Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Giants enjoyed an easy victory last week vs the Redskins. This game was virtually over in less than 25 minutes of game time. Basically the Redskins could not stop Barkley. The other factor was that they faced a thirdstring QB in Sanchez, who frankly at this point does not belong in the NFL! In less than the first 3 minutes of the game, he had already thrown a pick 6 that set the tone early and for the rest of the game. On only 14 attempts he threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 5 times. He managed a super low 10.7 QB rating.
Barkley had only 1 TD but he had 170 of the Giants 227 rushing yards. Eli was efficient and had an easy day at the office. He threw only 22 times with 14 completions. He threw for 3 TD’s but the longest was just 11 yards. He had nearly 9 yards an attempt which is at an elite level. The Giants did not miss Beckham. Barkley, Engram and Coleman accounted for 75% of the passing yards.
When the game was 40 to zip, the Redskins saw enough and they put in Josh Johnson at QB. He hadn’t been in a game in 5 years but he acquitted himself quite well in 4thquarter garbage time. He ran in for the first TD and he threw for the second one. He also converted the 2 point conversion on both scores. You have to remember he was up against many Giant second teamers as they pulled many of the starters with the victory secured. He did manage to get the time of possession to within 18 secondsof how long the Giants had the ball. He did earn the starting job next week for his efforts.
The Giants have won 4 of the last 5 games since the bye week after the dismal 1-7 start. I do not want to throw cold water on this turnaround but look at this. The Giants beat the 49ers who had Mullens, a backup quarterback. The Giants beat the Buccaneers who had a FitzMagic meltdown. Winston almost won the game in the last 20 minutes of the game. The Giants beat the Bears who had backup, Chase Daniel. There is no way they win if Trubisky is in. Finally they beat the Sanchize last week, enough said. We are happy for the victories, but there have been fortuitous circumstances.
Looking at this week’s game vs the Titans, it is a very close matchup. When the Giants have the ball, they will want to run the ball with Barkley and throw him short passes in space. Beckham is out again this week. So The Titans will crowd the line. Eli can use play action and get the ball to his number one target Sheppard. The rest of the receivers, Coleman and Russell Sheppard have to step up. The Titans are tough vs the tight end. Engram should be the third pass option but he may be limited in his production. The Titans are one of the top teams vs the tight end. They are number 6 against the pass. That’s why it is important they the Giants get Barkley going early in this game. If he gets shut down, it could be a long day. The Titans are the number one defense in red zone scoring.
When the Titans have the ball, they will want to take over where they left off last week by running the ball with Henry. He ran for 238 yards last week and 4 TD’s They can also use Dion Lewis a s a change of pace back and he does well catching the ball. The Giants are 22nd vs the run and are somewhat vulnerable vs the run since they traded Snacks Harrison. Mariota also is a weapon in the run game. He has 61 rushing attempts this year so far. When they pass, they look to their main weapon Corey Davis. Their other options are pedestrian. With TE Jonu Smith on IR, Harvard TE Anthony Firkser has had some success. The Giants are more vulnerable over the middle since Collins went on IR. The Giants have had 13 sacks in the past 3 weeks. However they are going against one of the top OL’s in the league made up of a majority of first round picks. They will have to maintain Mariota in the pocket. He is dangerous when he gets outside as an equal pass or run threat.
The Titans are still in the playoff hunt for a wild card. The Giants still have a miniscule playoff chance if they win out and need a lot of help. I think this game is close and the Giants have actually played better on the road, 6-1 on the road vs the spread than they do at home. I think the Titans need this game more and will win 27 to 23. I can see this being a little lower scoring at around Tennessee 23 to 20. The Giants can win if they get more turnovers and the have the edge in TO ratio: Giants +5, Titans -4. That is the way to win and I think this game is competitive to the end.