New York Giants: Two Important, Winnable Games Next On The Schedule

The New York Giants are coming off of a blowout loss in week one. They traveled to Dallas to take on the Cowboys and failed miserably. New York was blown out 35-17.

The Giants’ defense put out an extremely poor performance, allowing the Cowboys’ offense to gain a total of 494 yards of offense. They also allowed Dak Prescott to have a career day with a perfect passer rating of 158.3. The Giants will have to make major changes defensively, and offensively too, in their week two game plan.

Beating The Bills

Fortunately, the Giants will have a winnable matchup in their week two home opener. The Giants will be hosting the Buffalo Bills in week two. This will be Buffalo’s second game in MetLife Stadium in two weeks after beating the Jets last week. So the Giants’ home field advantage might not be in full force.

Regardless, the Bills are a team that the Giants are capable of beating- with the right gameplan. Buffalo is not a high-powered, offensive juggernaut. They scored the same amount of points as the Giants last week, and the Giants’ gameplan left a lot of points on the field.

In week two, the Giants need to shift their offense to a run-first gameplan. Saquon Barkley needs to receive more than 11 carries in week two if the Giants want to have a chance to win. But if he does, the Giants’ chances of winning truly do skyrocket.

The New York Jets played a game down to the wire against the Bills last week. Buffalo came back and won after scoring 17 unanswered points, but the Jets had control over most of the game. The Jets’ offense found success by running the offense through their running back.

Le’Veon Bell received 17 carries for 60 yards and also 6 catches for 32 yards and 1 touchdown. Bell’s excellent performance was the reason for the Jets’ early success. Once Bell saw a dip in touches, the Jets’ success began to dry up.

The Giants need to have a similar offensive attack to the Jets. They need to run the offense through Saquon Barkley, but they need to run it through to the game’s end.

On the flip side, the Bills’ offense was not spectacular against the Jets’ defense. Second-year quarterback Josh Allen turned the ball over four times. This is good news for the Giants’ struggling defense. If New York can keep their defense off the field by killing the clock with the offensive run game, then maybe a Josh Allen turnover can seal the win for the Giants.

Beating The Bucs

The Giants will be back on the road in week three traveling to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers. The Bucs are another team that failed to meet expectations in week one. Their new head coach Bruce Arians was supposed to be the man to fix Jameis Winston. Unfortunately for Tampa, Winston looked like his same-old self in week one against the 49ers.

Jameis’s poor performance is fortunate for the Giants though. New York’s awful defense might actually stand a chance against this turnover-prone quarterback. Winston threw three interceptions against the 49ers in week one, including a pick-six, and fumbled twice (but luckily his team recovered both of them).

That means the Giants will be matching up with two turnover-prone quarterbacks in the next two weeks. The defense will have no excuses if they let either Winston or Allen have a career day like Prescott in week one.

All three of these teams, the Giants, the Bills, and the Buccaneers scored 17 points in week one. The Giants’ next two games are winnable, even matchups. If the Giants can run their offense through Saquon Barkley and squeeze out two wins in a row, they will quickly change their season’s narrative and outlook.

Can (And Should) The New York Giants Move For Jameis Winston?

Jameis Winston to the New York Giants was an idea proposed by some earlier in the season, and it seemed absurd. I was one of the first ones to call a move for Winston impossible, but the circumstances have changed a bit since then. Not many predicted that Ryan Fitzpatrick would perform just as well for the Buccaneers, or that Fitzpatrick would beat Winston in an open battle for the starting quarterback job in Tampa.

Few also predicted that the Giants would be as bad as they are at this point in the season, with only two wins. They aren’t just a mediocre team, but a desperate one, and for good reason. The Giants might very well pick in the top three or even number one overall this year, but will they take a quarterback or go for other options?

Tampa is also struggling this season and only has three wins. They’re just as much of a rebuilding team as the Giants are and they’ll have to make a decision on the fifth year option for Winston, who currently isn’t their starting quarterback going into Sunday’s clash with the Giants.

“So at this moment, as coaches, we’re paid to try and win. We keep our jobs by winning. So sometimes the margin of those decisions are extreme between who a player is in terms of their skill set to the next player where it’s obvious. Sometimes it’s not so obvious, but you still have to make that decision,” said Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken, on the decision to play Fitzpatrick instead of Winston.

With Fitzpatrick throwing more touchdowns and less interceptions than Winston right now, it seems more unlikely every week that Tampa will choose to bring Winston back for another year. After all, Winston has a big salary and there’s no point paying it if he won’t even be the surefire starter.

MMQB writer Conor Orr also had this to say about the argument for Winston switching teams:

His teammates seemed to respond much better to Fitzpatrick… If Winston plays marginally well, he’ll need a top of the market APY on his next contract. If he doesn’t, the franchise has significantly delayed its ability to find its next quarterback.

Of course, even if Winston isn’t the right quarterback for the Buccaneers, he would likely find some success with the Giants. Eli Manning is still capable of having a good game, but it would be foolish to assume that this is going to last forever and that the Giants don’t need to line up a replacement.

The former Heisman winner and national champion from Florida State would also have an easier time putting up big passing numbers as part of an offense that features Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and other weapons to compliment the main passing targets. It’s also safe to assume that the Giants will do something to upgrade the offensive line this season.

However, Winston is due $20M next year if the Buccaneers exercise the fifth year option on his contract. That’s an idea of how much the Giants might have to pay if they want to pursue him as a free agent. It’s not impossible to pay that much, but Eli Manning would have to retire or otherwise leave the team for it to work. Manning is owed $23M next year, which is the highest cap hit on the team.

It won’t be easy to sell it to the fans, if the Giants decide to move on from Manning in favor of the controversial Winston. But it never is. Fanbases rarely like it when a legendary player is replaced by someone who hasn’t proven themselves yet. Should the Giants plan on trying to sign Winston anyway, assuming that he’s available?

It might not be the most popular signing. But it does make a lot of sense.