For the first time in 210 games, the New York Giants will take the field with a new quarterback under center. Ben McAdoo and company have made the decision to bench two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith and Davis Webb. Now that the Giants are officially knocked out of playoff contention, the Giants front office have begun to make moves to save their jobs. However, it may be too little too late. To break in this new era, the Giants will take on the Oakland Raiders this Sunday. Hoping to avoid the tenth loss of the season, here are the Week Thirteen New York Giants Keys to Victory.
Week 13 New York Giants Keys to Victory
Protect Geno Smith and Davis Webb
Eli Manning has become so ingrained in the Giants offense that it is difficult to know what to expect with the quarterback change this Sunday. However, one thing that has not changed for the Giants is the offensive line struggles. Eli certainly was not playing great football, but it is hard to play at a high level with a pass rush consistently up in your face.
With Smith, turnovers have been a major problem throughout his career. With Webb, he has yet to start an NFL game. Therefore, the Giants must protect their quarterbacks if they are to have any chance at reestablishing a pass game.
While the run game has picked up, the pass game has remained atrocious. With the Giants without their top two wide receivers for the remainder of the season, these two quarterbacks are going to need time on their side in getting the ball out. If the line is able to provide some protection, it will go a long way in settling the nerves of these quarterbacks going into their first regular season action of the year.
Take Some Shots
One reason Manning was able to start so many games in a row was because he was able to protect himself. In the face of a pass rusher, he was able to quickly throw the ball out of bounds or take a sack with minimal impact. However, at 2-9 the Giants are not in a position to play it safe. They will need to take some shots and take chances.
Yes, Smith is notoriously known for his touchdown-to-turnover ratio. No, this does not mean he shouldn’t let it sling. Smith is playing to remain in the NFL. Webb is playing to get his shot at a starting job. These things will not be accomplished by playing conservatively.
Since McAdoo has given up play calling duties, the Giants have reverted to a run-first strategy. However, it is time to mix it up. If these quarterbacks are to provide any kind of spark for the ailing Giants, they will need to air it out. Of course, it is still important to establish the run game. With this, though, the Giants should look to take some shots in play-action situations to test the arms of these new guys under center.
Capitalize on Raiders Backups
This Sunday, the Raiders could be without their top two receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. With only two wins under their belt and 19 players on IR, the Giants will take any help they can get. As seen this season with the Giants, losing the top two receivers can drastically affect an offense. The Giants must capitalize upon this if they want a serious shot at winning their third game this season.
If the Raiders revert to a run-first offense, it is instrumental for them to pack the box. Specifically, the Giants should keep Landon Collins as close to the line of scrimmage as possible. Collins is a star football player and he does his best work in the box. The Raider pass game should naturally struggle without Cooper and Crabtree on the field and the run game should be stifled by Collins and company. The better the defense performs, the more opportunities the Giants will have on offense. If the season up to this point has been any indicator, this Giants offense needs as many opportunities as it can get.
The 2017 Giants season is lost, and so too could be the Manning Era in New York. The outcome of this game could go a long way in determining the future of the Giants. It is only a matter of time before some clarity on these issues comes to light. Until then, the Giants will continue to try and fight back to their former glory.