Neither team is particularly happy with the way their season started, but both teams are figuring out how to turn the corner. The Jets are 3-3, and the Giants 2-5.
Only one team can win, though, and there are six keys to the Giants walking away with a victory.
Stop Breece Hall
Breece Hall leads the Jets in rushing with 426 yards, and Dalvin Cook is second with 109. Hall averages 6.5 yards per carry and ranks 9th in rushing in the NFL. On the flip side, the Giants have the second-worst rush defense in the league.
However, the defense is improving every week, holding the Commanders to 106 rushing yards and under 200 passing yards. If the Giants can contain the run against the Jets, it will go a long way toward a win.
Make Wilson beat you
Let’s face it, Zach Wilson is no Aaron Rodgers, but that doesn’t make him a negligible threat. Wilson is young and inexperienced, which means that if the Giants force him to make plays, he’s more likely to make a mistake.
What the Giants have to do though, is start the game with high pressure on the QB and never let up. Don’t give him room to breathe, don’t give him time to make decisions, force him into bad decisions that create turnovers.
Defense is key
Given the state of both offenses, this is likely to be a very defensive game. That means we need to see the Giants’ defense step it up another notch. Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Leonard Williams, and the rest of the line have got to push through the Jets offense.
When they do that and create that pressure, the rest of the defense must be on the lookout for the ball. Hurried QBs make mistakes, which make for easy turnovers. The defense must be ready to not only provide pressure but to get the ball and get off the field as quickly as possible.
Avoid special teams miscues/turnovers
Muffed punts, blocked kicks returned for touchdowns, and poor communication on the field have to be rectified this week. Field position absolutely matters. Miscues and errors on special teams often lead to poor field position at best, at worst the opposing team gets the ball back. No team can afford these errors, but it’s especially true for teams whose offense is struggling.
This has been a real issue for the Giants in 2023 and it’s a problem they must avoid on Sunday.
Keep offensive momentum going
Tyrod Taylor seems to have re-ignited a fire under the offense. Some of that is because Saquon Barkley returned at the same time as Taylor began starting for the injured Daniel Jones. Still, it doesn’t really matter what started the momentum, what’s important is to keep it going.
When the offense has momentum and is scoring points, the entire team settles down and plays better. The stress of playing lessens, giving the players the freedom to truly trust their instincts and not overthink plays. They’re going to need to keep this momentum going if they want to keep winning past this game.
Win time of possession
It’s not just a game of field position, but a game of time management. The best way to ensure your opponent doesn’t beat you is to keep their offense off the field. Brian Daboll needs to make sure the Giants are using the clock appropriately and effectively, which means giving the ball to Saquon Barkley as often as is reasonable. They still have to get first downs to stay on the field, but Barkley is the key to controlling the clock.