New York Giants: 3 keys to beating the Arizona Cardinals

New York Giants, Lorenzo Carter
Oct 20, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs away from New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are entering week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals with a four-game winning steak under their belts, and while some fans are skeptical they can walk away with a victory, most are forgetting that Arizona is currently on a three-game losing streak. In fact, the Cardinals should be on a five-game losing streak, thanks to a miracle from DeAndre Hopkins against the Buffalo Bills with time expiring.

The Giants have a great chance at pulling out a victory against Arizona, with a revitalized defense and one of the best running-game sin the NFL over the past four weeks. However, it will come down to a few specific players to get the job down in a variety of categories.

The three keys for the New York Giants to beat the Arizona Cardinals:

1.) Establish the run

Arizona’s defense ranks 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game, and the Giants are coming off a performance where they plastered 190 yards on a top-5 run defense in Seattle. Running back Wayne Gallman has been a stud, earning 135 yards and 8.4 yards per carry last week in the Giants’ biggest win of the season.

By establishing the run, the Giants can capture time of possessions, keeping the defense off the field and well rested. That’s the key, keeping the defense rested since 4th quarter collapses occurred earlier this season as a direct result of fatigue and mental lapses. The Giants are a different team now, though, dominating in the trenches with an improved offensive line and a confident running back who’s focused on falling forward rather than running east-west.

The Cardinals’ weaknesses match up well with the Giants’ strengths in this category, making this a more comfortable opponent when compared to the Seahawks.

2.) Contain Kyler Murray

After conducting plenty of film review this week, one thing was clear, Patrick Graham confused Russell Wilson by using spies, twists, and stunts. He implemented one of the most genius defensive game-plans I’ve seen in years against a future Hall of Fame quarterback. Murray is very similar to Wilson, as both can run and are undersized, requiring passing lanes to throw the ball effectively.

However, Murray has only rushed for 61 yards total during their three-game losing streak and is carrying a shoulder injury on his throwing arm. The Giants have an advantage in this game, and I expect to see plenty of Carter Coughlin spying and A-gap blitzes, using the big bodies in the trenches to flush the guards/tackles outside of the tackle box.

Don’t expect to see Murray take any unnecessary hits against Big Blue, using his arm to get the job done. Good thing for the Giants, their secondary has been fantastic as of late.

3.) Special Teams gaffes are unacceptable

The New York Giants’ special teams unit has been a disaster the past few weeks, picking up two penalties and allowing a safety against Seattle. The week before, against the Bengals, they allowed a touchdown on a kick return and multiple lengthy returns throughout the contest. The Giants’ offense is the one phase that has lacked explosiveness this season, and the special teams falling off is unacceptable considering Joe Judge is the connoisseur in that area.

If they can return to their dominant ways, the Giants will have two units on full-throttle, giving them a competitive advantage against a struggling Arizona team.