NFL 2018 Season - Week 16
 

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by Dennis Ranahan

Plotting the New York Giants each season is a bit of a challenge.

There are some years when they don’t look very good but win the Super Bowl. They were outscored during the regular season in 2007, but beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII after emerging from the Wild Card round.

Much of their success can be pinned to quarterback Eli Manning, a 15-year veteran who never misses a game and has won the Vince Lombardi Trophy twice. When a team has a two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback in their backfield, all estimations on their prospects have to be edged up.

There have been many seasons when the Giants appeared short on talent, but with Manning running the offense the team has been to the playoffs six times, won three division titles and only suffered four losing campaigns.

Unfortunately, for Giants fans, those four losing seasons have occurred over the past five years.

Last season, expectations for the Giants was at a feverish pitch, and the odds on them winning Super Bowl LII dropped like a rock, from 40- to 1 to as low as 18 to 1. Under that headwind on publicity and expectations, the Giants failed like a Fourth of July firework dud.

Big expectations … no ignition.

By season end, the Giants had sunk so low that they earned the second pick in the NFL Draft. Their 3 and 13 regular season record was the worst for the franchise since 1974, when New York won only two contests during a 14 game season.

With that second pick in the draft, New York could have selected the successor for their 15-year veteran quarterback, but instead gave him a promising young star in choosing Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. Now, with the return of Odell Beckham, who missed almost all of the 2017 season with an injury, and the addition of Barkley, Manning has the tools he needs to do something special.

Hasn’t happened yet.

Losing at home on opening day is almost a sure sign that illuminates a team that is not going to win the Super Bowl. The Giants lost their home opener three weeks ago to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20-15. Since then, they dropped a decision to their most hated rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, on their home field, 20-13, and got their first win of the season last Sunday in Houston, 27-22.

This year, with the Giants coming off a season that had high hopes and fell flat, should offer New York a positive season-to-season flow. If the hype of having Beckham and Barkley in Manning’s arsenal has calmed down enough to have the Giants talent actually more in line with expectations, then New York could do well this season.

The best way to cure what ails an NFL offense is a bad NFL defense.

Giants, meet your match this week, the New Orleans Saints.

This is a team that appears to be fielding a defense that allows the other team to score quickly so we get to watch Drew Brees work magic with the Saints offense. Expecting this game to be anything less than a scoring donnybrook would be akin to stepping on an elevator in a New York high rise and not expect the car to rise above the tenth floor.

The scoreboard operator may get carpal tunnel syndrome just from working New Orleans games this year. ‘Over’ on the total in this game, more than 52 points scored, and expect enough points tallied by Manning’s efforts against a bad defense to clip the point spread.

Qoxhi Picks: New York Giants (+3) over New Orleans Saints