It’s hard to believe that the New York Giants‘ proverbial backs are already up against the wall and we’re not even a quarter way into the season. But that’s exactly what has happened after a dreadful 0-3 start.
But things are starting to look up after the offense strung together a big fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Here are three things to watch:
Keep getting that ball out quick
It looks like Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his offense found a groove in Philadelphia, though it was really evident during that fourth quarter when Big Blue put up 24 points.
Manning was getting the ball out of his hands in under two seconds, ensuring that he was not going to face pressure from an Eagles defensive line that is one of the better pass-rush units in football.
He’ll have to keep on doing the same in order to keep the Giants’ good offensive times rolling.
Healthy OBJ = Entertaining OBJ
He’s back and looks better than ever.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. played a big part in waking up the Giants offense last week as the fourth-year receiver did what he does best: make plays.
He hauled in nine catches for 79 yards, a pair of touchdowns and one questionable celebration in the end zone.
The second score of his afternoon though was an acrobatic one-handed catch that was vintage Beckham, which is odd to say considering he is just 24.
Don’t expect Manning’s gameplan of find Beckham early and often to deviate much against a Buccaneers defense that’s allowed almost 330 passing yards per game.
Stop the run
A lot has been made of the Giants defense, especially the secondary and pass rush which has been solid so far.
The same can’t be said about the run game as New York has allowed 460 yards on the ground through three games, the most in the NFL.
Tampa Bay will be looking to get Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber plenty of touches against to try and spark their run game.
In two games, they have just 143 yards on the ground and need to take some pressure off quarterback Jameis Winston and the passing game.
The mobile Winston presents another kind of problem that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz highlighted last week. New York has always had problems shutting down scrambling quarterbacks and Wentz was able to pick up a pair of first downs on a 3rd-and-8 and 4th-and-1.
If the backs aren’t getting things done for Tampa and Winston is forced to depend on the passing game, we could see him running at once he feels the pressure.