After last week’s terribly disturbing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants’ losing streak has now reached seven games. There is talk this could be the beginning of the end for head coach Tom Coughlin.
So here we are, with the Giants just playing out the rest of the season and trying not to watch it go down in flames—as if it hasn’t already. Coughlin’s teams hardly ever show quit, but the vibe around the Giants locker, given their recent woes and injuries, has to be disconcerting.
Here then, are four things to watch for.
After disparaging loss to Jaguars, how will team morale be?
While perhaps they haven’t quit, the Giants’ body language and look of general malaise seems to tell us that they just want to get this season done with as quickly as possible.
Nothing is clicking right now, aside from the play of Odell Beckham Jr., who has been one bright spot. But besides that, this team is just beaten up and beaten down. Whether it’s offense, defense or special teams, the team is just stuck in quicksand at the moment.
Given that the Titans are bad themselves (2-10), the Giants stand a good chance to win this affair. If the Giants can’t end their streak against the Jags or this week against the Titans, when can they?
After the Titans were picked apart by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, will Eli Manning follow up with another monster performance?
Considering Fitzpatrick and the Texans lit up the Titans last week to the tune of 358 passing yards and six touchdowns, Manning must be licking his chops hoping for a somewhat similar outing.
Sure, the chances of Manning having a day like Fitzpatrick had last week are remote, still, Manning would like to end his season on high note. For certain, he will look to attack a vulnerable Titans’ secondary, while continually trying to feed Beckham Jr.
The Titans have allowed on average 244 passing yards per game (18th in the NFL) while giving up 22 touchdowns (22nd in the NFL) through the air. So, there is a chance Manning can exploit this matchup.
Will Zach Mettenberger be able to start Sunday for the Titans?
Mettenberger is listed as questionable and if he doesn’t look good in warmups Sunday, Jake Locker would get the nod at quarterback. However, recent reports indicate Mettenberger will indeed start.
Whether it be Mettenberger or Locker, the Giants will still be going up an inconsistent and young quarterback. With the Titans sans deep threat Justin Hunter (who was recently placed on the IR), the playmakers at Mettenberger’s disposal just took a hit.
Simply put, whoever is quarterbacking the team, this is an air attack they have to stifle.
Can Giants stop Titans’ run game?
Given the troubles of the Titan’s run game, if the Giants can’t stop Tennessee from running amok, I’m afraid they won’t be able to slow anyone down.
Rookie Bishop Sankey is leading Tennessee in rushing with a paltry 474 yards while scoring only two touchdowns on the year. His YPC is a mediocre 3.9 and he has been a massive disappointment as a second-round pick in last year’s NFL draft. Other backs like Shonn Greene or Dexter McCluster are not all imposing either.
While they are bruised and beat up, if the Giants defense can contain the Titans’ feeble run attack, they have a good shot at coming away victors.