Giants (2-6) Raiders (5-2)
On Sunday the Las Vegas Raiders allowed the
visiting Philadelphia Eagles an opening game touchdown. The Raiders then turned
stingy and didn't allow the Eagles to score again until the fourth quarter, once
they had a 23 point lead. The final score was 33-22 in favor of the Raiders.
Monday night game featured the Giants playing in Kansas City with the Chiefs.
The game wasn't settled until late in the fourth quarter, when Kansas City pulled
ahead with a field goal. The Giants weren't able to match that on the following
drive, and they took a 20-17 loss.
In 2018 the Raiders gave
Jon Gruden the richest coaching contract in coaching history to leave the "Monday
Night Football" booth, and to once again coach the Raiders. It was a 10 year
contract, but things came to an end last month. Gruden was in his fourth contract
year, and eight overall for the Raiders, when he resigned the position after some
of his former disparaging emails became known.
Rich Bisaccia, who is the assistant
head coach and special teams coordinator, took over as the Raiders interim head
coach. In the two games Bisaccia's been in charge, the Raiders have beaten the
Denver Broncos by 10 points, and the Philadelphia Eagles by 11. This week the
team had another major distraction when wide receiver Henry Ruggs was involved
in a deadly car crash. Ruggs is facing felony charges, and was cut from the team.
season the Raiders overhauled their offensive line, replacing their center, right
tackle and right guard. That's one of the reasons the rushing game isn't there
this year. They were an above average team the last two years running, and are
near the bottom now. Josh Jacobs has led the team, rushing for 1000+ yards the
past two years, and has been dealing with injuries. Jacobs has played in five
of seven games, and still currently leads the Raiders in rushing with 204 yards,
and at 3.4 per carry, it's the lowest of his career. Jacobs leads the team with
5 touchdowns, and though he suffered a chest injury and did not play in the second
half in the Raiders last game before the bye, will start against the Giants on
The Raiders are second in the league with their average 308 passing
yards a game, and Derek Carr will certainly miss what Henry Ruggs could do on
the field. The speedy deep threat receiver had 24 receptions for 469 yards and
2 touchdowns, and was averaging 19.5 yards per catch, second in the NFL. The offensive
line is giving up more sacks on average than in past years, and Carr's touchdown
to interception ratio (12-5) is suffering. Carr uses his skills, and is one of
the top five quarterbacks who have played in all their games, having receivers
averaging 8.5 or more yards a catch. Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones have combined
for the same number of receptions as Ruggs - 24, and they are averaging 19.2 yards
They are a very good defense overall,
better at defending against the pass than the run. Defensive end Maxx
Crosby leads the team with 5 sacks, and Yannick Ngakoue is next with 4. Ngakoue
and Crosby have both been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in games
played this year. Linebacker Denzel Perryman ranks second in the NFL in tackles,
and leads the AFC with 81 total tackles. The defense ranks 7th overall in allowing
223 average passing yards per game, and has improved over last year in a very
They were near the bottom giving up 29.9 points a game, and
now that number is 23.7. Their run defense is the soft spot, where they sit at
28th, allowing 131 yards a game. Unfortunately for the Giants, that's not in their
favor with their top running back sidelined. Also, even though Devontae Booker
has been doing a decent job, he played for the Raiders all last year, so the coaching
staff will be more than familiar with his tendencies.
The Giants held a late fourth quarter
lead against the Chiefs Monday night, and let it slip. We've seen teams do that
before, and then when there's almost no time left with the game on the line, come
back and win. Daniel Jones and his offense were in that same situation, and it
didn't happen. It's hard to count on your offense doing things like that when
they are down a number of playmakers. Daniel Jones didn't have Saquon Barkley
and Kenny Golladay available, and even Kadarius Toney was a game time decision,
as he's been dealing with an ankle problem. Sterling Shepard was playing coming
off a strained hamstring.
On that note, the offensive line is still struggling
with Andrew Thomas on injured reserve. Wide
receiver Dante Pettis was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury he
suffered in Kansas City. Shepard is out as well as Barkley, who will miss his
fourth consecutive game. Golladay, who missed the last three games with a knee
injury, is listed as questionable, and Toney should be available. Golladay had
his best game for the Giants in the win over the New Orleans Saints, with six
catches for 116 yards, for a 19.3 yard average. He was injured in the next game
with the Dallas Cowboys.
On Monday, the offense showed some improvement in
the red zone. They managed to get there only three times, but scored touchdowns
on two of them, and settled for a field goal on the other. They just have to get
there, and who knows. Tight ends Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph each caught their
first touchdown of the season, and running back Devontae Booker had his best game.
Booker carried the ball 15 times averaging 4 yards a carry.
Monday they held their own against the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes,
who seemed stymied at times with their downfield defense. Right at the start of
that game Mahomes had to work all the way downfield for 13 plays, until Julian
Love intercepted him in the endzone. Unfortunately the defense was back on the
field on their own 13-yard line two plays later, after the Chiefs intercepted
Daniel Jones throwing his first pass of the game. The Chiefs took full advantage
of this opportunity, and scored a touchdown for a seven point lead.
wasn't blameless though in this three point loss. Oshane Ximines fell for Mahomes
hard count, and jumped offside. That negated an interception by Darnay Holmes,
and the Chiefs continued the drive that gave them the go ahead field goal. That
was a reminder of the Giants losing an earlier game with Washington, when
Dexter Lawrence jumped offside on the final snap, allowing a do-over on a missed
field goal, and a Giants win turned into a loss.
Bottom line, this Giants team
can not afford to make mistakes. The defense must play as well as they did Monday,
minus the mistakes, to win against the Raiders on Sunday. They'll be up against
a shaky offensive line that can't run the ball. Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence
have to use that to their their advantage, as well as the fact that Derek Carr
will be playing without his top receiver for the first time. The one thing they
can't ignore is that tight end Darren Waller, who missed the last game will be
back. Carr has targeted Waller more than any other receiver this year.
say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The team was able to quickly move past
the Jon Gruden issue, and will try to shake off the release of wide receiver Henry
Ruggs because of his circumstances as well. The Raiders have had just one playoff
appearance since 2002, and now are coming off their bye week at 5-2, while holding
first place in the AFC West.
The Giants had strong showings in games with Washington,
the Falcons, and last week with the Chiefs, and they lost those three games by
a total of seven points. The Giants mistakes have cost them games, and their 2-6
record has them last in the NFC East. They had their own disruptions this week
with a number of false positive COVID-19 tests. With all that, the team that can
focus the most on just playing this game, will win.
Sunday at 1:00pm Raiders (5-2)
at Giants (2-6)
Sunday at 1:00pm Broncos (4-4) at Cowboys (6-1)
4:05pm Chargers (4-3) at Eagles (3-5)
The Cowboys are the only NFC East team
favored to win in these games.
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are ranked 31st in the league in red zone offense, scoring touchdowns on 11 of
Giants Devontae Booker played
in all 16 games with the Raiders last year.
have won three of the last four against the Raiders.
will enter their bye week after this game.
Nov 22 Giants at Tampa Bay
28 Philadelphia at Giants