Editor’s Note: Former Giant and Jet Sam Garnes is joining us this season to give his views of the local teams each week. Garnes played for the Giants from 1997-2001 and the Jets in 2002 and 2003. A native of the Bronx, Garnes also coached under John Fox for the Carolina Panthers and worked for the Broncos and Bears as well. His football insight is welcome.
New Orleans @ New York Giants Sunday September 30 @4:25 pm
…And the Saints come marching in with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and company. This prolific offense racks up points and yardage at a staggering pace. They have scored 40 or more points in two out of the three games they have played thus far.
Drew Brees is on pace to have a completion percentage of 80%. His WR Michael Thomas, is on pace to have 200 plus catch season as well as a 2000 receiving yard season. I will admit that three games is a small sample size but an identity is forming. Their Achilles heel is the defense. All you need to know is that they have given up 37 plus points in two out of the three games. Their defense has been offensive.
Last week, Eli completed 25 of 29 passes for 297 yards and 2 touch downs. Saquon Barkley averaged 4.8 yards per carry and a TD. And, Beckham tallied nine catches for 109 yards. The offensive line change at Right Tackle seemed to allow the offense to get in a rhythm for the New York Giants last week.
I believe this is the New York Giants to put it together in back to back weeks. If the Giants are able to mix in the run with good pass protection, the best of Eli will be on display come Sunday at 4:25 pm in MetLife Stadium. The Saints defense can not stop them. But, will the Giants defense be up to the task of slowing down the Saints and keeping them under 24 points?
It’s looking as if Eli Apple will be the only starting defender not on the field for the home team with Olivier Vernon practicing for the first time this year. BJ Webb did a good job last week but with Apple missing this game, it puts to test the depth of the Giants’ secondary against a formidable receiving group. I believe the Saints have a advantage in the special teams department mainly because I don’t trust any punt returner for the Giants not named Beckham. But, with the Giants back at home I expect them to win this game.
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday September 30 @ 1 pm
The Jacksonville Jaguars are at a confident, borderline-cocky, tight-nit group. And, they are good! What else would you expect from a Tom Coughlin influenced team? We read this book before in form of the New York Giants teams that went on to beat New England twice in Super Bowls. This team is a mirror image of what The Jets want to resemble moving forward. A top-notch playmaking defense. A 1st round Quarterack that is surrounded by a clock controlling run game with playmakers on the outside. And, special teams that can be a difference in tight games.
Sam Darnold will develop and be the NY Jets QB for years to come. But, the naked eye tells me this will be tough on the rookie and his teammates. Coming out of college, my only question on Sam Darnold was his inability not to turn the ball over. He has shown that same trait in the NFL. That is not a good ingredient in the recipe to beat this Jacksonville team. If he takes care of the ball, and the defense force Jax to turn it over they will be in a low scoring game with the ability to win in the final 2 minutes of the game.
But, I believe Jacksonville will come into the game playing keep away and trying to gain field position. That means making the Jets play with their backs to the goal line, so their own offense can play with a short field. Mr. Darnold will be a very good player, but this could be one of those tough lessons that will ultimately lead to him developing into a top QB in the future.
Taking my heart out of it I see Jacksonville winning this game.