Took a little break from Keys to the Game but they are back. Two wins under the Giants belt and going for number 3 Sunday afternoon against the Oakland Raiders. Can the Giants make it to a 3-6 record in a crazy NFC East? Here 5 ways they can help themselves:
1) Contain Terrelle Pryor
“He’s a 4.4 guy, built like a power forward on a basketball team. He can go.” – Perry Fewell. Pryor may be the best athlete in the game. At 6 foot 4, 223 pounds, he is a freight train to stop and the speed he has is ridiculous. Leads all NFL QBs in rushing yards with 485 on 63 carries (team high as well). Had a 93 yard run (pictured above) against the Steelers on a read-option. What can the Giants do? 3 safety look with a Will Hill spy? I know Jacquian Williams should be getting the start at weakside, his speed will help with containing him. The makeshift offensive line for the Raiders took another hit as the team is now on their third string right tackle, Menelik Watson. That will help with pressure and ability to get to Pryor and slow him down. Keep him in the pocket.
2) Stop Rashad Jennings
176 total yards against the Eagles defense last week. Obviously some of those stats will be inflated due to the blow out, but 176 is still impressive. A lot of eyes will be on Pryor so I see the Jon Beason vs Jennings matchup the most important of the day. Jennings cannot only make guys miss, but run them over as well. Beason has been the much needed spark for this Giants defense that has held opponents scoreless in the last 10 quarters of football. If Beason wins, the Giants have a great shot.
3) Eli Vs The Banged Up Secondary
Remember last week? When Nick Foles lit up the Raiders secondary for a record tying 7 touchdowns? When Nick Foles put up 406 yards while completing 22 of 28 passes? NICK FOLES! Now, the Eagles do not have the weapons the Giants have, not even close. Yes, Shady McCoy is a better runningback, but that is where the Eagles advantage stops. Riley Cooper? Really? Cruz, Nicks, Randle just to name a few. Starting rookie corner D.J. Hayden is out. Starting strong safety Tyvon Branch has been out for a few weeks. Eli needs to be careful of Tracy Porter in the slot and Charles Woodson over top. Also 20 MPH winds are expected, so deep balls may be off limits.
4) Run Early
Peyton Hillis will be shouldering the load this week for the Giants. Brandon Jacobs is banged up with a knee/hamstring issue, and it is Andre Brown’s first game back from a broken leg. David Wilson was put on season ending IR this week with his neck injury. With all these injuries Hillis is the most healthy back the Giants have, besides Cox. Successful running sets up a great passing attack. Keep the Raiders defense, especially those stud linebackers honest, and it will be a great day.
5) Take Advantage of Raiders Return Game
The Oakland Raiders have one of the worst kick return units in the league averaging 21.4 yards per kick return (ranked 25th). Pin the Raiders deep in their half of the field. Make Terrelle Pryor execute long drives down the field in a very windy MetLife Stadium. Jacoby Ford also had his fair share of mind lapses against the Steelers two weeks ago with a fumble, and two badly misjudged punts, pinning the Raiders on their own 1. The Giants have not done well on kick coverage this year, and this week is a great time to turn it around.
Go 5 for 5 and I guarantee you the Giants win Sunday afternoon. Unless Eli has a 5 turnover game, then all bets are off. Giants should be 3-6 at 4 PM EST.