Giants’ Brian Daboll can’t afford to lose against Commanders as team pushes for victoryNovember 19, 2023
Darius Slayton’s Frustrations on The Dallas Sideline Darius Slayton’s frustrations on last week’s Dallas sideline seemingly amounted to the wide receiver wanting to stay in the game. Saquon Barkley said Slayton “really just wanted to compete and go out there for the team” when the wideout got in the face of receivers coach Mike Groh. Barkley said “hats off to Slay” for speaking up. He said Sterling Shepard told Slayton, ‘I’ve got your back.’”
Then, out of nowhere, Brian Daboll had quarterback Tommy DeVito target Shepard four times in the final minute of the game, including a 2-yard touchdown pass with six seconds remaining. That was Shepard, who never plays, suddenly becoming the focal point of the final drive of a blowout — not long after Slayton and Shepard were delivering their impassioned messages on the sideline. This is something to watch Sunday when the Giants (2-8) and Commanders (4-6) play on Sunday at FedEx Field: who plays and who doesn’t. Because based on the Cowboys blowout, some of the Giants veterans have had enough of being told to stand on the sidelines while the worst offense and team in the NFL sputters on. Their names are being dragged down with this dismal season, and they understandably want a chance to change that. That could mean a couple of GM Joe Schoen’s draft picks playing less. It could mean backup quarterback Matt Barkley entering Sunday’s game if banged-up undrafted rookie DeVito (left shoulder) continues to struggle. But it’s clear that some players are finished with watching guys play ahead of them when they aren’t outperforming them. Daboll’s 2023 Giants are the 12th worst NFL team through 10 games since 1981 in DVOA, which stands for defense-adjusted value over average, a statistic created by Aaron Schatz of FTNNetwork. Their -47.4% DVOA rating is the worst in the league since the 2019 Miami Dolphins, a team that tanked for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. That’s right: the Giants, while not trying to tank, are as bad a team that did. The Giants do have a 7-3-1 record against Washington since Barkley joined the team in 2018, including a 14-7 home win four weeks ago. Daboll’s team is reeling, however, and has been nothing short of delicate against adversity lately. In that vein, it feels like Schoen and the Giants might have miscalculated how much impact trading Leonard Williams would have on the defense and the locker room.