Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
WEEK 1 AUTOPSY
It was a new season of hope for Giants fans and the #TogetherBlue Nation. It was highlighted by wild free agency spending including the huge contract for Leonard Williams. However, by 7pm Sunday September 12th, all those hopes were dashed like an untied, cheap boat in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Katrina! The Giants were playing a beatable team that won fewer games than they did. There were huge questions coming into the season:
➢ The offensive line was bad last year and it looked bad in the preseason. Was it improved at all?
➢ Could Daniel Jones stop the turnovers?
➢ Could the offense explode with all the weapons added in the offseason?
➢ Could Jason Garrett get more imaginative with the offense?
The answer to all these is NO!
I said in last week’s Pulpit, the Giants have to get off to a fast start. Did they? No! The Broncos won the time of possession in the first quarter, 10:09 to 4:51 and 18:59 for the half vs 10:01 for the Giants. The Giants were ahead. 7-3 in the second quarter. The game turned when the Giants recovered a fumble at 4:05 left in the first half at their own 4-yard line. This we thought stopped a Broncos touchdown. The Giants managed 3 yards on 3 plays and had to punt.
On the other hand, Denver torched the Giants for successive pass plays of 14, 16, and 17 yards. With 13 seconds left Bridgewater hit Patrick for a 2-yard touchdown which culminated a 7 play, 57-yard drive. It only took 2:17. When that happened I said this game was over.
The Broncos received the second half kickoff and go on a 16 play, 75-yard touchdown drive. It took 8:12 off the clock before the Giants got the ball back. Bridgewater hit a 4th and 1 touchdown pass to Okwuegbunam. Say that fast 3 times. The Broncos were 3 for 3 on 4th down conversions on the day. “Teddy Two Gloves” got rid of the ball very quickly in 2.1 seconds as the defense tried to tackle him. He was only sacked twice.
When the Giants get the ball back, they drive from their own 25-yard line to the Broncos 22-yard line. Then we get the #DannyTurnover obligatory turnover, a fumble. Even though Jones had 2 hands on the ball it was easily knocked out. Jones Scoreboard is now 40 Turnovers and 38 passing touchdowns!
I said the game was over but the last nail in the coffin was the 70-yard run by aging Gordon. The Bronco OL sealed 3 Giants on the left and 2 on the right. It was a scene right out of the NFL Matchup show from years ago. Merrill Hoge used to say, “What we have here is a seal here and a seal there and Gordon runs right up the Kanally!” He completely outran the entire New York defense (there were 7 defenders trapped to his right) including Bradberry and Adoree Jackson had the last shot and he couldn’t reach him! Jones got a garbage time last minute drive vs the Broncos prevent defense. He ran into the endzone unopposed as time expired. The Giants as far as I am concerned only scored 7 measly points.
WEEK 2 MATCHUP
It is on to face the Redskins which is one of the top 5 defenses in the league on a short week on the road. This is the 177th regular season meeting between these 2 teams. #DannyTurnover will not be facing the patsy team that he got half of his 8 wins from. The Giants always play better on the road especially as an underdog. However, I think the Washington team with their ferocious front seven (Chase Young, Montez Sweat) will melt the Giants Swiss cheese offensive line. Jones and the Giants will have 2-3 turnovers. The offense is anemic again with Garrett. The Chargers threw for 334 yards last week vs Washington.
The pass game is the only way that the Giants will have to win. The Giants start to have to use their new weapons. Toney is supposed to be the “Human Joy Stick”. Let’s get him in space. Try a jet sweep or a quick hitter on a linebacker. Golladay is the shiny $72M X receiver. Let’s get him 100 catches. He was 4 for 64 yards on 6 targets. Rudolph, with Engram who missed his 15th game as a Giant (He is missing his 16th this week!), only caught 2 passes for 8 yards. Sheppard who Jones developed chemistry in year 1 had the best day at 113 yards on 7 catches and a touchdown. I said in the Pulpit he would haver at least 5. Jones will have to get rid of the ball quickly so look to an increased screen game. However, with Garrett you know it will be conservative which will spell doom.
The Giants got only ran for 60 yards and Jones was the leading rusher with 27 yards! They will not be able to rush for much more against this Washington front.
The Washington offense was hit with a big loss when Fitzpatrick left the game and will not be back for 6-8 weeks. His replacement Heinicke is not as experienced as the 14-year veteran and I feel the scoring potential is cut 20-25% with Heinicke. It’s a downgrade for McLaurin and Thomas. Washington will try and establish a run game with Gibson to set up play action to McLaurin and Thomas. The Broncos picked on Peppers in the pass game and Washington should do the same. I think they will also want to run to keep the Giants off the field. They can win the time of possession like the Broncos and let their defense get them good field position off turnovers.
The last 3 games in this series have been decided by an average of 3.3 points. Barkley will be on a pitch count again given that it is a short week. I can see this anemic offense scoring more than 2 touchdowns. I am calling this game Washington 20 and the Giants 17. I like the Under more than picking a side in this one. 14 points represents the average points that the Giants have scored in their last 7 games with the Genius Garrett. I would have fired him Sunday night. My original prediction was 20-14 but the Giants are a great road underdog at 9-2 ATS as a road dog. Off the top of my head, it is probably 16-5. Teams always do better after an embarrassment. Make sure you get Gmen +3.5 (some place at -3) because you need the hook to win. The Giants will have their only chance to win in the first 5 weeks next week vs the hapless Falcons off 10 days rest.
DECADE OF MALAISE
I am going to put up the scoreboard below every week at the end of the article:
Dave Gettleman’s Record since becoming GM: 15-34
Giants Record since last Super Bowl win: 51-68
Giants Record since 2017: 18-47.
Daniel Jones Record: 8-19
Winning Seasons since 2011 Super Bowl Year: 2