Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
I knew the Giants would be bad this year but in my wildest dreams I didn’t think they were going to this bad. Vegas has them at 6 wins and I said in my Preseason Manifesto that at worst they were a 5-win team and at best a 7-win team. Gettleman, Shurmur, Shula, and Bettcher have managed 2 wins with prospects for only 3 wins based on the current evidence. Even if they get 4 wins it is 12-36 for the past 3 years for one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Let’s look at the Chicago/Detroit game on Thanksgiving. With 24 hours’ notice David Blough as a third string quarterback was called to start vs the Bears 5th ranked defense. The Giants the week before struggled to score points vs this same defense. Daniel Jones who already has started has started 9 games only completed 22 of 36 passes for only 150 yards for a pathetic 4.2 YPA (yards per attempt)! Jones also had his 10th fumble (0 interceptions this game). Blough in his first NFL start ever threw for 280 on 38 attempts with 22 completed passes. He had 2 touchdowns and had 1 interception which came at the end of the game as a desperation heave with 29 seconds left. His YPA was a very strong 7.4. The only possible explanation is that Shurmur, who is purported to be a quarterback guru, did not have a game plan to handle the Chicago defense. The Lions had schemes to give Blough time to throw knowing that he had never started a game before. John Mara who has always been too patient in letting people go but may have choice after this year’s debacle!
Looking at this week’s game, the Packers come to MetLife Stadium after getting annihilated by 29 points at the hands of the 49ers in San Francisco. Rodgers had his worse game in a while with only 104 passing yards, 1 touchdown and a super low 3.2 YPA! Not to worry Packers fans, you have the best medicine for getting back on track this week, and it is called the New York Giants get well defense. They are 27th overall giving up 378 yards a game. They are also 27th vs the pass giving up 260 yards/game.
When the Packers have the ball, they will be looking to mix in the run game to get what they really want to do and that is take advantage of the Giants defense on crossing plays. Look for a big game for Davante Adams, who should go over 100 yards and get at least 1 touchdown. The other Packers receivers will feast including Allison, Lazard and Marquez-Valdes Scantling (I call him the law firm because of his name). Rodgers will be looking for Giants DB Corey Ballentine. He made a previously struggling Trubisky look like Dan Marino last week. He was toasted for 3 big plays on one drive but got burnt on at least 6 large gains. When the Packers have a comfortable lead, they will salt away the game using Jones and Williams at running back. Jones has been the worker bee for this offense. However last week Williams had just 3 less snaps, 41 to 38. Also, Williams had 5 more touches, 18 to 13 and ran 4 more pass routes, 22 to 18. So, the Packers may be transitioning to using him more. In the past he was mainly the 3rd down back. The Packers tight ends have been less of as factor this year. Graham has not done much and has been a shadow of his glory years with the Saints. Look out! He should have a big day because the Giants defense cannot cover opposing teams tight ends.
For the Giants to win, they have to establish the run. Barkley has been MIA the past few weeks. If he gets bottled up, the Giants have to use screen passes to get him in space. Dopey Shurmur does not use screens or flares. So I hope he wakes up and finds ways to get Barkley in space. The Packers give up 6.73 yards on first down! They give up 4.8 yards a carry. If the Giants can stay in 2nd and 3rd down and short yardage, they have a chance. The story all year is that they have been in 3rd and long, inviting the pass rush on Jones. Jones has been sacked 33 times already. The Packers have 2 very good outside linebackers. Preston Smith has 10.5 sacks and Za’Darius Smith has 10. These boys would love to turnover Jones. Blake Martinez roams the middle of the field and is 3rd in tackles with 108. The Giants are tied with the Falcons for 30th in turnover ratio at -11. Daniel Jones has 10 of the 15 fumbles lost and 8 interceptions. The only 2 teams worse are the Bengals at -12 and the Dolphins are -14.
In the passing game. Tate is out this week. So, Shepard, who came back from his concussion last week, will have to be the lead receiver. He was out since week 5. Both Engram and Ellison are out again this week. This is a big blow. Engram is starting to be a perennial injury prone player. He missed 5 games last year, and has already missed 5 out of 13 games so far this year. Tight end Kaden Smith did grab 5 passes last week but only made 17 yards. He did get a touchdown. The other tight end Scott Simonsen only had 1 catch for 10 yards so they are taking a big hit without Engram and Ellison. This is a big opportunity for Darius Slayton, the rookie 2019 5th round pick. He had a big game vs the bad Detroit pass defense with 2 long touchdowns when Shepard was out. He becomes the X receiver and I think he can do well with at least 70 yards.
In another note, long time long snapper, Zak DeOssie, was placed on IR. He was about to play his 200th game with the Gmen. He was a 13-year veteran. He was a 4th round draft choice in 2007. He was on both SB42 and SB46 winning teams. He along with Eli Manning are the only 2 players left from the Superbowl 42 winning team. Snaps on punts and special teams could be an issue especially since snow and rain are expected during game time. The Giants signed Colin Holba off their practice squad to replace him. He has played in 10 regular season and 3 postseason games with San Francisco and Jacksonville. Holba was a 6th round pick in the 2017 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. They waived him prior to that season.
So here comes the prediction.
I don’t know why the line in this game is only Green Bay by 6.5. It should be 10-13 points. This game smells. An 8-3-win team vs a 2-9-win team? They are begging you to take Green Bay. The Giants have not played well at home the past few years. They are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven at home. The Giants have given up 27 points or more in 9 of their 12 games. The Giants average giving up 28 points a game for the 12 games so far. I was going to call this game Packers 35 and the Giants 17 but because of the weather I’ll tone it down to Packers 31-17. The winds are not supposed to be bad predicted to 9 mph so both quarterbacks should be able to complete enough passes. The heat on Shurmur will continue to mount as they lose more games. He will be 2-10 Sunday and 7-21 since he came here. He is dead man walking!