Written by: Tony Yantosca “Tony the Prophet”
To talk about the Giants in 2017, let’s go back to April and the draft. Every year I’m like an eight year old on Christmas Eve who’s up at 3am. I can’t wait to see what Santa left. Every year I forget that the Giants have the Grinch, Jerry “Reach” Reese, who should have been fired five years ago. Every year, Jerry is going to tear the heart out of your chest while it is still beating like the Mayans. Then, to make sure you are dead, he tosses it in a blast furnace!
Everybody on the planet knew that the Giants needed a tight end like oxygen. As the first round unfolded, OJ Howard, a transcendent talent and best since Gronk who has been on the biggest stage at Alabama, is dropping out of the top 10, where he was projected to go. I predict after his first year and dealing with sharing time with Brate, he will be a perennial Pro Bowl player. If Jerry was a real GM, he would have been calling teams offering his 3rd round pick and their first at spot 23 to jump to pick 16-18 to get Howard. According to the point chart, the third–round pick is fair. But no, Jerry picks Evan Engram. I have no problem with him. He is a good talent. He runs a 4.42/40. However he is a glorified receiver, not a real multi-faceted TE like Howard who can do it all.
I went crazy when he picked QB Webb with the third pick (go back and check my tweets!) Eli has played 199 consecutive games. Webb won’t see the field until year four. You have Geno for a backup, why waste the pick? They can grab one next year. I would have preferred they pick Peterman if they wanted a QB. He was taken at pick 152 in the fifth round of the draft by the Bills. He will probably be starting by Halloween. Jerry doesn’t know about value. I still think the heir to Eli could have been drafted next year.
After leaving the team devoid of talent for three years, Jerry finally broke out the check book (after Coughlin was fired for having inferior personnel) and fixed a historically bad defense. They are just missing a few pieces this year, a running game and functional offensive line. Jerry ignored that and left this as a nine or 10-win team that is going nowhere this year, at best a first-round playoff loss again.
What have we learned about Jerry “Reach” after all these years?
He does not believe in the offensive line. He continues to ignore this position. The Giants always have at least three offensive linemen who will miss four to six games a year. But there is no depth. I’m glad he picked up Fluker, but they are not using him. I would replace Jerry with him or put him at left tackle to replace the bust, Flowers. Jerry is going to leave him at LT to prove he is right. The failure of this unit will keep the team from achieving any greatness this year. Look at the playoff teams last year. 90% had a top rated OL. Tennessee will make the playoffs this year with a top-three OL.
He does not believe in the tight end position. We have not had a real tight end since Shockey. Engram is a wide receiver not a tight end. Nobody runs more three-wide sets in the NFL than McAdoo. It was 96% of the plays last year. So when you play the Giants, run two high safeties and keep everything underneath. The defense is only wrong 4% of the time on their call. That worked great last year as the Giants struggled to score 20 points a game. McAdoo is TOO PREDICTABLE! HELLO!
Jerry does not believe in running backs! He has a menagerie of backs. Perkins is a fifth-round pick who is really more suited for a third-down back. Darkwa is a good journeyman and the only back they can use in short yardage. Vereen was one of the best third-down pass-receiving backs in the NFL. But after two years, Ben has not figured out how to use him yet off his Super Bowl 49 record-breaking performance. Jerry drafted Gallman in the fourth round, and he may have some promise, but he is on the learning curve. The Giants have been at the bottom of the rushing statistics since 2011 in yards per game, yards per carry and any metric you want to look at. But Jerry “Reach” is not worried. The Giants will get their anemic 80 yards a game. How do you control the game and keep the rush off Eli? You don’t, Jerry.
And lastly, Jerry does not believe in linebackers. I understand that 65% of the time, you use sub packages. How great would this defense be if they had a Lee, Kuechly, T. Smith, Bowman, Ogletree, Mosley, Shazier, or David and I could go on and name 15 more? But who do the Giants have? They have just JAGS (just a guy) stiffs. BJ Goodson is at Mike Linebacker? Are you kidding me? Casillas is the best of the bunch. I gave up on Jerry ever addressing this position years ago!!!
Now getting to the game, it is the classic matchup of what we have seen from these teams. I believe it has been four of the last five years they have opened in Dallas. I will have to Google it to be sure. It is the Giants passing game versus Dallas’ weak secondary that suffered three major losses during the off season. It is arguably the best quartet of pass receivers (including Engram) in Giants history. Also, it is the Dallas running game with Elliot versus the Giants defense.
The Giants should be looking to throw. If Beckham can dress, it will help immensely as he draws double coverage. I would use him for a decoy if he is at least 50%+ and is playing. If Eli has time, he should be able to pick Dallas apart. I am looking for Marshall to be a factor. Shepard can do well from the slot.
When Dallas has the ball, they will be looking to run Elliott behind a top-five OL. It was the best, but they had two defections of starters. Elliott will get 100 yards even against this strong Giants run D. He’s just an elite talent, and he had slightly over 100 yards in both games last year. I look for Dak to throw to other options than Dez and Beasley out of the slot. He did well in the two games last year with 12 receptions. Jenoris Jenkins took Dez totally out of the two games last year. Dez only had two catches for 18 yards in those games. Of course, you will have Witten, the Giant killer, feasting over the middle as he does every game against the Giants. The Giants have done nothing to fix the soft spot of the defense over the middle where every opposing tight end does well. He only needs two catches to surpass Michael Irving as the all-time Cowboys reception leader. Witten had 13 receptions against the Giants last year.
This game will be close. Both games last year were decided by an average of two points. Giants were 8-3 in games decided by seven points or less. I can’t trust the Giants O line yet and did not see evidence to the contrary in the preseason. I see this in the 20-17, 23-20 range in favor of the Cowboys. The Giants can win if they don’t turn the ball over and Eli can light up the Dallas secondary. I have to give Jerry kudos for finding Rosas. He looks to be the next Gostkowski or Tucker. Because the Giants have been stalling in the red zone, I’ll call it a three field goal day for Rosas, but the Giants lose 20-16 in this one. I hope I am wrong about this game and for the season. I am calling 9-10 wins for the Giants this year. They can get more if Spags’ defense carries them.