By Rick Brown
While the Denver Broncos (3-1) were resting during an early bye week, the New York Giants (0-5) may have witnessed the 2017 season slip away in a freak series of injuries. The under-performing Giants were early season favorites to perform well this season —some pundits had the Giants picked to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LII. How quickly things can change. Through five weeks of the 2017 season, the Giants are winless and the outlook does not bode well. The Giants were hoping for a turnaround to happen soon, but several key injuries are most likely going to derail the 2017 season for New York.
New York Giants (0-5)
During the Giants’ Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers (1-4), New York’s offense lost four wide receivers during the course of the game. The biggest injury is to Odell Beckham Jr., who fractured his ankle and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Dwayne Harris, another wide receiver, broke his foot during the game against the Chargers and will also miss the rest of the season. Free-agent wide receiver Brandon Marshall was also injured, and announced Monday night that he would have season-ending surgery. The last injury to the Giants’ wide receiver group happened to Sterling Shepard, who went out during the game and did not return. This rash of injuries is certainly not going to help a Giants offense that is already under performing.
Eli Manning has no weapons left at his disposal. The team is scoring just 16 points a game, good for 28th in the league. The running game is ranked 30th in the league, but that may be because the Giants are always playing catch up. The Giants do rank 11th in passing, but are unable to put points up on the board.
On the bright side, the team has been competitive and the last three losses have been by five points or less. Although, against the Broncos defense, it is difficult to think the Giants will be able to move the ball. The lack of production on offense is causing problems for the Giants defense.
New York’s defense ranks 28th overall. The team is giving up 24 points a game as well as letting teams rush for 139 yards a game. Since teams do not have to pass as much against the Giants defense, they rank right in the middle at 16th in pass defense. What was once a fearsome pass rush has been negated because the defensive line cannot stop the run. The Giants pass rush has not been as effective and has only racked up eight sacks for the season. This team has a lot of giant holes to fill against a talented Broncos team, but could get a jump start against the Broncos offensive line.
Players To Watch
For the Giants to have any chance against the Broncos, the team will need to stop the run and pressure Broncos starting quarterback, Trevor Siemian. This is a pretty standard ingredient to win games, but the Giants have not been able to earn a victory. Look for the Giants’ pass rush tandem of Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul to try to create chaos along the Broncos’ offensive line. The weak link in the line, starting right tackle Menelik Watson, could prove to be a liability against these two talented pass rushers. On offense, look for Manning to take this team up on his back once again and hope for another fairy tale ending.
The Giants face a monumental task in coming into Denver and trying to earn a victory. Denver’s defense is one of, if not the best in the league. The Broncos secondary is top notch and will have a much easier task now that Beckham Jr. is lost for the season. Aside from all the injuries, the Giants are going to have to pull off a major upset against the talented Broncos. In the end, the Giants will not have enough fire power and will lose six straight games. Look for the Broncos to win 24-10.