New York Giants in Rebuild Mode as they Prepare for Washington

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TwinSpires Staff

October 24th, 2018

It looks like the New York Giants have joined the Oakland Raiders in rebuild mode following another loss Monday night. The 23-20 defeat at Atlanta dropped New York to 1-6 this season, tied for the worst record in the NFL.

The lone bright spot in Monday’s defeat was a last second touchdown and 2-point conversion that gave Giants (+3.5) bettors the back door cover to cash.  Since that loss, New York has unloaded a pair of defensive players via trade. Sent packing was CB Eli Apple and DT Damon "Snacks" Harrison. The Giants received three draft picks in return in the 4th, 5th and 7th rounds. Apple was a first round pick in 2016.

As the Giants return home to play division rival Washington Oct. 28, it will be interesting to see how the fans react at MetLife Stadium. New York is 0-3 at home this season, joining the Arizona Cardinals as the only winless home teams in the NFL. The Giants have also scored just 15, 18 and 13 points in its three home games, and are scoring 19.6 points on the season (27th).

Week 9 NFL Line - Washington -1.0 at NYG (42.5)

Quarterback Eli Manning is going to take criticism, but the New York Giants passing attack has not been that bad as the team adjusts to new coach Pat Shurmer, who called plays for the Vikings' top-tier attack last season. The offense overall has averaged 5.9 yards per play, which is above league average but a lack of balance and red zone inefficiency has slowed the Giants. New York has also faced a strong schedule of opponents thus far. However, the problem is at the point of attack and in the running game. The offensive line is not opening enough holes for prized first round pick Saquan Barkley, who has mostly created yards on checkdowns this season.

Barkley is a prodigal talent and is +140 to win Rookie of the Year, alongside quarterback Baker Mayfield who is the current favorite at +130. The Giants are running the ball for just 83 yards per game, 30th in the league, but a league-worst 19 rushing attempts per game. The Giants 4.3 yards per rush is league average, so either falling behind and being forced to pass more is the problem. A failure to gain yardage on the ground is also a very likely culprit.

New York showed that running ability against Washington last season in the final regular season game. New York ran the ball 44 times for 260 yards in a 18-10 win, as Washington was dominated at the point of attack with just 61 rushing yards on 16 attempts. We’ll likely see the Giants try to run the ball more this week, but the Redskins run defense has allowed just 83 rushing yards per game (No. 3) and 4.0 yards per rush (No. 7).

The Giants trade of run stuffing defensive tackle Harrison hurts more than it helps, and like the Raiders' unloading of players, it creates concerns and a lack of cohesion as the players wonder what management moves are ahead as the trade deadline approaches Oct. 30.

This season the Redskins have committed to running the football, as Washington rushes the ball an average of 29.5 times per game; third highest in the league. At 119 rushing yards per game, Washington is just league average, and in fact they are below the Giants in rushing yards per attempt at 4.0. But balance, ball control and protecting the football favors the Redskins, as Washington is +6 while New York is -4, in turnover differential this season.

Many New York Giants fans were betting on their team to win the Super Bowl when sports betting became legal in the U.S. following the Supreme Court ruling in May. Once New Jersey passed legislation for sports betting in the state, the legal sports books took a flood of money on the Giants, dropping New York’s Super Bowl odds from near +7500 to below +2000. Those bets are lost, and until New York straightens out its point of attack problems among other current issues, we’ll attack again.

The New York Giants are now all the way back up to +30000 to win Super Bowl LIII.

Week 8 NFL Pick – Washington Redskins -1.0 over New York Giants

Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.