Last week, we took your through the New York Giants’ Week’s 4-6 of the 2019 season, as they face off against the Washington Redskins (H), Minnesota Vikings (H) and New England Patriots (A). Missed Part 2? Click here!
The Giants currently have 15/1 odds to win their division (NFC East) and 60/1 odds to win the NFC. Let’s see how these 3 games will affect their season.
WEEK 7: ARIZONA CARDINALS (HOME)
The opportunity to host the worst team in football in 2018 arises for the New York Giants, as they face off against the Cardinals at Met Life. There’s one main difference this season, and we’re sure you know what we’re talking about, but if not, we’ll get to it later. In his maiden season as an NFL coach, Kliff Kingsbury, the man who coached Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech just a few seasons ago will be looking to improve on the lowly 3-13 season the Phoenix-based side mustered last year, as well as fighting off the pundits who have doubted him from the moment his name was first linked to the franchise. Looking at the last time these two met, it was a sorry, sorry performance by a poor Giants side on Christmas Eve of 2017. The Cards handed them a 23-0 drubbing in Phoenix which sent a lifeless Big Blue to a dismal 2-13 record, meanwhile propelling themselves to within a game of 0.500 on the season.
So after all the chatter and unbearable noise around the Cardinals heralded #1 overall pick in the draft, they bit the bullet by selecting Oklahoma QB, and 2018 Heisman winner, Kyler Murray. With that, they shipped off UCLA signal caller Josh Rosen, their first-round pick from just a season prior to the Miami Dolphins for a 2nd and a 3rd. Murray, a cannon-armed but relatively diminutive quarterback has received a lot of praise for his crazy speed and ability to throw bombs down the field, but questions were continuously raised about his height. He also skipped the NFL Combine drills, so are there early signs of him being perhaps a bit of a diva? Maybe, however, his talent is undeniable.
Former Cardinals Defensive Coordinator, James Bettcher, went shopping in the Phoenix aisle this off-season by snatching Antoine Bethea, Markus Golden and Olsen Pierre from his former team. Deone Bucannon also left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Cards weren’t slow off the mark at finding replacements. Inside linebacker Jordan Hicks joined on a $34 million/4 year deal from the Philadelphia Eagles, along with cornerback Robert Alford on a $22.5 million/3 year deal from the Atlanta Falcons, and the legendary Terrell Suggs on a $7 million/1 year deal from the Baltimore Ravens.
In terms of the NFL Draft 2019, after the pick up of Murray, the Cardinals switched their attention to defense to snag highly-rated cornerback Byron Murphy from Washington, as well as two new toys for Kyler to play within the form of receiver duo Andy Isabella (Massachusetts) and Hakeem Butler (Iowa State).
WEEK 8: DETROIT LIONS (AWAY)
On the road again to a team whose 2018 season wasn’t too dissimilar to the Giants, picking up one extra win than Big Blue with a 6-10 record. Their defense was significantly upgraded mid-season as they jumped at the chance to sign Giants nose tackle Damon Harrison for just a 5th round pick, but also traded away one of their star receivers in Golden Tate to the Eagles, with the wide-man set to return to the Motor City. September 2017 the last time these two teams met, as the Giants went 0-2 with as they limped to a 10-24 home defeat to the Lions.
Where do the Lions expect to have come to the end of the season? Well if their off-season acquisitions are by any measurement of their hopeful success, they are seemingly pushing hard to stay relevant along the Vikings, Packers, and Bears. Despite losing star edge rusher Ziggy Ansah to the Seattle Seahawks, they turned some heads by flexing some financial muscles with their incoming’s. New England Patriots’ 2019 Super Bowl winning defensive end Trey Flowers signed an astounding $90 million/5 year deal with Detroit, before being joined by former Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman ($36 million/4 years) and tight end Jesse James from the Pittsburgh Steelers ($22.6 million/4 years). Additional shrewd moves included Super Bowl 2019 finalist C.J. Anderson to give Matt Patricia more options with the run game, as well as Miami Dolphins and 2x Super Bowl champion receiver Danny Amendola.
The star man to look out for in this Detroit team is undoubtedly 2x Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. The lightning-quick defensive back is a matchup nightmare, and able to return the ball 40-50 yards plus in the blink of an eye if he snags himself an interception. The only Lions player to make the Pro Bowl 2019 on offense or defense last season, with long snapper Don Muhlbach the only man to join him in Orlando from The D.
Looking at the NFL Draft 2019, Detroit went offense by selecting the best tight end in college football according to most analysts in the form of Iowa Hawkeye T.J. Hockenson. Other notable pickups include Hawaii linebacker JahlaniTavai, Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant, and Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye.
WEEK 9: DALLAS COWBOYS (HOME)
Once again taking on the 2018 Divisional champions, Big Blue lost this game in 2018 by the skin of their teeth. An absolute barnstormer, many Giants fans hid behind their couches when the Cowboys came with the final drive of the game, but the emotions were oddly distinctively mixed. Although it is always nice to beat the Cowboys, they were still winning the division, according to most of the betting sites a win would only push the Giants a few more slots back in the draft. So when Prescott fired that bullet to the end-zone for Cole Beasley to leap and catch, all the while dragging his tippy toes on the green rather than the white, the anguish wasn’t as pronounced compared to what it could have been if the game was played maybe six weeks earlier. Everyone in the crowd knew they’d nail the two-point conversion too. It was too much drama for it not to happen.
The Cowboys admittedly seem to have only gotten stronger during the off-season, with big part players like Beasley, Geoff Swaim and Rod Smith moving on, with the latter actually joining the Giants to add some competition behind Saquon Barkley at running back. In terms of renewing terms, none were more important than locking up edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence for another 5 years, with a $105 million deal for the 2x Pro Bowler. As for the other side of that defensive line, Eli Manning will have to keep his head on a swivel to look out for newly acquired defensive end Robert Quinn, who cost just a measly 2020 sixth-round pick from the Miami Dolphins. Another 2x Pro Bowler, Quinn will earn $8 million on the Dallas defense this year, and is undoubtedly a major QB threat, having still recorded 6.5 sacks last season despite him knocking on the door of 30 years old.
As for free agent pickups, none more have been publicized than the infamous return of tight end Jason Witten, who came out of retirement to represent ‘America’s Team’ one last time. Add Packers receiver Randall Cobb to replace the outgoing Beasley, the Cowboys in no way, shape or form look any less a threat to the divisional title than last year. Dallas had eight Pro Bowlers last season who will all be raring to go to keep their place for 2020, with two players, in particular, looking to build on a strong 2018. Wide receiver Amari Cooper looked well worth the first round pick Dallas spent on him mid-season last year, while former rookie Leighton Vander Esch will no doubt to continue to impress during his sophomore season in the league.
As for the draft, defensive tackle Tristen Hill out of UCF was the biggest name to join Big D with their second-round pick, followed by a former team-mate of Saquon’s, guard Connor McGovern out of Penn State.
Featured Image: Matt York/Associated Press