It might seem early to say that the Giants’ season is in dire straits, but that’s how things currently stand as they head to Miami for a Week 5 matchup with the Dolphins.
New York’s miserable start to the 2023 season only worsened on Monday night at MetLife Stadium when it was thoroughly dominated by the Seattle Seahawks, 24-3. Outside of the Giants’ Week 2 comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the offense has scored just 15 points in three games and appears completely broken.
They’re lengthy underdogs against the 3-1 Dolphins, who were beaten down 48-20 by the Buffalo Bills after hanging a historic 70 points on the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
Here’s what to watch for on Sunday afternoon:
Giants vs. Dolphins Week 5 preview
- When: Sunday, Oct. 8
- Kick-off: 1 p.m. ET
- Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
- TV: FOX
- Spread: MIA -11
Keys to the Game
The Giants’ offensive line has been shambolic this season, allowing 23 sacks this season including a remarkably putrid 11 on Monday night against the Seahawks. Only the Washington Commanders have allowed more sacks.
Now the line is being held together with the equivalence of duct tape and crazy glue. Andrew Thomas had a setback with his hamstring while Shane Lemieux and John Michael Schmitz Jr. did not practice on Wednesday. They signed former lineman Justin Pugh back to the practice squad as a depth option, but it’s unknown if he would be ready for Sunday if needed.
“Got to go out there and coach the guys that are out there and do a good job with that,” head coach Brian Daboll said. “Then get them ready to play.”
Getting back on track
As difficult as the offensive line has made life for quarterback Daniel Jones, the man under center hasn’t been helping himself out much, lately.
He already has more interceptions (six) than he had all of last year as his turnover-prone ways have returned.
Jones has been unable to generate anything with the limited time he’s been given. His average of 2.3 seconds of time in the pocket ranks tied for the 14th fewest in the NFL, which is a fraction longer than the 2.2 seconds Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been averaging this season. Yet his passer rating of 67 is the third-worst amongst quarterbacks who have attempted at least 10 passes this season.
The Dolphins have allowed the eighth-most passing yards this season while the seven touchdowns allowed are tied for the sixth-most. It suggests that Jones could have a decent day, but at this point, he has to prove that he’s able to step up.
Try to establish the run
With Saquon Barkley still recovering from an ankle injury, Matt Breida is the bellcow back in New York’s backfield.
It’s vital that the Giants try to establish the run as a one-dimensional passing approach has proven fruitless. In fact, the Giants are 0-11-1 when rushing fewer than 25 times in a game since the 2021 season. That’s tied for worst in the NFL.
Despite running for 112 yards last week against Seattle, Jones accounted for 66 of them on the run. Meanwhile, Breida has posted 47 yards on the ground over the last two games without Barkley.