Can the New York Giants, 1-6, having lost four straight games and having traded two defensive starters over the past few days, rally and defeat the Washington Redskins on Sunday? Here are the predictions from your Big Blue View contributors.
I’m going to keep this one short and... Well, probably not sweet.
Can the Giants win Sunday? Sure. Parity in the NFL is such that any team can beat any team on any given [gameday]. Will the Giants win? I have little confidence that they will.
The Giants traded away the best run stopper in the NFL days before facing one of the most prolific rushing offenses who happen to have a talented offensive front. Washignton’s passing game is unspectacular — Alex Smith is having a perfectly “Alex Smith” season and many of their receiving weapons have injury concerns — weapons have but they are facing a thin secondary that could be relying on a pair of UDFA rookies, a corner who wasn’t in the NFL last year, and a free safety who is a converted corner, and not handling the conversion well.
On the other side of the ball, the Giants are a big-play offense and have added another explosive athlete by taking a flier on Corey Coleman. Unfortunately they have been reluctant to play to the strengths of their big-play personnel. And even if the team does learn the lessons of their games against Carolina and Atlanta and features their big play weapons (including taking the shackles off Saquon Barkley), Washington’s defense simply doesn’t give up big plays. There’s also the matter of the Giants’ offensive line, which is collectively bad at doing offensive stuff, against a young, athletic, and talented defensive front in need of a “get healthy” game.
I wouldn’t put it past Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley to take the game over and carry the team to victory. I just wouldn’t count on it.
Final score: Washington 27, Giants 12
Season record: 3-4
As big as the Eli Apple and Damon Harrison trades were, I’m not positive how much of an impact they’ll actually have on the field. The Giants were already 28th in defensive DVOA with them playing. Apple had struggled and had been picked on in coverage since his return and Harrison’s snaps were starting to decrease for a run defense that was 22nd in DVOA. More snaps for B.J. Hill and any snaps for Grant Haley are things I’m in favor of.
But those things don’t make the Giants defense suddenly good, either. Washington’s offense has been fine and fine might be all that’s needed right now. It’s a unit that’s injured — they’ll be without Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson is doubtful, Chris Thompson is hopeful he’ll play — but they have enough to move the ball and Adrian Peterson is back to being a usable running back unlike last season.
On the other side of the ball, Washington has a talented front-7 that hasn’t broken through yet and like all other opponents this season, the best remedy for that is the Giants’ offensive line. Washington has also been the fifth-best defense at not allowing big plays, which is bad for a Giants offense that can only move the ball that way — fifth in big play rate. Josh Norman hasn’t been great individually — 52nd in yards allowed per pass and 47th in success rate among 61 qualified cornerbacks — but the defense is still 12th in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers and sixth against No. 2’s. Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau have been impressive as the other starting corners. And even if the Giants can move the ball — they’re 14th in yards per drive — the inability to score in the red zone isn’t helping.
This game could be closer than the blowout some might imagine, but that doesn’t really matter.
Final score: Washington 24, Giants 20
Season record: 6-1
Nope, not gonna go there. Sorry, Giants fans.
I know what head coach Pat Shurmur has said, but I’m going to start trusting my eyes and my gut more when it comes to this team. And this Giants team is in a full rebuild mode that I truly believe the players realize as well deep down inside.
As Dave Gettleman continues to tear things down — and make no mistake, it needs to be done — the Giants are also losing firepower that might have helped them in the short term, such as Damon Harrison, whose presence might have made me feel better about the run defense’s matchup with Adrian Peterson, for example.
I’ve tried being optimistic with this team, only to be made to look foolish time and again. While I do think they have some solid pieces among what’s left on the roster, it’s not enough to make me think they are going to turn things around any time soon this year.
Final score: Washington 30, Giants 17
Season record: 2-5
No longer will I allow my my optimism to cloud my judgement. The Giants have done nothing but disappoint me and every one of their fans in 2018. I was far too willing to hope for the best outcome each week. Now that the Giants have shipped off two of their best defensive players, the only way to go from here is down.
Washington posses one of the best run stopping defenses in the league, thanks to its young and talented Alabama bred duo of Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne. Even though rushing production has been wildly inconsistent regardless of match up, Saquon Barkley will be nonexistent this week toting the rock. Eli Manning and the pass game will be the same story it has been: under performing and lacking big plays.
Defensively the Giants should still have a good game with their young core. Alex Smith is no superstar, and will not be hard to hold under 250 yards. His gang of misfit receivers should be no major issue for the Giants secondary.
Sunday will play out similarly to each week of this season. The first half will likely be close until the Giants commit a major lapse of some sort.
Final score: Redskins 24, Giants 10
Season record: 2-5
The Giants are clearly thinking to what lies beyond this already-lost 2018 season with their consecutive trades of two defensive starters. And now they are on the road, in the division, against a stout Washington defense that ranks seventh in points and fifth in yards allowed. They also have a two-game home winning streak. The month of October will be a cruel one for the Giants, a string of losses all they have to show. A bye week to limp into has never looked so welcome.
Final score: Washington 30, Giants 13
Season record: 4-3
The fire sale seems to be under way. We’re building quarterback watch lists in anticipation of the off-season. Players are wondering if they are going to be traded. Now the Giants face a divisional foe on the road coming off a slightly shortened week. Cannot imagine things will go well.
And they won’t.
Final score: Washington 27, Giants 10
Season record: 3-4
The Giants have officially thrown the towel in on the 2017 season with trades of Damon Harrison Sr. and Eli Apple earlier this week. With that in mind, I just can’t see the Giants winning on Sunday, especially against a Washington Redskins team that is playing extremely well. I think it will be closer than everyone thinks but Redskins pull it out late.
Final score: Redskins 24, Giants 17
Season record: 4-2
Not a chance I’m picking the Giants to win here. The Giants will probably win a few games the rest of the way, but this won’t be one of them. Not against a good team on a short week when the organization has — rightfully — made it clear that the future is more important than the present.
Final score: Redskins 27, Giants 17
Season record: 3-4
Only 8 percent of fans voting in our ‘Fanpulse’ survey have confidence in the direction of the Giants.