The New York Giants face the NFL Goliath known as the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon. The Giants have played the role of David the last three times the teams have met, slaying the beast. Can they do it again? Let's see what your Big Blue View staff thinks. Here are this week's BBV staff predictions for Giants vs. Patriots.
Alex Sinclair (9-0)
It is so tempting to pick the Giants here. So tempting. But I just can't. Prince Amukamara and Jonathan Hankins are two missing pieces that are simply too important to replace with backup players for a game like this. If this was a full strength team, I might go for it, but they're so far away from that right now.
I think the offense puts up points, but I don't think the Giants have the pace to keep up. Right now, the best case scenario I could foresee for this game is that it's a close one that gives New York a little hope for the rest of the year. That's the best case though. There are so many things that need to happen for it to even break that way. In reality, I think this is a revenge game that's coming at just the wrong time.
Final score: Patriots 42, Giants 20
Chris Pflum (4-5)
Is anyone realistically going to pick the Giants here? And I'm not even setting up for a swerve, either.
I've seen a lot of people predict that the G-Men are going to get steamrolled, but do think the Giants have a legitimate chance. We know how what an injury-ravaged OL can do to an offense, and how hard it can be to replace a key play maker on short notice. I also think the return of JPP means that the Giants will finally have something like a pass rush, and the secondary matches up well with New England's receivers. Odell should be able to get his, and the Giants' offense tends to bounce back well after sloppy performances. I think the Giants CAN win.
But I'm not going to pick them to. The Pats have the best QB in the game, throwing to the biggest match-up nightmare in the league, who happens to play a position the Giants just can't defend.
I don't think it's going to be a blow-out though. It's always a great game when these two teams throw down.
Final score: Patriots 28, Giants 24
Jesse Bartolis (6-3)
This is simple to me. The Giants defense can't really slow down any quarterback. Tom Brady is much, much better than any quarterback and unlike the Saints the Patriots can actually play some defense. I'll watch and root and hope, but I don't feel good about this one.
Pick: Patriots (no score provided)
Mike Gallop (6-3)
The Giants have a great chance to win the NFC East, but this weekend will not help that cause. A much as I despise the Patriots, they are playing incredible football right now, and Big Blue is not. They will combine power running and quick hitting pass concepts to exploit our defensive weaknesses. I do believe we will score points on their defense, but in the end, it won't be enough. Besides, don't we want to save our Patriots victory for a more opportune time, like say, in February?
Final score: Patriots 31, Giants 21
Keane Macadaeg (5-4)
Defensively, we all know the Giants are going to give up points. JPP will be a huge help sure, but Brady will still have opportunities to dissect the Giants. Gronkowski especially will be a nightmare considering the Giants don't have anyone with the combination of height, length and speed to go against that monster. If the Giants want to be in this game, they need to put pressure on Brady just enough so the offense will have opportunities to make it a shoot out.
The Giants offense, outside of the Saints game, has yet to fire on all cylinders. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense is ranked as league average against the pass and the run and the Giants couldn't even must 300 yards of offense. The Patriots don't have a good defense either, but the Giants need to take more chances by going deep or just trusting Odell Beckham when he gets one on one matchups. The lack of aggression has been great in limiting turnovers but they need to find a way to simultaneously be more explosive. The Giants offense will definitely score points too but I don't think it will be enough to match the brutal Patriots offense.
Of course, however, it's the Giants and Patriots so there's a great chance for a competitive game.
Final score: Patriots 35, Giants 24
Stephen Milewski (7-2)
This is the best opponent the Giants will play all season, and a win would put them in a little more control in the NFC East. However, Tom Brady and the Patriots' strengths play right into the Giants' weaknesses. New England has a banged up offensive line but an incredibly quick passing game to compensate. A few weeks ago against the Jets, the Patriots ran only 5 times on 67 total offensive snaps. Knowing that the Giants have one of the worst statistical pass defenses in the league and that the Patriots are without top running back Dion Lewis, I expect a somewhat similar game plan Sunday against Big Blue. How can the Giants stop them?
Well, one reason why they could is because of my X-Factor, Devon Kennard. Last week, the young linebacker had used a helmet with a microphone, signaling he could be the one calling the shots on defense this week and that the coaches trust him as a leader. If he can lead the defense this week and pick and choose his spots to blitz or drop into pass coverage wisely, the Giants do have a shot.
But, I think it's way too much to ask Kennard to try to match Brady's wits. The Giants simply don't have the pass rush, especially now with Johnathan Hankins out for the season, that could pressure Brady up the middle and force him out of the pocket. And outside of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the secondary has been subpar, to put it nicely. I think the Giants will keep it fairly close like they historically do, but the Patriots seem to be on an unstoppable mission right now.
Final score: Patriots 35, Giants 24
Valentine's View (6-3)
I would like to pick the Giants to win here. It is really annoying to see the graphic below as a clean sweep for the Patriots, the team my 19-year-old son will be rooting for today. Plus, I do think the Giants have a chance here. Clearly in the NFL the more desperate team is often the one that wins the game, and the 5-4 Giants -- fighting for their playoff lives -- are more desperate. I would like to pick the Giants, but I can't. No way am I crazy enough to go on record picking them to win this game.
The Patriots are the better team. Whatever you think of them, you have to acknowledge that much. Everywhere you look, especially when the Patriots have the ball, there are mismatches New England should be able to exploit.
Let's hope I'm wrong here. Let's hope the entire staff is wrong. Shoot, it's about time Alex gets one of these wrong.
Final score: Patriots 38, Giants 28
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