How can I pick the Giants to win?
If you told me on Tuesday that the Giants would be getting Sterling Shepard and BJ Goodson back from injury while the Raiders would be without their top two offensive weapons, I might actually feel not-bad about the Giants chances.
But after Wednesday?
How could I pick a team to win that consciously starts a quarterback that even the head coach won't say gives them the best chance to win? Not to disrespect Geno Smith, but we saw him in preseason with many of these same players, against vanilla defenses. He would look good, right up until he didn't.
The Raiders certainly have problems of their own, and the Giants have players like Landon Collins and Damon Harrison who won't quit. It's possible they might wind up winning, but I wouldn't count on it.
Final score: Raiders 27, Giants 13
No Eli. No Janoris Jenkins. No Amari Cooper. No Michael Crabtree. That’s not even a full list. Neither team is going to look like what they intended at the start of the season, though neither season has gone as intended for these teams anyway. Oakland has the league’s worst defense by DVOA, but we have no idea if the Giants offense is going to be able to take advantage of it because we have no idea what the Giants’ offense is going to look like with Geno Smith under center.
On the other side of the ball, there’s probably going to be a lot of screen passes to Cordarrelle Patterson because that’s pretty much all they have at receiver with their top two options out from injury and suspension. This isn’t going to be a game to showcase the offenses and there might not be a whole lot of points scored.
Final score: Raiders 17, Giants 10
Geno Smith and the Giants passing game should be able to have a field day against an Oakland Raiders secondary that ranks 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed this season. While that should hold true, Smith and the Giants offense will struggled to score early on and will not be able to keep up with Derek Carr and Oakland's offense.
Final score: Raiders 24, Giants 6
The presence of Sterling Shepard in the lineup along with Evan Engram should give Geno Smith an opportunity to have some success throwing the ball, if the Giants can block for him. The Raiders will be missing wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. The Giants are broken, but the Raiders are also a bit of a mess. The Giants’ defense, though, pretty much spent the week with players introducing themselves to each other.
The Giants have a chance here, but I can’t pick them to win.
Final score: Raiders 27, Giants 17
Dan Pizzuta 7-4
Chris Pflum 6-5
Ed Valentine 2-9
Mike Gallop and Kevin Haswell have only picked some games. Here is how they have done: