By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The Giants are riding a nine game losing streak and are now 2-11 and will host the Miami Dolphins who are only a game behind them at 3-10. Both teams have played badly this season, so at least one of these teams will start a winning streak after Sunday. The Dolphins have been playing a little better in recent games and we should see a competitive game between these two teams. It’s not official, but all indication has Eli Manning starting against the Dolphins as Head Coach Pat Shurmur doesn’t want to rush the rookie quarterback. Both teams rank near the bottom of the league in both offensive and defensive categories. Also, both teams have the worst point differentials in the 1st quarter with the Giants at -61 and the Dolphins at -54. Here are the top 5 ways the Giants can win:
- Turnover Ratio: Giants and Dolphins are both -14 in the turnover ratio, so we could see a sloppy game in that regards. A majority of those turnovers were from Daniel Jones (interceptions/fumbles), so maybe the Giants can minimize the damage if Manning gets the start like he did against the Eagles.
- Giants Secondary-vs-Dolphins offense: The Giants inept defense this season has been well documented, however; the Dolphins offense has been equally horrible with the exception of scoring 37 points in a win against the Eagles a few weeks back. Giants need their defense to make some big plays and capitalize on them. The Dolphins running game is non-existing (67.3 per game) and ranks last in the league. Forcing the Dolphins to run more by implementing more secondary coverage in the early downs could do the trick.
- Giants Pass Rush-vs-Ryan Fitzpatrick: The Dolphins have been even worse than the Giants in protecting their quarterbacks this year with 51 sacks allowed; which equates to nearly four per game. The Giants only have 29 sacks this season, but if DC James Bettchers can be a little creative and devise some blitzes packages that could confuse the Dolphins, perhaps we could see the Giants collect 4 or more sacks in this game.
- Giants running game-vs-Dolphins Defensive Front 7: The Giants currently ranked 26th in the league in rushing (93.8 per game), although Saquon Barkley has shown a little improvement over the last few games and perhaps could breakout against the Dolphins who are ranked 30th by surrendering 141.1 yards per game. If so, it would make the rest of the Giants offensive game plan a lot easier to execute.
- 3rd Down Conversion: Both the Giants and Dolphins rank near the bottom in this category with the Giants converting 35.67% (21st) and the Dolphins at 34.34% (24th). It could be safe to say that the team that can convert the best on 3rd down has a very good chance to win this game.
Final Thoughts: The weather forecast for the game this coming Sunday is calling for 10% of rain with winds roughly 15 mph. Temperatures should be in the mid 40’s. The wind could be a factor as Metlife stadium winds are usually a little higher than what the winds are outside of the stadium, so we could see a couple of bad throws resulting in interceptions. The Giants need the defense to shine here or the Giants will lose their tenth straight game. Again, I see a very competitive game that will also feature multiple turnovers and sloppy play on both sides throughout the game. The Giants have only put together a solid game from start to finish just once (24-3 over Washington), so I don’t expect them to do it against the Dolphins. I project teams will make big plays offensively and both teams will move the ball successfully. However; the team that can make the big play on defense could walk away with a win.
Final Score: Dolphins-24/Giants-21