Daniel Jones, Kyler Murray
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The (2-4) New York Giants will look to end their two-game losing streak Sunday when they take on the (2-3-1) Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium.

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—It’s been 10 days since the New York Giants last played and suffered a 35-14 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots. The Giants came into that game a battered team as they were without several key playmakers.

But the Giants come into their matchup Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals a much healthier team. Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram make their much-anticipated returns to the lineup.


Much of the talk about this game has centered around this being the first matchup between the top two quarterbacks taken in this past draft, Kyler Murray (first overall) and Daniel Jones (sixth overall). This is a huge game for both teams as they look to avoid a hole too deep to overcome as the second half of the season approaches.

Big Blue comes into this a three-point favorite, but will need to play four quarters of sound football if they’re going to be victorious on Sunday.

Ball security

Perhaps the area that head coach Pat Shurmur wants his team to improve on is their ball security. Through six games this season, the Giants have turned the ball over 15 times and have at least one turnover in every game.

If the Giants can play a clean game and not turn the ball over, they’ll come away with a victory on Sunday.

Get pressure on Kyler Murray

It’s crucial that the Giants are able to pressure Murray and make life uncomfortable for him in the pocket. The dual-threat Murray is completing 64.3% of his passes and has thrown for 1,664 yards with seven touchdowns to four interceptions. He is also the Cardinals second-leading rusher with 238 yards and two scores.

The best way to negate Murray’s talent is to put constant pressure on him. The Cardinals offensive line has allowed Murray to be sacked 21 times this season.

Former Cardinal Markus Golden has recorded at least a half a sack in five consecutive games. If Golden and the rest of his new teammates can get to Murray often it will bode well for the Giants’ chances of winning.

Be balanced on offense

With Barkley making his return, he will be anxious to get a heavy workload against a Cardinals defense that’s giving up 132.8 yards on the ground. But the Cardinals defense is actually more vulnerable against the pass. Coming into the contest, the unit is giving up 281.2 yards a game and have allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 16 touchdowns against zero interceptions.

Barkley will get plenty of carries on Sunday, but the Giants also have to make sure they attack the Cardinals secondary and avoid being a one-dimensional offense.

Keep an eye on David Johnson catching passes out of the backfield

The Cardinals have one of the more talented and versatile running backs in the league in David Johnson. Johnson already has 30 receptions on the season for 315 yards and three touchdowns.

The Giants and in particular their linebackers have to keep their eyes on Johnson when he’s coming out of the backfield as he is Murray’s second favorite target.

Keep Daniel Jones upright

Perhaps the biggest matchup to watch this Sunday is how the two Giant tackles Nate Solder and Mike Remmers handle the Cardinals two edge rushers in Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs. Jones and Suggs have a combined for eight and a half sacks this season and have forced six fumbles.

Solder, in particular, has struggled when facing top edge rushers throughout his tenure. He, Remmers and the rest of the offensive line will have a huge test in protecting Daniel Jones this Sunday.

Prediction:

This game has the potential to be a shootout as the Giants come into this game with the 31st-ranked passing defense while the Cardinals deploy the 30th-ranked passing defense. But the Giants have the better offensive line and the defense is slowly making strides, which will wind up being the difference in this one.

Giants 30, Cardinals 24


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