The final time the Giants began a season with a 2-0 document, Eli Manning was coming off a Professional Bowl season and Ben McAdoo was in his first yr as a head coach. For sure, it has been some time.
Six years later, the Giants are as soon as once more undefeated by means of the primary two weeks. And the betting market is taking discover.
The Giants entered the season as +750 lengthy photographs to win the NFC East for the primary time since 2011. Now, after a pair of shut wins over the Titans and Panthers, they’re priced at +550 to win the division at BetMGM — tied with the preseason favourite Cowboys. They’re additionally sneaky lengthy photographs within the title market, dealing at 66/1 to win the Tremendous Bowl and 30/1 to win the NFC.
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Is all of this deserved? That relies upon each in your expectations for this group and your impressions of the primary two opponents.
Relative to expectations, this has already been a smashing success for first-time head coach Brian Daboll, who has seemingly injected some life into an offense that ranked thirty first in yards and factors every of the previous two seasons. We’ve already seen a marked enchancment: The Giants rank fifteenth in factors per sport (20) and have turned the ball over simply twice in two video games after main the league in turnovers (30) in 2021.
The important thing to that has been the resurgence of star operating again Saquon Barkley, who leads the NFL in speeding yards (236) after an injury-shortened 2020 season and lackluster 2021 marketing campaign. Daniel Jones can be at the moment on tempo for profession bests in completion charge (70.9 p.c), landing charge (5.5 p.c) and interception charge (1.8 p.c), and his two game-winning drives up to now are already tied for his most in a season since he was drafted sixth total in 2019.
Whereas the offense has been the largest X-factor this season, the Giants’ protection has carried this group with a pair of spectacular performances by means of Week 2. They’re one in every of 9 groups to permit 20 or fewer factors in every of the primary two video games, and whereas they’ve but to register a takeaway this yr, their protection ranks fourth in opponent three-and-outs per drive (.364) and third in opponent punts per drive (.545).
To be truthful, the competitors hasn’t been the stiffest. A win over the Titans, who earned the AFC’s prime seed a yr in the past, felt just a little extra spectacular earlier than the Payments blew their doorways off Tennessee on Monday evening. And the Panthers, whereas flush with younger expertise, seem lifeless on offense in what may very well be Matt Rhule’s closing season as their head coach.
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Nonetheless, the Giants are all too conversant in shedding video games like that lately, underneath McAdoo, Steve Spagnuolo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Choose, who mixed for a 22-59 document (27.2 p.c) over the previous 5 seasons. The Giants misplaced double-digit video games in every of these 5 seasons and solely as soon as got here near sniffing an NFC East title in 2020, when Washington (7-9) received one of the vital pitiful division races in NFL historical past.
This yr feels completely different, each for the Giants and for the division. The Eagles are flying excessive with a 2-0 document, additionally for the primary time since 2016, however the G-Males are proper there beside them atop the NFC East. The Giants are also favored to win their Week 3 conflict Monday with the Cowboys, which might spell their first 3-0 begin since 2009.
Even with out that end result, this group is already midway to its win complete (4) from 2021, and its betting complete has risen to eight.5 wins — up from a preseason complete of seven wins. There’s nonetheless a methods to go earlier than penciling the Giants in as division champs, however for the primary time in a half-decade, this seems like a group value betting on.
And that alone is progress.