After starting off the season relatively slowly, he picked up his play towards the end of the year.
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) January 5, 2023
His most notable game came against the Washington Commanders, where he single-handedly carried the defense in front of a national audience.
In the game, Thibodeaux totaled 12 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble which he recovered for a touchdown.
This was his breakout game, as fans of the Giants recognized just how good Thibodeaux can be.
With the regular season over, we can now reflect on some postseason awards.
Thibodeaux should be a legitimate contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year (DROTY).
However, it is a highly contested award this season.
A number of defensive rookies had stellar years, worthy in their own way of the award.
The New York Jets’ Sauce Gardner appears to be the consensus DROTY, as the rookie cornerback posted gaudy numbers.
According to Pro Football Focus’ rankings, Gardner was the top rated cornerback in the NFL.
He was the focal point of a Jets defense that had a significant turnaround this season, and he will likely earn the award because of this.
Aidan Hutchinson will also receive worthy consideration, having led rookies in sacks (9.5) and tallying three interceptions.
Still, Thibodeaux doesn’t fall too far behind even with all of these worthy candidates.
— Fireside Giants (@FiresideGiants) January 3, 2023
While his slow start to the season will hurt his chances, it can be argued that he was one of the best defensive rookies over the Giants’ last five games.
Thibodeaux may not win the award this season, but he will look to be a cornerstone of the Giants defense for a long time.