Will the New York Giants get their first victory of the season on Sunday against the Houston Texans? Our fan poll, somewhat surprisingly, found voters to be pessimistic. What do your Big Blue View staff writers think? Let's check this week's Big Blue View staff picks to find out.
Yours truly, Mr. Sunny Disposition, was the only staff member to pick the Giants to win a week ago. I would have been right, too, except for an all-too-typical avalanche of fourth-quarter blunders. Anyway, on to this week's meeting with the Texans.
Once again, I feel good about the Giants entering this week. There were several signs of progress last week -- a number of sustained drives by the offense, pressure on the quarterback by the Giants' pass rush, better coverage from the secondary. Things that the Giants can build on, and that bode well for them as the season unfolds.
There is also the matter of Sunday's opponent. The Texans might be 2-0, but this is a team that won only two games a season ago and is quarterbacked by journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Texans took advantage of weak opponents the first two weeks in the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, and were able to protect Fitzpatrick by getting leads and then just running, running and running some more. Fitzpatrick has thrown a league-low 41 passes and the Texans have run the ball a league-leading 80 times.
This is a winnable game for the Giants. Control the Houston running game and get out of their own way by not turning the ball over, blowing coverages, running wrong routes and committing foolish penalties and the Giants should emerge with their first victory on Sunday.
NFL Picks, Week 3: Jesse's Picks vs. The Spread
•Big Blue ViewJesse takes another stab at picking games against the point spread. See who he thinks are the teams you should be putting your money on today.
With a clash against the 2-0 Houston Texans coming up, this has all the makings of another Giant loss. They couldn't stop Drew Stanton, so why have much hope of stopping Ryan Fitzpatrick? A few things. The biggest issues with the defense have been miscommunications in secondary. The Giants are no strangers to great WR corps this season, having faced Calvin Johnson in week 1 and Larry Fitzgerald/Michael Floyd in week 2. This week is no different with DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson. The hope is that they've ironed out some of the kinks and the defensive line can maintain the heavy pressure on the QB.
On the offensive side, I expect the chemistry to improve. We saw some big strides last week, but now, the aim is to do so without as many mistakes. While J.J. Watt will prove to be an almost impossible task, the Giants will undoubtedly slide protection his way. I have a gut feeling Larry Donnell will continue his ascent and the Giants beat the odds to get their first win. Giants 24, Texans 20.
The New York Giants hopes of a win completely depend on their ability to defend the run and stop Arian Foster. The Texans have been a heavy run team the first two weeks of the season and some of that can be attributed to game-flow, from them being ahead in each game, but a lot of it has to do with Foster running well and the need to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick. Perry Fewell will have to come up with a solid run stopping plan for the Giants to compete.
The loss of Jon Beason is really going to hurt the Giants this week as he is easily the best Giants linebacker at maintaining proper leverage on running plays. If Devon Kinnard is healthy, he could make a difference at the strong side backer position.
The loss of Thurmond won't hurt as much this week as the Texans don't have anyone that scares you in the slot. The Giants offense actually had some rhythm against the Cardinals and looked good when they weren't making huge mistakes. The drops have to stop if the Giants are going to win this week and I have a feeling Victor Cruz will get that under control.
I'm picking the Giants in a slight upset, 24-17
Another team with a good defensive line that could give the Giants problems, but I think the Giants looked much better in Week 2 and I think the Giants will actually give the Texans some problems. Their offense runs through Arian Foster and the Giants can stop the run. If you mame Fitzpatrick one dimensional he runs into problems. Texans might be the better team but I think the Giants win this one outright.
Are the Giant as bad as their 0-2 record? Do they deserve the "Here we go again..." Attitude from some fans? After all, they started winless again, they are giving the ball away entirely too much again, and they can't seem to get out of their own way... Again.
But I think this is and going to be a better team than their record says they are right now. Both the offense and defense showed signs of being good, even very good squads.
Kiwi said recently that this team is at a crossroads. They could either rise up and make a lot of people eat crow, or they could roll over.
I agree. I think that if the Giants can get out of their own way, they are on the cusp of putting it all together and fielding a good, competitive team.
And I think it starts this week.
Well, isn't this interesting? It's a unanimous vote for the Giants to get their first victory .