New York Giants: Score prediction, strengths, weaknesses

New York Giants, Colt McCoy, Wayne Gallman
Dec 6, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Giants quarterback Colt McCoy (12) celebrates with running back Wayne Gallman (22) before the final play of a 17-12 victory against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have a difficult matchup against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, and they will be without starting quarterback Daniel Jones and star defender James Bradberry. Without their best offensive weapons and top secondary player, the Giants are going to have to find ways to supplement significant losses.

The Giants have struggled all year to move the ball on offense, and now they have back up Col McCoy starting his second game of the year, despite winning his first against the Seattle Seahawks. The game plan for the Giants should be simple, run the ball effectively and consume as much time off the clock as humanly possible. The more time Cleveland has with the ball, the better chance they’re going to score at will.

Even Patrick Graham will be unable to scheme a low-scoring game for the Giants in this one, as the Browns average 26.8 points per game, and they’re coming off a contest where they scored 42 against the Baltimore Ravens last week.

The Giants’ offense averages a measly 18.3 points per game, and that is with a predominantly healthy Daniel Jones. That should tell you everything you need to know about how effective this unit is, but with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett contracting Covid this past week, TE coach Freddie Kitchens will get the nod to call plays.

How will the New York Giants’ offense look?

We should expect a different sequence of play-calls — more quick throws and easy first reads for McCoy. Kitchens loves to use running back’s as receivers and shorten the length of the field. I don’t expect to see any excessive deep ball throwing from the Giants, who have mainly targeted single coverage occasionally on offense and failed to take creative deep shots through the first 15 weeks of the season.

Defensively, the Giants are going to have to play without Bradberry, which will significantly limit their abilities in the secondary. It’s expected that former CB Julian Love will play on the outside, but luckily the Browns have their strongest pass catcher in the slot.

However, Darnay Holmes is expected to miss the contest with a knee injury, so Jarvis Landry in the slot will be a big target for Baker Mayfield. The defense simply doesn’t have all their pieces healthy, which could end up being the deciding factor.

The only way the Giants realistically have a chance if they run the ball extremely well against Cleveland, consuming time and winning the turnover battle. If they can keep the score low, you can keep yourself in the game theoretically, so that should be the entire game plan for the Giants.

Score Prediction: 27-12 Cleveland