We're counting down all of the major storylines for the New York teams in 2020. Here's a look at the Giants' list...
5. Logan Ryan’s wife saved by Giants trainer
Ryan had himself a solid game against the Washington Football Team, including a game-sealing interception to secure the win. After the game, though, he explained why the game ball meant so much to him, and it involved a situation that happened during the week with his wife.
Ryan’s wife, Ashley, was flying to Florida to go vote and check up on their house. Around 1 a.m., she started feeling pain in her stomach and Ryan, banged up himself from the game prior, said he didn’t think anything of it because she was pregnant. However, a Giants trainer told Ryan to tell her to rush to the ER, and what doctors found was an ectopic pregnancy that needed emergency surgery.
Ryan’s wife was alright following the surgery, but they had lost their child in the process. Grieving in silence, Ryan still played against the Football Team, and Joe Judge actually told Ryan to go down to Florida to be with his wife and “don’t worry about football.”
But his wife told him, "Bring a ball home for me and the kids." He did just that.
“No one really knows what I went through all week emotionally, but the team supported me great and I definitely wanted to do something for my wife and kids in that situation,” Ryan said after that game.
4. James Bradberry and Blake Martinez become Giants
Earlier this year, GM Dave Gettleman was well into his offseason plan and gearing up for the free agency period when it kicked off in March. It was obvious the Giants needed some help on the defensive side of the ball, and there were some really good players out there to cash in on.
Martinez would sign on March 17, as the Giants made an obvious play at the middle linebacker position that needed veteran leadership after letting Alec Ogletree go. But it was the signing of Bradberry, a former Gettleman draft pick with the Carolina Panthers, that shocked many.
No one saw the Giants in the running for arguably the top corner on the market next to Byron Jones (he signed with the Miami Dolphins). But he signed his $45 million deal with $32 million guaranteed, and it turned out just how the Giants wanted it to.
Bradberry, who was just voted to the Pro Bowl, and Martinez have become two of the best free agent signings overall this season. Their impact on defense was felt immediately and Giants fans must love that they’re here for years to come.
3. Saquon Barkley lost for season with torn ACL
The Giants were just getting their season started. Then, it seemed like it ended for a while after Barkley tore multiple ligaments in his knee, including his ACL, in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears.
Catching a short pass from Daniel Jones, Barkley landed awkwardly on his leg and he immediately knew that something was wrong after getting tackled by safety Eddie Jackson. He was in severe pain and everyone knew it wasn’t looking good for No. 26.
The Giants have certainly missed Barkley all season, though Wayne Gallman and the rest of the running back committee has been holding it down pretty well. Still, who knows where the Giants would be in the NFC East race if they had the dynamic Barkley out of the backfield.
2. Joe Judge is hired as next Giants head coach
As the Giants looked for a new head coach, co-owner John Mara and the rest of the front office knew that this next guy had to be one who can stay in New York for years to come. Ben McAdoo and Pat Shurmur didn’t last very long following Tom Coughlin’s reign, and it was time to find the person to start turning around the franchise’s bad luck.
With great candidates on the market, the Giants went a somewhat surprising route with the hiring of Judge. It shocked many that the Giants, needing consistency at the position, went with someone who didn’t have any head coaching experience. Judge, though, came from a long line of very successful coaches like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, who both gave glowing recommendations of his work ethic and coaching style.
His disciplinarian ways were felt almost immediately in his introductory press conference, and soon everyone saw that Judge was a no-nonsense coach determined to make his first job as the head of the operation go smoothly. A `1-7 start isn’t what he envisioned, but the Giants were losing very close games. Then, they ripped off a win streak and find themselves still in the hunt for the NFC East title.
1. Eli Manning retires
“No Giant will ever wear No. 10 again.”
It was only fitting that Mara said these words the day Manning officially announced his retirement after serving the Giants and the NFL for 16 seasons. Manning was arguably the best quarterback to wear the blue and white, collecting two Super Bowls (MVP in both those games) along the way to potentially becoming a Hall of Famer.
His best quality at the position wasn’t his ability to play under the highest of pressure, but rather his durability over all those seasons. He was always available even if he had to play through the pain, and never wanted to let his team down. After being drafted in 2004 and traded to New York, the Giants knew quickly that Manning was someone who could be their franchise guy for years to come. And, oh, how right there were.
Standing at the podium with current and former teammates watching, an emotional Manning officially walking off into the sunset and said these words that will be linked to him forever:
“Wellington Mara always said, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant.’ For me, it’s only a Giant.”
Honorable Mentions: Leonard Williams signs franchise tag, Golden Tate's wife sounds off on husband's target share after Bucs loss, Evan Engram reaches Pro Bowl, Marc Colombo fired as O-line coach