The New York Giants sit 2nd in the NFC East with a record of 8-3 (behind the now 11-1 Dallas Cowboys), now lies ahead of them their toughest test yet. A 5 game streak that will answer the question, ‘Are the Giants serious contenders?’. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. 5 games. 5 tough games for the Giants to prove their place in the playoffs.
Here are my key players that could potentially be the difference makers;
Odell Beckham Jr
You receive no prizes for guessing OBJ’s inclusion on this list. The star wide out has had a super start to the second half of the season. 38 receptions for 556 yards and 7 touchdowns during the Giants 6 game winning streak. The Giants offense is still shaky and its not hyperbole to say that Odell Beckham IS this offense. He can win games single handedly.
Landon Collins has been stealing all the headlines this season for the Giants, but JPP has been outstanding in recent weeks, capped off by his NFC Defensive player of the week performance against the Browns, 7 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble and a recovered fumble for a touchdown. The Giants have always been successful when they have a pass rush and JPP, along with others, are starting to become feared throughout the league. Giants now nearing the top 10 in sacks with 25, after starting the season in the bottom 3.
The lockdown corner is set to face some 2 outstanding wide receivers in the next 2 weeks in Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant and the Giants D will be looking to their number 1 cornerback to keep lock down tabs on them. The Giants defense will be tested like never before in the pass game over the next couple of weeks and Jenkins could be the key, if the Giants want to come out victorious.
An outstanding year for the 2nd year safety, but now he has to finish the season with a bang and get the Giants to the playoffs. Unusually quiet vs Browns, Collins will look to have a bounce back game vs the high powered offense’s of both the Steelers and Cowboys. 87 tackles, 3 sacks and 5 interceptions for the almost certain pro-bowler. A playmaker in the Giants secondary, Collins will be on high alert against the Steelers and Cowboys, who both have playmakers themselves on offense.
Eli has apparently had a poor year, but he sits on nearly 3000 passing yards through 11 games, 20 touchdown, 10 interceptions and a passer rating around 90. Manning isn’t the kind of player that cares too much about personal stats, he’ll be more than happy that his Giants sit at 8-3. Manning could be doing a lot better, but he should be getting a lot more praise for his game management and control of the offense. The Giants defense have been winning games on their own this season, but these next 5 games will be very tough for them and its time this offense and Eli , stood up and won a game for themselves. A poor running game is no excuse, as Rashad Jennings and Paul Perkins have been effective in recent weeks. Expect to see Eli target Odell a lot in these next 5 games. If all else fails, throw it to 13.