The Indianapolis Colts (4-10-1) and New York Giants (8-6-1) will square off for a Week 17 matchup at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Though it’s a meaningless game for the Colts, it’s anything but for the Giants, who can clinch a playoff spot with a win Sunday. Before the matchup, we caught up with Giants Wire editor Dan Benton to get the scoop on all things Giants.
We went behind enemy lines to ask Dan five questions about the Colts’ Week 17 opponent:
What does the future hold for Daniel Jones after his career season?
Dan Benton: “That’s a bit unclear at the moment. Early on, expectations were that the Giants would simply draft his replacement or use Tyrod Taylor as some sort of bridge. Then, midway through the season, the expectation became a moderate extension at a team-friendly price. But as we enter the final two weeks of the season, things have shifted again. Jones is among the NFL’s most accurate passers (adjusted completion percentage), he has one of the league’s lowest turnover percentages and he’s one of just three quarterbacks with 3,000-plus passing yards and 600-plus rushing yards. All of that has been done with what is arguably the worst supporting cast in the NFL. And with many quarterback openings likely in 2023, the market for Jones is going to be more robust than anticipated. He’s likely to be offered a big-money deal which leaves the Giants and GM Joe Schoen in a precarious position. The transition tag is likely but even then, that would only give the Giants a chance to match an offer for Jones. A safer course of action would be signing Saquon Barkley long-term and using the franchise tag on DJ.”
What has been the difference in Brian Daboll compared to the recent carousel of head coaches?
Dan Benton: “Brian Daboll is good at many things and excellent at one: knowing roster limitations and how to work around them. He knows exactly what each player does best and devises gameplans around that. It’s why you see positional rotations based on weekly matchups which, at times, doesn’t sit well with players (see: Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney pre-trade). For those that have bought in, which is the majority of the team, things have panned out well. Daboll is also a very authentic person and that resonates in the locker room. His emotion and passion are appreciated by the players.”
What has Wink Martindale’s arrival done for the Giants defense?
Dan Benton: “How in the world did the Ravens let Wink go? He is such an incredibly intelligent football guy and much like Daboll, he does an excellent job of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of his players. He routinely puts them in the best position to win and his aggressiveness is something the players feed off of. Away from the field, Wink is also a hilarious dude. It’s a shame he only gets one press conference per week because his one-liners are about as entertaining as the games themselves.”
Who are some under-the-radar Giants we should know?
Dan Benton: “Is wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins still considered under the radar? He’s been talked about quite a bit in recent weeks but maybe hasn’t reached that national spotlight just yet. Claimed off waivers from the Bills mid-season, Hodgins has become the Giants’ best and most consistent receiver. He does an excellent job high-pointing the ball, is strong enough to compete with physical corners and his route runner is unexpectedly impressive. I don’t know if he’s a future WR1 necessarily, but he’s proven worthy of a multi-year deal. Defensively, I’d say it’s linebacker Azeez Ojulari. And I know many may scoff at that since he’s more well-known and not really under the radar, but he’s underappreciated by a country mile. He is the gear that turns the entire defensive ship for the Giants. When he’s on the field, everyone else is at their best. Offenses can’t focus strictly on double-teaming Dexter Lawrence or Kayvon Thibodeaux, leaving them with winnable matchups. And when it comes to Ojulari himself, he’s a silent game-wrecker. He routinely draws penalties in one-on-one situations and when he’s not being held, seems to be at or near the quarterback with frequency.”
What is your prediction for this matchup?
Dan Benton: “I don’t think this game is going to be the blowout many are predicting. That’s just not who the Giants are this season — even in games where they are clear favorites. However, I do think they get the job done at home in front of a wild MetLife Stadium crowd and punch their first ticket to the playoffs since 2016. Giants 24, Colts 17.”