The New York Giants (5-8) are set to host the Cleveland Browns (9-4) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday Night Football. The Giants are coming into this game coming off an ugly game versus the Arizona Cardinals losing 26-7. The Browns are coming off a loss to the Baltimore Ravens 47-42. The Giants are now one game back from first place, with the playoffs still in their sight. It will be a challenge for them this week without their best corner back James Bradberry, who was placed on the COVID-19 list. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will also not be calling plays Sunday as he tested positive for COVID-19. TE’s coach Freddie Kitchens will serve as the OC Sunday. Kitchens served as the head coach for the Browns in 2019 and their OC in 2018. Giants QB Daniel Jones is questionable with his lingering hamstring injury and a sprained ankle he sustained last Sunday. As it seems bad luck hit the Giants this week, here is five Giants to keep an eye on this Sunday.
CB: Isaac Yiadom:
This week the Giants are very thin at corner. They lost both James Bradberry and Darnay Holmes this week. Holmes will miss his second straight game with a knee injury. This will make Yiadom as the number one corner for this game. Yiadom will be facing Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins on Sunday night. Higgins has had a couple solid games, with two straight games recording a TD and over 50+ yards receiving. Jarvis Landry has also been effective in the pass game, becoming a passer in trick plays. He has completed all four of his passes this year for over 60 yards. Yiadom has had an up and down year. He was a starter in the end of September, and then fell on the depth chart in favor of Ryan Lewis. He then earned his spot back the last six weeks. He has certainly been playing better than how he started, but there is still a large hole at corner, especially now at corner number 2 (where he normally would be when Bradberry is healthy). Yiadom will have a large role Sunday, and it will be interesting to see how he handles it.
S: Xavier McKinney
After talking about the hole the Giants have in the secondary, it could be very possible there is many adjustments made on defense. Logan Ryan has experience at corner, could we see him there? Or Julian Love? If that does happen, it opens up a window for McKinney. McKinney hasn’t had very many snaps on defense since his debut after dealing with an injury from the summer. They have been working him in slowly to get up to speed and also to adjust to the change from college football to the NFL. As we’ve seen throughout most of the NFL this year, the next man up mentality has been the new norm. This could ultimately help McKinney to gain the experience he needs while also showing the Giants what he can do. He was a force for Alabama, and the Giants hope he will be just that for them for years to come.
RB: Wayne Gallman
The Cleveland Browns are ranked 16th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game. In their last three they have allowed an average of 144 yards/game. When the Giants have been their best, it is when they are successful in the run game. Wayne Gallman has been a large part of their success on the ground, leading the team with 561 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. The Giants had 7 straight games with over 100 rushing yards until last Sunday when they logged 78 yards. With the possibility of Colt McCoy starting in place for Jones, or with Jones being limited, the Giants will likely turn to Gallman for a bulk of their offense, unless they play from behind like last week. Gallman will be an important key for the Giants offense Sunday night, and it would be smart to hop on the “Wayne Train” against a defense that has been inconsistent against the run the last few weeks.
The offensive line had a very rough week against the Cardinals. They allowed 8 sacks last week, including 5 to Haason Reddick. The Giants will have an even larger task on the line facing pass rushers like Myles Garrett and former Giant Olivier Vernon. Garrett leads the team with 10.5 sacks while Vernon is behind him with 7. The leading tackler for the Browns is another former Giant, line backer BJ Goodson who also has 2 interceptions which is tied for the team high (Denzel Ward). Giants’ Kevin Zeitler (former Browns guard) had a concussion this week but practiced fully and will be a go for Sunday. He will be a big help for the Giants line against the Browns talented front. The guards and center are up against DT’s Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi, who have combined for 6.5 sacks. The line will need to be effective in both pass blocking and open up some holes for the Giants run game to help get the stagnant offense going.
DE : Leonard Williams
Williams had a very quiet game last week, recording one solo tackle and three assisted. Williams task will be to get to QB Baker Mayfield. Mayfield will not be as much of a concern for containment like Kyler Murray was. This will change the way the Giants approach their defensive stunts this week. The Giants last week were more focused on keeping Murray in the pocket, so they played containment on the outside and were not crashing in as much. Mayfield can also run, but he averages about 2 yards per rush. He is more likely to extend plays than take off running. The Giants will be able to use more blitzes and be able to bull rush on the outside and not be too nervous to give up outside leverage. Williams leads the team with 8.5 sacks, and his pass rushing ability will be needed Sunday. It would help take pressure off the secondary that is very thin at the moment.
Photo Credit: New York Daily News
About Dylan Davis
Dylan Davis is a graduate of the State University of New York at Canton, where he obtained a B.A.A in Sport Management. He is a former athlete of football and baseball and sports fan for much of his life. Dylan creates content for 366 Sports and New York Giants 366, and is also a host on his own show, “The J&D Sports Show”.