Markus Golden, Saquon Barkley
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Three key predictions for the remainder of the New York Giants 2019 season, the final 10 games of the campaign. 

Jason Leach

In the NFL, the thought of a moral victory is an illusion. Only wins and losses officially count. But there were some positives takeaways from the New York Giants 35-14 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots on Thursday night.

The Giants played better than most expected and the game was competitive until midway through the fourth quarter.

Playing without their three best offensive playmakers (Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram) and facing Bill Belichick’s defense, the best in football, Daniel Jones made several mistakes, but he also got a great learning experience on how to deal with adversity. This learning experience will pay dividends as his career progresses.

The defense played as you could expect for the first three quarters and sacked Tom Brady three times, intercepted him once, and forced him to fumble, which was returned by Markus Golden for a touchdown.

The Giants sit at 2-4 with 10 games remaining on the schedule with their opponents combining for a record of 16-26-2.

It will be interesting to see how the remaining 10 games will unfold for the Giants. Today, we predict the future.

Markus Golden will have double-digit sacks

The Giants pass rush is much better than it was a season ago when they registered just 30 sacks. Through six games they have 16 sacks and five of those are by outside linebacker Markus Golden.

Golden has been the disruptive edge rusher that has been sorely missed from the Giants’ defense for years. He has recorded at least a half a sack in each of the last five games and is on pace to become the first Giant since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2014 to record double-digit sacks.

The Giants signed Golden to a one year deal in the offseason. Based on the way he’s playing so far this season, the Giants will certainly look to give him a new deal once the season is over.

The Giants will go at least 5-5 over their final 10 games

Bill Parcells has a famous saying, “You are what your record says you are.” That saying is true but we have yet to see the Giants array of offensive playmakers on the field together this season.

Due to injuries and Golden Tate’s four-game suspension, we have yet to see Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Tate on the field together for a single snap this season. Once this unit takes the field together, you can expect the team to average well more than the 18.5 points they’re averaging in the first six games of the season.

Over the last 10 games of the season, the Giants face five teams that enter Week 6 with a winning record. The schedule sets up favorable for Big Blue towards the end of the season, especially over the final five games of the season when they do not travel outside of the Eastern Time Zone.

You have to like the team’s chances of going at least 5-5 over the final 10 games and finishing no worse than 7-9. Going 7-9 is nothing to brag about, but when you’ve had double-digit loss season the past two seasons, this would be a clear sign that the franchise is making progress.

Saquon Barkley will still rush for over 1,000 yards

It’s expected that Saquon Barkley will make his return after missing the last three games with a high ankle in the Giants’ next game on Oct. 20 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Barkley currently has 237 rushing yards on the season and would need to would need to average 76.3 rushing yards per game over the final 10 games to have his second-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Considering Barkley averaged 113.5 yards in the two full games he played in this season, he should be able to accomplish this with ease.

The three-and-a-half games Barkley missed due to injury will likely cost him any realistic chance at the rushing title, but going over 1,000 rushing yards in only 12 full games is still an impressive accomplishment.

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