Giants New Priority: Sign Kirk Cousins

Eli Manning‘s streak of 210 consecutive games started will officially come to an end in Week 13. The Giants organization and head coach Ben McAdoo have handled this in the worst way possible. I would have understood, and I’m sure many would agree, if the Giants benched Eli for rookie QB Davis Webb. However, they are starting QB Geno Smith instead. A guy who has thrown 28 TDs to 36 interceptions in 34 career games. HE IS HORRIBLE. There is no other way to put it. It is time to move on from this topic, and it seems as if the Giants are ready to move on from Eli Manning.

So, who will be the man under center for the Giants come 2018? Yes, you read the title right. Kirk “You Like That” Cousins. How do the Giants do this? Why would the Giants do this? What would this mean for the rest of their off-season? Do not try to think too much and hurt yourself. I got you covered.

Step 1: Trade Eli Manning

Eli Manning does have a good amount of money left on his contract and a no-trade clause. After the way the Giants organization has treated him recently, I would not be surprised to see him waive his NTC if he was going to a team that can win immediately. Manning has 2-3 good years left and he is going to want to win soon. What team has enough cap space and will please Eli? Hello, Jacksonville! Jacksonville will have around $34M in cap space when the 2018 off-season begins. They also have a dominant defense, solid run game, and Tom Coughlin. Blake Bortles is not the answer for them. They need to upgrade the QB position if they want to find success. Eli will bring veteran leadership to a young team that has the pieces to win right away. He will fit nicely and the Jags could either cut Bortles, or possibly move him to a desperate team. In return the Giants could receive a package in the ball park of a 2018 2nd rounder and 2019 5th rounder.

Step 2: Cut Marshall, Harris, and Armstrong

When the Giants signed Brandon Marshall, I thought it was a steal. Boy, was I wrong. Marshall went down with an injury early in the year, but even before then he looked like he had brick hands. He was dropping balls left and right, while giving no effort at all. The signing of Dwayne Harris was just not good. The Giants overpaid for a player who they thought could be a game changer in the return game, but he has been abysmal at that position. He also is not a very good wide receiver. He is good as a gunner on special teams, but it is not worth the contract he has. Who is Ray-Ray Armstrong? I did not even know this man was on the Giants roster, nonetheless under contract through 2018. Goodbye. By cutting these three players the Giants would save themselves a little more than $8.8M.

Step 3: Restructure Janoris Jenkins

In 2016, Janoris Jenkins was arguably the best cover corner in all of football. This year, he has looked lazy and has been placed on injured reserve. He should be embarrassed, as should this whole team, for the lack of effort he has given in some games this year. A change of power should change his attitude. However, the Giants need to save some more money somewhere. They can restructure a few big contracts. I think Jenkins is the most likely to restructure and he certainly should after the lack of effort he has displayed at points this year. If the Giants restructure his contract, they can save about $7.5M.

Step 4: Sign Captain Kirk

Here it is. The moment you have all been waiting for. Kirk Cousins will receive a hefty contract this off-season, but it will be well worth it. I see him signing around 5-years/$130M. After all these moves the Giants certainly have the cap space to make this possible, and they should. Cousins will be 30 years old when the 2018 season begins, which means he can definitely give the Giants at least 5 good years.

Kirk Cousins is having a fantastic season, once again. Cousins gets a lot of blame for the Redskins’ lack of success since he became their full time started in 2015, but that is not all on him. Kirk has started one playoff game for the Redskins, which came in 2015. He passed for 329 yards and threw for one TD, while completing 63% of his passes. The problem in that game, and this has been the case for the Redskins most of the time since 2015, was the lack of defense and a rushing attack. Let’s take a look at the three years in which Kirk has been a starer.

2015:

  • 69.8% Pass Completion Percentage (1st)
  • 101.6 Passer Rating (5th)
  • 379 Passes Completed (7th)
  • 3 Game Winning Drives (8th)
  • 4,166 Passing Yards (10th)
  • 2 Comebacks (10th)

2016:

  • 406 Passes Completed (3rd)
  • 4,917 Passing Yards (3rd)
  • 307.3 Passing Yards/Game (3rd)
  • 4 Comebacks (4th)
  • 4 Game Winning Drives (5th)
  • 97.2 Passer Rating (7th)
  • 67.0% Pass Completion Percentage (8th)

2017 (As of 12/1):

  • 4 Game Winning Drives (1st)
  • 275 Passes Completed (2nd)
  • 3,289 Passing Yards (2nd)
  • 21 Passing TDs (4th)
  • 274.1 Passing Yards/Game (5th)
  • 66.6% Pass Completion Percentage (6th)
  • 99.6 Passer Rating (7th)
  • 1 Comeback (8th)

Safe to say Kirk is at least a top-10 QB in the NFL right now. The Giants would be extremely wise to go out and sign this man, even if it means overpaying a bit. If the Giants can go out and make this possible, they could afford to trade down in the draft and accumulate draft picks. This would give them the ability to add multiple players, through the draft, to positions that they desperately need upgrades at. Cough, running back and offensive line, cough. The Giants would also have about $20M more in cap space after signing Kirk, restructuring Jenkins, and cutting the players I mentioned.

Call me crazy for thinking about this happening, but it is a real possibility. It is becoming more and more realistic that Eli can be traded this off-season. This would mean the Giants would a craving to sign, or draft, a quarterback. Are any of the QBs in this upcoming draft worth a second or third overall pick? That I am not sure of, but this roster is good enough to win next year if they stay healthy. Kirk Cousins could be the answer for years to come as a replacement for Eli. Think about it for a second before calling me crazy.

Advertisements

Eli Manning: The Second Greatest NFL Player in New York Football History

April 24, 2004 is a date that Giants fans will remember for the rest of their lives. Eli Manning was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick in the draft, while the Giants selected Philip Rivers with the fourth pick. Manning and Rivers did not last on those teams very long. Eli refused to play for the Chargers and the team had no choice but to trade him. The Giants and Chargers agreed to a trade that sent Manning to the Giants, while Rivers and three-draft picks (2004 3rd and 5th, 2005 1st) were sent to the Chargers. It is safe to say that the trade has panned out for the Giants.

Lawrence Taylor is the greatest player in New York Football history, by far. Who is number two? There have been plenty of great players that have worn the blue and white, or the green and white, but I am hear to say that Eli is right behind LT. Many will argue that Joe Namath was better than Eli. Joe Namath was OVERRATED. Let’s compare the two QBs throughout their New York careers.

Eli Manning:

  • 210 Games Started (2nd longest consecutive streak of All-Time)
  • 4,319 Passes Completed (6th All-Time)
  • 50,625 Passing Yards (7th All-Time)
  • 334 Passing TDs (7th All-Time)
  • 30 Comebacks (7th All-Time)
  • 40 Game-Winning Drives (8th All-Time)
  • 12 Playoff Games Started (14th All-Time)
  • 83.8 Passer Rating
  • 59.8% Passes Completed
  • 222 Interceptions
  • 4 x Pro-Bowler
  • 2 x SB Champ
  • 2 x SB MVP
  • Future HOF

Joe Namath

  • 129 Games Started
  • 1,836 Passes Completed
  • 27,057 Passing Yards
  • 170 Passing TDs
  • 16 Comebacks
  • 16 Game-Winning Drives
  • 3 Playoff Games Started
  • 65.8 Passer Rating
  • 50.2% Passes Completed
  • 215 Interceptions
  • 5 x Pro-Bowler
  • 1 x SB Champ
  • 1 x SB MVP
  • 1 x All-Pro
  • HOF

Yes, Eli has played many more games than Namath and some of his numbers may be higher for that reason. But, what about some of the other numbers? Namath’s completion percentage, passer rating and interceptions are abysmal. Namath has thrown 42 more interceptions than touchdowns in his time in New York. HORRIBLE. Not to mention how clutch Eli has been throughout his career. He has 40 game-winning drives compared to Namath’s 16 and 12 playoff games compared to Namath’s 3.

Joe Namath’s one SB victory came at a time in which he only had to win 2 games to accomplish the feat. The Raiders were a very good team in 1968 when Namath and the Jets defeated them, but they did not have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. When Eli and the Giants defeated the Patriots in 2007 they were undefeated before that game. 18-0. They might have been the best team in NFL history. Randy Moss and Tom Brady had an insane connection. The Patriots, since 2000, may be the greatest dynasty in all of sports. They have reached the Super Bowl seven times since then, while winning it five times! Who handed them those two losses? ELI MANNING. You can say all you want about the defense and the lucky catches, but someone had to make those throws right?

Whether or not you want to put Eli over Namath, he is still a top-5 player in New York football history. He has brought the Giants two Super Bowls and many great memories in his 14 seasons with the team. The way they have treated him this week is downright disgusting. Eli deserves to be treated with more respect because of all the success he has been able to bring this franchise.

Thanksgiving Day against the Redskins may have been the last time we ever will see Eli under center for the New York Giants. He may be released or he may be traded come next year. No matter what happens Eli Manning is a legend in the eyes of Giants’ fans. He has brought all of us so many fond memories that we will never forget. As a Giants fan I cannot thank Eli enough for the joy he has brought me over these past 14 years. Thank you, Eli.

Week 9 DFS Spotlight

Week 9 DFS Spotlight

Nathan Smith

 

With 6 teams on a bye and countless stars injured, week 9 is shaping up to be very interesting in the DFS world. Wide receiver can often be the most volatile position in our lineups, and this week is no different. We’re looking for playmakers that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but still have GPP winning upside. In this week’s DFS Spotlight, I break down wide receivers that I’m targeting in DraftKings tournaments.

T.Y. Hilton

T.Y. Hilton is always a threat to score 30 points in any given matchup, even on the road. When we think of Hilton, we usually imagine a long connection on a TD pass from Andrew Luck at home in the dome. Although the Colts play in Houston this week, there is still plenty of merit to playing him. At only 4900, Hilton stands out as an obvious target based on his point per dollar upside and game-breaking ability. The counter argument is that Hilton is expected to be highly owned, with ownership possibly approaching 40%. His slate breaking upside is what will make many DFS players gladly play him, despite the high ownership. If you fade him—although extremely risky—it could pay off in the event that the Colts offense comes out flat on Sunday.

Dez Bryant

Before news broke that Ezekiel Elliot would indeed play this week, Das Prescott and Dez Bryant were expected to be very highly owned. Now that Zeke is back, I expect a lot of people to move off of Dak and Dez, in favor of Elliot. While we can’t quite call ourselves sneaky for playing Dez Bryant, we can at least enjoy the fact that he may be lower owned than he should be. At only 6400, Bryant should be able to exceed price based expectations, and come through with his biggest performance of the year. Kansas City’s defense is not as good as public perception, with cornerback Marcus Peters showing a tendency to get burned by elite receivers on the outside. Do you know any elite receivers on the Cowboys that line up on the outside? I can think of one. Dez Bryant is firmly in play against the Chiefs, in what should be one of the highest scoring games of the week.

Julio Jones

For Julio, it’s really quite simple. You are probably best served to have exposure to him even while he works through this struggle. With the second-best receiver in the world significantly underpriced (7800), play Jones in the hope that he can overcome the inefficiencies of Atlanta’s play-calling and have his 2017 arrival game. After all, it was in this exact matchup last year in which Julio went for 300 yards and torched the Panther’s secondary.

Sammy Watkins

The Clemson product is one of the big-time playmakers in this league at the wide receiver position, but never seems to be valued as so. Coming into this matchup with the Giants, Watkins has several factors in his favor. The Rams are coming off a bye week in which they had plenty of time to emphasize how to get the underutilized Watkins the ball more. That game-plan won’t be as hard to put to use as you might think, with the Giants missing star cornerback Janoris Jenkins. At only 4200, this is the time to hop on the Watkins train. At no other point this year will we get a chance to play Watkins at such a cheap price, with such low ownership, and a clean bill of health. It is worth mentioning that Watkins is also returning to the state of New York, where he began he career with the Buffalo Bills. While that may not be enough reason on its own to play Watkins, it certainly doesn’t hurt his case. It is completely viable to hedge this play with other Rams offensive pieces, but Watkins is the player that stands out most to me. I expect him to absolutely shatter his price tag if he can meet or exceed 6-8 targets on Sunday.

Tyreek Hill

The Kansas City and Dallas game is setting up to be shootout. There is no need to overthink this one. Play Tyreek Hill. In a plus matchup on the fast track turf, expect ‘Ty-Freak’ to give the Dallas secondary fits. As we’ve seen, Hill only needs one big scoring play to justify his price tag, which checks in this week at 6700. This game provides us with plenty of one off tournament players, as well as the possibility of stacking up the whole game. Even though Dallas likes to control the clock and run the ball, there still should be ample opportunity for the Chiefs to move the ball and score. In need of a bounce back game, Tyreek has a great chance to go nuts this week.

Bonus

When there’s a team on the schedule who looks all but guaranteed to obliterate their opponent, it’s obviously a great idea to get exposure to them. With teams like Seahawks and Saints in such clear smash spots, much of the public will be drawn to the same players on these teams. While simply being higher owned doesn’t make someone a bad play, it is important to think outside the box in these situations in order to find the sharpest solution. For Seattle, we would want to first accept the outcome of Seahawks dominance and then identify where the scoring will come from. I wrote up Tyler Lockett last week, identifying him as a player that will improve as the year goes on. Lockett remains in play this week, but faces the likelihood of going up against Washington elite cornerback Josh Norman, who generally patrols the left side of the field. If you want to get frisky, you can spin the wheel with the Seahawks and have exposure to Lockett, as well as Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin. In the end, I may very well end up having more exposure to Baldwin than either of the other two. The fact that Baldwin normally lines up in the slot is very encouraging, as he will avoid Josh Norman in coverage. The Seattle running game is a complete mess, often forcing the Seahawks to put the game on Russell Wilson’s shoulders. For the Seahawks to put up points in bunches, the passing game has to be successful. More than likely, one or more of their receivers goes off this week, with tight end Jimmy Graham being a strong possibility as well. The Seahawks defense can be stacked with an offensive player, as game flow should allow both to have opportunities to produce points. The with Hawks running game being notably bad, Russell Wilson makes a fantastic GPP this weekend as well, but he does check in with the highest price tag of any quarterback on the slate.

Saints running back Mark Ingram has been on a tear as of late, and now has risen all the way up to 7600. Even after owning up to two fumbles last week, it just seems like a classic Sean Payton move to limit Ingram’s snaps this week in favor of Alvin Kamara. This game could shootout, with Kamara having heavy usage independent of game flow. If you think the game takes the path of a defensive divisional battle, you will definitely want exposure to the Saints defense, who faces off against turnover-prone Jameis Winston. The public is sure to bet on Michael Thomas having a huge game this week, and rightfully so. If you want to hedge this play, you’ll find the idea of playing smaller names from the Saints passing game to be highly intriguing. I will be finding every which way I can to get exposure to this game, as I expect a lot of points to be scored.

Roster Construction

Week 9’s optimal roster build will likely feature wide receivers priced in the mid-range, as so many of the elite guys have a strong chance to bust. I will be going with a complete fade of AJ Green and DeAndre Hopkins and loading my player pool with guys in the 4K-7K range. To win a GPP this week, you’ll need to have at least some element of a contrarian mindset. I wouldn’t be surprised if something such as a sneaky Rams game stack won a tournament. Keep your eyes and ears turned towards injury updates and analysis as you fine tune your lineups. Most importantly this week, don’t overthink playing underpriced playmakers. We’ve identified a few here in the hopes that they help one of you win big on Sunday.

 

Remember to follow us on Twitter: Nathan Smith & The Sports Talk

 

 

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 7)

Week 6 has now passed, which means we are near the halfway point for the regular season in many fantasy football leagues. By now it is clear whose teams are championship favorites and whose are pretenders. Whether you find yourself at the top of the standings or near the bottom, it is still important to hunt the waiver wire. Kudos to anyone that took my advice and picked up Adrian Peterson and had the confidence to start him because he looked electric last week. If for some reason he is still available in your league, add him now. Here are 6 fantasy football players to target this week.

1. Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants

Orleans Darkwa is not a household name, but he is killing it for the Giants. He has put up over 14 points the past two weeks in PPR leagues and is still unowned in nearly all leagues. He led the team in touches last week and ran for 117 yards on the stout Broncos defense. A defense that allowed 95 yards combined between LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, and Marshawn Lynch. Did Darkwa have a fluke of a game versus that stellar run defense? Probably. But he is worth the add this week. (Percent Owned: 0.7 NFL, 4.5 ESPN)

2. Alfred Morris, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Due to the never ending legal battle that follows Ezekiel Elliott, Alfred Morris could become the starter in Dallas. However, he could also see little to no playing time. The same goes for fellow back Darren McFadden. Elliot could escape serving no suspension and continue to serve as a bell-cow for the Cowboys. However, in the event that he is suspended, Morris and McFadden both become possible starters. (Percent Owned: 14.0 NFL, 43.9 ESPN)

3. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson Agholor was featured on this page several weeks ago and here he finds himself still a top target. He is having a breakout year and is available in many leagues for how well he is playing. If the Eagles and Carson Wentz continue on their hot streak, look for Agholor’s fantasy value to stay high. He is going into a matchup with a Josh Norman-less Redskins secondary, so look for big numbers. (Percent Owned: 23.5 NFL, 36.3 ESPN)

4. Ted Ginn, WR, New Orleans Saints

Ted Ginn is benefitting from the pass heavy offense led by Drew Brees. His fantasy value is touchdown dependent, but he has two touchdowns in his last three games. Given that he is a speedster, the possibility of a long touchdown each week makes him an enticing fantasy start. He is a good WR3 or flex candidate, but do not sit any solid starters in favor of him. (Percent Owned: 16.4 NFL, 40.6 ESPN)

5. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

DeMarco Murray is still the starter in Tennessee, but Derrick Henry out touched him last week. Henry scored 21 fantasy points in PPR leagues and had a career long 72 yard touchdown run. Henry won’t put up these numbers on a weekly basis. He is a good add though if your team is very weak at running back. (Percent Owned: 78.8 NFL, 57.0 ESPN)

6. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

The rookie receiver is beginning to push Martavis Bryant out the the number two target in Pittsburgh. He has not down so yet, but he was second in catches and yards last week. Combined with the swirling rumors that Bryant wants a trade, there could be a lot of value in adding JuJu Smith-Schuster to your team. He is not a consistent fantasy starter, but is worth stashing on your roster. (Percent Owned: 2.0 NFL, 6.3 ESPN)

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 6)

In last week’s article I touched on the major injuries around the league, but this week was even worse. Starting with the entire Giants receiving core including OBJ going down for the year and JJ Watt’s season also coming to an end. Week 5 was a hard one and it can seem impossible to replace players in fantasy leagues. Which it is, but the only way to salvage your fantasy season is to hope to claim a gem off of waivers. Below are six waiver wire targets that could help save your injury plagued season.

1. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Last week Latavius Murray was sitting in this spot, but his counterpart, Jerick McKinnon, outperformed him 26.60 to 6.30 in PPR leagues. McKinnon’s point total was boosted by a 58 yard touchdown, but even minus that play he would have had a great game. He participated in the passing game as well, catching six passes for 51 yards. Both of the backs will continue to split touches, but after one game it appears that McKinnon will see the bulk of the touches. (Percent owned: 3.2 NFL, 29.3 ESPN)

2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Adrian Peterson was traded to the Cardinals today for a conditional pick. This is one of the rare trades where it works out for all parties. New Orleans was a poor fit for the 32 year old running back. AP mustered only 81 yards on 27 carries this season and the Cardinals need help at the position. It is yet to be seen if Peterson has anything left in the tank, but if he does the pay off for adding him is astronomical. (Percent owned: 62.4 NFl, 47.5 ESPN)

3. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Jacoby Brissett has proven to be a more than capable backup quarterback in Luck’s absence. He is also a good plug and play option if anyone has a QB on a bye or is suffering from having the five interceptions, Big Ben. He posted a career high in passing yards last week and is facing the weak Titans defense this week. (Percent owned: 3.5 NFL, 15.9 ESPN)

4. Roger Lewis, WR, New York Giants

Due to season ending injuries to Odell Beckham Jr., Dwayne Harris, and Brandon Marshall and a multiple week injury to Sterling Shepard, Roger Lewis is slotted to start at receiver this week. Lewis has not scored a lot of points this season, but this week will not be without opportunity for the young player. It will be interesting to see if he will be a viable fantasy option. (Percent owned: 0.2 NFL, 0.2 ESPN)

5. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Alex Collins is splitting carries with Javorius Allen, but still managed over 50 yards each of the last three weeks. He rarely sees any passes thrown his way and is yet to score a touchdown. However, he is a solid start and consistently scoring over five points each week. When he finally reaches the end zone look for his point total to hit double digits. (Percent owned: 10.9 NFL, 33.3 ESPN)

6. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Marlon Mack had a breakout game last week against the 49ers and is facing another soft defense this week in Tennessee. He had 91 yards on the ground and a touchdown. If he can get more involved in the passing game, his fantasy numbers will be hover around 20. He did suffer an elbow injury and is listed as questionable, but he claims that he will not miss any time. (Percent owned: 0.8 NFL, 3.4 ESPN)

 

Photo Credits: Star Tribune

Through 4 games, the New York Giants remain without a win. What has gone wrong?

the-giants-host-washington-in-nfl-week-3-61a73ce2be39d134

Ereck Flowers and the Giants’ offensive line have struggled to protect Eli Manning so far this season.

Entering the 2017 NFL season with hopes of winning the NFC East, the New York Giants have been one of the most surprising teams in the NFL, entering week 5 owning an 0-4 record. In week 1, the Giants were demolished by the Cowboys and held without a touchdown, with the score being 19-3. Week 2 against the Lions showed signs of life, as rookie tight end Evan Engram caught his first touchdown pass of his NFL career. However, the Lions pulled away late on a fourth quarter punt return by Jamal Agnew. Then, in week 3 at Philadelphia, it took the Giants over 3 quarters to finally score, in a fourth quarter in which Eli Manning and the offense suddenly exploded for 24 points. However, it was still not enough, as the Giants lost a heartbreaker on a 61-yard field goal by Jake Elliot. Last Sunday at Tampa Bay, several defensive collapses led to a second straight week of losing by a game-winning field goal, this time on a 38-yard field goal by Nick Folk (who, by the way, missed 2 field goals and an extra point earlier in the game).

Now, at 0-4, the Giants find their playoff hopes in critical condition. Keep in mind, that the Giants still have to face elite teams such as the Seahawks, Broncos, Chiefs, and Raiders. Every Giants fan must be bewildered as to how their team ended up 0-4 and there a several factors as to why (no particular order).

Brandon Marshall

The Giants signed Brandon Marshall to a 2-year, 11 million dollar contract during the offseason. He was brought in to be a red zone threat and a wingman to Odell Beckham Jr. Unfortunately for the Giants, Marshall and Manning have not been on the same page at times. There have been instances where they were on the same page, but Marshall failed to make the catches. The good news is that Marshall is starting to improve, catching 14 passes for 112 yards in weeks 3 and 4 combined, while only catching 2 passes for 27 yards in weeks 1 and 2 combined.

Brad Wing

Brad Wing has had 2 atrocious punts so far this season, and they were both at the worst possible time, in the fourth quarter. One was against the Eagles and one was against the Buccaneers. Against the Eagles, with 19 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, the Giants had a 4th and 1 from their own 34 yard line. So, they called on Brad Wing to punt and send the game to overtime. Instead, Wing’s punt was only 28 yards, which set up the Eagles to 1st and 10 from their own 38 yard line. A few plays later, Jake Elliot nailed the 61-yard game-winning kick. The other scenario was in Tampa Bay last Sunday. With a little more than 9 minutes remaining in the game, and a 17-16 lead, the Giants had a 4th and 3 from their own 42 yard line. This time, Wing’s punt was only 15, yes 15 yards. Four plays later, Jameis Winston hit Cameron Brate for a 14 yard touchdown to take the lead at 22-17. The Giants went on to lose this game by a score of 25-23.

Offensive Line and Running Game

After struggling to run the ball last season, the Giants’ running game has continued to struggle. Currently sitting at 30th in the NFL in rushing yards with 237, the running game has been close to nonexistent. Also, the offensive line struggled mightily to protect Eli Manning throughout the first 2 weeks, however there has been a slow and steady improvement. Eli underwent 14 hurries through the first 2 weeks, but has only underwent 4 in the past 2 weeks. Much of the o-line struggles have been blamed on left tackle Ereck Flowers, especially because he himself allowed 3 sacks against Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions.

Rushing Defense

Surprisingly, the Giants currently sit at 27th in the NFL with rushing yards allowed, allowing 571 rushing yards through 4 games. After being tied for 3rd in the NFL last season, with only 1417 rushing yards allowed through 16 games, the rushing defense has significantly declined this year. This in part may be due to the departure of defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who recently signed with the Colts this past offseason on a 3-year, 30 million dollar contract. Along with the departure of Hankins comes Olivier Vernon‘s health. Vernon has been bothered by a lagging ankle injury since the beginning of the season. He has been limited in practice at times, and he missed the entire 2nd half of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

Ben McAdoo

Over the past 2 seasons, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo’s play calling has been criticized by many fans and analysts. His play calling is very predictable at times, he opts to run the ball at the wrong times, and he is simply too conservative and lacks aggression. He has reportedly considered handing over the play calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, but there has been no discussion about it this week.

Overall, anyone who has paid close attention to the Giants this season know that they have slowly improved each game, but they have still yet to win a game. Maybe continuing to start D.J. Fluker at offensive line will help the pass protection. Maybe Brandon Marshall will continue to improve his chemistry with Eli Manning. Maybe Wayne Gallman will earn the starting job at running back going forward and give the running game some life. As unlikely as the playoffs seem right now, if the Giants can improve and truly reach their potential that everyone was expecting coming into the season, then anything is possible.

New York Giants Week 5 Preview vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Well, here we are again. The Giants are coming off a second straight game in which they lost on a last second field goal. The Chargers are practically in the same spot as they Giants, as they are 0-4 on the season as well. However, the Giants have been playing better as of late, but just cannot seem to close out games. Someone has to win this week though, I mean I hope …

Keys To A Giants Victory

Play Wayne Gallman

Rookie running back Wayne Gallman made his first appearance of the season last week and he played well. He rushed 11 times for 42 yards and added 2 receptions for 8 yards and a touchdown. As sad as this sound, that is probably the best game a Giants’ running back has had all year. Gallman proved in the second half against the Bucs that he can run the ball effectively and catch the ball out of the backfield. Paul Perkins has been ruled out for this week’s game, Orleans Darkwa has only 53 yards in 3 games this year and Shane Vereen has even less with 47 yards in 4 games played. Nothing is working for the Giants in the backfield and it is time for them to give the keys to Gallman to let him prove what he can do. It cannot get worse.

Slow Down The Pass

Melvin Gordon has not been very good this year. The Chargers as the whole are almost as bad at running the ball as the Giants are. They are averaging 67.5 rushing yards per game, which puts them at 29th in the league. That is just two spots higher than the Giants. On the other hand, the Chargers are 6th in the league in passing yards per game as they are averaging 269 yards per game. Philip Rivers is having a decent year, but whenever he has thrown the ball to Keenan Allen, he has been successful. Allen has 24 catches for 334 yards and a touchdown in the first four games. Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin also have some big play ability. The biggest problem for the Giants has been the tight ends. The Chargers have two very talented tight ends in Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry. Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have been doing a great job locking down their man, but it has been Landon Collins and Eli Apple who have been the problems in coverage. Collins has been getting burned by every tight end, while Apple has not been able to stop a team’s number two or three receiver. This is going to have to change if the Giants want to close out games.

Brad Wing Needs To Be Better

Brad Wing was the main reason the Giants lost against the Eagles in week 3. He shanked a punt about 20 yards out of bounds that landed at the Eagles’ 40 yard line. The Eagles were then able to move the ball a bit and convert a deep field goal to win the game. Last week, again, Wing struggled to punt the ball. He had another 20 yard shank that looked identical to the one in week 3. Wing is currently third worst in the league in yards per punt with 43.4 yards. He is also dead last in the league with only one punt inside the 20 and dead last in net punting average. He has been real, real bad. Oh, the Giants are also the only team who has allowed a punt return for a touchdown. A punter plays a bigger role than most realize. He determines the field position for the opposing team most of the time and Wing has been giving every opposition great starting field position. He is going to need to change this or else McAdoo needs to find a replacement.

The Drops Have To Stop

The Giants are currently 4th in the league with 7 drops by receivers. Odell Beckham has 4 of them, which leads the league, while Brandon Marshall has 2. These were supposed to be the two main receivers for the Giants and they have been very disappointing. Beckham has made some big plays, but he has also cost the Giants some key first downs. On the other hand, Marshall has not done anything right. He has dropped some big passes and has not made any impact plays. These two need to change their ways this week.