Overview, predictions, what to watch
A preview of Sunday’s Giants-Jaguars game in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jaguars TE Evan Engram vs. Giants S Xavier McKinney
Last week we also featured McKinney, taking on Ravens TE Mark Andrews. McKinney, and others who have tried to deal with Andrews, have not been particularly successful. Andrews had seven catches for 106 yards and a touchdown when he lost to CB Fabian Moreau at the line of scrimmage.
The Giants are obviously very familiar with Engram, their 2017 first-round pick. Engram has 24 receptions for 208 yards and is looking for his first touchdown with the Jaguars. He is increasingly becoming a focal point, with 16 targets and 11 taken in the past two weeks. It’s not a star, but Engram is still a threat due to its size and speed metrics.
There’s something about the Jaguars – perhaps it’s Trevor Lawrence’s still untapped potential – that makes them look better than their record. Are the Giants as good as their screaming record? At some point, someone is going to shut down Saquon Barkley. If that happens, is there enough passing play to save the day? Jaguars definitely have guns.
Jaguars 27, Giants 26
Call security: One of the biggest reasons the Giants win close games is their lack of turnovers, which Daniel Jones shines a light on. His interceptions over the past four seasons: 12, 10, 7 and 2 this season. His escapes during this period: 19, 10, 7 and 2 this season. It took time and he is on his third coaching staff, but now Jones is a reliable player.
« I just try to make quick decisions, try to find the guy that’s open, run through my reads and if not, get out of the pocket, make a pitch or find an outlet, » Jones said. “I don’t think it’s any different. I think it probably improves, being quicker and more decisive in certain situations. »
Maximum effort: At some point, a player is entitled to ask themselves, « What more do I need to do? » His quarterback rating was 113.1. Nevertheless, the Jaguars were beaten, 34-27, at Indianapolis. Lawrence became the first quarterback in NFL history to lose a game with 20+ pass attempts, a 90+ completion percentage, three total touchdowns and no turnovers.
Combined package: The Giants are the league’s fourth-best rushing team, averaging 163 yards per game — driven mostly by NFL rushing leader Saquon Barkley this season. The Jaguars are ninth in rushing at 136.7 yards per game, doing so with a three-carrier offense of James Robinson, Travis Etienne and JaMycal Hasty.
Etienne is the big hitter. In his last three games, he averaged 6.75 yards per carry, ranking second in the NFL in that span. The Jaguars are No. 3 in rush defense (89.3 yards per game allowed). The Giants are No. 28 (144.8 yards allowed).
The respect card: A head coach uses whatever works, but there was no idea Brian Daboll was insisting the Giants (three-game winners in a row) were set up as underdogs against the Jaguars (three-game losers).
« When you really bring it up, does it get our attention? » Barkley said. “We are not blind. Obviously, we see it, we see people talking about it and we are asked questions about it. Whether we’re the underdogs or the favorites, we come in with the same mindset of just getting in, falling in love with the process, trusting each other. »