NY Giants vs. Vikings: How Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll got here, live updates and a prediction
MINNEAPOLIS – When the Giants’ 2021 season imploded over the final six weeks, leading to the exits of Dave Gettleman as general manager and Joe Judge as head coach, there was clearly a disconnect between the two men charged with making sure the collapse that happened never did.
In the aftermath of a victory over the Eagles, the Giants learned of a neck injury that was going to sideline Daniel Jones. There was uncertainty about his return – he could be back in a week, he could be out for the year – and team brass, notably Judge and Gettleman, had to decide what to do at quarterback.
Mike Glennon was Jones’ backup, and the Giants needed to add someone.
Judge wanted Garrett Gilbert from the Patriots’ practice squad. Gettleman presented two options: Nick Mullens, who was on the Browns’ practice squad, and Jake Fromm, who was on the Bills’ practice squad.
The Giants ended up with Fromm, and the offense wound up spiraling toward dysfunction rapidly with Glennon and Fromm at the helm, ultimately leading to the victory formation embarrassment in lopsided losses and outward frustration from Judge, the result of being on two completely different pages from the GM.
The fallout from circumstances such as those played a huge role in how the Giants proceeded last offseason, with co-owner and team president John Mara openly discussing his desire to have the new head coach and new GM in lock step – not a package deal, Mara insisted, but there had to be a singular mindset with how to build the team.
The Giants clearly have that with Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll, and as they prepare for the franchise’s first playoff game in six years Sunday afternoon against the Vikings, the results speak for themselves.
The alignment between the coaching staff and the personnel department is apparent. The coaches rave about the Giants’ ability to mine talent across the league and in the draft that fits their philosophy.
Daboll built a staff that was not shy and more than willing to work with Schoen and others, setting a deliberate plan in terms of philosophy in need. The Giants were desperate to add good players, but they also had to be the right ones in terms of fitting what would work in what the coaches were setting out to do.
Schoen deserves a lot of credit for the job he did behind the scenes, working in tandem with Daboll from the moment they decided to join together at 1925 Giants Drive after being on the same team in Buffalo.
The strides Schoen has taken on the personnel side is noticeable, especially given the constraints with which the Giants had to deal this season. He has relied on his own scouting work in addition to the contributions of assistant general manager Brandon Brown, director of player personnel Tim McDonnell and assistant director of player personnel Dennis Hickey.
When the Giants step inside U.S. Bank Stadium, Schoen additions will be all over the field, and not just the 2022 draft class that features Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal and Daniel Bellinger. Linebacker Jarrad Davis could be the next to seize a role, and he was on the Lions’ practice squad three weeks ago.
Unproven younger players such as Isaiah Hodgins, Jason Pinnock and Nick McCloud have all carved out a place on this team. Veterans Landon Collins, Jaylon Smith, Richie James, Fabian Moreau and Tony Jefferson bided their time and stepped up.
Keep checking back for live updates from the Giants’ first playoff game since 2016:
Giants 31, Vikings 27: The Giants played well in their rematch against Washington, and the team hopes to gain a similar advantage heading into their second meeting against the Vikings in three weeks. There’s reason to believe that, if the Giants play a clean game back on Christmas Eve, the game would not have come down to a 61-yard field goal as time expired. The Giants had two turnovers either in the red one or on the fringe (Daniel Bellinger fumble, Daniel Jones interception). Expect the Giants to take a few punches early and then force Kirk Cousins to make a handful of throws he doesn’t want to make with their pass rush fully healthy and ready to go. Watch for Dexter Lawrence to flex his muscles, even if Vikings center Garrett Bradbury returns to the lineup as expected. This is a moment Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley have earned, and the Giants are counting on them to deliver. A big key will be how the Giants defend Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson this time around. Xavier McKinney could spend a lot of time with Hockenson, while the returning Adoree’ Jackson will get chances to help slow down Jefferson.
This content was originally published here.