By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants extended their losing streak to five games with a loss to the Dallas Cowboys 37-18. At 2-7, the Giants will now be playing for the top 3 spots in the 2020 draft; as their next opponent the New York Jets will also be playing for the same reason. So the battle for New York dominance; which will be played in New Jersey will take on an entirely different meaning. The Giants and Jets feature two young quarterbacks who are looked upon to be the franchise quarterback for the next decade. Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold have a ton of talent, but have struggled most of the time this season. For Jones, the main problem has been securing the ball in the pocket as he has fumbled eight times already this season to go along with his 8 interceptions. Sam Darnold has been victimized by the interception bug (9) is just five games (missed three games due to mononucleosis). Here are my top 5 ways for the Giants to win.
- Turnover Ratio: Both teams have been horrible in this category and I expect each team to turnover it over at least a couple of times in this game. The difference here is that the Giants must capitalize on the turnovers as it would be beneficial to score a defensive touchdown if possible or give the Giants offense excellent field position as both offensives have struggled.
- Ball Control/Time of Possession: Makes sense for each team to keep their respective defenses off the field as much as possible. The Jets are averaging nearly five less minutes on offense their opponents this season (27.38 to 32.21) and the Giants are equally as bad with a 28.43 to 31.16; nearly three minutes less.
- 3rd Down Efficiency: The Giants are nearly at 40% in 3rd down efficiency as the Cowboys are leading the NFL at 51.9%. However; defensively the Cowboys are only allowing about a 25% conversion on 3rd down to the Giants 42.6%. The Giants must limit the Cowboys on 3rd down conversions and the best way to do that is to minimize their yardage on downs 1 and 2. If the Giants can somehow put the Cowboys in more 3rd and long situations; their chances of stopping them goes up. This will not be easy, but they need to find a way.
- Pressuring the Quarterback: The Giants currently have 22 sacks on the year (led by Markus Golden with 5.5); which averages to about 2.4 sacks per game. The Jets have only 13 sacks (1.5 per game) thus far and have surrendered 37 sacks compared to the Giants 30 on the year.
- Red Zone: The Giants are averaging 48.28 in red zone efficiency, but are nearly 33.33% over the last three games. The Jets have fared much better with a ratio of 65.38% and 66.67% over the three games. Giants must win or match this category with the Jets or they could find themselves on the losing end.
Final Thoughts: This game will be for positioning in the top 5 of the upcoming 2020 NFL draft. The Giants are 2-8 and the Jets are 1-7. At the time of this article the Jets sit at #3 and the Giants at #6 on the draft board. The Jets will still need to play Miami, Washington; who are currently in the top 5. The Giants will also have Miami and Washington as well left on their schedule after this week. So the winner of this game will have a clear advantage of overtaking the other in the draft and possibly aligning themselves up to have a possible top 3 pick. Despite both teams not playing for 2019 and a chance for a playoff spot, this game will be intense and with bragging rights being the main topic; expect both teams to be ready to play. I expect to see both Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold have good games statistically as both defenses should be non-factors. This is a tough call on who will come out ahead in the end as both teams have been inconsistent for the most part of the season and it’s hard to tell which team will have an edge. I think this game will go down to the wire and perhaps decided on the final play; at least that’s what I’m hoping. Giants prevail on the late FG.
Final Score: Giants-27/Jets-24