Here it is less than a week from the Giants opening season trip to Dallas to “Mess with Texas” and I cannot get a true sense of what I think about this team. Let’s get right to the heart of it I am a Giants homer. A true life long fan who can fully recall everything good that has happened to this organization sense 1980.
Every year I go through the schedule and look at each game in the vain attempt of predicting their outcome and the season ending record. Again, homer, which means I look at every encounter from a “how do the Giants win this game” approach. My personal success with this method is a mixed bag at best.
Injuries, they have become so common place in New York that I look to see who got hurt before I read the boxscore. Sad right? This reality has driven my predictions over the last couple of years. I played things as if there were no injuries, because who can call that ball?
That means 2015 is different, at least my approach is. The best defensive player on the Giants (JPP) will come back to the team at some point. Money is an issue and some bad blood has developed since the July 4th fireworks mishap (let’s just call it a mishap). Yes it will be hard to predict who effective the lead sack master will be but this a homer column so we are going with the notion that he will be 95% of the player he always has been. Couple that talent inject with the top O-lineman returning (Will Betty) and the Giants will be better on both sides of the ball at a time when injuries are making other teams less talented.
So goes the game by game.
Week 1: @ Cowboys, love/hate to start in Dallas. The thing better than beating the Cowboys is beating them at home. Need to get a jump on this team early. Dallas will be throwing the ball a lot here as their running game is unknown even with that outstanding OL. Look for the Giants to also throw for a ton in a game that will go over the 75 point under/over. Giants lose as the Cowboys pass rush is ahead of the Giants at this point in the season. L 35-42.
Week 2. Falcons. Many things get righted from week one and the pass game is in midseason form. Manning throws for 4 TDs and the Giants breeze. W 31-17.
Week 3. Redskins at home. This is a great game at the right time for the Giants. The Redskins are a team in turmoil and at this point in the season they will still be pointing fingers and searching for answers. Benefiting from this situation will be the Giants defense. All of the young players on that side of the ball (Landon Collins, Damontre Moore, and Devon Kennard) will be comfortable in the Steve Spagnuolo devised scheme forcing 5+ sacks and 2 TOs. W 28-10.
Week 4. @ Bills, could be tough game here as the Bills have reloaded on Offense and remain a very talented Defense who’s strength is it’s line play. Eli remains upright as the Giants work in progress offensive line plays it’s best game of the young season. Victor Cruz gets fully worked into the game plan with 10 targets. The short and underneath stuff works and the GMEN remain undefeated in the state of New York. W 24-17.
Week 5. 49ers, see Redskins from week 3. Who are the 49ers? The offense is no threat and the D is starting to show the lose of talent from last season. Both Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams go over 100 yards and the Giants take a surprisingly one-sided game. W 31-21.
Week 6. @ Eagles, good news both JPP and Will Beatty return to action. Bad news is the Giants are not as good as their 4-1 record would indicate. The Eagles uptempo offensive has its way with NY as the Giants season is calibrated. L 35-17.
Week 7. Cowboys, having the advantage of being able to watch tape on the Cowboys from this season, Coach Coughlin and staff devise a game plan that takes advantage of the Cowboys lack of running and puts pressure on Romo all game. Dez Bryant has one of his 3 annual mini meltdowns during the game and the rowdy Giants fans help take him mentally out of the game Giants in a close one. W 24-21.
Week 8. Saints, still high from the victory over Dallas the Giants continue to move Drew Brees around the pocket and disrupt his timing. Keeping the Saints in long yardage situations takes the threat of a run out of the Saints play options and New York marches on. W 31-21.
Week 9. Bucs, the Giants offense runs wild in this one as OBJ slips free 3 times for TDs and rookie QB James Winston looks like the young player he is throwing 3 interceptions to ensure the outcome. W 28-10.
Week 10. Patriots, the only thing better than beating the Cowboys at home is beating Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl. This meeting is not the Super Bowl and the Giants don’t play like it is. They look overpowered all night as the Defensive is not effective. In true NE style no one player on their roster has a huge night but they all do their jobs well. L 30-20.
Week 11 Bye, just in time.
Week 12 @ Redskins, RGIII is back in as the starting QB which is good news for the Giants. The youth and outside speed on Defense frustrates the Redskins QB and he is forced to play from the pocket where the Giants make him pay with 5 QB sacks. The running game is highly effective as the Giants play this game with the lead throughout. W 24-7.
Week 13 Jets, the over hyped match up between OBJ and Darrelle Revis steals every camera angle in the stadium which helps Victor Cruz steal the show. The lack of a NFL caliber offensive prevents the Jets from mounting a comeback. W 17-10.
Week 14 @ Dolphins, at 9-3 the Giants are in the hunt for the NFC East title and come to Miami prepared for an explosive matchup. Footballs fly as both Eli Manning and Ryan Tannehill both throw for over 400 yards. The dolphins seal a victory with a long scoring drive to end the game. L 35-38.
Week 15 Panthers, looking to rebound from the loss in Miami the Giants run and play outstanding defense as they start to feel the playoff pressure. Andre Williams pounds the ball late and NY controls the 4th quarter in their 10th victory of the season. W 24-10.
Week 16 @Vickings, Minnesota is fighting for their playoff lives and feed monster running back Adrien Peterson often controlling the game and forcing Eli Manning into making ill advised throws. L 14-31.
Week 17 Eagles, needing a win to ensure a playoff spot the Giants are still unable to slow down the high scoring birds. Matching them score for score throughout the first three quarters the Giants fail to convert first downs in the fourth quarter and fall to their divisional foe. L 31-38.
Yes, I predict a 10-6 season. This is more than homer stuff as the Giants have talent on their roster and really only need an average number of visits from the injury fairy to be a solid team. The pass rush is strong all year and the big play issues that plagued NY in 2014 never materialize. The inability to meet Philly’s tempo in the two losses highlight the greatest of NY’s weaknesses. Scoring through the passing game makes the Giants troublesome for each team they face but the lack of a season long running game prevents the GMEN from making deep playoff run.