By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants will be hosting the Arizona Cardinals this week hoping to stop a two-game losing streak. Based on the first 6 games stats, this game should be an offensive showdown as both defenses have struggled for the most part of the year.
The Giant’s defense showed a lot of heart against the Patriots and maybe they have turned the corner and will display a more consistent style of play. The Cardinals are 2-3-1 entering week 7, but are looking for their third straight win of the season and will feature Heisman Trophy winner and first overall pick in quarterback Kyler Murray.
Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones will look to rebound from a very difficult opponent in the Patriots and hopes to get back on track against a Cardinals defense that is ranked lower than the Giants at 30th in the league. If the Giants want to get their 3rd win on the year, here are my top 5 things they need to do:
- Balance Attack on Offense: The possible returns of running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram will certainly help, not sure how many touches Head Coach has planned for Barkley; however; the score of the game should indicate Barkley’s impact. The Giants need to find a way to have a balance attack on the run and through the air; especially against a Cardinals defense ranked 29th overall in points allowed and 30th overall in yards allowed.
- Turnovers: The Giants have been horrible in this category thus far posting a -7 ratio in just 6 games. In contrast, the Cardinals are at -1 over the same amount of games. This team needs to create more opportunities and that starts with the defense playing like they did for most of the Patriots game and also in the Washington Redskins game.
- 3rd Down Efficiency: The Giants have a 39% third-down efficiency rating over their first 6 games; which puts them in the bottom half of the league. The Cardinals are at 44% inefficiency that needs to change as the Giants can’t afford to lose this key matchup.
- Contain Murray: The rookie quarterback is an extremely dangerous offensive weapon to defend and the Giants must find a way to minimize big plays on the ground and through the air. Murray has the ability to extend the play with his feet, so it’s important they can limit his chances. Perhaps deploying someone to shadow Murray in the same fashion the Giants would have Lawrence Taylor shadowing Randall Cunningham during their games in the mid-80’s.
- Big Plays: This could be on either side of the ball as the Giants would benefit greatly if they can produce more big plays than the Cardinals. Last week, they managed a few big plays defensively, but not as much on the offensive side of the ball. A mixture of both (offense & defense) would ensure a better chance of winning.
Final Thoughts: The Cardinals offense can generate yardage as they collected 514 yards in their win against Cincinnati and 442 yards against Atlanta, so the Giants defense will be asked to bend, but not break against a team that will feature a wide variety of short passes to allow their receivers to gain yardage after the catch. The Giants must be better in open field tackles against this offense. The Giants are 1-2 at home and the Cardinals are 1-1 on the road.
The Cardinals have won the last two meetings between these two teams. This should be a fun game to watch as both teams should be able to move the ball effectively against the other team’s defenses. The battle between rookie quarterbacks Jones and Murray will also be fun to watch as well. In the end, it’s hard for me to believe that the Giants will let this game slip away from them at home and I’m convinced that the defense will be ready to play and make a couple of big stops. It won’t be easy, but the Giants find away in the end with a game-winning field goal.
Final Score: Giants-27/Cardinals-24