New York Giants: Keys to victory against the Rams in Week Four

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants will head to Los Angeles to face off against the Rams in Week Four. Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses in Week Three. The Giants were blown out by the 49ers, falling to 0-3 on the season and the Rams lost a close one with the Bills, falling to 2-1.

The Giants desperately need to win in Week Three to turn their season around. If the Giants want to take down the Rams, they need to limit their turnovers, slow down Aaron Donald, and play a bend-don’t-break defense in Week Four.

Limit The Turnovers

Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones has a turnover problem. Through three games, Jones has turned the ball over six times in three games. The Rams’ defense has forced five turnovers in the last two games. The Giants will not win this game if they turn the ball over multiple times. The turnovers have crippled the Giants’ offense through three games and have directly turned into opposing points.

Slow Down Aaron Donald

The best defensive player in the NFL has been wreaking havoc through the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season. Aaron Donald has not lost a step. Donald has been a First-Team All-Pro in each of the last five seasons. Donald is maintaining that elite-level of play in 2020, leading the NFL with 20 pressures generated this season (via Pro Football Focus).

The Giants’ offensive line has struggled tremendously in 2020. Quarterback Daniel Jones has been pressured on 41.5% of his dropbacks in 2020, according to PFF. This is the third-highest rate in the NFL.

Starting center Nick Gates has struggled this season while making a position switch. Now, he will face his toughest opponent yet. Aaron Donald has three sacks through three games in 2020. New York’s offensive line needs to step up in Week Four and prevent Aaron Donald from wrecking this game.

Do Not Break On Defense

The Giants’ defense could not get off the field on third down against the 49ers in Week Three. New York plays a bend-don’t-break defense. But, in Week Three, that defense broke more often than it should have.

The Giants’ defense forced the 49ers’ offense into 11 third-down situations. Technically, the 49ers ran plays on 12 third downs, but the last third down was the final play of the game when the 49ers took a knee to seal the win. So, actually, the 49ers converted 8 of their 11 third-down attempts. Additionally, the 49ers scored 6 points on 4th down, making 2 of 3 field-goal attempts. The 49ers did not punt once in Week Three.

This is not sustainable. The Giants cannot win games if they allow opposing offenses to convert over 70% of their third-down attempts. Against Sean McVay’s high-flying offense in Week Four, the Giants’ defense needs to get off the field on third down,

New York Jets Record Predictions for the 2020 season

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

We are hours away from New York Jets football. In honor of the season, I have decided to give my official game by game predictions for the Jets season.  I will mark each game with a win or a loss prediction and then, at the end, give my final thoughts on how I predict they finish for the 2020-21 NFL Season.

Week 1: vs. Bills

Then Jets kick off the season in Orchard Park. With Josh Allen gaining new toys this offseason, and Sam Darnold gaining coal, I expect Allen to have success early. Especially after locking down Tre White, this Bills team is riding high, so I’ll say they probably ride out with a W.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 2: vs. 49ers

The 49ers have one of the best defensive lines in all of football. You can rebuild any offensive line, but it will be hard for this new one to stop the wrecking crew that San Fran brings. I don’t expect a big offensive game, so the defensive game favors the 49ers immensely.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 3: at Colts

The Colts have had an overrated offseason. The defense will take a big step this year, but the offense is not where it needs to be. Pittman and Campbell will have success at some point, but not with Rivers throwing a medicine ball-style pass time and time again. I think the Jets have the edge here.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 4: vs. Broncos

A few weeks ago, I would have predicted Denver outright. Now, Von Miller is out, and Courtland Sutton is struggling to stay healthy. Without two of their biggest weapons on both sides of the ball, Denver may have a tough day. 

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 5: vs. Cardinals

The Arizona offense is next level. Kingsbury is an underrated leader as a coach, and with all that talent, I expect them to steamroll the Jets.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 6: at Chargers

The Chargers will toll in mediocrity this year. Tyrod Taylor is nearly a place holder, and it’s going to take a little for Herbert to be up to par. Tyrod will play well, but I’m going with Gang Green.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 7: vs. Bills

The Bills sweep the Jets in the season series. The Bills may have some hiccups, but particularly against the Fins and Jets, I expect them to play really good football.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 8: at Chiefs

Do I even need to explain this one? 

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 9: vs. Patriots

Cam Newton has not played too well against Gregg Williams led defenses in the past, and I don’t expect that to let up any time soon. The Jets win a close one against the Pats.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 10: at Dolphins

Coming off a surprise win, I expect the juices to be flowing, and if the Jets can’t at least win one of the two games, they will be in for a tough AFC East record.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 11: Bye

Week 12: vs. Dolphins

Coming off a bye, expect Too to debut if he isn’t already. This should be the game a good coach wins, and that’s where Flores outshines Gase.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 13: vs. Raiders

The Raiders are a year out from contention. This next offseason needs to be a big one for both the Jets and Vegas to take steps forward. For now, though, the Jets are just a smidge better.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 14: at Seahawks

The Hawks are my team to watch in the Super Bowl. I expect wild card type noise from Seattle and a deep run, the likes of which the Jets can’t keep up with. 

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 15: at Rams

The Rams offense is mediocre, but their defense is top-notch. With two of the best in the game, the Rams defense will give Sam nightmares all day long.

PREDICTION: LOSS

Week 16: vs. Browns

Odell likes some weird things, but those won’t help his relationship with Baker. Baker needs to take a big jump, or else the Browns could move on. I think that the Jets’ new brass is devoted to Sam, unlike the Browns to Baker, so I’ll roll with Gang Green to win this one.

PREDICTION: WIN

Week 17: at Patriots

I firmly expect the Pats to be in the playoffs by this point, so this should be a light day for the Pats, which could skew the outcome of this contest.

PREDICTION: WIN

Final record: 8-8

Middle of the road seasons never hurt anyone except the Jets fanbase. This would be significant growth, though, and set the Jets up nicely for a 2021 run at the playoffs.

New York Giants: How The Giants’ Offensive Line Graded Out On PFF In 2018

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants’ offensive line struggled all throughout the 2018 NFL season. Giants’ General Manager Dave Gettleman will certainly be grinding the film sessions to evaluate the offensive line’s performance. The line improved in the second half of the season, however, it was still inconsistent and below average. Pro Football Focus’s grading system helps add context and aid in the evaluation process.

The Left Side Of The Line

Giants fans know the offensive line has been a weakness for years now. Finally, in 2018, Gettleman showed Ereck Flowers the door, and things began to improve. However, there is still much room for improvement along the offensive line.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants offensive line ranked 21st in the league in 2018. The two best players along the offensive line were the rookie second-rounder, guard Will Hernandez, and the big free agent signing, left tackle Nate Solder.

PFF stated that Solder started the season off poorly, allowing six sacks and 20 total pressures through the first eight games. However, he finished the season strong, allowing only one sack and 13 total pressures over the second half of the season.

Will Hernandez had a great rookie season with the Giants in 2018. His 65.8 overall grade was above averaged and ranked him 21st out of all guards in the NFL. Out of all rookie interior-offensive linemen, Hernandez ranked second, showing his potential to be a star on the line for years to come. An impressive stat that PFF notes is Hernandez’s two penalties on 1,027 snaps. That is incredibly clean and efficient play from the young “Hog Molly.”

The center position also looks set for 2019 and beyond, if the players can remain healthy. Jon Halapio was playing great football until he went down with a lower leg injury in only the second game of the season. He missed the rest of 2018, but Dave Gettleman has made it clear he intends to resign Halapio this offseason. Halapio started the season off with a 69.4 overall grade before his injury. He was playing the best out of any lineman on the Giants’ roster at the time.

The Right Side Of The Line

The left side of the offensive line looks set for 2019 and beyond. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the right side of the offensive line. Right tackle Chad Wheeler struggled all season. He finished with an overall grade of 47.4, ranking him as the 78th tackle in the NFL.

The Giants acquired their right guard, Jamon Brown, midway through the season. Brown was an upgrade over Patrick Omameh, however, he is not likely to be a long-term solution at the position. The team played better with Brown out there, and he has potential to grow with a second year in the Giants’ offense, but his overall PFF grade of 51.7 ranked 64th out of all guards in 2018. Brown could be a great depth piece along the offensive line if the Giants are able to acquire more talent.

Things look set along the left side of the line and the center position for the Giants heading into 2019. If the Giants are able to acquire a couple of difference-makers on the right side of the line via free agency or the draft, they could have a turnaround similar to the Colts in 2018. The Giants will need to make an upgrade at right tackle, and luckily for them, there are plenty of options this offseason. The Giants’ offensive line has potential to be great in 2019.

New York Giants Miss Out On Great Kick Return Man In Waivers

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Los Angeles Rams had waived their return man, Pharoh Cooper. Cooper was an all-Pro special teams player in 2017, but he was injured earlier this season. The 11-3 Rams waived Cooper in order to sign C.J. Anderson to add depth to their backfield. Multiple teams put waiver claims on Cooper, and the Giants were one of them.

Who Was Awarded Cooper?

On Wednesday, it was announced that the Cardinals had claimed Pharoh Cooper. The former all-Pro has gone from an 11-3 super bowl contender to a 3-11 first overall pick contender. Three other teams put in a claim for Cooper, including the Jaguars, Titans, and Giants. The Cardinals were awarded Cooper because they have the worst record.

What Does This Mean For The Giants?

The Giants putting in a claim for Cooper should not come as much of a surprise. General manager Dave Gettleman has been active on the waiver wire this season. The Giants also have room for improvement regarding their kick returners. Corey Coleman has been productive on kick return, but there still has not been much improvement on punt returns since the beginning of the season. Jawill Davis is currently averaging only 8.1 yards per return this season.

The Giants front office has certainly noticed this lack of production on special teams. Cooper could have been the solution for the Giants, but instead he will field kicks in the desert with the Cardinals.