The Giants are winning Sunday … unless they don’t
Be scared, New York Giants fans! Very scared! Your Big Blue View contributors are nearly unanimous in picking the 4-8 Giants to defeat the 6-6 Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. on Sunday.
This is one of those games the Giants should win.
They’re facing a team on its third string quarterback, missing two starting offensive linemen (and three back-ups), and their third cornerback. The duo of Mark Sanchez and Adrian Peterson is the stuff of Rex Ryan’s dreams… Circa 2010.
This is one of those games the Giants should win… But… I still struggle to have any confidence in this Giants’ team to stay out of its own way and win the games they’re supposed to. It’s difficult after watching Nick Mullens and the San Francisco 49ers offense play against them. It’s difficult after watching a an injury-ravaged Eagles’ defense completely shut the Giants’ offense down with a simple defensive adjustment. By NFL standards the Giants are the picture of health this late in the season, and that should give them an edge against a team which has been hit hard of late.
Likewise, the Giants have been scoring a lot of points lately — some of it is a mirage, like points off of Odell’s touchdown pass, or defensive touchdowns, or field goals which came from short fields (again, defensive turnovers) — but they have been scoring. And even if it isn’t sustainable, this looks like a game in which they might be able to sustain it for one more week.
It’s difficult, but I just flipped a mental coin, and I think I’m going to go there.
Final score: Giants 32, Washington 24
Season record: 5-7
Here’s a fun one: by DVOA, the Giants are the best team in the NFC East right now. The Giants are 16th, the Cowboys are 18th, Philly is 19th and Washington is 22nd. There’s not a huge difference between 16th and 22nd and everyone is still below average, but it’s an interesting sight to see. We can also look at why that’s the case and if it can help the Giants against Washington.
The Giants are 14th on offense — mostly from big plays — and 24th on defense. Where they really stand out is on special teams, where they rank fourth. A lot of that comes from the value on field goals, where the Giants are third. There’s a catch-22 there, though. They’re getting value on field goals because Alridck Rosas is converting but also because he’s asked to kick a crap-ton (technical measurement) of field goals. A lot of that stems from how the Giants struggle to put the ball in the end zone once they get into scoring range. That won’t be good against a Washington defense that has played its best in that area.
How the offense plays will be important because if they can’t score, they’ll let Washington hang in the game because that offense isn’t likely to put up too many points as currently constructed. Mark Sanchez averaged 4.8 yards per attempt and had a QBR of 53.7 on Monday night. It’s hard to see that improving with a short week, an injured offensive line, and not a lot of weapons in the passing game — though I wouldn’t be surprised by a big Josh Doctson game, but I am one who has yet to give up on Josh Doctson’s potential.
Still, it’s hard to say that offense is going to do enough to win.
Final score: Giants 17, Washington 13
Season record: 8-4
This Washington team is banged up and is fading. This Giants team, meanwhile, is relatively healthy, despite the loss of Landon Collins, and is soaring. And this team’s defense, which let’s face it, has had some struggles with closing out games for most of the year, is facing a heavily banged up Washington offense that will be quarterbacked by Mark Sanchez and which is missing at least two starting offensive linemen (but they do have running back Adrian Peterson, so they at least have that going for their offense).
Defensively, OLB Ryan Kerrigan is the new Jason Witten — that NFC East foe who every game is a thorn in the Giants side. Kerrigan has posted multiple sack games in each of his last three meetings against the Giants, though this time around he’ll go against the right-side duo of Jamon Brown and Chad Wheeler, both of whom have been contributing to better offensive line play.
OK, so what does it all mean for the Giants? On paper they should win this game. They really should. And I think what’s on paper this time will translate to the final results on the field.
Final score: Giants 30, Washington 17
Season record: 3-9
Yet again the Giants face another opponent that is vulnerable because of major injuries impacting their roster. Washington has been hit with the injury bug, especially at the quarterback position. The Redskins offense has sputtered tremendously in the last few weeks, with Adrian Peterson being the only glimmer of hope. The Giants defense has another easy matchup and will play similarly to the way they performed against the Bears.
This game might not be a barn burner with a big score, but the Giants should put out a good offensive day. You should expect a one score game on Sunday.
Final score: Giants 27, Redskins 14
Season record: 5-7
With the Redskins turning to veteran Mark Sanchez at quarterback this week, this should be one of the easiest wins of the season for Big Blue. The Giants have been on fire since their bye week and I look for that to continue this week against an extremely banged up Redskins team. Look for New York to win by a touchdown on Sunday.
Final score: Giants 24, Redskins 17
Season record: 6-5
I could stop there, but you get the point. Washington enters this game hamstrung at the quarterback position, and looking likely to be a one-dimensional offense come Sunday. You can expect a very healthy dose of Adrian Peterson come kickoff, as the Redskins look to limit what they need from Sanchez and grind out a victory.
If the Giants and their run defense can build off what they did last week they should be in good shape. Last week they limited the Chicago Bears to just 118 yards rushing on 32 attempts, which is an average of 3.6 per carry. That number is an improvement on the 4.4 yards per carry they have allowed on average this season. Facing a much more limited offense, with a third-string quarterback, I’m expecting the Giants and their run defense to get the job done, setting the stage for a win.
Final score: Giants 28, Redskins 10
Season record: 5-7
This is scary.
The Giants are in last place in the NFC East, haven’t won a division game yet this season, are going on the road Sunday and are favored to defeat the Washington Redskins.
Thing is, they should be favored. They have won three of four. Washington has lost three straight, has lost two quarterbacks and is down to Mark Sanchez, who wasn’t in the league three weeks ago.
The Redskins appear to have little realistic hope of reaching the playoffs despite being only one game out of first place. They already have 17 players on IR.
The Giants should win this game. The reality is, though, that the Giants aren’t all that good, and we should never simply assume they are going to win. Especially when Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins won’t be playing.
Before Beckham was surprisingly announced as being out I was going to take the Giants. Sadly, I can’t shake the feeling that they are going to find a way to mess this up.
Final score: Redskins 16, Giants 10
Season record: 6-6