It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Paul “Bear” Bryant
Most people would agree that a great start is necessary for any success. When it comes to football, you really need a great start. Then, you need to continue to be great all the way through until you finish with a successful season.
The New York Giants are looking to do just that. This Thursday they will be facing the Cleveland Browns. Both teams had a rocky start last season as the Browns finished 0-16 and the New York Giants weren’t much better with a 3-13 record. With the addition former Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur as head coach, and a new defensive coordinator in James Bettcher; the Giants are looking to turn things around.
These games are causing havoc in all kinds of leagues. If you have Eli Manning on your roster, well, he is back so you can now use him if you choose to. As always, let’s begin with this week’s starts and sits.
If you think beating the Giants in Denver is the task, you’d be incorrect. The task is showing that they can play as well in the second half as well as the first. Even if the score is 52-0 at the end of the first half.
Denver is the worst team on third downs in the fourth quarter. How bad? 15% bad. Not only that, the run average and passing completions drop in second halves. Playing with a big lead against the Cowboys may have skewed the numbers a tad, but not that much. Denver has scored once in the 4th and it was a pick six against quarterback Dak Prescott.
Two things are happening. There is a killer mentality missing on offense in the second half of games. When that happens, the defense has to spend more time defending the pass. The offense is dominating the time of possession in first halves. That number drops to only 26 minutes out of a possible 60 in second halves. Split it in half and you have four minutes less than our opponents. Considering all but one turnover has occurred in the second half, you can see why.
Even so, Denver’s defense has done a pretty job. Only four TDs have been allowed in a second half and two were from quarterback Phillip Rivers in week one.
The four interceptions and a fumble lost, all happened in second halves. In their last two games they went from 83% on third downs to 34%. 0 conversions on goal to go.
The 0-5 Giants have a hurt quarterback Eli Manning, are without four starting wide receivers, they have an open gate for an OL and a defense that is ranked in the bottom of the league. They don’t have more than a sliver of a chance of winning. It would take the offense handing them the ball through many mistakes. With New York missing cornerback Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and having to use a previously benched cornerback Eli Apple, yeah….it’s probably not going to happen.
There’s only two ways to have a shot of doing it themselves. First, Manning needs to keep chucking the ball (without any turnovers) and hope a DB slips a couple times to get some scores and secondly, they can generate some kind of pass rush, or at least constant pressure. Also, make quarterback Trevor Siemian throw to the sidelines. Take away his comfort zone which are passes beyond ten yards and the sidelines.
The Giants can’t give up. Be prepared for the offense to come out swinging and put up some points. The second half is when they need to know they have a shot and play like it. In addition, the Giants need to use three tight ends and just dump and go and repeat. Use them for pass protection and as slots. Denver isn’t great against tight ends.
The Broncos need to know that Manning isn’t what he once was, but he’s pretty smart with the ball. All the young defensive backs, Justin Simmons, Will Parks, Brandan Langley and BradleyRoby must mentally be on their toes. No one has been able to run against Denver, so Manning will need an air attack, even if that attack is four yards at a time.
Giants defense have allowed 19, 24, 27, 25, and 27 points in their games. They faced Prescott, and quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston and Rivers. Two running teams and three passing with good QBs. They didn’t play a mile up, though. While first half Siemian could be mentioned with the above group, second half can’t. Fortunately, the second half is when defenses get gassed in Denver.
The key, easier said than done for the Giants, is to keep within a score and harass Siemian. For Denver, the key is to remember Manning is like Rivers. They hang around in games and wait to find your weakness and then they attack it. Making sure the offense shows up in the fourth is how to keep Manning from having time to mount a comeback.
Talk Broncos with Julie on Twitter // @ABroncoNole