Happy Opening Day boys and girls as it has been a long offseason after a disaster of a season last year. The Giants last year came in with high hopes coming off a playoff season and fell flat on their faces right from the get go. Horrid offensive line play, brutal injuries and one of the most incompetent head coaches in New York Giants History and maybe NFL History led us to a 3-13 season. Good News is that after a terrible year, you get a high draft pick and get to pick a new coach, so this year has hope. Pat Shurmur takes over as the Head coach, who I wrote about at the time of the hire as being a great selection with his history of getting the most out of Quarterbacks and his offenses. Saquon Barkley was choses with the number 2 overall pick in the draft and has the look of a all time back and we resigned our best offensive player Odell Beckham Jr. We also managed to revamp our offensive line this offseason. We signed Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh, drafted mauler Will Hernandez and moved Ereck Flowers over to right tackle where I think he actually might be decent. The defense is transitioning to a 3-4 under new Defensive coordinator James Bettcher and I am excited about the prospects of that move. Overall last season was a perfect storm to be horrible but looking at this season we have Better coaches, offensive talent, a Super Bowl winning QB and have enough talent on defense to get the job done.
Lets take a look at the Keys to the Giants starting this season off on the right foot and check back after the game for the game recap and full analyze Monday morning.
The Enemy- Jacksonville Jaguars
Location and Time – 1 PM @ Giants Stadium
Keys to the Game
#1- Saquon Barkely Must Dominate
The Jaguars have by far the best secondary in the NFL led by loud mouth Jalen Ramsey and made it impossible for any team to pass against them last season. This led to the playoffs and is the main reason they will be good again this season. They basically have a All-Pro Caliber player at every spot in the secondary and get a very solid pass rush making things tough. The Chink in the Jags armor was they were not that great against the run last season. The Giants new line and running back must get the job done today because we have no chance trying to pick up long third downs against this team. We also need to dominate the run game because the Jags are a team that wants to get a lead control the clock and make you try to come back through the air. We have to keep this game close and keep our defense off the field because the Jags are going to want to pound the rock with Leonard Fournette as much as possible. Our guy Saquon Barkley must have a bigger game than Fournette to give us a chance to win.
#2 Stop Leonard Fournette
As much as we have to dominate the running games it is equally as important to control the jags running game. This team is built off their defense and running the ball. They do not want Blake Bortles making a ton of decisions and the key is to get them into throwing mode which would be a huge plus for us. The Jags wide outs are Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole which is awful. Blake Bortles is not going to help these guys out so if we take away the run game and make them try to win throwing the ball we are in great shape.
#3 Field Position. Turnovers, and Big Plays
We for once have to get some solid special teams play. The Jags defense makes it hard to sustain 80 yard drives so we have to get something out of the return game and shorten the field. Besides the return game we must win the turnover battle to ensure we are not giving an average offense a short field and to give our offense some good opportunities to get cheap points. When we get those chances we have to hit on some big plays. Field Goals are not going to get the job done here if we get a shot we have to hit the big play. We signed Odell Bekcham Jr. for this specific reason so let hope he earns his money starting today.
Basically the Key to this game is to work the run game, control the tempo, and keep this game close and let one of our guys make a Big play or 2 to take this one home. This is a tough game matchup wise but if the Giants are going to be good this year this is the type of game we can not get manhandled in.