had two of the biggest plays of the year with massive strip sacks against the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Commanders, the latter of which led to his own scoop-and-score for a touchdown in a 20-12 win.

All told, the Giants went 9-7-1, more than doubling their win total after a 4-13 season in 2021. They earned the No. 6 seed and their first playoff win in 11 years.

Despite a rough day from Jones (15-of-27, 135 yards, one interception), the Giants figure to have their quarterback of the future when looking at his entire body of work from 2022. New York also has building blocks in Thomas, Lawrence, safety Xavier McKinney, Thibodeaux and more. Head coach Brian Daboll also had a great year in his first season at the helm.

Yes, this was a brutal end to the year, but the future should be bright in New York. Twitter noted how the arrow is pointing up for the Giants as their season came to an end.

Big Game Bengal @BengalYouTube

All jokes aside this is what should be happening. Eagles are a well coached and super talented roster, Giants honestly dont have much talent at the moment. Excited to see what the Schoen/Daboll era has in store for the future. 2022 was the best season weve seen in quite a while

WBG84 @WBG84

This is the painful truth: Giants aren't ready so early in this rebuild stage to beat teams like Philadelphia in the playoffs.<br><br>The talent difference is quite noticeable. Giants still have needs on both sides of the ball. This year was a bonus, but it's still going to take time.

Shaun Morash @MrazCBS

What can you do, Eagles more talented, well coached.<br><br>Giants have a legit coach and QB, this is just the beginning as it was for the Eagles losing to the Bucs last year.

Daboll arriving to work w different songs @DabollArriving

We ended a 6 year playoff drought and a 10 year playoff win drought with a below avg roster. We still need an offseason or two to really compete with a team like the Eagles or Niners but even with a stinker like this I'm still confident in what the future holds for this team.

Kevin Clark @bykevinclark

Listen, the Giants exceeded all reasonable expectations and Daboll and Schoen have a proof of concept for a rebuild that is going to pay off in a big way by year three at the latest. Having said that the most immediate thing the Giants must do is bring back these helmets. <a href="https://t.co/OxptW4l52b">pic.twitter.com/OxptW4l52b</a>

Nick Falato @nickfalato

Despite this ugly way to end the season against a bitter rival, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Giants?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Giants</a> season was a gigantic success<br><br>No one believed they would be in this current position a few months ago…future is bright with Big Blue.

Jordan Raanan @JordanRaanan

Disappointing end but wildly successful season for the Giants. They made the playoffs, won a playoff game, learned they have a coach and quarterback and are headed in the right direction as a franchise. <br><br>Future's bright. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/giants?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#giants</a>

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

One thing I'll say for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Giants?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Giants</a>, and I think this qualifies as good news long-term—GM Joe Schoen was ALWAYS realistic about where the roster is. They didn't overreact to a strong first year.<br><br>Because of that, they're in a position to build, with picks and cap space.

Big Blue United @BigBlueUnited

It was a fun season Giants fans… The foundation is set. Now we find out what Joe Schoen has in store this off-season… <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TogetherBlue?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TogetherBlue</a>

Art Stapleton @art_stapleton

Giants are going to take their shots from the masses tonight, and after this one, it's one of those where you take your medicine and move into the offseason.<br><br>But Giants proved they are not a laughingstock under Schoen and Daboll, and are in position to build on this season.

Dan Duggan @DDuggan21

The first year of the new Giants' regime was a huge success, despite tonight's ugly loss. The Giants wildly exceeded expectations this season. <br><br>Still, tonight was a reminder of how far they have to go. The Giants have major decisions ahead this offseason. The work begins now.

TheGiantsWire @TheGiantsWire

The future is bright, Giants fans. This one stinks and will for a few days but there are many, many reasons for optimism. This organization is in good hands.

Charlotte Carroll @charlottecrrll

And with that, the 2022 Giants season willl come to an end<br><br>Doesn't feel like it tonight but it was a remarkable turnaround for Giants under first year HC Brian Daboll as team won its first playoff game in 11 years

BigBlueVCR @BigBlueVCR

Part of the good news. There is age on the Eagles OL and DL. Giants can flip the script on these guys. Give Schoen a draft and all that free agent money and let's see how much celebrating happens in the very near future

Dave Rappoccio @DrawPlayDave

Obviously losing to the Eagles big time is a bummer, but I can't believe I was still watching the Giants this late into January in the first place. Finally feel optimistic for the future of the team, and I'll take that vibe into the offseason

Gregg Rosenthal @greggrosenthal

This Giants season reminds me of the Bills' Tyrod season. A statement of intent from a very promising coach and front office.

The Giants have a lot to look forward to this offseason. Per Over the Cap, New York has the third-most effective cap space in football. In addition, the Giants hold an extra third-round pick in this year's draft as a result of them trading wideout Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs. New York is scheduled to begin its draft at No. 25 overall now barring a trade.