New York Giants: 3 Keys to a Week One Victory Over Dallas

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants are hungry to start the season off right after going 8-24 the past two seasons. To add to their hunger, they’ve gone 0-4 the past two seasons against the Cowboys. Dallas, coming off a 10-6 NFC-East Division winning season, looks to continue their recent success against Big Blue. The Cowboys are currently 7.5 point favorites to win the inaugural game of the season for both teams. So, how can the Giants pull off the upset? If the Giants can check off these three boxes, a victory will be very possible.

3 Keys to a Victory Over Dallas:

Give Saquon the Ball

Saquon Barkley is the best running back in the game. He has a skill set that allows him to score on any play that he touches the ball. He is the face of the offense, and arguably, the face of the franchise. When you have a generational talent like Barkley, it is extremely important he gets the number of touches he deserves.

Last season, Barkley had a total of four games where he had more than 20 rushes. In those four games, he ran for 337 yards and tallied four scores. Perhaps much more importantly though, the Giants went 3-1 in those games. When Saquon didn’t get 20 rushes, the team went 2-10.  While it is a rather small sample size, there is no reason to think that his success won’t continue with 20+ rushes.

Contain Ezekiel Elliot

The second-best running back in the game will be on the other side of the field on Sunday. Elliot, who just signed a new contract that will make him the highest-paid RB in NFL history, has had consistent success since entering the league in 2016. Likewise, Dallas as a team has also had great success since 2016.

Last season, Elliot totaled 100+ rushing yards seven times. In those seven games, the Cowboys went 6-1. On the other hand, Elliot failed to eclipse the century-mark eight times. In those games, Dallas went a measly 3-5. It will be vital for the Giants to prevent the 2x rushing champion from reaching 100 rushing yards if they want to start the season with a win.

Force an Interception

The Giants’ defense has struggled greatly the past two seasons. Turnovers and sacks have been rather rare over the past 32 games. If the Giants want to have a successful season, the defense needs to start playing at a higher level. Why not set the bar high in week one?

Over the past two seasons, Dak Prescott has thrown 21 interceptions. That is one of the lowest marks in all of the NFL. Teams have capitalized on those turnovers, however. Since 2017, Dallas has gone 2-10 in games where Prescott throws at least one interception.

If Big Blue can manage to check off all three of these boxes, a victory will most likely be within reach. The last time the Giants won a week one game? The 2016 season, at Dallas, the beginning of an 11-5 season.

 

New York Giants Safety Was Benched In Week 17 For Lack Of Effort

The NFL regular season is over. The New York Giants played their final game of the season on Sunday. Their week 17 matchup was a home loss against the Dallas Cowboys. The final score was 35-36. The Giants’ offense played a great game, scoring 35 points. However, the defense was lousy, letting up 36 points.

The Giants defense played so poorly that head coach Pat Shurmur had to bench a player. The player that was benched was free safety Curtis Riley. Riley has received heavy criticism from fans all season. The Giants’ coaching staff benched Riley for a lack of effort.

The Play That Benched Riley

The Cowboys had the ball on 3rd and 3 from the 39 yard line with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter. Dallas was ahead 14-10 at this point in the game. Quarterback Dak Prescott rolled right and found tight end Blake Jarwin for a completion well beyond the first down marker. Jarwin caught the pass with four Giants players surrounding him, but no one was able to bring him down.

Free safety Curtis Riley was directly in front of Jarwin and had a chance to make a head on touchdown-saving tackle. Instead, Riley completely whiffed on the play and allowed Jarwin to walk into the end zone for the touchdown. Riley demonstrated a complete lack of effort on this play.

Who Might Replace Riley?

Curtis Riley was benched after this embarrassing play. His mid-game replacement was safety Sean Chandler. Chandler had a decent outing, finishing the game with four tackles. However, nothing from this game would indicate that Chandler is the long-term solution at free safety.

It is now officially the offseason for the Giants so they can begin to look for an upgrade at free safety. The Giants could draft a rookie free safety or sign a free agent safety.

The draft class is full of good safeties this year. The top ranked safety prospect is Deionte Thompson out of Alabama. Other top safety prospects include Juan Thornhill from Virginia and Jaquan Johnson from Miami.

In free agency, there are a lot of options. The Giants should definitely look at players such as Adrian Amos, Tre Boston, and Lamarcus Joyner. These are players that would likely fall into the Giants’ price range. If the Giants decide to invest heavily into the position this offseason, there are elite options set to hit the market. More expensive players include Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, and HaHa Clinton-Dix.

The Giants have may options to choose from. It is likely they will sign a free safety in free agency, but it is unknown how much the Giants will be looking to spend this offseason. Giants fans should be looking forward to an exciting and important offseason for Big Blue

New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys Post-Game Analysis – What Now?

The New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys for the final game of the season. The Giants came into the game with a 5-10 record, already eliminated from the playoffs. The Cowboys arrived with a 9-6 record, already clinched a playoff spot. With a loss today, the Giants fall to 5-11 while the Cowboys move to 10-6.

Up And Down Offense:

Overall, the Giants’ offense played a great game. They totaled 35-points and got big games out of Barkley and Engram. However, quarterback Eli Manning did turn the ball over twice and the team was unable to move the ball on the final possession of the game.

Saquon Barkley had a record setting day. Barkley had 142 total yards today (109 on the ground, 33 through the air), which put him over 2,000 yards on the season. That made Barkley the third running back in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards in their rookie season, joining elite company.

In addition, Barkley had three receptions today which helped him set the record for the most receptions by a rookie running back in NFL history. Barkley finished the season with 90 receptions, surpassing the previous record of 88 held by Reggie Bush. Barkley had a rushing touchdown today, his eleventh on the season. That set a Giants franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a rookie’s season.

Quarterback Eli Manning had a slow start to the game. He threw a red zone interception on the Giants’ first drive, the followed that up with a lost fumble on the next drive. After that, Manning responded well with 301 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. One was to wide receiver Cody Latimer, who hauled in Eli’s perfect pass with one hand for a touchdown. The other was a throw to the flat that Engram turned upfield and dove into the end zone with.

Lousy Defense:

The Giants’ offense was able to put up a big 35 points on Sunday, but the defense let up a whopping 36 points. Edge rusher Olivier Vernon had a big game with 2.5 sacks, but there is only so much one player can do. The Giants’ secondary got picked apart throughout the game.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 387 yards and 4 passing touchdowns with zero interceptions on the day. Tight end Blake Jarwin had a field day against the Giants with 119 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants defense had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, up 7 with the Cowboys looking at a fourth and fifteen. Unfortunately, the Giants were not able to make the stop. Dak Prescott connected with wide receiver Cole Beasley for the touchdown on fourth and fifteen. The Cowboys then converted the two point attempt to put the team on top 36-35.

Aftermath Of The Loss:

With this loss, the Giants are locked into a top eight pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. They currently hold the sixth pick and have room for improvement. If the Raiders win this week, the Giants can move all the way up to the fourth pick. This can come as a huge silver lining to Giants fans who are already looking ahead to the offseason.

New York Giants: Previewing Week 17 Matchup Vs. Dallas

Coming off of a late game collapse in Indianapolis last week, the 5-10 New York Giants will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday for the week 17 season finale. The Cowboys are, of course, a division rival in the NFC East. This means that this is the Giants’ second matchup with Dallas this season.

In week two, the Giants traveled to Dallas to play the Cowboys in a primetime Sunday night matchup. The Giants lost this game 13-20. This was when the Giants offense was at an extreme low point. The final score was only a seven point difference, but this was because of a garbage-time touchdown by the Giants. The Cowboys owned them this game, but the Giants will have a chance to get revenge in week 17.

Taking A Look At The Cowboys

The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot by winning the NFC East. They are sitting at 9-6 and will be looking to reach double digit wins after coming up a game short last season. Dallas is being lead by third year running back Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot leads the league in rushing yards this season.

The Cowboys offense has added a new weapon since the Giants last played them. They received wide receiver Amari Cooper in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. Since joining the Cowboys in week nine, Cooper has totaled 694 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Elliot and Cooper are two key players that the Giants defense will need to stop in order to win.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys have had a rookie emerge as the leader of their defense. The first-year linebacker out of Boise State University, Leighton Vander Esch, has totalled 131 tackles this season, third in the NFL. On top of that, Vander Esch has added two interceptions and seven passes defended. Edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence is also having a good season. He has an impressive 9.5 sacks and 61 tackles this season. The Giants’ offensive line will need to give Lawrence a lot of attention in order to keep quarterback Eli Manning upright.

Injury Report

For the fourth time this season, superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled out. His season is over after just twelve games and he will not play in the season finale. The Giants have also ruled out defensive end Mario Edwards, middle linebacker Alec Ogletree, tight end Rhett Ellison, and wide receiver Russell Shepard.

The Cowboys will be without two defensive linemen this week. Defensive tackle David Irving and defensive end Tyrone Crawford will not play on Sunday. On top of that, the Cowboys have four players questionable. Left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, linebacker Sean Lee, and cornerback Anthony Brown are all questionable.

The Giants’ Game Plan

The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot and have no room for improvement for a higher seed. With this in mind, it is likely that many of the Cowboys’ starters will see minimal to no playing time. The Giants will lean heavily on running back Saquon Barkley this week with multiple defensive linemen and linebackers either out or questionable for Dallas. Eli Manning had a good day passing the ball last Sunday against the Colts, and Giants fans should expect more of the same from the veteran quarterback against a mediocre Dallas defense.

The Giants will look to improve to 6-10 against the Cowboys, but many fans will argue that they shouldn’t. The Giants currently hold the 8th pick in the draft. With a win this week, the Giants could fall all the way back to the 12th pick in the draft. With a loss, the Giants could stay where they are, or potentially move all the way up to the 4th pick. For the Giants’ future, a loss would be ideal. However, head coach Pat Shurmur has already spoken out against tanking, so expect the Giants to give this one their all.

New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning Uncertain About Future

On Wednesday morning, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was questioned by reporters near his locker room. Following the week 16 loss against Indianapolis, Pat Shurmur confirmed that Manning will start the final game of the season against Dallas. Despite this, there has still been no status update on the 15 year veteran’s future with the Giants.

What Has Eli Said About His Future?

While being questioned by his locker on Wednesday, a reporter asked the quarterback if he “expects to be here next season as the starting quarterback.” Manning responded with “I don’t know.” He then elaborated on that statement. Eli said he has not got into that or thought much about that yet.

With one game left this season, it is just about time for Manning to begin to think about his future. The Giants have had a disappointing season at 5-10. They are expected to be picking in the top ten again in this year’s draft. The uncertainty surrounding Eli Manning leads many to believe the Giants will select a quarterback in the first round this year. (Quotes provided by @art_stapleton on Twitter).

What Has Coach Shurmur Said About Eli’s Future?

Head coach Pat Shurmur was asked on Wednesday if he gives any thought at all to the possibility that this will be Eli Manning’s final game as a Giant.

Shurmur responded by saying:

“No, not really. Eli’s our starter. Eli gives us the best chance to win and he is going to play on Sunday. That’s where we’re at. I think when the game is over we start talking in-depth about what’s going to happen moving forward… I’m not worried about that. Again, you’re talking to the coach. I’m not worried about that, I’m worried about the game” (via @RVacchianoSNY on Twitter).

Pat Shurmur gave a traditional coach’s answer. All he will admit to being focused on is the upcoming game. With a week left in the season, it will be interesting to see how Pat Shurmur responds to this question following this week’s game.

The Giants will be closing out this disappointing season at home against the Cowboys. With the possibility of this being Manning’s last game as a Giant, all eyes will be on number 10.