New York Giants Culture Quickly Changing Under Brian Daboll

New York Giants, Brian Daboll, NFL News
NFL Analysis Network

The New York Giants shocked the NFL world when they went on the road in Week 1 and defeated the Tennessee Titans. They returned home to MetLife Stadium in Week 2, hosting the Carolina Panthers.

Many people thought that Week 1 performance was a fluke as they opened as 2.5-point favorites over the visiting Panthers but closed as 1-point underdogs Sunday.

They once again proved those people wrong as they won the game 19-16. It wasn’t always pretty but the Giants were able to get the job done when it matter most. This isn’t the most talented roster but Brian Daboll and his coaching staff are getting the most out of the players and changing the culture all at once.

In recent years the Giants had become laughingstocks. They had the least wins in the NFL during Dave Gettleman’s tenure with the franchise as general manager and Joe Schoen and Daboll are looking to turn things around rapidly.

For the second consecutive week, Daboll made a gutsy call that ended up leading the team to victory. Against the Titans, he called for a two-point conversion, going for the win instead of a tie and trip to overtime. This week, on a 3rd-and-6 with 1:50 remaining and the game hanging in the balance, the call was a Daniel Jones bootleg. 

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He put the game in Jones’ hands as he could throw a pass to Saquon Barkley in the flat or keep it and run himself. He kept it, made a nice juke move and gained 11 yards, icing the game and giving the Giants a 2-0 record.

“I think it’s important to show players that you have faith in them,” said Daboll. “They work their asses off during the week. They’ve worked their asses off during camp. They’re the ones out there playing on Sunday, and you have to put it in their hands when it counts the most. And that’s what [offensive coordinator Mike] Kafka did with Daniel, and Daniel made the right decision.”

The team was fired up at his decision to go for two against Tennessee and responded once again with a winning performance against Carolina. A lot of credit should be given to the defense as well.

Wink Martindale is working wonders with this group despite them lacking experience and being hit hard by injuries. The team’s top two pass rushers, Azeez Ojulari and rookie Keyvon Thibodeaux, the No. 5 overall pick, have yet to play this season. Leonard Williams was also injured against the Panthers.

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But that hasn’t stopped them from performing and getting stops when the team needed them most. Martindale continues to be aggressive regardless of who is on the field and it paid off when Julian Love picked up a sack of Baker Mayfield cutting short what ended up being the Panthers’ last drive of the game.

“Wink’s done this a long time. Wink’s not afraid of failure,” Daboll said. “That is really what we want from the entire organization is not to be afraid of failure, not to be afraid of the consequence. If you prepare the right way, you can live with the results. And I’ll say that over and over again.”

The defense has been called upon to get stops the first two weeks of the season to help preserve wins and they have done their job each time. The confidence that the coaching staff has is seeping into the players as well.

“Yeah, the guys that we have on our team aren’t afraid of failure. We’ve been at the bottom. So we experienced all that,” safety Xavier McKinney said. “We’re not worried about messing up. Sometimes we hear the boos. We’re not too much worried about it. We’re going to have a breakthrough at some point.”

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The Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016. Since that time the team has done a lot of losing, but hopefully, they have turned a corner this season. Week 3 will be a huge matchup against their NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Dallas will be coming into the game 1-1 after picking up an upset victory over the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2.