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One NFL Contender And One Pretender

Contender: New York Giants

After years and years of mediocrity, the New York football Giants have finally returned to relevancy, and I give most if not all the credit to first-year head coach Brian Daboll. I suppose some credit could be given to Saquon Barkley as well, but we already knew what he was capable of doing when healthy.

Daboll has helped this team transcend into a legit playoff-contending team, with a solid defense and an offense that is on the rise.

Similarities To A Star?

In Buffalo, Daboll served as the offensive coordinator from 2018-2021. He was brought in in the same year that the organization drafted Josh Allen, and Daboll was tasked with developing the young rookie into, well, what he is today. A top-three quarterback in this league with a multitude of talents and abilities. The quarterback situation in the Meadowlands hasn’t been what it was when Eli Manning was at the helm, but Daniel Jones has some similarities to the aforementioned Allen.

Jones is 6’5″ like Josh, can take off and run when he needs to like Josh and has the knack of extending plays and throwing on the run… like Josh. Interestingly, perhaps none of the football world acknowledged any of this to be the case until this season because Jones was being coached by the wrong people.

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I did. I knew that Jones had many traits in common with the Bills star, but I also saw that he was most likely not going to last as the Giants’ starter because he was being used incorrectly and wasn’t progressing at a constant rate.

He seems to be getting a handle on the offense now. Daboll is implementing designed runs for the QB, making plays with his legs in other situations and when needed, using his arm to find receivers down the field. Last week’s game in London was Jones’ best game of his season in my opinion, and he will continue to progress and limit the turnovers.

Daboll has changed the culture thus far and thus has his Giants at a strong 4-1 through five weeks. I believe that this NFC East team is a legitimate playoff contender.

Pretender: Minnesota Vikings

Before everyone comes to kill me, just hear me out. I’m not saying I don’t believe this Viking team can’t make the postseason. In fact, they were on my list of NFC playoff teams before the season. However, I do not believe that this team is built to win a Super Bowl this season, and at the end of the day that’s what you play for, isn’t it?

JJ Can’t Do It All

Justin Jefferson is perhaps the best wide receiver in football and the defense can play well at times, but the two things that concern me the most are the quarterback position and the continuity of offense.

Yes, they’ve beaten three teams in a row but to let Chicago stay in the game the way they did on Sunday is unacceptable. I understand that it was a division game but if you’re going to be a true threat come postseason letting teams like the Bears and Lions hang in games with you won’t fly.

I thought they had a nice win against Green Bay in Week One, but all of their other wins have been close encounters, and I just haven’t been as convinced that they will make a deep run as other people are at this point.

Kirk Cousins has had a good season, but I’ve always had the mindset that what can go wrong, will go wrong for the veteran signal-caller. While I anticipate a winning season for Minnesota in 2022, I also expect an early playoff loss, in a hostile environment on the road.

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