Super Bowl champion Carl Banks looks ahead to the Giants’ 2023 season and names players expected to rise

The New York Giants enter the 2023 regular season with high expectations after making the playoffs, advancing to the divisional round and signing Darren Waller to bolster offense.

It will not be an easy task.

New York must face off against reigning NFC champions Philadelphia Eagles, the always-strong Dallas Cowboys and a redesigned Washington Commanders team, with quarterback Sam Howell and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy taking the lead.

Giants great player Carl Banks believes New York will be a better team in 2022 but still has a lot to prove.


Darren Waller stands up

Darren Waller of the New York Giants during the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on August 18, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Sarah Bull/Getty Images)

“It will be interesting to read or watch because they are a better football team. They're a faster football team,” Banks told Fox News Digital when asked what the Giants' history will be like in 2023. “Can that be translated?” into more wins? The same number of wins? We will see.

“But I think they're significantly better across the board and you can look at the talent and ask, ‘Wow, how did they get to where they were last year with the talent that's just based on what you see today ?' It's like day and night.

The two-time Super Bowl champion's linebacker called division opponents the biggest challenge the Giants have faced this season.

“Their biggest challenge now is to build on what they started,” he explained. “But they're chasing the flag bearer right now, which is the Philadelphia Eagles. They have something to see and say – this is where we need to be. It's not like they're in a division that doesn't have an all-around superior team.

“The Philadelphia Eagles are the team of the entire conference. If you look at them twice a year, there are some goals. Instead of just being in a division where it's mediocre and you're like, ‘Well, we've got to try.' “Win the division and we're good enough for it.” They have to try to get to where the Eagles are, and if they can do that, they're not only within the NFC (East) division, but also within the NFC conference.”


Kayvon Thibodeaux at the training camp

Kayvon Thibodeaux of the New York Giants during training camp on August 1, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Defense will be something to watch out for for the Giants with Wink Martindale serving as coordinator for another season. New York ranked 17th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed.

The Giants return Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams to the front lines. Kayvon Thibodeaux is back for his second season while Azeez Ojulari returns for his third season. Adoree Jackson and Xavier McKinney will likely be in the secondary school along with freshmen Tre Hawkins III and Deontae Banks. Not to mention the Giants acquired Isaiah Simmons from the Arizona Cardinals.

Banks, speaking to Fox News Digital about his partnership with Starter, named a few people who need to make the leap in 2023.

“It's a few names,” he told Fox News Digital. “Evan Neal, the right tackle. Kayvon Thibodeaux is a guy who has declared himself that he needs to get better. And I thought he had a very impressive rookie year, but I think he's a guy who's going to take the next step.”

“But the guy I'm expecting and looking forward to is Azeez Ojulari. He's their other edge rusher that's so talented, but he just wasn't healthy. But his sack-per-game ratio is way up. I mean, he played.” Seven, I think last year he got five sacks. He's a double-digit sack guy and I think if he's healthy he'll get 15 sacks.”


Azeez Ojulari celebrates

Azeez Ojulari of the New York Giants in action against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium on December 4, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Giants' 2023 run begins Sept. 10 at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

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