The Giants are red-hot, winning four of their last five, which at the very least has created more optimism about the future, even though the postseason this year is likely out of reach.
So there is plenty to discuss in our Giants Mailbag as Big Blue (5-8) prepares to host the Tennessee Titans (7-6) on Sunday in Week 15.
QUESTION: “What is the coaching staff’s opinion of Jamon Brown?” – Doug Fiumara, @kear20
Offensive line coach Hal Hunter used the words athletic, tough and smart recently to describe Brown, 25, the right guard the Giants claimed off waivers on Halloween from the Rams. Brown’s arrival has changed the line’s dynamic in a big way the last five games, and the coaches also like his attitude and experience. Plus he’s very active in the community and the type of positive off-field influence they’re looking for, too. Those are reasons why the Giants should look to re-sign the former third-round pick from Louisville, who is headed to free agency this offseason.
QUESTION: “Will Kyle Lauletta get more playing time?” – Christopher Brito, @bychrisbrito
I doubt it. All of Lauletta’s shortcomings since training camp showed up in his NFL debut in Washington. And Pat Shurmur seemed to be driving the point home to us local reporters after the game that there was a reason he had been reluctant to play Lauletta previously. “I’ve fielded enough questions regarding Kyle Lauletta that those of you that were interested in seeing him, hopefully you got a chance to see what you were looking for,” the coach said. The Giants are the ones who drafted Lauletta in the fourth round back in April, though, and put him on this team over 2017 third-round pick Davis Webb. But Lauletta also won’t play because even if the Giants are eliminated, Shurmur and the team are looking at this run as an opportunity to build momentum into 2019 — when, I do not doubt, Eli Manning will be back as the starter.
QUESTION: “Are the improved outcomes (more wins) a mirage, or is this team really getting better? Specifically, do we now see the makings of a credible offensive line?” Steven Schwartz, @steveninwp29
The mirage is that the Giants long-term need a better quarterback and passing attack, despite the recent success of their run game, so if they don’t find that, it will be hard for them to change their bottom line. However, the team most certainly is better in several ways. First, that Thursday night Week 6 blowout loss to the Eagles unquestionably showed some lack of effort, but since, Shurmur has coached that out of the culprits or the Giants have removed players from the team. And their energy and effort and execution since the bye, particularly on defense, has been exemplary. But also, the offensive line is a lot better, with Brown in the mix and Nate Solder healthier. And Saquon Barkley’s 6.8 yards per carry the past four weeks has done wonders for Manning’s offense. And it didn’t hurt that Odell Beckham Jr. threw a TD pass against Chicago when Manning wasn’t able to score through the air. The Giants still need an infusion of talent in several places, though, and need to find their future at QB.
QUESTION: “The recent tweaks to the offensive line have resulted in improved play, but is it still an issue that needs to be corrected for next year?” – Ron, @bigronhfd67