As a series of articles, we look at game by game predictions for each NFC East team; the third team we’re going to look at is Twickenham bound, New York Giants and their quest to put a 3rd ring on Eli Manning’s hand. For most teams, this could be considered a season of transition with a new head coach in Ben McAdoo and a revamped defence after a free agent spending spree; but with a wide open NFC East, the Big Blue will be fancying their chances of an unlikely play-off run.
Week 1 – Away @ Dallas Cowboys – LOSS
And just as you’d expect from a team with lots of new parts under a new head coach there’s a bit of a sluggish start as they drop an early divisional game to the Cowboys. As mentioned in one of my previous posts; I think Dak Prescott puts on a show in his first real NFL action (and live on the Sky Sports cameras, as now confirmed), as he picks apart a defence that’s still realistically trying to gel with each other. The like of Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul struggle against arguably the best Offensive Line in the league. Don’t worry Giants fans, I’m sure Odell Beckham can find a way to catch the ball in his belly button as he always seems to find a way to ball out against Dallas.
Week 2 – Home v New Orleans Saints – WIN
In what produced one of the best (or worst if you’re a defensive fanatic) games of the season in 2015 when they put up 101 points between them in a 52-49 win for the Saints; the Giants squeeze by in this one in a similarly high scoring affair. Despite an improving O-Line in New Orleans, they can’t quite do well enough to keep Brees upright long enough to pick apart a still average Giants secondary against a mean pass rush. The Saints D did manage to get better without Rob Ryan last year but make no mistake, this is still going to be a bottom 10 defence overall and Eli should have no trouble passing through it, maybe Sterling Shepard;s coming out party for a slot receiver against a below-par Linebacking corps?
Week 3 – Home v Washington Redskins – WIN
Building on a dominant offensive performance against a weak Saints D, confidence is high and only a slightly better defence in the Redskins; but there’s a notable name on that side of the ball…Josh Norman. This is what a lot of people will be watching this week, how will Odell Beckham fare against probably the best Cornerback in the NFL last year. This matchup last year even kicked forward a rule change about 2 personal fouls and you’re ejected, and if one of them does get booted from the game, who’d be surprised? *tumbleweed* I see the Giants edging this one as the improved Giants D perks up a bit and make the Redskins one dimensional by taking away the running game.
Week 4 – Away @ Minnesota Vikings – WIN
I originally had this as a loss for the Big Blue, but with the news of Teddy Bridgewater going down, and the subsequent replacement Sam Bradford moving away from the NFC East I’ve flipped this to a Giants win and it means that they have a solid 3-1 start to the season. The Vikings defence is still one of the top few in the game and enhances it’s reputation this season. But it’s not quite on the 2015 Broncos or even 2013 Seahawks level of dominance just yet and isn’t quite enough to carry a tepid offence outside of Adrian Peterson. Giants stack the box and force Bradford to throw, which doesn’t end particularly well, it wouldn’t even be much of a shock if JPP knocks Bradford into submission and injures him for the year; his glass knees are bound to break sooner or later. But the blue half of New York is sitting pretty to start the year.
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