Cardinals @ Giants - 1:00 FOX
The Giants cannot be encouraged coming into their week 2 battle with the Arizona Cardinals. They heard all summer that their offense was dreadful, and it showed in a big and disturbing way on Monday night against the Lions.
The Giants couldn't do anything offensively. Every time Eli Manning set back to throw he was either under tremendous duress, or throwing costly interceptions. Manning threw two picks against Detroit; one of them a miscommunication between Manning and his receiver, the other a bad job on Manning's part not reading the safety.
The West Coast Offense that had been installed by new OC Ben McAdoo is now under fire, and many people are wondering why the Giants even changed their philosophy, or whether Manning is washed up as a quarterback. Just look at this classic overreaction by one Giants Fan: Giants' Fan Burns Jersey.
To say that the Giants need a victory on Sunday would be the biggest understatement of the year, but it is true. Another loss and a 0-2 start for the second straight year will get the Coughlin/Manning hunters running to phones asking for their axing before the game ends.
The Cardinals, well, they come into town with little drama. They had a nice come from behind win against the Chargers last Monday night, and look poised to contend with Seattle and San Francisco in the NFC West. This will be a tough test for them, because the Cardinals usually struggle on the East Coast.
Key Match-ups: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Giants secondary. How the Cardinals pass the football on Sunday will go a long way in determining the winner. The Giants believed they had a stout secondary coming into this season, but it didn't look like it as Matthew Stafford threw for 346 yards and Calvin Johnson had 164 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Giants secondary and defense is vulnerable, and could get picked apart by quarterback Carson Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Eli Manning vs. Cardinals pass Rush: Like we mentioned before, Manning has to figure it out this week. Either the Cardinals are going to beat him, or Manning and company will beat themselves. The turnovers must stop, and the Giants have to establish a ground attack on the Cardinals. Easier said than done. The Cardinals stuffed the Chargers ground game in week 1, and put a lot of pressure on Phillip Rivers as the fourth quarter played out. Watch out for this match-up; the game is on the line here.
What to Expect: The Giants are home and have been hearing about how they are about to become a mega disaster this year. Expect Big Blue to come out and play well against the Cardinals. Arizona will keep it close and may even see the lead at points in the game. This has the earmarks of a back-n-forth affair.
Prediction: Giants 23, Cardinals 16. The Giants will trail early, comeback thanks to Manning finally finding Victor Cruz. The Giants take the lead mid-way through the third quarter, and ice it on a couple of field goals.