Ah, it’s week one of the Giants season and they haven’t hurt us… yet! With overall expectations low, Sunday’s trip to Dallas represents a chance to show improvement and progress from year one to year two in Pat Shurmur’s offense. Here’s what to watch for:
Offensive Line & Saquon
For the Giants to truly be in this game, the Giants O-Line needs to control the line of scrimmage. It will be a tough task given Dallas’ defense is pretty stout, but this is (on paper) the best offensive line the Giants have had in quite some time.
As will be the case for every game this year, the G-Men’s success will be tied to Saquon’s performance week in and week out. He’ll need to be special – roughly 150+ total yards and a score – for the Giants to keep up with the Cowboys.
Fresh off a brand new 6yr/$90 million deal, Ezekiel Elliott will be active at Jerry World come Sunday afternoon. The question is: how many touches will he get? His customary 30+ seems a little farfetched given his lack of involvement during training camp and the preseason. More in the high teens to low twenties feels like the sweet spot but that’s just guesswork. The Dallas offense runs through the Ohio State product, so this game script might be heavier on Dak Prescott should the Cowboys want to ease Zeke back into the fold.
Spotlight on First Rounders
Big things are expected out of the Giants first round picks, Dexter Lawrence and Deandre Baker.
The enormous defensive tackle from Clemson is projected to be the next Snacks Harrison but Sunday’s matchup against arguably the best offensive line in football is one tough task. If he’s able to disrupt and have a productive game, that could set the tone for the rest of the defense.
The Giants secondary has undergone a massive overhaul and at the top of that change is Baker. While his reps were stunted due to injury, he’s expected to be the second cornerback opposite Janoris Jenkins. Baker was receiving rave reviews from before a knee injury. Hopefully he’s able to carry the momentum into Sunday and lockup Michael Gallup.
As much as I hate to say it, I think this Dallas team is a Super Bowl contender. Under that lens, I expect them to beat the Giants although I could see Big Blue making it difficult. I just don’t see the Giants defense getting to Dak enough to warrant an upset…
Giants 19 – Cowboys 27