By Brad Carroll
Even New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo knows what is facing his team Sunday night against the Denver Broncos on the road. “Nobody is giving us a chance in hell to go win this ball game. People don't think we can score a point without 13.”
13 would be Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants best player and only true playmaker on the roster. He’s lost for the season. But this isn’t just about not playing without 13, as the Giants will put together a depth chart for Sunday’s game with band-aids trying to stop the bleeding on what is and could continue to be a winless start to the season.
The losses have been horrible, all five of them, but the injuries are just as bad, lowlighted by Beckham Jr. and continued with Brandon Marshall, also out for the season. It doesn’t stop there, however, as the Giants will be playing Denver without linebacker Jonathan Casillas, defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Romeo Okwara, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, running back Paul Perkins and center Weston Richburg.
Oh, and did we mention Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules?
No chance in hell? Sounds about right.
The Giants are 0-5 and have little to no shot on making the postseason, the odds depending on your amount of fan optimism. It only gets worse from here, however, with games against the Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, meaning an 0-8 start right now is more realistic than Big Blue having any kind of shot at a playoff berth.
But they play the games for a reason and the Giants could pull the upset if they play above their heads and the Broncos play down to the competition. So let’s take a look at three ways for the Giants to get that elusive first win of the season Sunday night.
Run, Run, Run ... And Run Some More
It’s against the Giants’ MO of throwing the ball on nearly every play, but they need to establish the run early and keep running the ball all game long, hoping to find success along the way. The Giants would have had trouble throwing the ball against a very good Broncos secondary, but now it’s virtually impossible to have success with a group of recent signees catching passes. Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman will be the two workhorses in the backfield trying to get that done. Last week Darkwa ran eight times for 69 yards and a touchdown, while Gallman had 11 carries for 57 yards. Those numbers will likely have to be even better to have a chance at beating Denver Sunday.
In the Broncos lone loss this season, against the Bills, quarterback Trevor Siemian threw two interceptions. It’s simplistic, but still very real. Force Siemian into interceptions and the Giants will have a chance to win this game. The Giants have just one this year, so they need to double and then triple that total against Denver.
Get Vintage Performance On Defense
The Giants will be without some great players on defense, and star safety Landon Collins is questionable to even play the game, but that unit has to win this game. With an offense that could struggle even more than they already have this season, and it’s been bad, the defense is going to have to carry this team to victory. If the defense can keep Denver out of the end zone, a tall order indeed, the Giants will have a chance to pull the upset and finally get in the win column.