Team Giants


Giants - Texans
Game 3 preview
Sunday Sept 23, 1:00 PM - Giants at Houston

Giants (0-2) vs Texans (0-2)
After starting off the season with two straight games on the road, the Texans have fallen to an 0-2 record. They started in New England, and then last week they were in Tennessee. The Texans were at midfield and had 17 seconds left to try to tie the game up with a field goal. Quarterback Deshaun Watson scrambled around and completed a downfield pass, but the clock ran out, leaving them with a 20-17 loss.
The Giants have also opened the season losing in their first two games. What was thought to be a talented offense, working behind a strengthened front line, hasn't translated to the field. Last week the Cowboys were ready for their arrival and scored first. The Giants trailed the entire game, kicked a field goal after a successful onside kick, but their next one failed, and the game ended 20-13 in favor of the Cowboys.

The Houston Texans
What a difference a year makes. In 2016 they were the AFC Division champs for the second year running, and won one playoff game. Last year they had only 4 wins to show for their efforts. The Texans started off at 2-2, and J.J. Watt broke his left leg early on in their next game with the Chiefs. Then two games later, rookie starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was tied for the NFL lead with 19 passing touchdowns, tore the ACL in his right knee during practice. They won only one more game the rest of the season. This year, catching no breaks, the Houston got to start off this season with a two game road trip.
They lost their first game to the New England Patriots 27-20. Watt and Watson were back on the field, but starting right tackle Seantrel Henderson, and starting cornerback Kevin Johnson, ended up on injured reserve. Near the end of that game, the Patriots muffed a punt, and it was recovered by Houston at the New England 16 yard line. The Texans were able to score a touchdown, otherwise it wouldn't even have been close. Last week they climbed back from a 14 point deficit to tie the game at 17-17. A Tennessee Titans field goal left them with just one minute to possibly tie the game. They crossed midfield, but ran out of time on the last play of the game.

Texans Offense
Quarterback Deshaun Watson had a shortened seven game season in his rookie year because of his injury. While he is still making some costly rookie mistakes, as he did last week scrambling away 17 seconds on the last play of the game, you can't forget his obvious talents. As we said, last year he had thrown 19 touchdowns in seven games, and he's a mobile quarterback. Despite the losses this year, with the help of his 13 carries for 84 yards, the Texans lead the NFL in rushing, averaging 157.5 rushing yards per game.
Running back Lamar Miller leads the team with 34 carries for 166 yards. In the air, Watson has thrown 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His top receiver is DeAndre Hopkins with 14 catches for 188 yards and 1 touchdown. Hopkins led the team last year, and while he doesn't show on the injury report, he's a little banged up. Will Fuller missed the first game, but last week caught 8 of 9 for 113 yards and 1 touchdown.

Texans Defense
Houston saw what happened last week when the Cowboys took on the Giants. Eli Manning was sacked six times, and took eight quarterback hits. This defense will be anxious to face off against that same offensive line which could be weaker, working in the backup center for his first game with the Giants. Ready to go will be defensive ends J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, who missed the last game, but was their leading pass rusher a year ago with 9.5 sacks. Linebacker Whitney Mercilus hasn't played up to the level that he can. He tore his pectoral muscle early on last season and missed the rest of it, and a hamstring injury kept him out of preseason activity. This game against the Giants struggling offensive line could be the one that gets him back to form.
Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and tight end Evan Engram will be up against a Texans secondary that has been improved over last year's model. They signed safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Aaron Colvin, who was with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Safety Kareem Jackson knows how to hit, and he has 14 tackles and two forced fumbles so far this season. Manning, even if he somehow manages to have time to throw, will have watch out for this group.

Giants Offense
The first week featured wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. Last week it was running back Saquon Barkley. Maybe this game the spotlight will be on tight end Evan Engram, as the Giants try to figure out who could be the game changer for them. Last week Engram caught all seven passes Eli Manning tossed to him for 67 yards. In the first game the Texans played with the New England Patriots, tight end Rob Gronkowski was the top receiver. Maybe hitting the tight end heavy is the way for the Giants to go.
The problem is the Giants are struggling badly on the offensive line, and this week they had to put their starting center Jon Halapio (broken ankle/leg) on Injured reserve. Halapio had been playing well, and backup John Greco, who has played before under Pat Shurmur, now has his spot. No matter what, the offensive line has to provide better blocking for their running backs and give Eli Manning some time to throw.

Giants Defense
They haven't done it well this season, but they really need to pressure Deshaun Watson. They have a total of just one combined quarterback sack in the last two games, which actually has them in last place in the NFL. The quarterback position isn't easy to master, and Watson is young and still finding himself in this game, and making mistakes. Under pressure this year, his completion ratio is extremely low compared to what he accomplishes without it.
The Texans are working in their offensive line, which has a third round rookie starting right tackle, and a right tackle who's played minimal games. They have center Nick Martin coming off ankle surgery, and picked up a few free agents to fill out the line. The Texans don't actively use the read-option with Watson. He picks up yards on the ground mostly with scrambles. Still, they have to have noticed how well it worked for Dak Prescott with the Cowboys last week, and Watson is certainly capable.
Unfortunately, the Giants will once again be without Olivier Vernon. Connor Barwin and rookie Lorenzo Carter will fill in. Cornerback Eli Apple has also been ruled out with the injury he suffered last week. That's too bad because up to now, the Giants faced run-first offenses. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is the big weapon of choice, and Janoris Jenkins will have to play sharp against him. Watson will be looking for Apple's replacement B.W. Webb, who is playing on his seventh team in six NFL seasons. Like we said, the Giants have to pressure Watson.

The Giants are in Texas for the second week in a row. This time it's Houston, and once again we'll be seeing two teams in search of their first win. Both teams know that an 0-3 start means suddenly being able to win 9 of the remaining 13 games, just to finish at 9-7 for a slight chance at the playoffs. Both teams have big problems getting points up on the board, and with their offensive lines. The one that has it playing more reliably this week will get the win.

NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Giants (0-2) at Texans (0-2).
Sunday at 1:00pm Colts (1-1) at Eagles (1-1).
Sunday at 1:00pm Packers (1-0-1) at Redskins (1-1).
Sunday at 4:25pm Cowboys (1-1) at Seahawks (0-2).
The Eagles are the only NFC East team favored to win in these games.

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Giants Eli Manning is 3-0 against the Texans.

Giants, in 15 of the 18 seasons they started with two straight losses, have ended with a losing record.

Giants have gone 34 consecutive regular-season games in failing to score 30 or more points.

Since 1990, (NFL went to 12 playoff teams), 87.8 percent of teams who started 0-2 missed the playoffs.
Next Games
Sept 30 Saints at Giants.
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Oct 7 Giants at Panthers.
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