New York Giants

New York Giants

New York Giants

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 23: Daniel Jones #8 fist bumps Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on October 23, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

When the season started nobody thought the New York Giants would be positing itself for playoff football come mid-November.

But that is exactly where Big Blue finds itself as it returns from a bye week this week, at home, against the lowly 1-6-1 Houston Texans. This is always a tricky spot. On one had the Giants were rolling when they entered the bye, and sometimes teams with a week off tend to be slow back out of the gate again. At the same the Giants are in the soft part of their schedule with the Texans and Lions over the next two weeks before heading to Big D to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

In other words the Giants can ill afford a slip up against two bad teams at MetLife Stadium no less. That makes the assignment tougher. The Texans and Lions would love nothing better than to play spoiler in this spot.

While the Giants are still realistically a year away from really being a major threat in the NFC, both Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones have carried this team throughout the first half. Barkley looks like his old self, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and has 779 yards rushing already this year.

Jones has been incredible. The NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Week 8, Jones has throw for 1,399 yards, six touchdowns and two picks. Moreover, he has been adept runner, averaging 5.7 yards per carry on 64 keepers this year.

What the Giants have to hope for is that continues this week against Houston. The Texans are the worst team in the NFL against the run, allowing on average 180.6 yards per game. Houston is also giving up 22.9 points per game.

Moreover, the Giants will be without Xavier McKinney in the secondary, so rookie Dane Belton will get most of the time back there. Expect Houston to try to challenge him with wide receivers Brandon Cooks and Nico Collins.

Soooo…

  • Houston Texans (1-6-1) @ NY Giants (6-2) (-4.5)

    Saquon Barkley Giants

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 23: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on October 23, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

    … Let’s make a pick! As mentioned this is a tricky spot, but the Giants are coming off a humbling performance against Seattle two weeks ago, and one has to know that Head Coach Brian Daboll has hammered home the dangers of facing a team like the Texans. He has also hammered home the Giants effort in Seattle where they ran for only 78 yards as a team. Expect a spirited Giants effort — not a blowout — but a competitive game where Big Blue pulls away late.
    PICK: GIANTS 27 – TEXANS 16.

  • Seattle Seahawks (6-3) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) (-2.5)

    Geno Smith Seahawks

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 23: Marquise Goodwin #11 celebrates with Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks scoring a touchdown in the second half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on October 23, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Tom Brady vs. Geno Smith. The last time we saw these two match-up it was when Smith was on the Jets and Brady was a Patriots. Let’s just say it’s a little different this time around. Smith is in the running for Comeback Player of the Year with the revitalized Seahawks at 6-3. Brady plays like the end is finally near, and the Buccaneers — despite their 16-13 win last week — haven’t played very cohesively this year. Will the Bucs carry momentum from last week’s win over the Rams overseas to Germany? I have my doubts — even if Seattle had a longer trip.

    PICK: SEAHAWKS 23 – BUCCANEERS 20

  • Minnesota Vikings (7-1) @ Buffalo Bills (6-2) (-3.0)

    Josh Allen Bills

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 06: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks on from the bench in the final two minutes of the game a at MetLife Stadium on November 06, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    This game is all about the right arm of Josh Allen. Allen was injured last week in a loss to the Jets when Bryce Huff came in untouched to smack the ball out of Allen’s had on a critical third down at the end of the game. Allen has since been diagnosed with a UCL sprain and his status for Sunday is truly up in the air.

    According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Allen was able to grip a ball and looks to play Sunday. The Vikings will try to tee off. They are plus-six in the turnover battle and have 24 sacks as a defensive unit.  If they get to Allen and keep front running on them, they will have a shot.

    The Vikings have the fire power to keep pace with Buffalo in a track-meet if necessary.

    PICK: If Allen was ruled out the pick is the Vikings. Even a hobbled Allen at home, one has to favor Buffalo in a close one.

    PICK: BILLS 24 – VIKINGS 21.

  • Indianapolis Colts (3-5-1) @ Las Vegas Raiders (2-6) (-4.5)

    Jeff Saturday Colts

    Indianapolis Colts quarterback #18 Peyton Manning changes the play at the line while center #63 Jeff Saturday points during the regular season opening game against the New York Giants on September 10, 2006 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. The Colts won, 26-21. (Photo by Brian Killian/NFLPhotoLibrary)

    Why is this match-up between two underachieving teams interesting? Well thanks to the Colts firing head coach Frank Reich and appointing Jeff Saturday — basically off the street — to be interim head coach. What the heck is Colts owner Jim Irsay thinking here? Saturday was a great player in his day, but he’s never coached, sans high school, in his career. This is a nightmare for a team with no o-line and a rookie quarterback.

    The Raiders are no better shakes either. Josh McDaniels is in trouble already, and the Raiders have blown multiple games this year with big leads. Someone has to win this, right?

    PICK: RAIDERS 32 – COLTS 21.

  • L.A. Chargers (5-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-4) (-7.5)

    Justin Herbert LA Chargers

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 06: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts after a play during the fourth quarter in the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

    Seven-and-a-half points may seem like a lot to give the 49ers in this match-up with the Chargers and their explosive young quarterback Justin Herbert, but the Bolts will be without receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. They have to rely on Austin Ekeler carrying the rock against the 49ers stingy defense.

    For some reason when people expect the Chargers to do something, they usually underwhelm, and the 49ers are always tough at home. Jimmy G is underrated. Yes, I said that.

    PICK: 49ERS 27 – CHARGERS 20.

  • Washington Commanders (4-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (8-0) (-11.0)

    Eagles

    HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 03: Philadelphia Eagles take the field to face the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 03, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

    Eventually the Eagles will lose a game. Maybe even two games before the playoffs begin in January. But until that time arrives, the Eagles will keep rolling; and they should against the hapless Washington Commanders on Sunday. The Eagles beat up the Commanders 24-8 in September. That won’t be any different here in Philly on a Monday night. Expect Jalen Hurts to put a hurtin’ on the Washington secondary.

    PICK: EAGLES 33 – COMMANDERS 14.

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