Well, do they?
Do the Giants have anyone on their roster who keeps opposing coaches up at night?
Saquon Barkley, definitely, when he was healthy, which he is not. Otherwise, on offense there’s … um … wait a second … ah … we’ll get back to you.
The defense has a bunch of legitimate NFL starters, but no one who has ever been selected to a Pro Bowl — though cornerback James Bradberry is currently playing at that level.
As the winless Giants move into Sunday’s game against the 1-4 Washington Football Team, what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium can best be projected as WTF vs. WFT. Two teams, one victory.
“In terms of keeping you up at night, I think you’re just talking about impact players, and [Washington] has a lot of impact players across the board,’’ head coach Joe Judge said.
File some of this in the “pump up your opponent’’ column. But he has a point. Defensive end Chase Young, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft: He keeps opposing offensive coaches up at night, and he is only a rookie. The other defensive end, Montez Sweat, has 10 sacks in 21 NFL games — he could make you toss and turn. Warhorse Ryan Kerrigan has 10.5 sacks in his past 11 games against the Giants, so he has disrupted sleep patterns for years.
The Giants? No one can accuse them of trying to assemble an all-star team.
“I’m very confident with everyone on our roster,’’ Judge said. “I think we have a good level of talent.
“As far as us, look, we’re not looking to make this a team full of stars. We’re not looking to make this an individuals team. This is a team. We walk in that locker room, everyone is on the same page, take the field with the same attitude. In terms of what someone thinks about our guys individually on the other side, I’m more focused on making them understand that as a team what we’re about.’’
Valuing team over self is a fine concept, but at some point a few special players must be sprinkled onto the field or else this is not going to work. The draft record late in the Jerry Reese regime was bad, and the draft record in the first three years of Dave Gettleman’s tenure is spotty, at best. Purchasing difference-makers in free agency rarely works.
This is how the Giants got here. They are favored, for the first time all season. Their quarterback situation, with Daniel Jones struggling in his second season, is far more stable (for now) than the turbulence in Washington — where Jones’ 2019 draft classmate, Dwayne Haskins, is benched (for Kyle Allen, for goodness sakes), relegated to No. 3 on the depth chart and likely headed for a trade.
The combined record of the five teams to beat the Giants is 16-8. Here is the soft touch on the schedule — a claim Washington should also make when considering the Giants. It is no coincidence savvy veterans Logan Ryan and Blake Martinez, immediately following last week’s crushing 37-34 loss to the Cowboys, stated the time for losing is over. They knew who their team had next and it was not games down the road at Seattle or Baltimore.
“I think we have that confidence every week,’’ Jones said. “We haven’t gotten the results that we would have hoped for to this point, but I think every week we go in expecting to win. We go in expecting to execute at a high level and play our game. We’re confident. Washington is a good team, they’re a good defense and they do a lot of good things.’’
Washington is not a good team. Neither are the Giants. Something’s got to give, and probably will.