Giants Beat: Even if the Giants lose on Monday night, it is still likely that they will remain in contention for the NFC East title. The Giants will obviously attempt to turn things around, focusing on minimizing their penalties and trying to get the run game going. The Giants can still easily win their division and that should be strong motivation for the organization moving forward. The Giants ineptness to run the ball this season could reverse against the Dolphins, who boast the 3rd worst rushing defense in the league.
If the Giants are able to get the run game going it can spur the play action pass, something that Eli Manning hasn’t been able to execute as often this season because of the aforementioned weak running game. Unless they fall into a large hole early on, I would expect for the Giants to control the tempo of the game with a balanced offense approach to Monday night’s showdown.
2. Is this Tom Coughlin's last year as head coach?
Giants Beat: It seems that almost every season Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat. Despite the current three game slide and multiple late game losses I wouldn’t expect this to be Coughlin’s last season at the helm. A potential seven game losing streak to close out the season could spark a change at head coach for the Giants.
Since that is unlikely though, Coughlin will remain the coach of the Giants until he assumed retirement. When that will occur is the real question as he is already the oldest head coach in the league. But unless something disastrous happens in the final four weeks, Tom Coughlin will continue to remain as the Giants head coach going into 2016.
3. What are some areas on defense that the Dolphins' Offense can exploit?
Giants Beat: Unfortunately there are quite a few. Last week Brandon Marshall gashed the Giants defense for 12 receptions, 131 yards and a touchdown. He was mostly matched up in single coverage by Prince Amukamara, a matchup that even Amukamara admitted he handedly lost. The Giants won’t be utilizing the same game plan against Miami, and I wouldn’t expect the G-Men to load the box, so there will probably be some room to run for Lamar Miller, as the Giants starting defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins is also out for the season.
The Giants safety play all season has been subpar, so deep crossing routes can exploit large holes in coverage as they have throughout the season. The Dolphins will need solid pass protection though, as the Giants defensive line is showing shades of improvement with JPP back and in the starting lineup.
The Dolphins should similarly use the run to set up the pass, as play action can cause Landon Collins to bite on plays that he shouldn’t and create openings for receivers.
4. For the sake of the Dolphins' defense, is there a way to stop Odell Beckham Jr..?
Giants Beat: OBJ is one of the hottest receivers in football, stringing together 5 consecutive 100 yard games, coupled with 6 touchdown passes. Brent Grimes definitely poses a formidable challenge for the second year wideout but OBJ has beaten single coverage all year long.
In the games where he has performed his poorest, opposing defenses play with a two high safety scheme, always having help over the top and shadowing Beckham. The Dolphins have some talented players in the secondary, and they should really prioritize shutting down OBJ and let Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris compile the majority of New York’s offensive yardage.
Even with safety help, OBJ can still be lethal, but the best way to defend him is to constantly double cover him.
5. Which Miami Dolphins' player are the Giants most worried about and why?
Giants Beat: They are most worried about Jarvis Landry. Landry is a silky route runner and is very elusive between tacklers. He is undoubtedly Tannehill’s favorite target and the Giants have to be able to prepare for their strong chemistry. Landry is also a dangerous player on special teams. While Landry will be the focus of the defensive game plan, the Giants should also be worried about DeVante Parker.
The sample size on Parker is so small in the NFL that the Dolphins can use him in a lot of creative ways if he is at full health. To be drafted 14th overall obviously means he possesses a dynamic skillset and he was a dominant player at Louisville. The Giants have also struggled covering big wide receivers all season long so there may be a large matchup advantage in favor of the Dolphins if they decide to run three or four wide receiver sets with Landry, Mathews, Stills and Parker.