This underrated NY Giants OLB could be an X-Factor for a Week 2 win

Can Jihad Ward have a huge game with Azeez Ojulari doubtful?

NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
NFC Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

One of the biggest worries for Brian Daboll in Week 1 had to be to that his defensive front seven didn't provide any pressure on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. The NY Giants pass-rushers have to change things in Week 2 going up against the Arizona Cardinals and signal-caller Josh Dobbs.

Unfortunately for Daboll and Co., third-year outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari is doubtful for this contest. We're not expecting Ojulari to put the pads on. With that, veteran OLB Jihad Ward should get the start in his place.

Back on a one-year contract with the G-Men, Ward has a golden opportunity to make a massive impact on this game come Sunday afternoon. Will he step up to the plate and deliver for defensive coordinator Wink Martindale?

Jihad Ward should start vs. the Cardinals with Azeez Ojulari injured

While Ward isn't a sack machine and he's known better for his work as a run defender, he's indeed going to see extensive action in this one. He had his struggles against the Cowboys when out on the field - but the same can be said about every NY player in Week 1.

The Giants need to flush that defeat as a whole and do everything possible to record a convincing win in Glendale come Sunday. The fans have lost quite a bit of hope this past week, but there's no question that this team is still loaded with a ton of talent.

With Ward, this is his second year with the Giants after previously suiting up for the Raiders, Colts, Ravens and Jaguars. Last campaign for NY, Ward appeared in all 17 games, making 11 starts. He finished with 43 total tackles and three sacks.

With Ojulari missing so much action last year and already battling a hamstring issue in '23, it'll be on Ward and Boogie Basham, for now, to step in and help this defense out. If Ward posts an impressive showing in Ojulari's absence vs. the Cardinals, we won't be surprised at all.

READ MORE: 5 reasons NY Giants fans need to still have hope for this season