EAST RUTHERFORD- The New York Giants took a step back last Sunday when they fell to division rival Washington. As a result the Redskins tied up the Giants atop the NFC East, with both teams sitting at 5-6 records. In a weak NFC East beating the Redskins would’ve given the Giants a two game division lead and they would’ve been the clear favorites to run away with the division. Instead this week’s matchup with their in-town rival New York Jets is seen as a must win in many eyes due to the Giants tough remaining schedule and Washington’s more manageable schedule.
The last time two times the Jets and Giants squared off in the regular season the Giants would go onto win the super bowl. The Giants won both matchups most recently in 2011 when they were in a similar situation to how they enter this week’s matchup with the Jets. They were 7-7 and needed to beat the Jets in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Giants pounded the Jets sparking a winning streak that wouldn’t end until the 2012 NFL season.
So far the Giants offense is tied for sixth in points per game at 26.1. The team also has the NFL’s ninth best passing attack as Eli Manning is averaging 265.5 yards per game. This week the Giants will take on a very tough Jets defense ranking third in the NFL in yards allowed and ninth in points per game allowing just 20.7 points per game.
The Jets offense ranks not far behind the Giants in points per game at 24.7, ranking 14th best in rushing yards averaging 114.3 rushing yards per game, and 20th in the passing attack averaging 242.4 passing yards per game. The Giants defense they will play is one that has improved as of late. Despite still statistically ranking last in the NFL in pass defense and 19th against the run the Giants were able to sack Tom Brady three times a few games ago, and held a talented Washington offense to just 20 points and just three points in the second half. The Giants defense also are tied for third in interceptions and give/takeaway ratio.
In order to take down the cross town rival Jets for a third straight time the Giants will have to start off by limiting the damage that Jets Wide Receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall are capable of causing. The duo has combined for 1,631 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. If Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and the rest of the Giants secondary can each do a good job in covering these big two wideouts the Giants will be able to force the Jets to put the ball on the ground. Chris Ivory is a very good running back however as he has run for over 700 yards and has made seven trips to the end zone on the ground, yet the Giants run defense is much stronger than its pass defense and will have more success if the Jets offense goes to the ground more than it goes through the air.
The Giants passing offense has been perhaps the strongest aspect of the whole team this season. Yet Eli Manning took a step back last week by throwing three interceptions against the Redskins. Eli and the Giants pass offense showed fans there shouldn’t be reason for concern however as Eli threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the Giants in position to possibly make a comeback. The Jets rank 12h in passing yards allowed per game at 240 yards allowed per game. Yet they will be without star corner Darrelle Revis which may be problematic for the Jets going up against a very talented Giants receiving core. Odell Beckham JR ranks in fourth in the NFL in receiving yards at 1,005 and is tied for second with nine touchdown catches this season Beckham coming off a monster game where he hauled in 142 receiving yards will receive plenty of targets with no Revis in his way. The Giants also look could to use weapons Rueben Randle, Shane Vereen, Dwayne Harris, Will Tye, and perhaps even the newly signed Hakeem Nicks against a Jets secondary that will have their hands full with trying to stop the great Odell Beckham without there star cornerback.
The Giants have dropped two straight including a loss to a division rival that took their spot in the NFC East driver’s seat. The Giants are going to be an angry team looking to redeem themselves and who better to take there anger out on other than their cross-town rivals. The Giants offense should be able to produce enough points to win the game, and if the defense can countie to get takeaways and stop the run the Giants should be able to take down the Jets. I believe the Giants win by a tight score of 31-27 which would mean the Giants finally find a way to close out a game in the fourth quarter.