Even though the Giants aren’t in a position to win every game, there are certainly some that they can afford to lose. While I think that there are some games that they can easily surprise people with, I think there are some games that could also catch the Giants off guard and put an L on their schedule. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and hopefully they serve as a wake up call if the team isn’t up to the task when they first face this challenge. After I talked about the must-win games this year, I figured that it is only fair to give the team a break and take some pressure off of their shoulders as they are very much a young core who still needs to learn how to win and close out games. Here are the 2 games I think that shouldn’t kill their confidence if they come up short when the clock hits double zeros.
1. Week 6: Giants vs. Patriots; TNF:
The Patriots are a much more built up team than the Giants currently are, headed by possibly the best quarterback to ever play in the NFL. While the Giants have a totally revamped secondary that I personally believe will lock down Brady, I think this is a game that the Giants can afford to lose because it is only week 6, and with the amount of young starters they have coming into this year there is a more than likely chance that they will not have complete chemistry yet. This game should be close, given the fact that we won’t have to cover Gronkowski anymore and that the Patriots don’t have nearly as strong of a line as they did a year ago with Trent Brown. They may be able to exploit second year player Isaiah Wynn who is coming off of an injury that ended his rookie season before it started last season, with players like Lorenzo Carter and Markus Golden having sizable expectations regarding rushing the passer.
While I think we can afford to lose this game, I don’t think we will. Saquon should have no problem running the ball in this game, especially with a much better line blocking for him. Losing Trey Flowers in free agency to Detroit, the Patriots should have a somewhat harder time rushing the passer against ex Pat Nate Solder and newly acquired Mike Remmers. We’ll have to see come Week 6 how the team gels on both offense and defense with so many new faces on the starting lineups, but playing an elite team from your polar opposite division won’t hurt too badly if it’s week 16 and the Giants are trying to sneak into a wild card spot based on their division wins.
2. Week 14: Giants @ Eagles; MNF:
This one might not be a game you think the Giants can afford to lose, given it’s late in the season and it’s in Philadelphia, but there are a few reasons why it can’t hurt unless they are in a dire playoff hunt. There’s a good chance that the team won’t be in the playoff race and at that point it would be more about player development. If that’s the case, it isn’t necessary for the Giants to struggle trying to grind out this win, but rather just let the rookies and the young players max out their reps and get more comfortable. However, if they are in the playoff hunt, this game still can be one that isn’t the end of the world if lost.
The NFC East has always been an extremely tough division where no matter the strength of the teams overall doesn’t matter when they play each other. It’s very unlikely for the Giants to win every division game, and the Eagles are probably their toughest opponent out of the three. Building confidence by competing and coming up just short on the road is fine by me, and I think that if they are going to lose one or two of these division games, this one is the one they can afford to lose most. They also get another chance against the Eagles at home Week 17 which may prove to be way more crucial to the playoff race if they manage to stay alive until the final week of the season, in which that game would be way more important than the Week 14 matchup.
At the end of the day, this season has a lot of different factors that will affect the Giants record this season. For the Patriots game, I truly think it will bank on how much the young players gel together and can create a complete team. As for the Eagles game, personally it is up to who is under center. If Eli is still there, I say that his immobility will prove to be the demise of this game offensively against a far too athletic defensive front seven. It can be a totally different story if Daniel Jones comes in with little to no tape on him, and puts on a show against the Eagles weakest part of their team; their defensive backs.