New York Giants

New York Giants

Like it or Not, This Is Dave Gettleman's Vision

Image A

What if Dave Gettleman is right and the rest of us are wrong?

That's a question we must at least entertain in the wake of what looked on paper like a very productive New York Giants offseason. There's a slim chance that Gettleman, the NFL's least-repentant cackling Facebook uncle, has known what he was doing all along, and that the rest of us—the analytics community, the Twitter intelligentsia, the New York media, anyone with a more forward-thinking worldview than the average caveman—were the ones who were mistaken.

Rest assured that DVOA doesn't see such a scenario playing out: our average projection features just 7.4 wins in a weak division and rankings near the bottom of the league in both offense and defense. But DVOA would be the last thing to see Gettleman's vindication coming. Any Giants success, after all, would by definition fly directly into the face of all of our research and cherished assumptions.

Gettleman himself spent the offseason doubling down on his role as the analytics community's cartoon antagonist, making him hard to take seriously as a threat. During media sessions, he frequently cited the Giants' 4-2 record in the NFC East as a sign of progress ("should have been 5-1," he sometimes asserted, referencing a tight Week 5 loss to the Cowboys), insulting the intelligence of his audience by clinging to the technicality that the 6-10 Giants were a near-playoff team. When asked before the draft if the Giants were entering a Super Bowl window, he quipped that he's "not a 'window theory' guy." He then made a cringy dad joke about Microsoft Windows, stopping just short of adding a wisecrack about Millenials and avocado toast.

Yes, Gettleman still sounds like a midday WFAN caller circa 2004. Yet it's possible for a general manager who doesn't believe in windows to accidentally crash like a nearsighted pigeon into one. It's also possible that all of Gettleman's suspect-to-awful decisions—overvaluing Saquon Barkley, overrating Daniel Jones, overdrafting Andrew Thomas, trading Odell Beckham, settling upon (if not for) Joe Judge as head coach and Jason...