New York Giants 5 Keys to Victory Against Texans


Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t think I am breaking ground by stating the New York Giants must defeat the Houston Texans tomorrow at Metlife Stadium if they want to give themselves a chance to turn their season around and compete for a playoff berth. A victory over the Texans won’t indicate, to me, that this team is ready to make a run towards the Lombardi Trophy, but it will indicate that this team is capable of staying relevant in a weak NFC East division.

What will it take for the Giants to take their first win of the year away from tomorrow’s clash? Here are my five keys to a Giants victory:

1) Turnovers.

This is the big one. The Giants are dead last in the NFL this season in turnover differential at -5. Houston is tied for second with a  +5 differential. Eli Manning and company must take care of the football if the Giants are going to win on Sunday. They have given the ball away far too readily in the early season, a trend that can not continue. Conversely, the Giants revamped secondary has yet to register an interception this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t Peyton Manning, but then again, neither is Drew Stanton. A lot is said about the offense’s propensity to give the ball away, but The D needs to make a big play once in a while too.

2) Offensive Comfort. Can I say turnovers again?

With the exception of his terrible throw which lead to a first half interception, I thought Eli Manning was very good on Sunday. He looked far  more comfortable in the Giants new offensive scheme. He seems particularly in sync with tight end Larry Donnell, who has surprised me in the early weeks. Another week of practice should do nothing but help him, and the rest of the offensive unit. The player who looks least comfortable on the field at the moment is Victor Cruz. The Giants number one target cannot continue to drop everything thrown his way.

3) Rashad Jennings.

The Giants brought in Jennings to solidify the Giants rushing attack. So far it has not been a success. Jennings has only 110 yards rushing this season. With JJ Watt looming for the Texans, it is crucial that the Giants establish the run to keep him from being able to key on the pass on every play. A failure to do that will mean that Watt and Eli will be very well acquainted by the end of the game, something that does not bode well for the G-men. It is time for a breakout performance from the Giants top back.

4) Get After Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants pass rushers must attack Fitzpatrick often. JPP and his posse have done a good job so far this year getting to opposing QBs. The Texans don’t pass often, but when they opt to drop back, the defensive line has to make the Texans QB uncomfortable. Turning up the heat on Fitzpatrick can only lead to good things.

5) Special Teams.

Full credit to Steve Weatherford for even playing with torn ligaments in his ankle, but last week’s punt return touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr. was back breaking for the Giants. It wasn’t Matt Dodge kicking to DeSean Jackson back breaking, but very few things are. The Giants kick coverage can not allow another big play this week. The Giants are not good enough to overcome costly mistakes in special teams. They make too many mistakes on offense and they cause too few on defense to tip the scales back into their favor if they lose in the kicking game.

So there you have it. Feel free to tell me why I’m wrong in the comments section, your input is always welcomed and appreciated.