FanPost

Armchair Scouting & Prediction: New York Giants

Here sit our Dolphins at 5-7, thanks to a four-game win streak that has dragged the squad into some form of respectability. With five games remaining in this season, I'm not ready to start any sort of playoff talk, I don't care how prominently ESPN puts the Fins in the "In the Hunt" graphic. Still, the team is a helluva lot closer to the discussion than they were just a few weeks ago. There's still a way to go though.

Next on the list is the 4-7 New York Giants, so let's take a look at what our Miami Dolphins are up against.

The Tale of the Tape

Here are some key numbers, as taken from pro-football-reference.com and espn.com:

Dolphins Giants
Passing Yards 230.7 (17th) 226.6 (18th)
Rushing Yards 80.2 (31st) 90.8 (26th)
Points Scored 19.5 (24th) 18.4 (26th)
Pass Yards Allowed 262.5 (28th) 243.7 (17th)
Run Yards Allowed 104.9 (10th) 127.7 (26th)
Points Allowed 23.3 (19th) 23 (tie 16th)
Net Turnovers -1 (tie 18th) 5 (tie 7th)
Against Penalty Yards 51 (13th) 46.4 (8th)

I was frankly a little bit surprised at some numbers in this table, as far as the Giants were concerned. I hadn't watched any Giants games at all until two weeks ago, but the general take on them was that they're a horrible team that bordered on being a laughingstock much of the time. Thus, I was expecting to see stats more in line with what I saw from teams like the Jets and Texans - everything in or near the bottom-five in the NFL. But you'll notice that the Giants are actually middle of the pack in passing yards and passing yards allowed. And they're actually top-10 in net turnovers and penalty yards against. Maybe they're actually good at a few things?

As far as our Fins, I think we know the story right now. The stats in general still aren't great, and there are still a few really ugly ones like rushing yards gained and passing yards allowed. But any of us who have been watching know that every number is heading in the right direction. The team has made some really nice strides during this four-game win streak, especially in the passing game and run defense.

To get a better read on the Giants, I took a look at their two most recent games:

The New York Giants in the Last Two Weeks

Two games back, the Giants faced the Bucs down in Tampa Bay. It was a bit of a wrestling match for a while, with the score tied at 10-10 halfway through the 2nd quarter. Then the Bucs opened it up a bit with a touchdown and took the 17-10 lead into the half. And that was about it. After a little more jostling, the Bucs took a 24-10 lead halfway into the 3rd quarter. The Bucs continues to suffocate the Giants offense, while their offense tacked on a couple more insurance field goals. Giants lose, 30-10 and drop to 3-7. I watched a bit of this Monday Night game and didn't see much that impressed me. The Giants keeping it close for much of the first half was as much about the Buccaneers' offense being a little out of sync as anything the Giants defense was doing. Despite a slow start, the Bucs ended up with 402 total yards, compared to the Giants paltry 215 total yards. For comparison, a struggling Dolphins offense with Jacoby Brissett at QB put up 302 yards against the same defense back in week 5.

Last week, the Giants got a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. I watched the replay of this game, and suffice to say I wasn't terribly impressed. It was a close but really ugly game, with the Giants ultimately clinging to a 13-7 win. The Giants offense with Daniel Jones was pretty rough, to be a bit generous. Jones was 19-30 for 202 yards, 1 TD and no INTs. Not horrible, but if you saw the game then you saw a guy who doesn't scare you as a passer. Jones can actually run a bit, but it looks like it might not matter since the whispers are that Jones is dealing with an injury that may force Mike Glennon into service this Sunday. The Giants didn't run the ball very well, despite having the vaunted Saquon Barkley at running back. The Giants' defense had endless trouble dealing with the Eagles strong running game (best in the NFL, much to my surprise), surrendering a whopping 208 yards on the ground. That was a solid 50 yards over the Eagles' already-impressive 150-plus rushing yards per game. So how did the Giants win? Simple: Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts played as if he had been huffing paint fumes during pregame warmups. The poor kid was 14-31 for 129 yards, with zero touchdowns and three horrible, mind-boggling interceptions. The Giants secondary was playing pretty well, but really - the interceptions were all on Hurts' awful decisions. They made life easy enough for the Giants offense to scratch out the 13-7 win.

Giants versus Dolphins

The Giants defense isn't without a strength or two. Their secondary does look pretty good in coverage, which helps explain how they're tied for 7th in the league in net turnovers, including 13 interceptions. However, a fair bit of this is thanks to playing brain-farting quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts. Still, New York's DBs are solid, which will force Tua and the receivers to be on their game. This is where getting DeVante Parker back should help quite a bit, given his skill at catching balls in tight coverage. I don't see Tua having any sort of breakout passing game here, but as long as he plays his controlled game, he should be fine. As for the ground game, this is where the Dolphins should find some decent success. In re-watching the win over the Panthers, I saw some solid run blocking, especially in the middle. It's a shame that Phillip Lindsay may miss this game, but the other running backs should find some success against the 26th run defense in the NFL.

On the other side of the ball, I love our defense's chances against a Giants team that is likely to have Mike Glennon under center. These last few weeks, the defense has not only rediscovered its form from 2020, but it seems ready to surpass it sooner rather than later. I do think that a good, smart quarterback could exploit some softness over the middle, but Mike Glennon ain't that guy. I doubt that they'll make Glennon look "Cam Newton Week 11 2021" bad, but I think any success he has will be limited and hard-won. The Giants running game has been barely there. Even when Barkley has played, he's not looked anything like the dazzling rookie who burst onto the scene three years ago. Part of this is his mounting injury history, but part is the Giants poor offensive line play. It's just hard to see the overall Giants offense doing a whole lot against a Dolphins defense that has nearly every cylinder firing at this point.

Special teams is a slight edge to the Dolphins, despite Jason Sanders still looking shaky. Graham Gano is very good, but the Fins' overall coverage and return game is just a bit better than the Giants.

I have to give the coaching nod to Brian Flores at this point, as B-Flo seems to have adjusted and has his team playing its best ball in quite some time. Joe Judge has overseen his Giants win three of their last five games, but two of those wins were over a self-destructive Eagles and a Panthers team with Sam Darnold still under center. The third was against a schizoid Raiders team, so pardon me if I don't consider Judge as astute as Brian Flores.

Game Prediction

I'm writing this on Friday evening, not long after the official announcement that Mike Glennon will be starting. On top of it, several more of New York's better players will either be out or are listed as "doubtful." Sprinkle in that DeVante Parker and Michael Dieter may be back and the fact that this game is in Miami, and I really like our guys' odds.

Dolphins 34, Giants 10

I'm actually a tad nervous about predicting such a lopsided victory, but I really have a hard time seeing how the Dolphins team we've seen for the past month can't outperform this Giants team in nearly every way. I like it to be a resounding win to get us to 6-7, within one game of .500 - a place that I thought was utterly impossible a mere month ago.

What do you think? Am I nuts? Share some thoughts in the comments section!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.