The New York Giants will need to get every win they can to please their disgruntled fanbase and the following three games are must-wins.
The New York Giants are 8-24 in their last 32 games. Panic was at an all-time high in the media capital of the world as the Giants did not do anything to stop the bleeding. Instead, Big Blue traded away two of their biggest stars—Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon—and signed no big-name free agents.
However, this panic was short-lasting. Dave Gettleman soon showed the world the method of his madness as the Giants won four-straight preseason games.
Nevertheless, the Giants are still a team with a lot to prove coming into this season. And for a team coming off two straight losing seasons, any win is vital. Here are three wins that the Giants must secure in 2019:
Week 7: New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals
On Oct. 20, the Giants play host to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are fresh off a 3-13 season. It was a season that had essentially no bright spots and the Cardinals were lucky to get the three wins that they got.
Arizona failed on all sides of the ball in 2018 but the offense was the worst failure of all. Arizona’s offense was absolutely atrocious all year. The team put up the league’s worst 14.1 points per game making games an eyesore for fans. The team couldn’t score any points because they were never able to advance the ball. The Cardinals averaged only 241.6 yards per game (last in the NFL).
While the Cardinals have attempted to make changes to improve the offense there are a lot of questions surrounding the team. Will Kliff Kingsbury’s offense be successful in the NFL? Will rookie QB Kyler Murray be durable with his small frame? How will the Cardinals plan around their poor offensive line?
On top of all these offensive worries, the Cardinals defense is not built to stop a team like the Giants. The Cardinals allowed a league-high 154.9 rushing yards per game last year. Now match that with phenom running back Saquon Barkley and his much improved offensive line. This looks to be a field day for the Giants run-heavy offense.
The Cards’ offensive and defensive woes combined with a home game for the Giants should essentially equate into a New York win. No matter what, a rookie quarterback traveling three time zones away marks one of the easiest games on the Giants’ schedule.
Week 15: New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins
The New York Giants will once again host an inferior opponent; this time, it is the Miami Dolphins.
If there was any team that took a huge turn for the worse this offseason, it was the Miami Dolphins. Miami lost key starters in nearly every aspect of the field this summer.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Dolphins will be without their leading passer (Ryan Tannehill), rusher (Frank Gore), and two leading pass catchers (Danny Amendola and Kenny Stills) from a year ago. To replace them, the Dolphins did not get any upgrades. They will be replacing Frank Gore and the receivers with their back-ups while getting journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to commandeer the offense.
To make matters worse the Dolphins, entered the season with the league’s worst offensive line. The issue was further compounded when the team traded the sole bright spot on the line—Laremy Tunsil—this weekend. Now Miami essentially has a turnstile offensive line protecting a soon to be 37-year old. The Giants’ pass rush, featuring second-year outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, should be able to apply heavy pressure throughout the whole game.
And it is not like the Dolphins offense was flourishing last year. They finished second to last in yards per game just behind the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants defense is one that is young and unproven. This game should be used to help build confidence for them.
Things do not get much prettier when it comes to Miami’s defense. The team’s already coming off of a season allowed 145.3 rushing yards per game (second-most in the NFL). Now this complication is further heightened by the fact that the Dolphins lose their leading tackler Kiko Alonso. For a team matching up against Saquon Barkley, this is much less than favorable.
Miami did not only flounder in their run defense but also in their pass rush. They finished 29th in the NFL with merely 31 sacks. Now add this to the fact that they lost their two leading pass rushers (12.5 total sacks) this offseason. Whoever is in there at quarterback for the Giants should have all the time in the world to find guys like Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram who have now become focal points of the offense.
Overall, this game should be a walk in the park for the New York Giants. After trading away many key assets (Kiko Alonso, Laremy Tunsil, and Kenny Stills), the Dolphins have essentially started tanking before the season started. Now come Week 15, their tank will be in full-go.
Week 16: New York Giants at Washington Redskins
The New York Giants will make a four-hour trip to D.C. on December 22. They will the Washington Redskins. However, unlike the rest of the games on this list, the Redskins may not be a cakewalk.
Don’t get me wrong, the Redskins are a team that is definitely in the latter half of the league talent-wise. They are fresh off of a 7-9 season and are yet to improve the one side of the ball that they struggled at, offense. But when a team is a division rival, anything can happen.
With that said, the Giants did beat the Redskins 40-16 in Washington late last year. There was a point in the game when the Giants were up 40-0. This rout of Washington came without Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, arguably two of the best players on the team last year. Furthermore, that game was a must-win for Washington as they were standing at 6-6 with playoff hopes.
Now, the Giants will have to look to go into Washington again in December and pull off another win. This time things may be a little easier.
The Redskins’ offense was already pretty bad last year as they finished 29th in points per game and 28th in yards per game. Now, this same offense loses their two biggest receivers (Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder).
In addition to that, the Redskins will probably be featuring rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins come December. While the Redskins did start Mark Sanchez when the Giants beat them in 2018, the start of Dwayne Haskins might not yield a much better outcome. The rookie will most likely be commanding a team with little to no offensive firepower.
On top of that, the Redskins may already be tanking come Week 15 as there is a good chance they will be out of playoff contention. If this is the case, the Giants should be in for a possible road win come Dec. 22.