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Detroit Lions Week 8 scouting report: The Giants are as bad as they look

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A closer look at the Giants’ current dysfunction.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have made it through their gauntlet of a schedule start, and, unfortunately, they haven’t come out unscathed. They’re limping, quite literally, and find themselves in the forgotten land of the mediocre.

But brighter times could be ahead. The schedule certainly eases up for a couple weeks as the Lions’ next three opponents are .500 or lower. It kicks off with the 2-5 New York Giants, who are riding the same three-game skid that the Lions are. But not all three-game losing streaks are created equal, so let’s take a closer look at these Giants.

New York Giants

Last season:

5-11 record (4th in NFC East)
16th in points scored, 23rd in points allowed
Overall DVOA: 15th (13th on offense, 24th on defense)

2018 offseason

Key free agent additions: G Kevin Zeitler, OT Mike Remmers, WR Golden Tate, S Jabrill Peppers, S Antoine Bethea

Key losses: WR Odell Beckham, DE Olivier Vernon, S Landon Collins

2019 NFL draft picks:

Round 1 - QB Daniel Jones
Round 1 - DT Dexter Lawrence
Round 1 - CB Deandre Baker
Round 3 - LB Oshane Ximines
Round 4 - CB Julian Love
Round 5 - LB Ryan Connelly
Round 5 - WR Darius Slayton
Round 6 - CB Corey Ballentine
Round 7 - OT George Asafo-Adjei
Round 7 - DT Chris Slayton

It’s fair to say that the 2019 offseason was a complete rebuild for the Giants. After already sending Damon Harrison Sr. away, the Giants dropped two other key defensive player in Olivier Vernon and Landon Collins. Throw Odell Beckham Jr. on the pile of misfit talent, and this Giants team is hardly recognizable from the team that made the playoffs just a couple seasons ago.

But with a rebuild comes young, new promise. A new franchise quarterback, two other first-round talents, and even some neat new toys in Golden Tate and Jabrill Peppers. Despite the offseason mocking the general manager Dave Gettleman took for his bold choice of Daniel Jones, there is some hope for the Giants... just not this year.

Giants 2019 season (2-5)

Week 1: Loss to Cowboys, 17-35
Week 2: Loss to Bills, 14-28
Week 3: Win over Buccaneers, 32-31
Week 4: Win over Washington, 24-3
Week 5: Loss to Vikings, 10-28
Week 6: Loss to Patriots, 14-35
Week 7: Loss to Cardinals, 21-17

Stats:

  • 25th in points scored; 27th in points allowed
  • 27th in DVOA (26th on offense, 25th on defense)

This Giants season has pretty much gone as expected. The Eli Manning show lasted two games before New York was finally ready to turn that page. At first, it looked like Dave Gettleman was about to strut on everyone when Daniel Jones mounted a huge comeback over the Bucs and followed it up with another dominant performance against a divisional foe in Washington.

Then Jones faced a real NFL defense and the flaws emerged fast and furious. The offense is struggling despite Saquon Barkley still beasting out. The defense is bleeding yardage and points at a rate faster than most. This is just not a good team.

Key injuries: RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Sterling Shepard (concussion), WR Corey Coleman (IR)

Barkley is clearly not 100 percent after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3, but he is playing and is still effective.

Where the Giants are hurting more is at wide receiver, where they’ve already lost Corey Coleman to a torn ACL in training camp. Sterling Shepard, who leads the team in receiving yards per game, has already suffered two concussions and is still currently in protocol. That leaves Golden Tate and a whole bunch of unproven talent at wide receiver.

Biggest strength: Saquon Barkley

It’s never a good sign when your biggest strength is one player, but Barkley stands above the rest. He is a game changer, even if he’s not a full strength. Despite only rushing for 82 yards in his last 26 attempts, he’s still averaging over 5.6 yards per carry and is a persistent threat in the receiving game.

He’s a superstar, and the Giants would be smart to protect him.

Biggest weakness: Secondary

The Giants pass defense has been awful this year, allowing 8.9 yards per attempt (second worst) and a completion percentage of 69.0 (not nice, t-25th). They oddly have six interceptions, but outside that statistic, everything is horrible. They give up big plays on the regular (30 passes of 20+ yards, 31st) and they give up first downs at an alarming rate through the air (42.6 percent of passes, 31st).

Vegas line for Sunday: Lions by 7