Brian Daboll's first season as Giants head coach resulted in the franchise's first winning record since 2016 and its first playoff win in more than 10 years.
On Thursday, Daboll was recognized for his quick turnaround when he was named the Associated Press 2022 NFL Coach of the Year during NFL Honors in Phoenix.
Daboll won a close race with 16 first-place votes and 123 total votes, just ahead of San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's 100 total points and 12 first-place tallies. Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson (75 points; five first-place nods) took third. The Bills' Sean McDermott (48; seven), Eagles' Nick Sirianni (45; six), Vikings' Kevin O'Connell (23; one), Lions' Dan Campbell (15; one) and Chiefs' Andy Reid (10; two) also got first-place votes.
Daboll becomes the fifth Giants head coach to receive the AP NFL Coach of the Year award, joining Jim Fassel (1997), Dan Reeves (1993), Bill Parcells (1986) and Allie Sherman, who won the award in consecutive years (1961-62). Daboll joins Fassel and Sherman as the only rookie head coaches in Giants history to receive the honor.
The impressive nature of Daboll's turnaround job was that he inherited a Giants roster that was largely unchanged from the one that produced just 14 wins the past three seasons. The former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator most notably brought balance to a Giants team that was ranked 31st in total offense the past two years and influenced the risk-taking attitude necessary along a season that featured 13 one-score games.
The Giants' reimagined rushing attack was the catalyst to New York's 7-2 start to the season, and it prompted the career resurgence of star running back Saquon Barkley. The 2018 second-overall pick posted a career-high 1,312 rushing yards in 2022 while scoring 10 touchdowns and adding 338 receiving yards off 57 receptions. The 25-year-old earned his first Pro Bowl since his AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year season in 2018.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones finished with career-high numbers in passing yards (3,205), completions (317) and completion percentage (67.2) while totaling a career-low five interceptions in his first year under Daboll. The fourth-year starter did it all with a hodgepodge of late-round picks at wide receiver and added a career-high 708 rushing yards (seven TDs), which ranked fifth in the league among quarterbacks.
New York finished with the league's fourth-best rushing offense with 148.2 rushing yards per game and averaged more than 20 points per game (21.5) for the first time in two seasons. With a 9-7-1 regular-season record, Daboll's Giants earned the franchise's first playoff berth in six years.
The sixth-seeded Giants went on the road to upset the Minnesota Vikings, 31-24, in the Wild Card Round, marking the franchise's first playoff win since Super Bowl XLVI. Daboll became the first Giants head coach to win his postseason debut since Reeves (1993) and was the only rookie head coach this season to earn his first playoff win.
Daboll's rookie season came to a humbling end in the Divisional Round where the Giants fell to the eventual NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, 38-7, but the 47-year-old coach has brought forth a newfound excitement in New York entering 2023.
With several key players set for free agency, Jones and Barkley included, Daboll's immediate culture shift makes for a compelling argument to keep core pieces together while the team is now prepared to add talent through free agency and the draft. New York can thank Daboll for expediting the process and the Giants' leading man was recognized for his efforts on Thursday.