By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
The Giants travel to the sunny skies of Miami and face a Dolphins team that totally dominated a Carolina Panthers team 33-10. The Dolphins are currently 5-7 and are arguably the most disappointed team in 2021; after having a 10-win season in 2020. The Giants despite having a 4-7 record are still mathematically in the playoff hunt; but must string together wins to be considered a serious playoff contender. Here are my top 5 ways the Giants can get their 5th win of the season against Miami.
- Giants‘ Offense needs to wake up: The Giants made the switch from Garrett to Kitchens last week, but the results were the same as the Giants needed a dominated defense to bail them out as they only put up 13 points. The Giants can’t afford to duplicate this lack of offensive production against Miami, or it will be a very long afternoon and another loss.
- Giant’s defense needs to keep it up: It’s no secret that if the Giants are looking for a miracle this year and want to earn a playoff spot, then they need their defense to play like a top tier unit to give them a fighting chance down the stretch. Last week’s victory over the Eagles was a solid start as they held Philadelphia to their lowest scoring output of the season (7 points) after this team averaged 35 points per game over their last two.
- Jones-VS-Tagovailoa: Daniel Jones has an overall QB rating of 84.8 with 2,428 passing yards coming into this game and is on pace for slightly over 3800 for the season. Tua Tagovailoa has a much better production stat line at home than on the road with a 108.7 QB rating and is at 94.7 overall. If Jones plays, he could be limited as a runner with his neck injury, so Tagovailoa could have a slight edge as a dual threat in this game.
- Big Play Capabilities: The Giants offense has yet to show any consistency or life for that matter with their offensive production thus far but need big games out of their offensive playmakers like Kadarius Toney and Saquan Barkley, who have both been dormant since Toney’s break performance earlier in the season against the Cowboys with 10 receptions for 189 yards. The Dolphins in their win against the Panthers unleashed an offensive weapon in Jaylen Waddle who had his best game as a pro with a stat line of 9 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown.
- Missed Opportunities: This category will have three areas clumped into one with red zone efficiency, 3rd down conversions and turnover differential. The Giants are dead last in the red zone at 43.33%/3rd down conversion is 36.23% (26th) and their turnover differential is +5. The Dolphins are at 58.33% red zone efficiency/a 42.7% 3rd down conversion (10th) and a -1-turnover differential. The Dolphins have an advantage in two out of the three categories listed, so the Giants need to steal one of those categories over to their side to ensure a win on Sunday.
At the time of this article, quarterback Daniel Jones is projected to play on Sunday despite his neck injury (sprained), so my prediction will have a final score with Jones and without him. On paper, these two teams mirror each other in so many categories on the stats sheet. Giants need to come out of the gates fast and furious and establish an early lead. I see this matchup as being a close tug of war affair between these two teams and the team that commits the fewest mistakes should get the victory. The Dolphins are a solid team at home and riding a four-game winning streak as the Giants have struggled on the road and their offense continues to struggle. With or without Daniel Jones I see the Giants offense struggle to manufacture points; especially in the red zone and the Dolphins appear to have figured things out on both sides of the ball in last week’s win. Add all this up and it’s apparent the Giants will need to play a complete game to walk out of Miami with their 5th win; unfortunately, that could be asking a lot. Final Score with Daniel Jones playing: Dolphins 17/Giants-16. Without Daniel Jones playing: Dolphins-20/Giants-10