With the New York Giants facing the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday we turn to SB Nation’s Revenge of the Birds for this week’s ‘5 questions’ segment. Seth Cox answers the call.
Ed: How do you feel about the way the Cardinals are approaching this season, obviously not trying to win in an apparent effort to earn the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?
Seth: I think the idea of tanking is more about an outside ideal. The biggest thing they are trying to do right now is reset their terrible cap/roster situation and change the culture and we saw how that played out with DeAndre Hopkins and later on Isaiah Simmons.
They need guys that are buying in and if you don’t that means they don’t need or want you in the building, even if you are talented.
So, that looks and in a way is tanking. They had a crap situation and are trying to get through it this year and should have two top ten and maybe even top five picks in the 2024 draft. If that happens, then Monti Ossenfort did a nice job.
Even better, if they look competitive doing it like last week against what I am guessing ends up a mediocre at best Washington Commanders team then things are going in the right direction even if the record doesn’t show it.
Finally, when Kyler Murray comes back if they actually win a game or four then those high picks may end up being trade fodder as well.
Ed: Did you feel the Cardinals mishandled Isaiah Simmons, and do you feel like he will be successful with the Giants?
Seth: The last regime didn’t do a whole lot right. 2021 was fun for a while, but it was a house of cards and the J.J. Watt injury and DeAndre Hopkins injury toppled it.
So, when you look at Simmons it was always going to be a task to get him to play at a high level. They drafted a guy who had his most success in 2019 when he played almost an equal number of snaps in and out of the box at Clemson.
Then he gets drafted and they try to get him to play linebacker and he has no idea what he is looking at, so they bench him.
From there, they continue to try and force him to learn to play linebacker and he stinks because again, he doesn’t know what he is looking at, so his plays are all made 4+ yards down the field.
Then they moved him to slot corner and it was his best season, but still not great and at that point he was rightfully frustrated.
The new regime tried but as it was said above, he wasn’t buying-in and part of that was he seemed to lay all the blame at the feet of the old regime (which to be fair I would say was probably 75%) and didn’t come in with whatever the mentality they had hoped he would.
Ed: If you could take one player off the Giants’ roster and put him in Arizona’s lineup, who would it be? Why?
Seth: Dexter Lawrence and it is not close. The only other player who I would even think about is Andrew Thomas, who is phenomenal, but Lawrence is such a unique player and high level interior lineman which is such a hard position to fill and find.
I am hopeful Paris Johnson Jr. can get to a level similar to Thomas when he takes over at left tackle, there is not a singular person close to Lawrence and knowing draft prospects heading into 2024, there is still not a singular player on that level.
Lawrence is one of the best player in football and I know Giants fans appreciate him, but I am not sure he gets enough love from the rest of fans around the league.
Ed: Kyler Murray (No. 1) and Daniel Jones (No. 6) were the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 draft. At this point in their careers, which guy would you rather have?
Seth: I feel like this is a simple homer question. Murray had his worst season as a pro and had 14 passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns with seven interceptions. Jones had his best year (I know he had a really nice rookie season with his 24/12 season) and put up 15 and 5.
I am not sure either side of the fanbase will agree with the other, and I am also not sure either side of the fanbase would want to put their opinion out to the masses, as both quarterbacks seem to be uniquely disliked by the masses.
Ed: How do you see Sunday’s game playing out?
Seth: Similar to last week.
I know the injuries may be creeping up with the Giants already, but I still think they win this one.
With the DraftKings Sportsbook having the Giants as -5.5-point favorites, I don’t like that number for the Giants, but I think they get the win.
17-13 Giants win. Cardinals cover, take the under.