Giants can take rebuild notes from Eagles in Week 14 clash

Giants have much to learn from rival Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photos

The New York Giants came into the 2022-23 NFL season with limited expectations, a bad cap situation, and mediocre players. 

Since week one though, the Giants have been one of the more surprising teams across the league with a 7-4-1 record. Questions about their coach and quarterback have been, for the most part, subsided and New York is thinking of a potential playoff berth for the first time in seven seasons. 

The Giants aren’t out of the woods yet in their rebuild though. While they have made strides, finding sustained success in the NFL is always tricky. There may not be a better example of this than their Week 14 opponent on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles. 

After winning the Super Bowl in 2017, the Eagles had multiple years of mediocrity where bad contracts to aging players held the team back from true title contention. It all culminated in a 4-11-1 season that saw the head coach, quarterback, and several key faces leave the team. 

It took Philadelphia less than a year to bounce back though. Similarly to the Giants, the Eagles shocked the football world last season while eating up most of the dead cap mistakes of recent years prior. After a surprising 9-8 season where a playoff berth was secured, the Eagles got to work with a better cap situation while improving the long-term health of the organization. 

Now, there hasn’t been a better team in the NFL this season than the 11-1 Eagles. 

There are three key lessons the Giants could learn from their rival Eagles. If they do, the Giants’ surprise in 2022 could become the new norm.

Quarterback Stability

The Giants aren’t 100% sold on Daniel Jones even with a potential playoff berth on the horizon. If they were, a contract extension would have already been agreed to. Because of this, the Giants appear ready to go into the 2023 offseason with a better cap situation than the year prior. 

That also means New York could be looking for a new quarterback. 

Finding sustained success in the NFL is always difficult, but it’s made so more because of teams not backing their true signal called. 

In 2021, the Eagles had a solid season from Jalen Hurts even though his limitations as a passer were a reason they didn’t go far in the playoffs. Philadelphia then spent the offseason finding ways to improve the team around Hurts and has clearly done an excellent job with that. Philadelphia is 11-1 and Hurts is an MVP candidate simply because the Eagles believed in his growth as a passer, while also building the team around him. 

It’s a key lesson the Giants need to know. 

Take the smart draft pick

Both the Eagles and Giants have had past struggles in the NFL Draft that ultimately hurt their long-term success. No team is immune to mistakes in the draft, but the quickest way to fix those problems is to make the easy pick. 

Philadelphia, after years of Jalen Reagor’s and Marcus Smith’s, decided to go for the blue-chip players. DeVonta Smith, Landon Dickerson, and Jordan Davis have been key to the Eagles’ success. 

For the Giants, they’ve already begun to move towards that mold. After reaches like Kadarius Toney, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley all have had their issues, the first draft under Joe Schoen was a back-to-basics approach. 

Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal were no-brainer selections. It shouldn’t come as a shock that the Giants 2022 class is one of their strongest in recent memory. 

The NFL Draft is the best way to build a sustained winner. But making smart and easy picks is also a major part of that. 

Value Free Agents-Trades

There isn’t a better general manager in the NFL at finding value in free agents than Howie Roseman. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, AJ Brown, James Bradberry, and Haason Reddick are all players acquired by Roseman without sacrificing the long-term future of the club. 

Most of them are free agents going into next season as well. The Eagles make their fortune in players who get one-year “prove-it” deals that usually work out in their favor. 

For the Giants, finding value in free agents doesn’t mean throwing money at the top free agents across the league. Sometimes it means finding value in players who may be looking to make their mark on a short-term deal that could pay off down the road. 

The Giants are the team in the early stages of a rebuild. For them to be so far ahead in the win column is a major part of the overall future health of the team. 

But if New York is serious about building a sustained contender in a loaded NFC East and NFC in general, following the blueprint of their rival might be the way to go. 

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