Daniel Jones with pair of rushing TDs for Giants

Daniel Jones has found the end zone twice … with his legs for the Giants

No one told Daniel Jones that Justin Fields is supposed to be the dual-threat quarterback as the New York Giants played host to the Chicago Bears on Sunday at MetLife.

Jones has a pair of touchdown runs for Big Blue in the first half.

The first went for 21 yards and the second that made it 14-6 after the PAT was good for 8.

Ex-New York Giant Michael Cox awarded $28.5M in suit against dead doctor

Former Giant RB Michael Cox with a huge win in a lawsuit

Michael Cox suffered a broken leg, damaged cartilage, and an injured ankle in a New York Giants game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2014.

The running back underwent surgery by Dr. Dean Lorich and the procedure allegedly failed to fully repair Cox’s left ankle, basically ending his career.

Cox sued the physician and the hospital in 2016 for unspecified damages.

On Friday, Cox was awarded a $28.5 million verdict in the case.

Cox was a seventh-round pick out of Massachusetts in 2013. He had 26 carries for 76 yards as a Giant. The team had given him a four-year, $2.3 million contract.

A bizarre twist to the case saw Lorich commit suicide a year after the case was filed with a knife in his chest in his New York home.

Per the New York Post:

The jury returned its decision in Cox’ Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit against Lorich, the Hospital for Special Surgery and New York-Presbyterian, awarding the footballer $15.5 million in future pain and suffering, $12 million in lost earnings and $1 million in past pain and suffering.

A lawyer for the hospital and Lorich’s estate vowed to appeal.

“We disagree strongly with the jury’s verdict and believe it was inconsistent with the evidence in the case.  We will be appealing the decision,” said attorney Bhalinder Rikhye.

Secret Superstars for Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season

Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar points out the NFL’s great performances by unheralded players in his weekly Secret Superstars team.

There are all kinds of reasons that NFL players are underrated.

Perhaps they’re in systems that don’t best show their skills. Maybe they’re buried on a depth chart. Or, they’re in somebody’s doghouse, and their coaches can’t see their potential. Sometimes, young players haven’t quite put it all together, but there are enough flashes to make you sit up and take notice, and when it does work, it’s all good.

Week 1 of the 2022 regular season features players at every position who showed up and showed out despite their underrated statuses, and here at Touchdown Wire, it’s our job to point them out.

Here are the Secret Superstars for Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season.

Brian Daboll’s Giants stun Titans with late 2-point conversion

Giants shock Titans on late 2-point conversion in Brian Daboll’s debut

Brian Daboll was brought into the change the culture with the New York Giants. Part of that must mean playing for the win and not settling for a tie and seeing what happens in overtime.

The Giants used a late 2-point conversion to topple Tennessee, 21-20, in their season opener on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Big Blue was trailing 13-0 at the half before some big plays brought it into a  tie.

The Titans went ahead 20-13 on a third-quarter TD pass by Ryan Tannehill to set the stage for Daboll’s fourth-quarter gamble.

Daniel Jones led a 12-play, 73-yard drive over 4:21 that concluded with a TD pass to Chris Myrick.

That’s when Daboll, who came over from Buffalo where he was offensive coordinator, pushed all his chips to the middle.

And to show how much of a gambler he is, Daboll called a running play for the win.

Saquon Barkley barreled into the end zone and the Daboll era was 1-0.

Giants get tricky, shock Titans with game-winning two-point conversion

New Giants head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka are creating a better offense for quarterback Daniel Jones.

You knew that the New York Giants’ offense would be different with new head coach Brian Daboll in charge. The former Bills offensive coordinator, known for his effective imagination in calling an offense, may have deferred play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, but the Giants’ opener against the Tennessee Titans showed not only some new trickerations, but also Daboll’s impatience with nonsensical throws — something that helped Josh Allen on his own journey.

When Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, on his last chance with his only NFL team, threw this pick to Titans safety Amani Hooker, Daboll had no issue letting his guy have an earful over it.

Daboll and Kafka undoubtedly knew that they’d have to scheme Jones out of his own limitations, and that happened to a point on the Jones touchdown pass to Chris Myarick…

…but it was really unlocked on the two-point conversion shovel pass from Jones to Saquin Barkley which put the Giants up, 21-20, with 1:06 left in the game.

The Titans drove downfield after that, but Randy Bullock missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired, and the Giants had their first season-opening win in six years.

Giants showing big-play offense under Brian Daboll

The Giants were using big plays against the Titans

The first game of the Brian Daboll era got off to a slow start but Big Blue has found a way to hit its groove against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Saquon Barkley took off on a long run and completed the drive with a diving touchdown run to bring New York within 13-6 in the second half.

Daniel Jones then showed he has picked some of the expertise Daboll imparted on Josh Allen in Buffalo.

Sterling Shepard gets behind the Titans’ secondary and corrals Jones’ pass and takes it to the end zone.

After the PAT, the game was deadlocked at 13.

Touchdown Wire’s 2022 NFL season predictions

Doug Farrar, Laurie Fitzpatrick, and Luke Easterling fill out Touchdown Wire’s predictions for the 2022 NFL season.

Everybody does predictions before the start of every season in every sport, and of course, we who blather on about the NFL are no exception. Last year, Doug Farrar, Laurie Fitzpatrick, and Mark Schofield filled out the Touchdown Wire predictions sheet, and while the predictions made sense, we all whiffed on a few things — most notably, the Super Bowl teams.

Now, with Mark off to pastures anew (see you ’round, old friend), we’ve enlisted Luke Easterling, the shot-caller for both Bucs Wire and Draft Wire, and an estimable football mind in his own right. Luke and Doug also host the weekly “4-Down Territory” video, which you should definitely check out.

With all that said, let’s get to the predictions. Here’s how we see the 2022 NFL season shaking out — from division winners to Super Bowl champion to a plethora of individual awards.

The biggest question for every NFL team in the 2022 season

Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar asks — and tries to answer — the most pressing questions for every NFL team as the 2022 season begins.

No matter how great any team is, every team has its share of questions to answer when a new season begins. The 1968 Baltimore Colts looked unbeatable until they met the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, and Jets running back Matt Snell exploited the weak right side of Baltimore’s defensive front over and over on the way to one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The 2007 New England Patriots were unbeatable until they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII because their interior offensive line couldn’t handle the Giants’ NASCAR pressure packages.

No matter how great your team is, one little thing can turn everything upside down.

Conversely, teams that may look hopeless are actually building credibly to the future, and that will show up on the field more than anybody might think. And then there are the NFL’s stragglers — the teams for whom there is little present hope, and the primary question is, “How do we transcend our multiple weaknesses to be at least competitive?”

Each of the NFL’s 32 teams have questions to answer coming into the 2022 season, which of course is right around the corner. So here, for your consideration, are the most pressing questions every NFL team will — and must — answer in the new season.

Joe Schoen on expectations for the Giants: ‘It’s the hand we were dealt’

Giants general manager Joe Schoen took a less-than-optimistic approach when meeting with the media on Thursday.

Often times, before a season begins NFL coaches and general managers set expectations for the year ahead, and put on a positive spin on what fans can expect.

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen seems to be taking a different approach.

Meeting with the media on Thursday, Schoen was asked about the expectations for the upcoming season, and rather than put that positive spin on things, he was much more straight-forward in his approach:

Schoen’s comments likely reflect the reality in New York. The Giants declined the fifth-year option on quarterback Daniel Jones, and could be in the market for a quarterback in the upcoming draft class. Schoen inherited a roster that needed upgrades at a number of different positions, yet one of his first tasks was to clear around $40 million in cap space so the Giants could be in position to sign their draft class:

The Giants have to either fix Daniel Jones or replace him in 2023, and Schoen told me Saturday he’ll have to clear out $40 million from a bloated and mismanaged salary cap this spring.

“When we first got to Buffalo,” said Schoen, “we had $55 million in dead cap money we had to manage. We had a plan there, and we’ll have one here. We may have to make some decisions that hurt, but I do not want to kick the can down the road with the cap. I want to get it fixed.”

This is the hand Schoen was dealt, and he’s dealing with it the best he can. But the season ahead could be a long one for the Giants.

Should the NFL ban the block that injured Kayvon Thibodeaux and T.J. Watt?

Should the sift block that injured T.J. Watt and Kayvon Thibodeaux be legal? Maybe it’s time for the NFL to change the rules.

With 11:45 left in the second quarter of the Detroit Lions’ Sunday afternoon preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit quarterback David Blough handed off to running back Jamar Jefferson on what turned out to be a relatively inconsequential one-yard gain.

At least, it was inconsequential for the Lions. For the Steelers, not so much. As you can see, Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson crossed the formation from left to right and laid a low block on Steelers edge-rusher T.J. Watt.

Here’s another, better view.

Hockenson appeared to be aiming for Watt’s knees on the block, which you would think is an illegal play. But it isn’t. Hockenson wasn’t flagged for the play, which is correct under the league’s current rule book. Watt was helped from the field with what was called a left knee injury, though reports indicate that the injury isn’t too serious.

The debate over such blocks ran hot last Sunday, when Cleveland Browns tight end (and son of Randy Moss) Thaddeus Moss crossed the formation to make a very similar block against New York Giants pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. Moss was not flagged for the block either, because the block isn’t illegal.

Thibodeaux wasn’t as fortunate — he suffered a sprained MCL, and may or may not be ready for the Giants’ regular-season opener against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, September 11.

The larger question, of course, is: Why is a block in which an offense player can target a vulnerable part of a defensive player’s body legal in the first place? In May, 2021, the NFL expanded the low block rules, but the book still doesn’t cover what are known as “sift blocks.”

After the Moss/Thibodeaux play, several former NFL offensive linemen, and current offensive line experts, explained why the play isn’t as “dirty” as it may look.

“They dragged the tight end across the formation, and everybody runs this play,” former offensive lineman Brian Baldinger said on the NFL Network. “They seal the backside with the tight end, and almost every tight end goes low. They can’t stay up and take on these defensive ends. They go to cut-block, which is legal, okay? It’s really up to Kayvon here to just drop his shoulder on it, and it went below his shoulder. It’s kind up to Kayvon to protect himself a little better, because that’s how these tight ends are going to block him in this league.”

So, we know that the play isn’t dirty or illegal by the letter of the NFL’s current rulebook. But should it be illegal? Given the league’s supposed emphasis on player safety (which can be viewed historically with as much cynicism as you’d like), is it really wise to leave a block that forces the defender to adjust to that degree out of the book as a banned strategy?

One thing we know for sure — the more marquee players that get hurt by this block, the more the generally reactive NFL rulemakers will step in and do something about it.