The giants go into this week struggling on the offensive side of the ball? How can this offense pick up against the Cowboys? How will Saquon Barkley fare in this Matchup?
The Giants’ offense has been carried by Saquon Barkley this year. Through two games, Barkley has 236 rushing yards. That is the second most in the league when it comes to rushing yards. This is especially impressive, considering how mediocre the Giants’ offensive line has been to start the year. Barkley is one of the primary reasons the Giants are off to a 2-0 start.
Look for the Giants to go to Barkley early and often, even though the Cowboys do not have a horrible rushing defense. The Matchup I am looking at when it comes to the Giants’ Rushing attack is Barkley versus Anthony Barr/Leighton Vander Esch. While Micah Parsons will help when he isn’t rushing the QB, Barkley will have to beat Barr on the second level of the field. While Barr will probably have the main assignment of covering Barkley, Vander Esch will probably get some reps as well (when he isn’t rushing the QB).
While Saquon Barkley will need to break tackles from the Cowboys’ linebackers’ core, he will need good blocking if he wants any chance at having a good game. The Matchup to watch on the line will be Andrew Thomas vs Demarcus Lawarence. Thomas is shaping up to be a top tackle in this league through two games. Lawarence is one of the better defensive linemen in the league. I could also see Thomas getting some cracks at Parsons (when he is rushing and not in coverage), but that will probably depend on what side Parsons lines up on. If Thomas is not guarding Parsons, Neal may get the assignment.
While expectations may have been a little higher for Neal to start the year, the first-round draft pick has had a solid start to the year. This will probably be his toughest Matchup yet in his young year. On the inside, Ben Bredeson will have an easy matchup against Quinton Bohannan. According to PFF, Bohannan is the 89th best nose tackle in the league. Additionally, Quinton Bohannan was limited this week in practice.
On the other hand, Mark Glowinski will have a hard matchup. Glowinski will be matching up against Osa Odighizuwa. According to PFF, Odighizuwa is the 34th best nose tackle in the league. Look for the Giants’ center, Jon Feliciano to help in this Matchup. Feliciano should be good to go this week even though he dealt with a knee injury during practices this week. He should be good to go because he still participated in the walk-through on Friday.
While it may be a little tricky on the edges, the Giants’ offensive line should be fine in giving Barkley room to run and in the passing game. Although the Cowboys’ defensive line will have their moments in this matchup, look for the Giants’ offensive line to hold up in this game.
Giants Passing Game
In the passing game, the Giants will struggle. As they have all season, the Giants don’t have a favorable mismatch in this game. While Trevon Diggs will always blank on his coverages every once in a while, don’t look for the Cowboys’ secondary to struggle against the Giants’ playmakers. Kadarius Toney will be covered by Diggs. While Toney was limited in practice, he seems more likely to play this week than not. While it seems like Toney will play this week, Wan’Dale Robinson seems not very likely to return from injury this week. While it could change, Robinson did not practice on Friday.
As already stated, there will probably be a passing game where Diggs will have horrible plays in coverage. Although the Giants should have a high chance for a big play because of this, I wouldn’t expect this.
I don’t trust Daniel Jones’s arm to accurately throw the ball to toney on that potential play. I will say that Diggs will probably have an interception against Jones because Jones is turnover-prone, and Diggs is very good at creating turnovers. I wouldn’t trust David Sills in this matchup as, well. Anthony Brown isn’t great. Based on the first two games, I don’t think that Sills will be able to take advantage of Brown’s mistakes in coverage.
Sterling Shepard will be covered by Jourdon Lewis (when the cowboys are in nickel) and (probably) Malik hooker when the Cowboys are not in nickel. Although Shepard is arguably the Giants’ best wide receiver, I wouldn’t expect him to have a big game, either. Hooker and Lewis are good players who can cover wide receivers solidly.
I wouldn’t expect anything significant from Tanner Husdon or Daniel Bellinger at the tight end position. I will say that Jayron Kearse could be out this week, as he was in practice so they could take advantage of that Matchup. I would expect Kearse and company to make sure the tight end group does not significantly affect the game.
I would probably expect Daniel Jones to have a mediocre game. I would expect at least 1 interception from Jones in this game. While he will not ultimately hinder the Giants’ offense, the young QB will not help it. Look for Saquon to carry the offense.
Prediction for the offense this week
I would expect around 10-17 points from the Giants this week. While I think the running game will carry this team to a touchdown or two, I wouldn’t expect a lot of points from New York this week. Look for the Giants to struggle in the RedZone. The offense this week will probably have to depend on the defense if they want to win the game.