Giants (0-2) vs Texans (2-0)
week the Texans had a 27-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. They went on to
win their second straight game, beating the Oakland Raiders 30-14.
did themselves in playing against a watered down Arizona team. They were ahead
at one point, but then the mistakes just kept coming and they lost the game 25-14.
Giants - Cardinals
Coming off two division titles in
2011 and 2012, they won their first two games in 2013 and then fell into a major
losing streak. When it hit 11 games head coach Gary Kubiak was fired. They still
lost the final three games with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips filling in
as the interim head coach for a 2-14 record. Just to remind you, Phillips took
over for Kubiak earlier in the year when Kubiak collapsed at halftime during a
game and was taken to the hospital.
The Texans were up 21-3 on their way to
breaking a five game losing streak when that incident happened, but then fell
apart and scored no more points to lose 24-21 to the Colts. Kubiak was back after
the following week, but It was bad luck all the way around as All-Pro running
back Arian Foster suffered a back injury during that same loss and was out fot
the rest of the year. Kubiak is currently the offensive coordinator of the Baltimore
Bill O'Brien was named the third
head coach in the Houston Texans franchise history. O'Brien held various coaching
positions with college teams and the New England Patriots. He left his offensive
coordinator job with the Patriots to take on the challenging task of guiding Penn
State as head coach from 2012 and 2013, following after Joe Paterno. Soon after
being announced as the Texans head coach, O’Brien met with the existing Texans
staff and fired nearly all of them. The first time NFL head coach has his Texans
opening up the 2014 season with back-to-back wins after defeating the Washington
Redskins and the Oakland Raiders.
back Arian Foster played in only eight games last season, coming off his season
ending back injury, and he is doing just fine. Foster has been handling a heavy
workload, averaging 4.4 yards a carry and last week he rushed for 138 yards on
28 carries including a 5-yard touchdown run. Foster is also out distancing his
quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as far as plays would compare - running to passing.
Foster leads the league by carrying the ball 55 times and Fitzpatrick has thrown
just 41 passes.
Fitzpatrick has made his passes count though, completing on
close to 70 percent with three touchdowns and no interceptions. This will be the
first game he will have all three tight ends on the roster available to play.
Veteran receiver Andre Johnson leads the team with 12 catches for 167 yards and
DeAndre Hopkins has caught a touchdown in each of the first two games. The offensive
line has done a great job at run blocking and hasn't allowed a sack this season.
Romeo Crennel, a former defensive
coordinator and later head coach of the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs,
replaced Wade Phillips. Crennel has shifted the team to a 3-4 defense and so far
the results are good. Aside from giving up just 20 points in two games, the lowest
amount of all the teams in the NFL, this defense has been very opportunistic so
far this year. They've recorded four forced fumbles and two interceptions. That's
helped them quite a bit as they have been giving up a lot of yardage, averaging
368 yards per game.
J.J. Watt led the NFL in 2012 with 20.5 sacks and was
named the Defensive Player of the Year and had a very respectable 10.5 last season.
In last Sunday's game they had him line up as a tight end and Watt caught a 1-yard
touchdown pass on the opening drive. Teams will now have to game plan for that
even if they don't try it again. It would have been interesting to see Watt and
Jadeveon Clowney play together, but the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s
NFL Draft, will be out for this game with a knee injury. Cornerbacks Kareem Jackson
and Johnathan Joseph are playing in their fourth year together and each has caused
turnovers as well as safetys D.J. Swearington and Kendrick Lewis.
Eli Manning was sacked twice by
the Cardinals, but still got better overall protection than he did in the first
game. He threw for 277 yards and once again was done in by dropped passes that
did not help sustain drives. It's hard to believe that his completion percentage
is over 60 percent at this time. Tight end Larry Donnell has continued to produce
and leads the team with his 12 receptions, averaging over 11 yards each and has
been targeted by Manning more than anyone else on the team.
agent Rashad Jennings was brought in to get the running game going along with
fourth-round draft pick Andre Williams. That hasn't happened so far, and while
Jennings did improve on his average yards-per-run, that unforced fumble was a
killer last week. He is however one of Manning's best receivers, second on the
team with 8 catches averaging almost 12 yards a catch. That's what Victor Cruz
averages and it sure would have been nice if he had more than 7 receptions so
far. Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan each have 6 receptions.
Once again this was supposed to
be the strength of the Giants this season, but they
have trouble getting opponents off the field. Right now they are next to last
in the NFL in opponents' third-and-long conversion percentage. Teams get their
long first downs almost 44 percent of the time and overall make it over 53 percent.
The offense on the Texans has been lopsided so far in favor of the running game,
but some of that is due to them being ahead in games and how effective they have
been with it.
The Giants secondary should be able to handle their own in this
game, but they'll have to stop the run first and play smart. That won't be easy
without middle linebacker Jon Beason playing.
Beason left with a toe injury in the second half of last Sundays game and will
not play in this one. Things could get easier for the Giants as Texans tailback
Arian Foster (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday.
teams hope that history doesn't repeat. Last season at this time, the Texans and
Giants held the same win-loss record heading into game 3. The Texans lost all
the rest of their games and the Giants fell to 0-6 before they managed to pull
out a win. One of these teams will continue on that path and one won't Turnovers
could be the key in this game as the Texans on defense are forcing them to happen
and the Giants can't get out of their own way in assisting other teams from being
successful in that cause. If the Giants cut down on their penalties, missed assignments,
and turnovers, they should send the fans home happy this Sunday.
All the NFC East games will be played
at 1pm Sunday when the Giants play in their game against the Texans. The Eagles
(2-0) will host the Redskins (1-1), and the Cowboys (1-1) will play in St. Louis
against the Rams (1-1). The Eagles and Cowboys are favored to win their games.
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Eli Manning has thrown a league-high four interceptions.
have given up a league-high six turnovers.
defense hasn't intercepted a pass or recovered a fumble yet this season.
2-14 record was the worst in the NFL last year.
are ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards.
Sept 25 - Giants at Washington.
Oct 5- Atlanta at Giants.
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