By Tahmid Ahmed
At the beginning of the 2015-2016 NFL season, it would be absurd to think that the Giants would win their division, but now that the Cowboys and Eagles are going downhill, the Giants may still have a chance.
The Giants are 1-2 right now. Though that might seem unconvincing, the Giants should have won the two games. In each of those games, the Giants were up by 10 in the fourth quarter. It only came down to a matter of simple mistakes that let the two wins fly out the window. In their first loss of the season, the Giants just needed to burn some time. It was third down in the Red Zone area with two and half minutes left. The advantages were all on the Giant’s hand. The Giants performed a play-action play, but no one was open for Eli to pass to. He simply threw the football out of bonds. Eli took a lot of heat from this play because if he had taken the sack, the Giants would have wasted about 25-40 seconds on the clock giving a the Cowboys a disadvantage to score in such a short amount of time. Even though this was heartbreaking to many Giants fans, it was still a close game.
The team’s defense was surprising. Under the guidance of Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolla, the Giants were able to turn fumbles into touchdowns and interceptions into yardage. According to Espn stat sheets, Giants rookie Uani’ Unga leads the team in tackles and interceptions which is good for the Giants since they don’t have their star linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul.
The team’s second loss rubbed salt in the wounds. The Giants, up by 10, blew a fourth quarter lead to the Falcons, but the wide receivers had multiple drop backs, no rusher gave positive yardage, and the offensive line failed to protect Eli Manning well. In the fourth quarter, the Giants were again in the Red Zone, and when Eli Manning was in the pocket, he was brutally tackled from his blind side and he fumbled. The Falcons would eventually take over and converted for a touchdown.
Fortunately, the third game for the Giants marked a change. The team really seemed like the Super Bowl winning Giants this time around. They dominated the game and everyone contributed. Though the Giants played a weaker opponent than that of their previous two games, there were no simple mistakes. Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. lit the crowd.
Ms. Donahue, an English teacher, said, “After beating the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl years ago, I think the Giants could win the division, but they need to take care of the ball better to have a shot.” Ms. Donahue said it well; the team’s defense hardly has any errors but it’s the offense that fans worry about. Even though, Eli Manning has a 97.9 passer rating with no interceptions and that Odell Beckham Jr has a total of 269 yards, the offensive line and running backs need to improve especailly when it comes to protecting Eli. The Giants should also give Andre Williams more touches because he’s averaging more yards per game than Rashad Jennings. (3.3 ypg compared to 2.9 ypg).
“I feel like the Giants could win the Division,” says Aneudys Germosen ’18.
The Giants are improving while their divisional opponents are heading in the wrong direction. With Tony Romo out for a couple of games due to a broken collarbone, the Cowboys don’t really have a chance to win the next few games. The same goes for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles are without their star running back, Demarco Murray, and star linebacker, Kiko Alonso. Their quarterback, Sam Bradford, won’t be enough to carry the team since he has the most turnovers right behind Andrew Luck. All odds are supporting the Giants.
With rumors of Victor Cruz’s return in Week Four, let’s just say that things are really starting to look up for New York.
Photos taken newsday.com