Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Giants played one of the worst teams in the league, the Washington Redskins. Along with Miami and Cincinnati, they are at the bottom of the league. This game was over early in the second quarter. It is certainly a feel good game for the Giants and Daniel Jones. They dominated the time of possession 36:09 to 23:51. However, it was a sloppy game and a better opponent could have easily put the Giants away in this one. Both Gallman and Hilliman fumbled. Hilliman fumbled inside the 5 yard line. Jones also threw 2 picks. The Giants were up 14-0 within the first 18 minutes of the game.
Gallman had a respectable day in replacing Barkley. He had 2 touchdowns, one rushing and 1 receiving. However his YPC average of 3.3 is not great. He did combine for 118 yards rushing and receiving. Jones had an average day. He completed 23 of 31 for 225 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He did not have many deeps throws and the Giants receivers were able to take short passes and turn them into 15-20+ yard plays. I counted 145 yards on 7 such plays. When Jones threw deeper he was picked twice once at 24 yards and again at 23 yards. We will have to see if this is a trend.
The Redskins were just inept at offense just generating 176 total yards. When Keenum threw his first pick they had no patience based on his previous 3 pick performance vs the Bears. They yanked him in favor of Haskins. Haskins only played 14 games at Ohio State and he certainly is not ready for prime time. Haskins said at the draft that he would make the Giants pay for not drafting him. I don’t think so! He made this Giants defense look like the 1986 version. He also made Jenkins, who I have been critical of in the past, look like Revis Island. He had 2 picks and caused a third deflecting a pass that Connolly intercepted. Jenkins will be tested for many weeks to come vs some of the best receivers in the league. Haskins threw 3 more interceptions for a total of 4 for the team cementing the Giants victory.
The Redskins only had 8 first downs and a third down conversion percentage of 18%. Giants’ rookie linebacker Connolly hurt his knee and had to leave the game. This is a big loss given that he has played so well. However, David Mayo, a 2015 Gettleman Carolina draft pick, played well in his absence with 8 tackles, 5 solos and 1 tackle for loss. I have not been happy with Gettleman but I admit this is a good pick up.
So turning to this week and the Minnesota Vikings, the Giants start the Gauntlet portion of their schedule playing the entire NFC North, the Patriots, Cowboys and Eagles twice. That’s 8 games that they will probably lose. Best case is that they win 2 of these.
The Vikings come into this game with internal strife. Thielen called out Cousins for not getting him the ball. Diggs missed a practice and told the team he wanted to be traded. In week 1 Cousins only had 10 pass attempts. Along come the Giants for the get well solution. The Giants are 25th vs the pass giving up 280 yards/game. They were 31st until they played Washington with their anemic offense. Minnesota does play better at home so this is an edge for the Giants. Cousins has not played well vs the Giants when he was at Washington. In 8 games, he is 3-5, and 1-3 at Met Life and he had only 8 touchdowns vs 14 interceptions.
I think the Vikings come into this game running Cook early. Then they will transition to the pass. Cousins will throw more in this game more than he has because that is the way to beat the Giants. Jenkins gets a real test this week and the young secondary will be under more pressure also to cover. Cousins was sacked 6 times last week and he fumbled twice and lost one. That is the way the Giants can win. They must get pressure on him. The Vikings will be looking to run Cook. He is the number 2 running back in the NFL with 410 yards. That’s even after only having 35 yards last week vs the Bears. We know they have one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league and this is the week for them to utilize them. With Olgetree and Connolly out, the tight ends, Rudolph and Smith could have a bigger role than they have had all year. Both have not been much of a factor this year.
When the Giants the ball, they will want to run Gallman and throw him short passes. They have to gain decent yards on first and second down. Jones cannot invite the Vikings pass rush by always being in 2nd and 3rd and long. He has been prone to turnovers in his short career so far. It is easier to throw vs the Vikings than run the ball. They are 4th in DVOA run defense but 16th DVOA in pass defense. Gallman running the ball is to keep them honest. If the Giants are to win, they need a strong pass game without Jones interceptions. Tate returns this week after his suspension which should be a big plus. The Giants let Bennie Fowler go because Tate came back. He was not bad as the 4th receiver but he is gone now. It will be interesting to see who is in the slot. Both he and Sheppard are slot receivers. Whoever plays on the outside will probably be less effective. I would think they would rotate them. Tate played poorly in Philadelphia last year when he was traded from the Lions because the Eagles already had Agohlor in the slot. Tate is the best yard after the catch receiver in the NFL over the past 5 years with 4800 yards of YAC.
If the Giants can win on Sunday it will be the first time they have been over .500 since week 17 of 2016! Minnesota has only given up 16/points a game so far. The Giants are the only team in the NFL to score on all 4 of their opening drives. They have 3 TD’s and a FG for 24 points. It shows that both QB’s can follow the scripted plays. I can see either team with a defensive touchdown. Minnesota is the better team and their controversy has creadted some urgency for them to right the ship. Here come the Giants as the perfect patsy. I am calling this game, Vikings 27 and the Giants 17.