With four games to play, the New York Giants are already guaranteed yet another losing season. The Dallas Cowboys and their fans come to MetLife Stadium this week — hopefully without their own sideline benches. Here are a few storylines to consider.
Mike Glennon again
I know many Giants fans want to see Jake Fromm get a chance at quarterback. Honestly, with Daniel Jones sidelined I would also like to see the young man get a legitimate chance at some point.
It sounds like that isn’t, though, going to happen yet.
To this point, I understand why Fromm has not played. He has never taken an NFL snap. Heading into last Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had been a Giant for less than two weeks. There is no way he can be completely comfortable, no way he can have a full grasp on everything, no way he has had time to develop any reach timing or chemistry with Giants receivers.
Still, at 4-9 and going nowhere Glennon playing is doing nothing to help build the foundation coach Joe Judge was talking about earlier in the week. What the Giants really need is Daniel Jones to be healthy enough to play — that would help them get more information on Jones and maybe be better able to determine if Freddie Kitchens deserves the full-time offensive coordinator gig.
Fromm has to know enough and be comfortable enough that putting him on the field in anything other than an emergency situation is fair to the rest of the roster. It would be nice, though, to know if the young man can put himself into position to be a candidate for a backup quarterback role in 2022.
Who will be in the stands?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that MetLife Stadium contained a lively, pro-Giants crowd during a Week 12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. I had admittedly expected the building to be dominated by Eagles fans.
Well, Sunday is another game I am expecting to feel and sound like a road game for the Giants. New York is 4-9 and barreling toward a fifth straight double-digit loss season. Dallas is 9-4 and closing in on the NFC East title. Cowboys’ fans travel well, anyway,
This one could be embarrassing for the “home” team.
Playing for next year
That, unfortunately, is what the Giants are doing at this point. That means the remaining four games have to be about finding out which players you can and cannot go forward with next season.
Azeez Ojulari and Aaron Robinson are keepers, players who might turn into foundational pieces. Quincy Roche is a keeper. The more he plays the better Elerson Smith should get. I’m curious to see more of practice squad defensive back Jarren Williams.
We have spent an extraordinary amount of time discussing Matt Peart this season. I still do not believe the Giants should give up on the young right tackle. He actually played more snaps than Nate Solder last week, and that is a trend I would like to see continue. There really has been little difference in the overall performances of Peart and Solder, and Peart is the one who still has a chance to grow and be part of the future.
Ground and pound?
One of the truly mystifying things about last Sunday’s game against the Chargers is why the giants failed to lean into the running game against a Chargers defense ranked 31st in stopping the run. While the game was still competitive in the first half, the Giants ran on only nine of 28 plays. The Giants eventually piled up 135 rushing yards, but only 24 of those came in the first half when it might have mattered.
The Giants get a do-over this Sunday. The Dallas defense is ranked 24th against the run, giving up 4.5 yards per carry.
Will the Giants actually try to exploit that? Micah Parsons can’t separate Glennon from the ball when he’s handing it off — at least I don’t think he can. Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense can’t do anything from the bench — theirs or the ones provided by the Giants.
We saw last week that trying to put the game in Glennon’s hands is not sound, winning strategy. How about aiming for 20+ carries from Saquon Barkley and another 8-10 carries for Devontae Booker?
For that matter, how about running an offense that looks like it has an actual plan? I have referred to the Giants “throwing darts at the board” on offense all season. During our Monday podcast, Emily Iannaconi and I called the Giants’ offensive approach “Spin the wheel of plays” and dial up whatever it lands on. That’s no way to run an offense.