Will the good times, and the playoff dreams, keep rolling for the New York Giants on Sunday against the Tennesee Titans? Here is what your Big Blue View contributors think.
After the Giants crashed back to Earth against the Tennessee Titans, the question shouldn’t be whether or not the Giants will beat the Colts.
No, the question is whether or not the Giants will get embarrassed in Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts are the hottest team in the NFL right now, and their offense presents a nightmare match-up for the Giants’ defense. T.Y. Hilton is sure to stress the Giants’ secondary deep while Eric Ebron (and the other host of tight ends the Colts have been rotating to great effect) will present a test that the interior of the Giants’ defense has yet to prove they can defend.
On the offensive side of the ball, it appears (as I write this) that the Giants will be without Odell Beckham Jr. yet again. And as we saw against the Titans, the Giants’ offense is simply too easily shut down without Beckham on the field. The Giants still have nightmare mismatches in Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram, but between how they are employed by Pat Shurmur and likely DROY Darius Leonard, the Giants are going to have to bust out some wrinkles they’ve been saving for a rainy day.
Final score: Colts 30, Giants 17
Season record: 7-7
Without Odell Beckham, the Giants struggle to move the ball. Since 2014, Eli Manning has been a significantly worse quarterback in games without Beckham.
That should mean the Giants will rely on the ground game, but the Colts have one of the league’s best run defenses this season and that should still be the case even without Anthony Walker on Sunday.
On the other side of the ball, this Giants’ defense that got pushed around by the Titans last week will face a tougher test with the Colts’ offensive line. Andrew Luck has barely had to worry about a pass rush this season and the Giants aren’t likely to be the team to change that. On the ground, the Colts have three backs who can take advantage of the holes created and can catch.
It’s hard to find a place where the Giants have the advantage, which makes it incredibly hard to think this game is going to be close.
Final score: Colts 30, Giants 13
Season record: 10-4
If we learned anything from last week’s embarrassing shutout loss to the Titans, it’s that the Giants have a long, long, long way to go, especially in the trenches, where they were beaten soundly on both sides of the ball.
The Giants defense has some young talent that’s very promising and that, with experience, is going to be very good, but unfortunately, they don’t seem to have enough in that area. Meanwhile, that defensive front is going to go against a Colts offensive line that of late has destroyed anyone who dares to penetrate the offensive backfield.
The Giants offensive line, meanwhile, has experienced guys, but they too had their you-know-whats handed to then in the trenches by the Titans defensive front.
Well, with the Colts having just as strong of a front — Denico Autry is a seldom mentioned monster who can disrupt from the interior or the end while Darius Leonard is apparently out for blood after being subbed for the Pro Bowl — I’m not sure there’s good enough reason to feel like the Giants have any advantage where it matters most, which is in the pit.
Final score: Colts, 28, Giants 17
Season record: 4-10
Fate continues to not be on the side of the Giants, as they are tasked with facing one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. The Colts remain on the fringe of making the playoffs, but have been aided by a hot stretch of games in which they won seven of their last eight.
Indianapolis has one of the deceptively best young defenses, lead by league tackle leader Darius Leonard. If the Giants are effective in feeding Saquon Barkley you can expect another big rushing day from him. Besides Barkley, Eli and the rest of the offense will likely stall.
MVP candidate Andrew Luck has been lead to an incredible comeback season thanks to his offensive line. Luck will dice up the Giants secondary on Sunday, just like he’s done against far stronger defenses.
Final score: Colts 27, Giants 18
Season record: 7-7
The Giants are coming off their worst loss since Week 6, falling to the Tennessee Titans last week 17-0. New York was unable to get Saquon Barkley going in the loss, as he rushed for just 31 yards on 14 carries. When Barkley goes, so does the Giants offense. This week, I see Barkley getting back on track but Big Blue still coming out on the wrong end. It should be a high-scoring affair but the Colts offense is just going to score too many points for the Giants to compete.
Final score: Colts 31, Giants 21
Season record: 7-6
The Colts are becoming that team no one wants to face in the playoffs. Under the tutelage of Frank Reich, Andrew Luck is returning to his pre-injury form and the Colts’ offense has become effective throwing to all levels of the field. The defense, not known to be a talented group, has made significant strides over the course of the season led by rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, and is coming off a shutout victory over the Dallas Cowboys a week ago.
The problem for Indianapolis, however, is that they need to win out and get some help just to get in. That makes them an even more dangerous team to face in the remaining weeks of the regular season.
Final score: Colts 31, Giants 14
Season record: 6-7
There is just no reason to think the Giants can, or should, win this game. The Colts are at home. They have won seven of eight. They are in the playoff hunt. The Giants are playing out the string. They don’t have Odell Beckham Jr. or Landon Collins. The Giants were dominated along both lines of scrimmage last week vs. the Tennessee Titans and the Colts are a team that should be able to do the same thing.
Even if the Giants play well, I’m not sure they can win this game without some help from the Colts.
Final score: Colts 30, Giants 13
Season record: 6-8