Jump to content
SportsWrath

10 reasons to be optimistic about the Giants


The P
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

They're alive. The Giants (1-2) beat the Washington Redskins on Thursday night to save their season.

Starting 0-2 is bad. The odds of making the playoffs are 12 percent. Starting 0-3 would have been a death sentence.

Thankfully, the Giants avoided that fate. It would have been a long three-plus months if they had fallen to the Redskins.

Instead, there are 10 days to bask in some optimism. The Giants don't play again until Sunday, Oct. 4, in Buffalo.

"I think we're very, very much in the thick of things with it being just Week 3," starting middle linebacker Jon Beason said. "The good thing about it is we've got a little mercy this week. We deserved to win the first game, we deserved to win the second and there's no gimmes. It's truly, truly a game of 60 minutes. To get the win was huge, knowing that we can, knowing that we are a good football team and we need to start thinking that. The way we are in the locker room, outside the doors, the way we carry ourselves in the community here, we're a great football and we have a chance to go far if we decide to do that."

There is potential. As Beason noted, the Giants could've won all three games. They've done enough positive to put themselves in that position. And they've done enough for there to be these reasons for optimism.

 

1. Greatly improved run defense

The run defense was a serious problem last season. The Giants finished 30th in the NFL allowing 135.1 yards per game on the ground. But the Giants focused on improving in this area and have been effective the first three weeks of the season. They're fourth in the league allowing 74.7 yards per game. They held the league's top rushing team to under 100 yards on Thursday night. With Johnathan Hankins in the middle and defensive ends Kerry Wynn and George Selvie and linebacker Devon Kennard all solid run stoppers, this should be a strength of the Giants defense this season, especially with Beason back.

2. Winning turnover battle

New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has stressed relentlessness. Beason explained it as "do your job, plus." Whatever it is, it's working through three games. The Giants have forced six turnovers (4 interceptions, 2 fumbles). The defense has produced 24 points.

The offense, meanwhile, has committed one turnover. As a result, the Giants are a +5 this season. They'll win a lot of games at that rate.

3. Strong quarterback play

Take away the bonehead mental mistakes at the end of the first two games and there would be talk about how Eli Manning is playing some of the best football of his career. For the first time in his career, he's gone three games without an interception to start the season. He's completing 65 percent of his passes and averaging 255 yards per game with a QB Rating of 97.9. All the evidence is there that Manning is going to have a strong season. If not for the league-high 11 dropped passes, Manning and the Giants' offensive numbers would look even better.

4. Help on the way

With 10 days in between games, it's almost like having a second bye week. When the Giants return to action, they could have a very different-looking team. Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf), defensive ends Robert Ayers (hamstring) and Owa Odighizuwa (foot), left tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) are all expected back for the Bills. That would be a huge lift. Ayers and Odighizuwa would greatly improve the pass rush, Rodgers-Cromartie is their best cover corner and Cruz (even if he's not immediately his old self) would put another weapon alongside Odell Beckham Jr. All would make the Giants a significantly better team.

 

5. Odell Beckham Jr. is for real

Anyone who had doubts about what Beckham did his rookie season should be convinced by now. He's doing it again. Beckham is one of the league's best playmakers. He does damage short, long and in the intermediate ranges. There is nothing he can't do. He's easily the Giants' best weapon and player. Beckham is on pace for 101 catches, 1,435 yards, 11 touchdowns and another Pro Bowl appearance.

6. Offensive line has been serviceable

The embattled offensive line hasn't been great through three games. But it also hasn't been the liability that some expected. There has been sufficient time for Manning to throw the ball and he's been sacked just three times in three games. Sure they need to improve as a run-blocking unit, but overall they've been better than expected. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse has been serviceable while Justin Pugh (left guard and tackle) and center Weston Richburg have proven be strengths.

7. Safety play has been solid

The Giants were adding safeties off the street up until the beginning of this month. It was a position of concern all offseason and preseason. The Giants settled on Brandon Meriweather next to Landon Collins just days before the regular season started. It has proven to be a good choice. Meriweather has surprised and played well. He has a +0.8 Pro Football Focus grade. He's even been better than expected in coverage, an area that has been problematic for him throughout his career.

8. Special teams improvement

The Giants troublesome special teams finally appear fixed, aside from the late kickoff return for touchdown allowed against Washington. The Giants were third in Football Outsiders' special teams rankings through two weeks. The biggest difference is their punting units appear greatly improved. The addition of Dwayne Harris, Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas, along with punter Brad Wing has given them the most effective punt team in the league. The special teams may no longer be a liability. In fact, they may be a strength.

9. Favorable schedule

The Giants next six games are at Buffalo, vs. the 49ers, at the Eagles, vs. the Cowboys, at the Bucs, and at the Saints. That's a pretty favorable run. The Bills look solid, but the other five opponents have their troubles, especially with the Cowboys likely to be without quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant for that contest. The schedule works in the Giants favor over the next six weeks. There is an opportunity to string together some wins.

 

10. NFC East is wide open

The Cowboys are 2-0, but can they survive for a long stretch without their top offensive playmakers? If not, the division is wide open. The Giants are tied for second place with the Redskins. The Eagles are 0-2 and have their fair share of troubles. First to nine wins takes the division? It's possible.

 

http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2015/09/10_reasons_to_be_optimistic_about_the_giants.html

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not entirely convinced of a dramatically improved run defense just yet, seems to come at the expense of the pass rush but I'll take better than last year so far. Bills and 49ers will let us know the truth of it.

 

I agree that 3 games is not a complete data set, but Dallas and Redskins can run the ball. Giants did a good job against both of them.

 

The run defense looks much better this year, and I think part of the reason is that the defensive line is not constantly giving away the edge.

 

Also, Jacquian Williams and Spencer Paysinger were constantly swept away by blockers.....addition by subtraction there.

 

I'm troubled by the pass rush, but I wonder how much of that is do to maintaining gap disclipline in order to contain the run.

 

One thing I've noticed about this defense is that they don't appear lost and confused, which was common problem during the Fewell years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The run D and secondary have been great.

 

The linebackers couldn't cover a table with a tablecloth though, and the whole D does not know how to handle the short passing game. Dallas first drive was 12 minutes of 5 yard passes.

 

Man that LB from Washington (Robinson I think) was hella impressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I agree that 3 games is not a complete data set, but Dallas and Redskins can run the ball. Giants did a good job against both of them.

 

The run defense looks much better this year, and I think part of the reason is that the defensive line is not constantly giving away the edge.

 

Also, Jacquian Williams and Spencer Paysinger were constantly swept away by blockers.....addition by subtraction there.

 

I'm troubled by the pass rush, but I wonder how much of that is do to maintaining gap disclipline in order to contain the run.

 

One thing I've noticed about this defense is that they don't appear lost and confused, which was common problem during the Fewell years.

Yes ... totally agree without Payless or Ja'Can't back there we are not having the second tier (Secesh) swept/wiped clean like the Jews of Old... ;) Sorry had to use my crazy Colonel from the movie "Glory" quote... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as I thought....League High 11 passes!! JESUS!! If only some of those were caught - we might be talking something else entirely right now. I just hope the Giants are getting rid of their usual turd dumps for the season early itself. Is this the week Eli finally throws an INT? Maybe 2-3? Its on the road....

 

Plus - the death knell for the Giants in this game is their QB - rookie - first time facing Giants - mobile. That's it - that's doomsday right there. We will kick the bucket against this guy and fuck shit up in epic proportions leading to talk that will compare Tyrod to a cross between Peyton Manning and Vick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...