Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
Well to paraphrase Dennis Green, “Daniel Jones is who we thought he was”. Yes Gettleman’s early reach, who had a perfect storm in his first game and an easy encounter with one of the “on the clock” teams, the Redskins, in his second is in the deep end of the pool now. Yes he starts the gauntlet of 8 teams where they probably will not be favored in one contest. The Giants may very well lose all those games.
Granted, Jones is still on the NFL learning curve. However pre-career predictions of a floor of Case Keenum and a celling of Alex Smith are coming true. We also start this week to see who Sam Darnold is. He had a bad supporting cast last year. He has a better cast this year and I think he is one year away from being very good as they get the rest of the team put around him. I as stated before would have drafted him or waited until 2020. Also the Giants are one of the “on the clock teams this year. They will be fighting the Dolphins, Redskins, Jets, Bengals, Broncos and Steelers for one of the top 5 draft picks. They definitely could have gotten one of the top 4 QB’s, with Tua going to the first pick. Let’s be real, they should be 1-4 as Bucs’ kicker Gay missed a 34 yard FG that would have given them the victory.
Getting to last week’s game, the Vikings found a get healthy patsy in the Giants. All their woes of disgruntled top wide receivers and an underperforming quarterback that is making $90M guaranteed who looked like he was not worth 9 cents, made a miraculous recovery. The Vikings found 517 yards of offense (306 passing, 211 rushing) vs Bettcher’s no adjustment defense. Cousins threw for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns. He completed 81% of his passes and was very efficient completing 22 of 27 for a whopping 11.3 YPA! Cook showed why he is a top 3 back this year rushing for 132 yards with a 6.3 yards/carry. He also had 86 yards on 6 targets and 6 receptions. He did fumble and lost the ball inside the Giants 5 that would have made the score even higher. However right after that Hilliman was tackled in the end zone for a safety. Thielen who had 6 yards on 2 receptions the week before had 7 receptions on 8 targets for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Giants only had 242 yards of offense. Wayne Gallman got hurt early in the game and they could not muster any run game against this very good defense. They had only 64 rush yards and no one rusher had more than 20 yards. Jones only threw for 182 yards on 38 attempts, with a very low 4.8 YPA. He overthrew a wide open Sheppard on a bomb for a long touchdown. Jones was sacked 4 times. He had one touchdown to Slayton, and he did throw one pick. Darius Slayton looks to be breaking out as a viable #3 receiver. He had a nice 35 yard TD. This is a good 5th round pick by Gettleman. The long awaited return of Tate from his 4 game suspension was underwhelming as he only had 13 yards on 3 receptions.
So turning to the Thursday night game, it looks like the Giants will be playing without Barkley, Shepard, and Engram. Engram may be the only one who may be in the game. The results will be devastating. It’s bad enough that they are playing on a short week on the road. The Giants game plan is to run the ball and throw quick short passes. Hopefully they can mount some longer drives. If they get into 3rd and long Belichick will have a field day with Jones who will see some disguised looks that he has never seen. Bill uses 0 coverage and amoeba defenses in his bag of tricks that have one end in mind, turnovers. Jones will need some time to take some deep shots to Slayton and Tate. It is the only way they can keep the defense from crowding the box and daring Jones to throw down the field.
When the Patriots have the ball, Brady will ultimately take some deep shots to Gordon against this bottom ranked get well Gmen Bettcher defense. They will run some early to set up the play action. Michel should be able to repeat his nearly 100 yard performance and a touchdown vs the Gmen. Edelman should have a field day over the middle. He should have 8-10 catches. Once the Pats have a comfortable lead Belichick takes the air out of the ball in the 4th quarter. They put together long drives to eat up the clock and bring the end as soon as possible.
That’s why in most of these Patriots big spread prohibitive favorite games, the score usually goes under. I am heading to Vegas for a business trip from Wednesday to Monday. I was more interested in betting the under, but it has fallen from 43.5 to 41. Smart followers of the NFL know what I just outlined above to be true. I still like it but if the Giants can muster 7-10 points that 41 will be over. I hope there is some more action the other way on the under by game time.
In the final analysis when you weight the Giants’ injuries, the short week, the Patriots tremendous home field advantage where Brady and Belichick never lose, the Giants have 2 chances, none and none. Jones get his Master’s program training early in his career. Bill never loses to rookie QB’s in their first matchup. Also consider that the Patriots give up only 6.75 points a game through the first five games. They have not allowed a passing TD yet and they have only allowed 2 rushing TD’s. The Giants are walking into a buzz saw. I am comfortable giving up the 16.5 or 17 points. I am calling this game Patriots 34 and the Giants 0. 5 TD’s for the Patriots with 1 missed extra point as Nugent is kicking, and they have missed some all year. The Giants could score on some type of freak play as happened to the Patriots in the Jets game but other than that I don’t think the Giants can score otherwise on Thursday.