The New York Giants are gearing up to face off against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon, presenting a formidable challenge at home in East Rutherford. Of course, Las Vegas will be without speedy receiver Henry Ruggs after he was charged with a DUI resulting in death earlier this week, but they still represent a significant opponent.
Raiders’ QB Derek Carr is having arguably his most successful season yet, posting 2,269 yards and 12 TDs over seven games. Despite having a porous offensive line, ranking 25th in the NFL in pass-blocking, Carr has excelled at finding his receivers in the passing game.
However, the Raiders feature the worst run-blocking line in the league, presenting a weakness for the Giants to capitalize on. After nearly overcoming the Kansa s City Chiefs away on Monday night, Big Blue will look to bounce back with the hopeful return o Kenny Golladay and the health of Kadarius Toney.
Toney, who’s been dealing with an ankle injury this season, picked up a laceration on his thumb against KC but practiced fully on Friday to give him a ‘probable’ designation ahead of the game. If the rookie receiver is able to go full speed, he should be a productive weapon for Daniel Jones and the offense, despite Las Vegas featuring the 4th best pass-coverage unit through eight weeks.
If the offense can milk the clock and win the turnover battle, they have a strong chance at emerging victorious, but it also depends on the defense. Over the past two weeks, the Giants have seen significant improvements on the defensive side, thanks to better continuity and pass coverage. During that span, CB James Bradberry has allowed just 39 yards after giving up 329 in the previous six weeks. Fellow corner Adoree Jackson has also been stellar, giving up just 30 yards in his last three games.
If the Giants’ secondary can hold up and curate a few turnovers, it will boil down to the offense’s production, which is the story of the season up to this point. Big Blue has scored 20 or fewer points in five of eight games this year and 14 or fewer in three of those games. The Raiders have a solid defense, but getting creative with Kadarius and finally getting Golladay back should provide a bit more firepower for Jones.
I expect to see a ton of short pass concepts without Andrew Thomas available, including screens to Toney and Devontae Booker. If Golladay is active, they need to test the boundary with his big frame, especially in man-coverage. The Raiders ranked dead-last in the league in blitz rate at 12.7%, which could benefit the Giants considerably.
Score prediction: Giants 17 – Raiders 24
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