By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants will be hosting the Buffalo Bills after an embarrassing performance against the Dallas Cowboys 35-17. The Giants defensively did just about everything wrong in their season opener and their hoping they can make the right adjustments in time for game 2. Meanwhile; Bills manage to pull off a comeback victory against the New York Jets 17-16 after falling behind early. The Giants really need a win desperately and here are my top 5 ways to do it.
- Generate a pass rush: Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher at some point needs to be more creative and push the envelope a little more with his blitz packages. This could back fire on the Giants and leave their secondary more exposed, but right now the Giants literally have no pass rush the conventional way.
- Utilize Barkley more: Understandably; Head Coach Pat Shurmur minimized Saquon Barkley’s touches in game 1 despite his outstanding production. However; this week I expect the score to be a lot closer and for Barkley to see at least 20-25 touches. In order for Barkley to succeed, the Giants offensive line needs to continue their success in game 2.
- Use Two-Tight End Formations more: With wide receiver Sterling Shepard currently in concussion protocol and possibly unlikely to play on Sunday. It was be wise for the Giants to utilize a two tight end package to help with their game and also assist in their passing attack. Evan Engram had a solid game against the Cowboys and I expect the Buffalo Bills to be keying on him as well as Barkley. Implementing another tight end can ease the burden on Engram and give Manning another option if needed.
- Secondary needs to minimize mistakes: Each member of the Giants secondary was held accountable for their performance (or lack of) against Dallas. From poor coverage skills to missed tackles and miss assignments; you name it they did it. This needs to be corrected and quickly or Josh Allen might have a career game.
- Eli Manning needs a repeat performance: Manning silenced many of his critics for the moment with his performance against the Cowboys by going 30/44 with 306 yards and a touchdown. Although; he did checked down a number of times due to the Cowboys playing a cover 2 zone. Manning needs to stretch the field a little more and not just with his wide receivers. Utilizing his tight ends on seam routes would be a dangerous weapon; flashback to Mark Bavaro and Jeremy Shockey days for Big Blue.
Final Thoughts: Historically; the teams have played a total of 12 times head to head with both winning 6. However; the Giants have won the last 3 games with the most recent one being in 2015. Buffalo Bills are a much better team than they are being credited for and 2nd year quarterback Josh Allen looks to be the real deal. I think most of the Giants mistakes will be corrected and we should see a much better performance from both sides of the ball. This should be a close match and the team that comes out on top will need to minimize the less-amount of mistakes. A loss by the Giants will be more devastating for them than the Bills. Giants 1st home game of the season, should be enough to give the Giants the emotional edge; despite being deemed underdogs at home to the Bills. Look for the Giants to prevail: