Giants' Brian Daboll a finalist for AP Coach of the Year, Saquon Barkley a finalist for Comeback Player

Brian Daboll
Brian Daboll / Vincent Carchietta - USA TODAY Sports

Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who guided Big Blue to a 9-7-1 record and their first playoff appearance since 2016 during his first year at the helm, is a finalist for AP Coach of the Year.

Daboll's fellow finalists are Doug Pederson of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers.

In addition to the 2022-23 season being the first where the Giants made the playoffs since 2016, it was their first winning season since 2016. New York went 4-13 in 2021, and had not won more than six games in the five seasons before Daboll's arrival.

The job Daboll did is even more impressive when you consider the roster he was working with, which included a receiving corps that featured Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, and Richie James, and a secondary that was decimated by injury for large swaths of the season -- with Adoree' Jackson and Xavier McKinney missing significant time.


Barkley's fellow finalists for AP Comeback Player of the Year are RB Christian McCaffrey of the 49ers and QB Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks.

Barkley, whose 2020 season ended due to ACL surgery and was not at full strength in 2021, had a monster 2022.

In 16 games, Barkley rushed for a career-high 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns (one shy of his career-best). He added 57 receptions for 338 yards.

Barkley's season earned him a Pro Bowl nod -- the second of his career.

The AP  NFL awards will be announced on Feb. 9.