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A Shocking 2-0
For the first time in six years, the New York Giants won a Week 1 game. As a franchise with a fanbase that expects their team to be competitive, the last five years have been anything but. The 2016 season was the last time New York finished with a winning record, totaling 11 wins before a blowout loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in an NFC Wildcard matchup. In the five seasons leading up to 2022 the Giants’ best finish came in 2020 at 6-10, sitting at two wins under a .500 record. Although it has only been two weeks since the start of the 2022 season the Giants stand as one of the six remaining undefeated teams, and fans in New York are letting the rest of us know it.
Under new head coach Brian Daboll, the culture within the Giants locker room has appeared to make a complete turn for the better. Daboll was previously the offensive coordinator for Alabama before taking up the same role in Buffalo for the Bills in 2018, and has been cited as the source of Josh Allen’s exponential rise to stardom over the past three seasons. Emotions were flying high after the Giants defeated the Titans 21-20in Week 1, as Daboll could not contain his own excitement with his assistant coaches and players after a missed field goal clinched the victory. Running back Saquon Barkley finally appears to be at full strength after a string of injuries and poor run blocking stifled his first seasons in the NFL. The Giants followed up this performance with a gritty 19-16 home win over the Panthers, and fans are viewing Daboll as the franchise’s savior after Week 2.
All throughout Manhattan, Giants fans have been making themselves obvious to point out as I have already seen more Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley jerseys on the streets within the first two weeks of the season than all of last year. Local bars and restaurants throughout the city are full of optimistic Giants fans supporting their team on Sundays over food and drinks. It is truly amazing to witness the influence that a successful sporting franchise has on the city it represents, and I can feel the buzz of excitement for the Giants every weekend.
New York plays host to the Cowboys in Week 3 on Monday Night Football. Dallas was able to pull off a win last week without Dak Prescott, but the Giants have a serious opportunity to win a divisional matchup and stay hot to start the season. With a win on Monday, the Giants would start 3-0 for the first time since 2009. The atmosphere around town will be electric on Monday, and I am excited to watch Daboll evolve into a reliable head coach no matter what happens the rest of the season.