By Michael Stewart@TheTruthNYG
The New York Giants suffered one of their worse losses in franchise history at the hands of the New York Jets 13-10 in overtime and are now sitting at 2-6. Now they must regroup and face the Las Vegas Raiders who are a mirror image of the Giants in many aspects. The Raiders fired 2nd year HC Josh McDaniels with the team sitting at 3-5 and three key cogs of their offense (Garoppolo, Jacobs and Adams) all under-performing. Quarterback Daniel Jones has been cleared and is expected to return this week which is a breath of fresh air after the performance from the quarterback position against the Jets. Here are my top 3 ways the Giants could win or lose this game against the Raiders.
Top 3 ways the Giants could win.
- Balance Attack: Saquan Barkley had over 30 carries for over 125 yards on the ground, which is the most, carries since his rookie season. The Giants will once again need to rely on Barkley to carry the load, perhaps not as many carries, but enough to move the chains and sustain drives. As for Jones, one of his attributes is his ability to be a dual threat. However, coming off a neck injury, don’t expect the Giants to have Jones run on designed plays. Expect Jones to run when all options are not available and avoid contact as much as possible. Jones will need to shake off the cobwebs and contribute mostly with his arm.
- Turnover/Takeaway: The Giants have a -2 in the turnover ratio department compared to the Raiders at -8. This is a big advantage for the Giants and one that they must exploit. Field position could be a vital commodity for each team, so whichever team that can create the most turnovers usually benefits from it with excellent field position.
- Defense Continues to Shine: The Giants defense continues to show vintage Giants football with their defense over the last 3 weeks by only allowing a total of 34 points during that stretch. Kayvon Thibodeaux had his best overall game as a Giant and I expect him to build off this and continue to showcase his dominance with another solid effort. Dexter Lawrence, Bobby Okereke and Micah McFadden have also been playing lights out. The Giants secondary which features two rookie standouts at cornerback in Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins continue to impress and will be asked to contain Devonte Adams.
Defense Continues to Shine: The Giants defense continues to show vintage Giants football with their defense over the last 3 weeks by only allowing a total of 34 points during that stretch. Kayvon Thibodeaux had his best overall game as a Giant, and I expect him to build off this and continue to showcase his dominance with another solid effort. Dexter Lawrence, Bobby Okereke and Micah McFadden have also been playing lights out. The Giants secondary which features two rookie standouts at cornerback in Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins continue to impress and will be asked to contain Devonte Adams.
Top 3 ways the Giants could lose.
- Offensive line Collapses: The Giants current offensive line has given the Giants offense a little hope with better than average blocking in both the pass and running game. If they can continue to give the Giants offense a little extra time in the passing game and a little more space in the running game, the Giants will keep the Raiders defense on its heels. Containing Max Crosby is essential as he is the Raiders most dangerous pass rusher.
- Red Zone Efficiency: Both teams have been miserable in this category all season sitting near the bottom of the league with a 33% ratio of efficiency. Whichever team that can capitalize better in the red zone will have a better chance of walking away with a win.
- Special Teams: The Giants special teams have been well under par over the last few seasons, but their only bright spot had been Graham Gano and his reliable right leg. Unfortunately, Gano is battling through a left knee injury that has been reported will need surgery after the season. Gano has been less than reliable this season with an 11-17 stat line with two missed FGS against the Jets that would have sealed a Giants win. Currently, there’s no update as to whether Gano will be placed on the IR or not at this point. So, expect to see him doing the kicking duties for the Giants on Sunday.
These two teams are very similar in terms of their respected stat line and also when you look at each team’s top 3 offensive weapons. The Raiders top 3 are Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Jacobs and Devante Adams versus the Giants top 3 of Daniel Jones, Saquan Barkley and Darren Waller. I believe these two teams will perform equally on the offensive side of the ball and it will depend on which defense will dominate the line of scrimmage and make the most impact. Based on each team’s recent performance, the Giants will have the edge and this game is there for them to win.