One of the worst-kept secrets of the 2022 New York Giants was their ability to come up with clutch calls and plays throughout their playoff run.
New York was 8-4-1 in one-score games last season, a strong contrast to the decade of futility that had become the franchise norm. Whether it was strong comebacks against Baltimore or Green Bay, or fortunate bounces like in Tennessee or Jacksonville, the Giants found ways to win last season in part due to stellar coaching by first-year man, Brian Daboll.
Now entering his second season with plenty of swagger, Daboll understands that a new season can mean a complete turn of fortune in the clutch.
“I don’t think you can pick up where you left off. I think it’s a new season. We’re going to have to do the things we need to do leading up to this week,” Daboll said Tuesday.
The Giants open up their season with a Sunday Night showdown against their arch-rival Dallas Cowboys. Unlike most teams last season that left the field against New York frustrated, the Cowboys beat Big Blue in two one-score games of their own.
Last year’s records mean very little to New York’s coaching staff though.
“I don’t really think what happened last year or any other game really has any bearing on this game,” Daboll explained. “You take a look at it, you look at the players they still have, you look at their schemes. Obviously, they have the same defensive coordinator, but again it’s a new season, There’ll be a bunch of new stuff that we will have to adjust to, and we’ve got to focus on ourselves and make sure we are ready to go.”
Usually, a team that is highly successful in one-score games tends to find that luck turns on a dime the next year. Organizations like the Minnesota Vikings (11-0 in one-score games) and the Philadelphia Eagles (7-1) are easy picks for decreased win totals.
The Giants could certainly be one of those teams if they aren’t careful. That’s where coaching will come into play the most. Daboll and his excellent staff will need to provide necessary adjustments throughout the season to handle one of the hardest schedules in football.
Gone are the days when the G-Men will get to face the weak AFC South or the league’s bottom-dwellers. As a playoff team, the Giants will need to battle against the AFC East and other top divisions.
If they want to reach the pinnacle of NFL excellence, the clutch play that became a mantra for the organization will need to return for another season.