The New York Giants will look to win their fifth consecutive game this Sunday. They take on the (6-6) Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium.
Playing meaningful games in December is what the New York Giants‘ ownership has always expected from its team.
And thanks to the Giants’ four-game winning streak, their matchup Sunday against the Cardinals is certainly defined as “meaningful.” Big Blue will look to maintain its lead in the NFC East with a huge victory.
However, even with the return of Jones, defeating the Cardinals won’t be easy. Arizona is in desperate need of a win after losing three straight, and the Cardinals employ one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the league in Kyler Murray.
It will take another extraordinary performance from the defense. All in all, the Giants will need to play four quarters of fundamentally sound football in order to keep the win streak alive.
Here’s what New York needs to do to defeat the Cardinals on Sunday.
Don’t let Murray run outside the tackles
As we mentioned, Murray possesses the capability of beating you with both his arms and legs. His quickness has helped him rush for 665 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year.
The speed makes it difficult for defenses to contain him inside the two tackles, but that’s exactly what the Giants need to do. If Big Blue can keep Murray in the pocket, it will nullify his effectiveness and allow Leonard Williams and the rest of the defensive line to disrupt him.
A heavy does of Wayne Gallman
Outside of the defense remaining strong, the second-biggest reason for the Giants’ winning streak has been the offensive line’s dominance and ability to open up holes for Wayne Gallman.
Gallman is averaging 87.5 rushing yards per game during this current win streak. This includes a career-high 135 yards against the Seahawks last week.
The Cardinals defense is allowing 123.0 yards on the ground per game, so it would behoove the Giants to look to Gallman early and often.
Keep an eye on Budda Baker
It’s possible the Giants may have three players from the secondary — James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, and Jabrill Peppers — all earn Pro Bowl nods. However, the Cardinals also employ one of the best defensive backs in the league in two-time Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker.
The versatile Baker leads the Cardinals in tackles with 94 and can disrupt both the run and passing games. Thus, the Giants need to be mindful of where he is at all times.
Win the turnover battle
In games that are expected to come down to the wire, winning the turnover battle is pivotal. In his last three starts, Daniel Jones has not committed a turnover, and the Giants hope that streak continues.
If Jones and the rest of the offense can avoid giving the ball away and the defense can force some turnovers, the Giants will emerge victorious.
Right now, the Giants are as hot as any team in the NFC and their confidence is growing. The way the defense is playing right now (the unit has held three consecutive opponents to under 20 points), it’s hard to pick against them. Patrick Graham and his defense will undergo another superb performance en route to a fifth straight win.
Giants 20, Cardinals 17.