The Tennessee Titans (7-6) at the Giants (5-8) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET.
Wet, chilly, windy … seems like a lovely day in general. The rain should be pretty steady throughout the day with temperatures in the low 40s, and winds reaching 20 miles per hour. Sounds like a good day to run the ball a lot. It also could keep the crowd down, which doesn’t help the Giants in their quest for a miracle.
WHAT IT MEANS
The dream isn’t dead yet. The Giants are just 1 ½ games behind the Minnesota Vikings in the race for the last NFC wild-card spot with three games to go. So yes, if the Giants lose and the Vikings beat the Dolphins, the Giants are eliminated. But if the Giants win and they get help from the Dolphins (over the Vikings), Bears (over the Packers), Bills (over the Lions), Ravens (over the Bucs), Jaguars (over the Redskins), and Rams (over the Eagles) … well, hey, anything is possible, right?
PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Alec Ogletree
He’s had a good run over the last month, and come up with some huge interceptions. But the Giants’ run defense hasn’t been great in that stretch. It will have to be on Sunday against a Titans team that averages 124 yards per game on the ground, and got a huge game from Derrick Henry last Sunday (238 yards, four touchdowns).
Considering the weather, you can expect the Titans to employ the same, run-first, Henry-heavy strategy against the Giants. That makes Ogletree a significant factor, especially since the Giants’ run defense hasn’t been the same since they traded DT Damon Harrison to Detroit.
Ogletree is signed for three more seasons, and the Giants didn’t acquire him just to keep him around for a year. But they do have a decision to make. He’s due a $6 million roster bonus in March, and has a 2019 cap number of $11.75 million. The Giants could clear $6.5 million of that by cutting him before his roster bonus is due. That’s not insignificant, but lately, he sure has been proving his worth.
It really is hard to figure out this Titans team. They dominated the hapless Jaguars last week, but before that, struggled to beat the Jets and lost to the Texans and Colts. Of course, before that they beat the Patriots and Cowboys and barely lost to the Chargers. And of course, before that they were shutout by the Ravens and lost to the Buffalo Bills.
So you get the picture. Trying to evaluate the Titans totally depends on who shows up. The more important thing is that the Giants have found their own rhythm behind running back Saquon Barkley, who could be poised for a big game against a team yielding more than 115 rushing yards per game. The Titans offense isn’t very good. The Giants offense suddenly is. And momentum and a positive attitude seem to be going a long way for this team… Giants 23, Titans 17.
MY RECORD: 7-6
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO WIN: 1-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO LOSE: 6-3