Game Preview: New York Giants at New York Jets, November 10, 2019
In the 1981 so-bad-it’s-a-classic movie “Clash of the Titans”, Zeus told his bastard son Perseus “Find and fulfill your destiny!”
In football, we often talk about measuring sticks or litmus test games against quality opponents. In a perverted, ass-backwards sense, the Giants will face a different kind of litmus test against three of their last seven opponents. The 1-7 Jets, 1-7 Dolphins, and the 1-8 Redskins. I am firmly convinced there is a element of the New York Giants fan base who are refusing to accept just how bad their beloved team has become. More importantly, I am especially convinced that New York Giants ownership and management can’t or won’t see it.
These three “Clash of the Titans” games, starting with the Jets on Sunday, could be quite shocking to these people. To use another movie analogy (“Planet of the Apes”), “Don’t look for (your destiny)… You may not like what you’ll find.”
THE INJURY REPORT
- WR Sterling Shepard (concussion – out)
- TE Evan Engram (foot – out)
- OC Jon Halapio (hamstring – out)
- RT Mike Remmers (back – doubtful)
NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE
The Giants just never could get the band all together in 2019. Golden Tate was suspended the first four games. When he came back, Sterling Shepard was lost due to two concussions, missing all but four games. Saquon Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain, missed three games, and hasn’t looked right since he’s been back. Now Evan Engram is hurt again. He already missed a game earlier this season and will be out this Sunday and possibly longer. Those four ARE the team’s best play-makers. The team’s starting running back and best player, the team’s top two wide receivers, and the team’s top tight end. All missing extended time and never being on the field together as one unit. Pathetic and sad.
In hindsight, the 5-year, $43 million contract given to Shepard this past offseason was a big mistake. So was not trading the injury-prone, poor-blocking Evan Engram before the trading deadline despite reports that the Giants has seriously good offers for his services. But these are the types of mistakes that poorly-managed teams keep making. And the Giants have been an atrociously-managed team for years now.
It’s also become apparent that John Mara hired the wrong coaches to lead this team. Again. Pat Shurmur doesn’t appear to be an offensive guru, lacking any sort of imagination about getting Saquon Barkley in space in the passing game. His game management skills are pathetic as well. Shurmur is now 17-41 (.293). That would be a good batting average, but you can’t do much worse in terms of a W-L percentage. Reports of players-only meetings and Shurmur telling his team this week that it is “make-or-break time” just highlights his futility. And don’t get me started on James “let’s play only two defensive linemen against the Cowboys” Bettcher.
The Giants offense is going to suck again on Sunday, struggling to score even 20 points. (The team is averaging 19.5 points per game). I will be curious to see if Spencer Pulley and Nick Gates cause an uptick in performance on the offensive line, though Gates obviously will go through a lot of rough moments due to his inexperience.
What would I consider a win on Sunday? If Daniel Jones doesn’t fumble. This is what we’ve come to.
NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE
James Bettcher has them fooled. He looks and sounds the part. And the defenses associated with his name performed well in Arizona. But the guy is a clown. He has press corners playing off in coverage. He doesn’t use the high-value assets the Giants have given him up front to his defense’s advantage. The Giants have now allowed 27 points or more in all but one of their games this year. Five times, they have allowed 30 points or more.
I keep repeating myself: the Giants can’t stop the run, they can’t stop the pass, and they don’t force turnovers.
Sam Darnold has looked like dog shit for the Jets the last few games. But expect him to get well against the New York Giants. They all do.
(And oh by the way, Dave Gettleman should have traded Janoris Jenkins before the trade deadline too.)
NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS
Aldrick Rosas has now missed two extra points. Time to start worrying.
FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH
Head Coach Pat Shurmur on his job security: “I’m built for this.”
THE FINAL WORD
The 2-7 Giants versus the 1-7 Jets in the nation’s largest media market! “Clash of the Titans” indeed.
The Giants score less than 20 points per game. Their opponents score about 30 points per game. The Giants lead the league in turnovers with 22. They have only forced 12. Do the math.
The sad question is this: is it better or worse for the Giants to win this game?