Team Giants


Giants - Colts
Game 8 preview
Mon Nov 3, 8:30 PM - Colts at Giants

Giants (3-4) vs Colts (5-3)
The Colts five game win streak came to a sudden end in Pittsburgh last Sunday when their defense let the Steelers score six touchdowns and their offense gave up a safety. The final score was 51-34.
The Giants lost to the Eagles and then the Cowboys 31-21 before heading into their bye week. During their break they did at least get to see both of those leading division teams take losses.
Giants - Cowboys Wrap-Up

Indianapolis Colts
It was a wild ride at the end of the 2013 season for the Colts. After beating the Chiefs 23-7 in Kansas City two weeks earlier they were facing them at home in the wildcard game. The Chiefs were really putting points on the board and held a commanding 38-10 lead over the Colts in the third quarter. Then hometown boos turned to cheers as Andrew Luck staged the 2nd-largest playoff comeback in NFL history with a 45-44 win. The Colts ran out of luck (couldn't resist saying that) in the divisional playoff game in New England when they fell to the Patriots 43-22.
Giving up 87 points in those last two playoff games revealed some weaknesses they set out to fix this season. Things had been mostly in hand up until last week's loss where they gave up the most completions (40), the most touchdown passes (6), and the most passing yards in franchise history (522). Will the Colts get to the playoffs? Assuming that was just one bad showing, and considering that they were the only team to crack eight or more wins in their division last year, only the Houston Texans (4-4) pose a threat. The others are the Tennessee Titans (2-6) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7).

Indianapolis Colts Offense
Aside from quarterback Andrew Luck, whose performances have kept this team playoff ready, this offense has two other players that we're sure you'll know. Ahmad Bradshaw came to the Colts last season, but played in only three games because of an injury and Hakeem Nicks who signed on this year. Neither player can offer much info to their new coaches about their former team since the offensive scheme has changed and not all the current Giants players seem fully sure what it is. Bradshaw is the Colts rusher with 371 yards and he also has 31 receptions for 264 yards and 6 touchdowns. Trent Richardson, who spits time with Bradshaw, missed last weekend's game against the Steelers with a hamstring injury, but is slated to be back.
The Colts plan seems to be keeping their dependable running backs healthy throughout the season by taking less overall hits. With their effective passing attack, the worry of needing a balanced offense is secondary and reflected in the fact that they have thrown 351 passes and rushed 231 times. That said, both running backs catch passes and are averaging 8-9 yards a catch. Tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener have combined for 9 touchdown receptions and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton leads the league with 866 receiving yards. Hilton is also right at the top with his 16.3 average yards per catch. Veteran Reggie Wayne missed last game, but may be back for this one. Nicks came off a poor year with the Giants and hasn't exactly starred in this offense. Last week Nicks was targeted six times and came away with only one catch.

Indianapolis Colts Defense
What happened? They gave up a slew of yards and touchdowns last week to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. You actually have to call it a slew when the quarterback throws on you for over five football fields worth of completions (522 yard) and 6 touchdowns. Roethlisberger completed 40 passes and missed on only 9. You would figure that with so many passing plays they didn't run the ball very much, but they managed to 'squeeze in' 32 runs averaging 3.7 yards a carry while making 34 first downs. While the Colts defense is one of the top teams in sacks, they had none last week against a quarterback who's been sacked 20 times so far this year. Roethlisberger could have been wearing a tuxedo back there as they recorded just one lone quarterback hit in his 49 pass attempts.
Could this be a worn out defense in dire need of a bye week stuck facing a refreshed Giants offense coming off theirs? Well, not so fast. The Steelers got a real good jump on this defense in the first half and they played better for a bit after that as the Colts offense tried to come back from behind. Also they were without Vontae Davis, their top cornerback, for most of the game because of a knee injury. During their five-game win streak they picked up 20 sacks, and while Pittsburgh made 8-of-13 third down conversions, in the previous four games they had held opponents to just 4-of-41.

Giants offense
The Giants saw how important it was to get a fast jump on the Colts as the Steelers did last week. They also heard in the bye week from their own General Manager Jerry Reese calling for the offense to be more aggressive. Tom Coughlin said the offense needs more big plays, this even though they have opted for a balanced run and a short-passing game that limits turnovers. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo says he's looking for his offense to be more 'explosive' and to have more plays (only 59 offensive snaps in each of the last two losses).
Unfortunately the balance with a running game that can extend drives has been gone since Rashad Jennings hasn't played. You have to figure that they strapped Andre Williams to a chair in the film room these past two weeks to review how Jennings made some of his magic happen behind this same offensive line. Tight end Larry Donnell can help with improved blocking and it's essential that he hangs onto the ball after a catch. Rueben Randle needs to make some more plays down the field if for no other reason than to give talented Odell Beckham Jr. more room to work. Preston Parker is the number three receiver.

Giants defense
It's not going to be easy up front. The Colts offense ranks seventh in the NFL with the fewest sacks allowed per pass attempt. Also you can't take your eyes off Luck. Aside from trying to stop their two effective running backs he's the team's third-leading rusher, with 124 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 carries. A good pass rush is needed against a big passing offense and second-year defensive end Damontre Moore could have some opportunities, but he has to play smart. That hasn't been his strong point to date and the coaches know it and it has limited his chances. Moore is being used more as a situation pass rusher with Mathias Kiwanuka being more reliable and better against the run. Jason Pierre-Paul did well last game and once again is up against another top pass blocking left tackle.
The secondary may have some opportunities here. Luck has thrown 9 interceptions, matching his total from all of last season, while the Giants are second in the league with 11 interceptions. Cornerback Prince Amukamara is strong in run support and has 3 interceptions, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has had time to rest from his leg injuries. With his health issues and cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Trumaine McBride gone to season-ending injuries, they might use the three-safety look more. Safety Stevie Brown was demoted from starter earlier in the year for making some poor choices in coverage, but he played last game. If he plays as well a he can ( 2012- eight interceptions, 2013-out ACL) he makes the secondary that much stronger. Safety Antrel Rolle has 3 interceptions and a forced fumble and can always be counted on.

Can the Giants put 30 points on the scoreboard? In their three wins they did that and more. The Colts three losses actually happened when the other team did just that to them. The Giants are coming off their bye week and it's given them a nice chance to regroup, review, and game plan. What you hope not to see is Ahmad Bradshaw on fire running like a mad man against the Giants to show how wrong they were in letting him go, and Hakeem Nicks having the one game of his life. To win this one the Giants will have to play at their absolute best while hoping that the Colts, after playing eight games and now stuck with their second straight road trip, will not be up to what they are usually capable of.

NFC East
The Giants play on Monday night and the rest of the NFC East teams play their games on Sunday at 1:00pm. The Cowboys (6-2) play at home against the Cardinals (6-1). The Eagles (5-2) are on the road against the Texans (4-4) and the Redskins (3-5) are in Minnesota with the Vikings (3-5).
The Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins are favored to win in these games.
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Giants will play their third consecutive game against a division leading first-place team.

Giants are 10-15 after a regular-season bye, but have won their last six.

Giants have not scored an opening-possession TD in 18 consecutive games, the NFL’s longest streak.

Giants pre-game ceremony will honor more than 60 former top players.

Giants will have a halftime ceremony honoring recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Michael Strahan.

Colts Andrew Luck leads the league in passing attempts, completions and passing yards.

Colts Andrew Luck has passed for more than 300 yards in the last 6 consecutive games for a team record.

Colts Andrew Luck is tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead in touchdown passes (22).

Next Games
Nov 9- Giants at Seahawks.
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Nov 16- San Francisco at Giants.
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