After their bye week, the 6-2 Giants will be back home at MetLife this Sunday, Nov. 13, against the Houston Texans, whose 1-6-1 record can be deceiving.
The NY Giants are back on the turf after a disappointing 27-13 loss in Seattle two weeks ago in which they generated 225 yards of total offense. It snapped a four-game winning streak and was their lowest offensive output in points this season.
Houston is coming off a 29-17 home loss to undefeated Philadelphia on Nov. 3. The Texans played a tight game throughout and had closed to 21-17 after three quarters, but the Eagles closed it out in the final quarter.
This is the first of two pivotal games for the Giants to stay on the heels of Philadelphia in the NFC East and to solidify their hold on a playoff spot. They host Detroit next Sunday and then face Dallas, Washington, and Philadelphia in key division duels.
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N.Y. Giants vs. Houston Texans Betting Odds
With an extra week to prepare and facing a team that has to travel, the Giants are in a great spot to get back on track with a win. They opened as 6.5-point favorites against Houston, and that number has stayed put most of the week. The total is low, at 40.5 or 41.
A Closer Look at Each Team
Quarterback Daniel Jones has been steady all season, but he was harassed and rattled last week in Seattle. Jones completed 17-of-31 attempts for 176 yards, and he was sacked five times. He has completed 143-of-220 attempts for 1,399 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions.
Jones’ interception total should be noted, as he has been more in control of games. He also has an NFL-best five game-winning drives and has a career-high 65% completion percentage. Jones has scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Saquon Barkley also was held in check by the Seahawks as he gained 53 yards on 20 carries. Barkley does have 779 yards on 163 carries with five touchdowns.
Barkley also has a team-high 28 receptions for 189 yards. Wide receiver Darius Slayton is emerging as a deep threat, as he has 24 receptions for 232 yards for a 14.5-yard average per catch. Richie James has 20 catches for 191, and the Giants have seven receivers with double-digit catches. Kenny Golladay’s likely return this week will give the unit a boost.
The Giants rank 24th in total offense and average 20.6 points per game. Kicker Graham Gano has booted through 17 of 19 attempts and is eighth in the league in scoring.
Quarterback Davis Mills had an adequate outing against the Eagles, hitting on 13-of-22 passes for 154 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. For the season, Mills had completed 162-of-258 attempts for 1,656 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Mills, who was given a vote of confidence by the Texans following last year’s rookie season, likely will keep the job. He has been sacked 19 times. But his offense is a league-low 16.6 points per game.
Running back Dameon Pierce’s stock has been rising, and he has been recognized as being on the doorstep of the league’s elite. He had 139 yards against the Eagles and had 678 yards for the season. However, Mills has the worst quarterback rating (32.8) in the league.
Brandin Cooks has a team-high 32 catches for 354 yards, and Nico Collins is developing as a threat and should be back in the lineup this week. Pierce also has been effective out of the backfield.
Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn has made 14-of-16 field goal attempts.
The Giants’ defense is ranked 17th overall. The Giants have allowed 137.2 yards per game and allowed 208 yards per game through the air. The G-Men are issuing 19.6 points per game. Pierce will give the Giants a test.
New defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s unit has recorded 16 sacks, but they have been mainly successful with their series of various schemes and looks. Safety Julian Love is calling the signals and is the team’s leading tackler (58) and has the lone interception. The Giants’ secondary and linebacking corps has paced the team.
The Giants don’t stack up well on paper, but they are the classic bend-but-don’t-break unit. They are allowing 5.41 yards per carry.
Houston’s defense is ranked 30th overall. The Texans have allowed a league-high 180.6 yards on the ground, which should be a good sign for Barkley. In the air, the Texans allow 217.5 yards and have recorded 19 sacks.
Like the Giants, the Texans have been pushed by their secondary and linebackers. Safety Jonathan Owens has 68 tackles, and fellow safety Jalen Pitre and linebacker Christian Kirksey each have 57 stops.
Series History and Injuries
This is a short history between the two clubs. They have met five times, and the Giants have won the last four.
New York won the last meeting between the two in Houston 27-22 on Sept. 23, 2018. The Giants also won the last meeting at MetLife 30-17 on Sept. 21, 2014.
Somehow, the Giants have pieced together six wins with a plethora of injuries this season.
Tackle Evan Neal (knee), tight end Daniel Bellinger (eye), linebacker Azzea Olujari (calf) guard Ben Brederson (knee), safety Tony Jefferson (foot), cornerback Cor’Dale Flott (calf), cornerback Aaron Robinson (knee), and defensive tackle Nick Williams (bicep) are still out.
The team may have suffered a major blow losing safety Xavier McKinney to a hand injury he suffered from an ATV accident during the off week. McKinney’s status is uncertain, and he could miss the rest of the season.
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) is expected to return as well as fellow receiver Richie James (concussion). Guard Shane Lemieux (foot) and linebacker Oshaen Ximines (quad) should be back.
Houston is expected to have wide receiver Collins (groin), defensive lineman Maliek Collins (chest), linebacker Neville Hewitt (hamstring), and guard Justin McCray (concussion) should all play Sunday. Defensive lineman Jonathan Greenard (calf) will be lost for the season.
Prediction (Overall record 6-2)
The Giants can afford to give up the 6.5-point line here. Looking at the numbers, this is a game that should play in their hands. They should be able to free Barkley for a big day, and the Giants’ defense should do enough to throttle Mills. This is a must-win game for the Giants, and they’ll get their third home win – Giants 34-13
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski