The 2016 GMEN, How they really doing?
The Giants just capped off another nail biting win on Monday Night Football vs the Bengals. The Giants now sit at 6–3 and have a clear path to the playoffs, next 2 games are vs the 2–7 Bears and 0–9 Browns. So barring massive brain fart by the Giants they will be 8–3. Typically I would say the Giants will probably lose one of those game but this is not the Big Blue of the past so I expect them to roll the next two week. (Please don’t let me down Eli!)
Lets take a look at a few questions that have molded the Giants season so far.
1.Can the Giants close out games?
As I mentioned, this 2016 team is not the Giants of the past. In the past the Giants always , ALWAYS had a lead in the 4th and couldn’t hold. It was mostly the D not being able to make a stop but sometimes it was the Offense unable to pick up the game winning 1st down. But holy shit, what a change year over year. This year the Giants are winning close games and doing from both sides of the ball. They beat New Orleans by driving down the field and getting the winning FG by Josh Brown (oh wait don’t talk about him this is the NFL after all). Versus the Eagles the D held up as the boys from Philly needed a TD to win and were driving but couldn’t cross the goal line. Yes I would like to win a blow out game but it is very important that these Giants can win close games, especially after last season. Great sign of a tough playoff battle if I may say so!
2. Can anyone stop Odell?
Since coming into the league Odell Beckham Jr. has been the best receiver in football and is putting up historic numbers like most TDs and most yards in 2 seasons. He might be the best route runner in the NFL to go along with hands of glue but he is a hot head. The talent is there times a billion but the mental game is just as important in football. After a few weeks it looked like the NFL was beating Odell. Teams were getting under his skin and it was affecting his game (kind of — ODB is a slow starter check the numbers) He struggled vs some good defenses especially in Minnesota but after making up with a kicking net, Odell is back on track for another big year. While just under 700 yards and 6 TDs are a little off from the league leaders, I think he is just getting going. The Giants offense has not fully clicked yet and if it does look out! Rookie receiver Sterling is only getting better and Cruz is a solid 3WR. The sky will always be the limit for Odell and if he can remain the right kind of passionate it will be right there for the taking. Only ODB can really stop this kid so Eli feed him the ball!!
Look at him put PacMan into a body bag last night.
3. Does spending 200M on Defense work?
The Giants went HAAMMMM on the defensive side of the ball this offseason. The way to build a Super Bowl team has been draft well and have depth, it hasn’t been spend all the money plus some. The big name was Olivier Vernon from MIA, signing the largest D-man signing bonus in history. The Giants do not have the eye pooping sacks that some expected from a line of Vernon and JPP but these two are causing serious havoc every game. The pressure is there and towards the end of games the opposing O Line gets tired chasing these guys down. Next up was Damon “Snacks” Harrison to clog the middle with Hankins and it shows big times. These two massive humans are doing just that, the ran D has been great most of the season and Snacks is leader in rush D by PFF Ratings so another guy earning those big dollars.
The D line as been great and money well spent but neither Vernon or Snacks earn the best signing of the year for the Giants. Janoris “JackRabbit” Jenkins is stealing that title, most people thought this was the biggest surprise and the most unwarranted contract of the bunch but Jackrabbit is shoving it right in their faces. Jenkins has been unbeleiavle all year. The problem with great corners is that when they are preforming their best it often goes unnoticed. Jenkins lines up with the best WR each week and it shutting them down with ease. On Monday AJ Green was 4 for 23 yds when lined up vs Jenkins. Not bad not bad at all. How about Dez Bryant? How does 1 for 8 yards look. Jackrabbit was known for taking risks and getting burnt deep, he explained this early in the year saying he needed to take those risk because the Rams suck. Well not exactly but pretty much. With Landon Collins putting up Pro Bowl numbers at the safety spot, Jenkins can relax more and become a legit shutdown corner in the NFL. So yes so far 200M has been worth every penny. If the Giants make a playoff run it will be because of this defensive and 200M may not seem like a big deal if a Lombardi trophy comes to the Meadowlands!
There is plenty of time left in the NFL season but the Giants are proving to be a threat in the NFC. Dallas is doing work in the NFC East but if the rookies in Dallas come back to Earth the Giants could be right there to take it! They need to take care of the soft schedule now because it will get much harder with the Steelers and 3 division games still to go!
Originally published at Almost Varsity Sports.