A friend kiddingly told me the Giants were a seven-point underdog on their bye week.
It has been that kind of year.
Yet, keep the faith, Giants’ fans. There still can be some positives to this heart-wrenching season.
If they can get out of their own way and get an adequate performance from both lines, the Giants realistically can register four-, five or even six wins.
It may sound like a Christmas wish, but it can be done.
For starters, the Giants can walk out of San Francisco next Monday night with a victory. Yes, they can beat the 49ers who looked like a playoff team with a free-agent quarterback against the inept and disinterested Raiders.
Oakland simply didn’t show up to play. There are problems just as big 3,000 miles away.
But the Giants first have to solve their own problems.
To win in San Francisco, they will need a sturdy effort from their offensive line that has left Eli Manning 31 times on his back this season.
The 49ers sacked Derek Carr seven times Monday night, but they have 24 in nine games.
So, they are not the Fearsome Foursome. They did carve through the listless Raiders’ line that easily could be considered as fragile as the Giants.
This is the perfect game for the Giants’ line to step up their game.
On the other side of the ball, the Giants will need a pass rush to rattle rookie Nick Mullens, who three touchdown passes against Oakland made him look like the second coming of Joe Montana…(we older guys remember John Brodie).
The Giants can make him look like Christian Hackenberg. (is he playing somewhere?)
Rookies B.J.Hill and Lorenzo Carter are key players in the upcoming new phase, and the both have a key opportunity here to further showcase their talents.
Hill and Carter have two sacks apiece from the Giants’ paltry total of 10.
Their core four of Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard still is one of the best in the league, and they all need to continue to raise the bar. We haven’t seen what Barkley can do with consistent holes from his line.
After San Francisco, the Giants have another great opportunity when they host Tampa Bay. They then travel to Philadelphia after Thanksgiving and have Tennessee and Indianapolis left to play.
Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, look for Manning to finish the season unless he can’t walk or he is dreadful.
I do believe we will see some positives in the second half of the season. Heck, the only true way they can go is up at this point.
It may ruin their draft position for the next franchise quarterback, but it will gain them some respectability back.
As far as my friend giving the Giants seven points during their off week, he can keep the points.
I’m betting on the Giants not leaving their heart in San Francisco and surprising some people in the second half.
Then again, remember. Bet with your head and not over it.