6 min read

After Lost 2023 Season, Where Do New York Giants Go From Here?

Give credit to the New York Giants. Without Daniel Jones and four offensive linemen, the Giants were able to keep things competitive in Buffalo on Sunday Night Football. They didn't get the win, but it might have been their best overall game of the season. The Giants held the Buffalo Bills to 14 points and had several chances to steal a game where they were double-digit underdogs. 

However, it was another loss, and the Giants dropped to 1-5 after six games. They have the fourth-worst odds to win the NFC (+18000 on DraftKings) and are +900 to make the playoffs as a wild card team.

Only three teams have made the playoffs after starting 1-5 since the AFL-NFL merger: 1970 Cincinnati Bengals, 2015 Kansas City Chiefs and 2018 Indianapolis Colts. But I don't see Andrew Luck walking through that door. And winning 10 in a row like the 2015 Chiefs seems unlikely for a team that has scored the fewest points in the league and still has to play the Philadelphia Eagles twice and the Dallas Cowboys on the road.

This is quite the change from last season when the Giants snuck into the postseason and won a road playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. But their -6-point differential last season told a much different story about this team. And regression has hit the Giants hard this year.

The Road Ahead

So, where do the Giants go from here? This is one of the worst teams in the NFL. If the season ended today, the Giants would have the No. 5 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. While this team could use that pick, it's not high enough for them to target a generational quarterback like Caleb Williams (USC) or Drake Maye (North Carolina). They may eventually get to No. 1 or No. 2, but that's not the case after Week 6. 

>>READ: Caleb Williams Is Franchise-Changer

Before the Giants even start to think about the draft, there are some big questions they have to answer regarding their roster. Without a doubt, the biggest question mark is Jones. 

The Giants rewarded Jones with a monster four-year, $160 million contract extension after the 2022 season. He has yet to live up to that deal this season, averaging just 4.3 adjusted yards per attempt (worst in the NFL). In the five games that Jones has started, he's managed to throw just two touchdowns and six interceptions. While not all the blame should be assigned to him, he isn't helping solve any problems right now, especially considering he might miss the next few weeks due to a neck injury.

The Giants might not have a choice but to bring back Jones in 2024. He'll count more than $47 million on the cap next year, with $36 million in guaranteed money. If the Giants decided to cut (or trade) Jones next offseason, it would cost $22 million on the cap if it's a post-June 1 designation. So, it seems likely that the Giants will give him another chance in 2024 to save his career. 

The Giants will have to make some pretty hard and uncomfortable decisions regarding their franchise quarterback this offseason. But as we stand now, there isn't a lot of hope that he can be the guy for New York, and it might be time to move on.

Mounting Problems

Jones isn’t the only one whose future is in question. RB Saquon Barkley is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2023 season, and with every passing game, it appears unlikely that the Giants will give him a long-term deal in 2024. Barkley has struggled to stay on the field, playing in just three games this season. And when he has played, there hasn’t been a ton of production to show from it.

Barkley is still a very talented player, but it doesn't make sense for the Giants to give him a big deal at the age of 27, given his injury history. It makes even less sense for a team that needs to rebuild and start stockpiling assets. For those reasons, it might be worth considering a trade before the deadline to pick up another Day 2 pick. Surely, there will be teams interested in Barkley, and the Giants shouldn't turn their nose up on a solid offer.

While the futures of Jones and Barkley are still up in the air, the status of the offensive line is not. The entire unit needs to be revamped outside of Andrew Thomas. Evan Neal might need to return to guard after performing poorly at right tackle over the last two years. 

The group has a significant talent issue, especially now that injuries have hit. But some of the blame has to be on Brian Daboll and his coaching staff because they have done nothing to help or cover up the weakness up front. This will be the third offseason that the Giants look to fix their offensive line, and after spending multiple high picks on the unit, it continues to look like the worst group in the league.

A Lost Season

This is a lost season for the Giants. Their quarterback suffered an injury. Their star left tackle has missed multiple games, and nothing has gone right. There are still 11 games left in the season, so the Giants can’t just fold up shop and call it a year. They need to see growth from their young receivers, including Wan’Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt. It would be nice to see Deonte Banks develop into a reliable CB2. Those are the types of things the Giants will be watching the rest of the way because that’s what matters after a 1-5 start.

The Giants are officially in evaluation mode for the next three months. And that's a tough spot to be in before Halloween. Especially after an unexpected postseason run a year ago.

Marcus Mosher is an NFL writer with a decade of experience in podcasting and writing for various NFL websites, including Bleacher Report, Pro Football Focus and The Athletic. He’s currently a managing editor at USA Today Sports Media Group and host of the Locked On Cowboys Podcast. Marcus has been working full-time covering the NFL since 2015 and works as a betting expert for You can follow him at @Marcus_Mosher.