X-factor #1: Golden Tate
Golden Tate needs to start being more involved and active in the NY Giants’ offense. He is a talented, useful player but has struggled with carving a role in Jason Garrett’s offense.
Tate was a Dave Gettleman 2019 free-agent signing for 4 years, $37.5 million dollars. Tate was coming off a down year where he was also traded midseason from the Lions to the Eagles in 2018. Golden was expected to offset the team’s departure of superstar receiver, Odell Beckham, who was traded to Cleveland earlier in the offseason.
That hasn’t been the case through almost 1.5 years since Tate has taken the field with the NY Giants.
Tate did well when the ball was thrown his way last season. It appeared him and Daniel Jones had developed a nice rapport. Tate was a key target to look for on third downs and in the red zone for several scoring opportunities. Tate chipped in six touchdowns to go along with a respectable 676 yards in 11 games.
This year, Tate has yet to top over 45 yards, five catches, or score a touchdown through five games this year. He is on pace to put up his worst numbers since his first two seasons in the NFL in 2010 and 2011.
Tate was signed to be a safety valve, possession security blanket for Daniel Jones to trust and go to. In 2020, he’s been unable to create the separation he thrived at for several years and he appears to have lost a step as he’s in year 12 of his NFL career.
Tate has a favorable matchup Sunday with a struggling Eagles’ defense and secondary. Tate is one of the team’s primary receiving options who’s healthy right now and the NY Giants’ offense needs him to step up now more than ever.
X-factor #2: David Mayo
A forgotten player on the NY Giants, David Mayo, will look to steal back his reps he took on the team’s defense in 2019. Mayo showed promise as a thumping run-stopper and the team inked him to an three-year extension this past offseason.
Mayo went down with a torn meniscus during training camp that set him back and landed Dave on short-term IR to start the year. Mayo made his season debut last week vs Washington and saw limited snaps on defense.
Mayo took the majority of the NY Giants’ special team reps with 17 snaps (77 percent) and he saw 11 snaps with the defense in his limited season-opener. These numbers are sure to go up starting this week.
Blake Martinez has been an absolute rock for the defense in the middle of the defense this year. He has paced this Big Blue defense all year and the bigger question has been finding the right guy to play next to him. Tae Crowder appeared to have that role locked down for the time being, until a hamstring injury derailed that plan at least for the next three weeks.
As always, the next man must step up and the next man is #55, David Mayo. Mayo is a veteran presence who should be able to handle Philadelphia’s run game Thursday night behind a struggling offensive line and backup running backs. Incumbent starter Miles Sanders is set to miss this game after getting injured in the Eagles’ week 6 loss against the Ravens.
Mayo’s liabilities have always come in the pass game. Lucky for David, Eagles’ (and notorious NY Giants-killer) tight end Zach Ertz is also set out to miss this week as well. Martinez and Mayo will have to work together to lead and command the defense to keep the Eagles’ offense honest and guessing what NY does all night.