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Giants - Raiders
Game 12 preview
Sunday Dec 3, 4:25 PM - Giants at Raiders

Giants (2-9) vs Raiders (5-6)
Last Sunday the Raiders and Broncos fought it out in Oakland in more ways than one. A physical fight broke out and three players were ejected from the game. The Raiders went on to win 21-14.
In their game, the Giants struggled to put points up on the board. Even with their defense scoring a touchdown, they came up short, losing to the Redskins 20-10.
Giants - Redskins Wrap-Up

Oakland Raiders
Head coach Jack Del Rio took a team that had won only four games in 2012 and 2013, and three in 2014 to the playoffs in two years. The Raiders hadn't been there since 2002. It was a decent start in 2015 with 7 wins, and that became 12 in 2016. Starting quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken leg in the last game of the season. The Raiders went on to lose their wildcard game the following week in Houston with a 27-14 score.
Overall the team is not doing as well as it had. Defense had been a sore spot over the two years and just a few weeks ago, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was replaced by assistant head coach John Pagano. The offense has also been struggling, and some think that offensive coordinator Todd Downing might not last the year. The good news for the team is that they are 5-6. The division leading Kansas City Chiefs are in range at 6-5, and the Raiders have beaten them once.

Oakland Raiders Offense
With a strong offensive line supporting running back Latavius Murray,who averaged 4 yards a carry, they finished last season as the 6th best rushing team in the NFL. They have since replaced Murray with Marshawn Lynch, who was the workhorse last week, rushing for a season-high 26 carries and one touchdown against a strong run defense. Quarterback Derek Carr threw the ball only 24 times in their win over Denver after losing his two top receivers during the game.
Early on Michael Crabtree was ejected after he got into an altercation with Denver cornerback Aqib Talib (also ejected). Then, Amari Cooper left with a concussion in the first half after being hurt on an illegal hit. They may stick with a heavy running game as Crabtree is serving a one-game suspension, and Cooper is still in the concussion protocol. Receivers Seth Roberts and Coradelle Patterson will have to step up, as well as tight end Jared Cook, who caught only one of the five passes intended for him. Cook will likely have more opportunity this week, as the Giants have a soft spot for opposing tight ends.

Oakland Raiders Defense
Last week the defense got down to business. It may not sound like much, but they got their first interception of the season to stop the Broncos from scoring from Oakland's 1-yard line. They also came up with five sacks after entering the game with 14, the fewest in the league. In their win over Denver, the Raiders allowed a season-low 219 yards of total offense.
The Raiders had some extra homework to do when they suddenly found out that the Giants would be switching quarterbacks. Scrap the Eli Manning notes and dig up what you can on Geno Smith. In his first start he's likely not changing plays right before the snap as much Manning would. If Smith sees trouble he'll more likely run from it, and that could be a trap.
Defensive end Khalil Mack with 6 1/2 sacks will be up against Giants right tackle Chad Wheeler making just his third NFL start. Left tackle Ereck Flowers struggled last game, and he's up against linebacker Bruce Irvin, who had two sacks in the Broncos game. Starting cornerback David Amerson might be back for this game to help a defense that allows quarterbacks to complete a league-high 70.8 percent of passes.

Giants offense
What will the Giants offense look like without Eli Manning taking the starting snaps? That's the question that's on everyone's minds as the players and fans try to digest this new situation. Ben McAdoo has decided that the Giants need to see what Geno Smith can do for the Giants. Smith offers more mobility and may have a stronger arm. Getting the ball in the right place at the right time is also very important, so we'll have to see how this all works out.
Sterling Shepard will be back after recovering from migraine headaches. The last time he was available Manning hit him on 11 of 13 passes for 142 yards. Evan Engram caught 6 of 9 for 31 yards and one touchdown. In the last two games without Shepard, Engram has drawn more attention from defenses and his production has sunk. After catching a touchdown pass in four straight games, he has caught just four of 13 for 27 yards over the past two games, including three dropped passes during the last game loss to the Redskins.
Smith will have the benefit of both receivers playing together, though he will still have to figure out how to be efficient behind the Giants ever changing offensive line. The running game could get a boost as Smith could fake some handoffs to his running backs and take off himself. That's something that defenses will now have to respect. Let's hope all of Smith's running won't be just trying to evade linebacker Bruce Irvin.

Giants defense
They catch a break with the Raiders spotting them their two top receivers. They still have to deal with running back Marshawn Lynch, and tight end Jared Cook. This defense struggles against tight ends. They had allowed a tight end to score a touchdown in each of their first nine games. They finally stopped that from happening in the last two. This week expect Cook to be a featured target.
Lynch will be the other big problem for the Giants to solve in this game. He's not easy to bring down, and the Raiders will be leaning heavily on him. If the Giants offense can't sustain some meaningful drives Lynch's running will wear the defense out.
Safety Landon Collins has been playing well, but
the whole secondary took a big hit when the Giants had to place cornerback Janoris Jenkins on injured reserve. Jenkins had three interception this season, returning two of them for touchdowns. They have Eli Apple, who was a starter, but he's been inactive for the past two games, so you don't know how to figure that will work out.

Overall
Will Geno Smith give the Giants a better chance than Eli Manning to win in this game? Smith has mobility and will have both Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram at his disposal. After that he'll be stuck with trying to find open receivers as the pocket collapses, the same way it does on Manning. Then there's the thought of the Giants defense not playing an inspired game, which happens at times.
The only thing the Giants have going for them is that the Raiders might be looking ahead to next week when they play the Kansas City Chiefs. They need to gain ground on the division leader, and have already beaten them once. The Raiders playing poorly is the Giants best hope.

NFC East Games
Thursday at 4:30pm - Redskin 14 Cowboys 38.
Sunday at 4:25pm Giants (2-9) at Raiders (5-6).
Sunday at 8:30pm Eagles (10-1) at Seahawks (7-4).
The Eagles and Redskins were the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Notes.
Giants were eliminated from the playoffs last week.

Giants have used 8 different starting offensive lineups, tying them with Green Bay for the NFL season high.

Giants Eli Manning will not be the starting quarterback for the first time since November 14, 2004.

Giants Eli Manning's streak of 210 consecutive starts (2nd most in NFL history) will come to an end.

Giants will make their final visit to Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Giants Geno Smith is 12-18 as a starter, including going 2-0 in his career against the Raiders.


Next Games
Dec 10 Cowboys at Giants.
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Dec 17 Eagles at Giants.
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