All is well for Big Blue. Sitting pretty at 4-1, the New York Football Giants are off to their best start since 2009 and just matched their entire season win total from 2021.
It all starts with first-year head coach Brian Daboll. The former Bills offensive coordinator is seen as the common man - a players' coach who demands excellence while treating his guys with respect and dignity.
A few months after he was hired, I polled numerous Giants players on the new boss. Their endorsement was consistent: Things are different. Things are better. We can win with this guy.
Still not convinced? The Giants have already beaten both of 2021's top playoff seeds, the Titans and the Packers. New York trailed Green Bay 17-3 in Week 5 before pulling out the win.
It's a feat made even more impressive considering the key injuries they've already had to overcome. Rookie first-rounder Kayvon Thibodeaux, promising second-year defensive end Azeez Ojulari, starting cornerback Adoree' Jackson, and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Leonard Williams make up the list. Moreover, wide receiver Sterling Shepard's torn ACL, rookie WR Wan'Dale Robinson's bothersome knee, and Kadarius Toney's hamstring have further limited an already unknown wide receiver room.
In the 20-12 Week 4 win over the Bears, quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor were both injured, forcing Daboll to diagram plays on the sideline for running back Saquon Barkley, who took direct snaps until Jones returned.
Barkley, to be sure, is the key to everything. Few players are more important to their team's success than No. 26, and few have delivered more in 2022.
Barkley has been unstoppable, showcasing the otherworldly explosiveness, cutting, and playmaking that helped him win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2019. His 533 rushing yards trail only the Browns' Nick Chubb (593), and Barkley ranks in the top 10 in both yards per carry and touchdowns. Overall, he's on pace for nearly 2,300 yards from scrimmage, which would be a top-12 mark in the history of the NFL for a running back.
"I feel like I can do whatever I want on the field with this group of guys," Barkley told FOX's Laura Okmin after the Giants stunned the Packers in London.