Just Like Tiger Woods, the NY Giants are BACK (Despite Cheap-Shot Texans)

New York Giants defense poses for a pick after a pick by Alec Ogletree.

New York Giants defense poses for a pick after a pick by Alec Ogletree. Pic via Instagram.

How’s that for a clickbait title? Let’s break down the New York Giants’ 27-22 win over the Houston Texans in Week 3 of NFL 2018 satisfACTION.

I didn’t know what to expect from the Giants heading into their Week 3 contest against the Texans. Before Sunday morning, I thought ‘well, it can’t get any worse than the Cowboys game’.

I could easily see us getting our doors blown off as most of the roster tosses in the towel. I could also easily see the defense along with Saquon Barkley and/or Odell Beckham willing us to a win. What we got was somewhere closer to the latter.

Then, Sunday morning came and we found out Pat Shurmur benched Ereck Flowers in favor of undrafted free agent Chad Wheeler.

The O-line instantly has to be better with Flowers out, right? Well, Wheeler was an upgrade of sorts. He had a key block on the Barkley touchdown in the first but he also got torched by J.J. Watt. It’s madness — no, this is Sparta — that the Giants left Wheeler mano e mano with Watt, one of the greatest sackmasters of all-time.

Then again, McAdoo-doo and his cohorts left Wheeler out on an island against Khalil Mack in Oakland last year. Different coach, same results. That either says a lot about the staff’s confidence in Wheeler or they wanted to expose Wheeler so they could go back to Flowers? I honestly don’t know anymore, man.

Right off the bat, I was displeased with Houston’s secondary taking cheap shots at Giants ball carriers. First, it was Barkley coming off a spin move and ending up with a bruised knee (could’ve been a lot worse). Then, it was Shepard over the middle getting his knees chopped. No idea how Shep came out of that unscathed. Finally, Engram has a huge grab and gets submarined and had to leave the game.

How none of those cheap shots got flagged is ghastly. If those aren’t penalties, they should be. Spare me the hot air about how the NFL has castrated defenses. Anyone remember BountyGate? Can’t have players as fast and big as mid-size sedans barreling into unprepared knees and ankles. Can’t have it.

You think that’s pussification, I think that’s preservation. Imagine how not fun the No Fun League would be if every major star got taken out by no-name opponents. The Browns tried their damndest to do it to Odell in the preseason last year and it for sure set him up for the Week 5 debacle against the Chargers. If we’re gonna flag Clay Matthews every time he legally sacks a quarterback, the least we can do is chuck yellow after a guy tries to cripple / end a defenseless receiver’s meal ticket.

On a happier note, Saquon Barkley.

Every single time Barkley touches the ball, it’s enthralling. The first 2 weeks, the Giants play-callers and Eli did him a great disservice. Eli forcing the ball to him 14 times in Week 2 should be grounds for a round of pounding to the peen area. We all knew he’d get his fair share of targets but we also don’t want to see him burnt out by the bye. Moderation is everything.

That said, Shurmur finally had the wherewithal to get him iso on an LB and it paid off. The swing patterns have to cease and desist. Get this miracle of a man at minimum 5 yards down the field and he’ll do the rest. I watched a decent amount of Penn State games over the past two seasons but I didn’t think Barkley would make professional football players look like amateurs every touch.

Beckham had yet another “quiet” outing by Odell standards. 9 catches, 109 yards but no touchdowns or big gains.

Eli had only 4 incompletions and was 3 yards shy of 300 yards but was sacked 4 more times (3 of which by the hands of JJ Watt). Shurmur’s moving him around more and it’s a twerkin’. Can’t have him drop straight back and think about the rush. Moving him moves his eyes and brain to his men downfield.

#10 was sharp as a freshly pressed Kitana blade. Would still like him to take shots to Odell deep when he’s single covered. Nitpick of the century right there but I stand by it.

Shurmur actually utilized Rhett Ellison and it paid off. With Engram now out for a while, it’s on Rhett to take the torch and scorch the seam (something I did Saturday night, hot wings are undefeated).

Sterling Shepard will probably lead the Giants in receiving touchdowns. My man’s a menace in the middle of the field and in the red zone. I definitely fear for his life between the numbers, though.

I’m not crazy about the 3-and-out after the huge forced fumble by Kerry Wynn. Also not crazy about the 3-and-out after the huge INT by Alec Ogletree. The defense came up huge in those two instances and how does the offense repay them? With 2 hideous series that could’ve cost the Giants the dub.

Speaking of our D, Kerry Wynn is a win. Guy’s been grinding for years and it’s about time he gets his due. Maybe not the game ball but he keeps making plays and should be on the field more than he’s not.

This is not a great defense. It’s not a dominant defense. I’m not even sure it should be a 3-4 defense (yikes). They don’t stifle or stampede. It’s a good defense that feels like Belichick’s bend-but-don’t-break unit in the ’80s minus a Lawrence Taylor.

The game could’ve gotten out of hand had Houston scored on those two possessions that ended in turnovers and I get ill thinking about that being a trend. My heart lost years in 2016 and might lose more if this becomes a trend.

This was a victory that could’ve easily been a defeat. The broadcast team mentioned how the Texans have a habit of beating themselves and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that’s what happened on Sunday in Houston. Had the Giants not come up with those two turnovers deep in NY territory, we could be looking at 0-3.

Instead, we’re at 1-2 and looking down the barrel of a howitzer…

Home vs. Saints – after years of blowout in both directions, the last two meetings were barnburners. This one should be no different. Michael Thomas might set an unbreakable single-game record for catches and scores but the Giants O might break the 30-point barrier for the first time in forever.

At Carolina – The Panthers defense is frightening. Eli might not survive. On the flip side, the Giants D has to contain Cam and Christian McCaffrey. My gut says no shot.

Home vs. Eagles – This is the make or break game for the season. Win it and we get our mojo back. Lose it and you can look forward to a top-10 draft pick.

At Atlanta – Is there any chance Julio Jones doesn’t go off for 200 yards?

Home vs. ‘Skins – Even if the Giants hobble into this clash with a 1-6 record, this loss will be hard to choke down.


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