Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Prophet had last week’s game called right almost to the exact score. I had predicted the Bills game to be in favor of the Bills 27-16. The actual score was 28-14. The Giants could not do what I said was one key to the game. They did not keep Allen in the pocket and he did run for a touchdown also. The Bills did not torch the defense like Dallas did. However they did not have to when they mounted 21 unanswered points by halftime after the Giants scored on the opening drive. That drive was all rushing and all Barkley. He had over 100 yards rushing in the game but it does not matter when the rest of the team is a mess. The Giants are 5-13 with Barkley. The Bills shortened the contest with the run game amounting to 151 yards and almost 33 minutes of time of possession. Over 9 minutes of that came in the 4th quarter where they salted the game away. Giant’s defense did give up a 51 pass play to Beasley in the second quarter on a scoring drive. They were not blameless in the loss.
The Giants were in catch up mode from the second quarter on. Eli had more attempts than you would like at 45 but that was only for 250 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. One pick was right to the Poyer on a long throw and there was not a Giant within 5 yards. The Giants have a pathetic 21.7% 3rd down conversion percentage this year. The picks and the 5.6 YPA sealed Eli’s fate to the bench.
Other notes from the game include, a personal foul on a Lawrence for a blow to the head to the center on the field goal attempt. This play took a 21 yard field goal off the board and gave the Bills an easy one yard touchdown, giving them 4 more points. The automatic Rosas missed a 48 yard field goal. He has been automatic inside 55 yards. The Giants did generate their first 3 sacks of the year.
Well the day that The Prophet has been waiting for since April 25th! It is the debut of Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones. I didn’t think it would come this early in the year. This is the battle for credibility and gravitas for The Prophet vs Mara and Gettleman to see who is right on Danny Dimes!!!! He got that name in the OTA’s, where the Giants’ propaganda machine was saying he was “dropping dimes” vs air. They wanted some positive spin after Giants Nation was mortified that they would take Jones as high as the 6th pick.
I will admit to everyone, if Jones turns out to be “The Messiah”, that I was dead wrong!. I want to see him the crucible of the regular season where there is an actual game plan and REAL NFL players on the field not the players destined to be cut and go back to being FedEx drivers and waiters. Jones gets a test this week, but I can’t wait to see him against 6 top defenses in 7 games still left on the schedule. If he does well and can win games after that gauntlet, then maybe he can be the real deal for the Giants. The Giants still have to play the Eagles twice, the Vikings, the Bears, the Packers, the Cowboys and the Patriots. I can wait to see the exotic schemes Belichick with have for “Danny Dimes” with amoeba coverage, disguised schemes and zero coverage. Jones will get the PhD course from The Master.
Looking at this week’s game, this is not your father’s weak Tampa Bay defense. They are 8th in the league just giving up 304 yards/game. Their game plan is to stop Barkley and force Jones to throw in his first start. The Tampa Bay defensive coordinator, Bowles, likes to blitz. They blitz 50% of the time and 60% of the time on 3rd down. They will be looking to welcome Jones to the NFL with blitz packages. Shaq Barrett had 3 sacks last week. The blitzes further helps their goal to limit Barkley because on many plays he will have to stay in and block. They held the great McCaffrey to just 37 yards last week and they will be looking to do the same to Barkley. I know too well as I have him on one of my fantasy teams. I lost because he only got me 6 points. They want to force Jones to throw.
When the Giants have the ball, they will want to run and throw short passes to Barkley to keep the heat off Jones. Unlike Eli, Jones has some mobility and the Bucs will be looking to keep him in the pocket. The Giants get back Shepard out of concussion protocol but lose Latimer. Jones may have to be throwing to his preseason pals, because Sheppard, Tate and Engram sat out most of the preseason if the regulars are covered. For the Giants to win, Jones will have to complete a good number of passes to the wide outs and Engram, so that it will force Tampa to lighten up the box vs Barkley. Jones will show rookie nerves in his debut, and I am predicting at least 1 interception and 1 lost fumble. Jones has 4 fumbles (3 preseason) in all his games, including one in week 1.
When Tampa Bay has the ball, Winston will be smacking his lips for a chance to throw against the Giants, “make you great”, defense. It would not surprise me if he has over 300 yards. If he throws that much, the Giants will have to force him into interceptions of which we all know he is prone to throw. Mike Evans, who has had a poor start by his standards, will get well even against Jenkins. If Jenkins does a good job against him, this year’s break out receiver, Godwin, will have at least 100 yards and a TD. 80% of the target go to these 2 wide outs. Ariens stupidly does not believe in the TE. They have OJ Howard and he has been using him to block?! You have a Mercedes in OJ and he should be using him downfield. I can’t believe they paid the other TE, Brate, $41 M after they drafted OJ. It makes no sense and reminds me of a Jerry “Reach” move.
The temperature on Sunday will be 90 degrees and gives an advantage to the home team since the visitors are not used to it. I think Danny Dimes is more mobile but in his first real game, I think he will struggle against the defense especially if they take Barkley out of the game. The Giants defense will have to play better or it will be an easy day for the Bucs. I see a game the Bucs have under control unless Winston turns the ball over. The Giants get a late score to make it look better, but I am calling this one Tampa Bay 27 Giants 20.