09262021

Inside the Playbook: Texans at Giants

Jason Pierre-Paul says 'nothing concerns me' about the Texans’ offense.Peter Morgan/AP Jason Pierre-Paul says ‘nothing concerns me’ about the Texans’ offense.



TEXANS at GIANTS at METLIFE STADIUM


WHEN: 1 p.m.


LINE: Texans by 2


TV: Ch. 2, (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts)


RADIO: WFAN-660 AM, 101.9 FM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks, Howard Cross)


FORECAST: 83 degrees, isolated storms and 9 mph winds.


KEY MATCHUP
LT Will Beatty and LG Weston Richburg vs. DE J.J. Watt


Richburg, in particular, could look like a swinging gate against the All-Pro, but it’s really the entire beleaguered offensive line here because Watt is such a force. There is a danger that Watt can take over the game, especially if the Giants can’t stay out of third-and-long situations. It’s almost impossible to get a push on him when you’re run blocking, and when the Giants pass, they’ll have to double him, but he splits double teams better than any pass rusher in the NFL. Eli Manning will have to use quick throws but he has to be aware of Watt’s ability to bat down balls at the line so he’ll need clean passing lanes.


INJURY REPORT

The Giants catch a break with rookie stud Jadeveon Clowney out following knee surgery. It looks as though playmakers CB Johnathan Joseph (foot) and S D.J. Swearinger (elbow) will play. There was some doubt after they were both hurt in Oakland. Together, they’ve been in on the majority of Houston’s six forced turnovers. RB Arian Foster, the league’s second-leading rusher, has a sore hamstring. Giants MLB John Beason is out with the same foot injury that kept him out of the preseason. Steve Weatherford, whose bad plant ankle led to a line drive punt and a TD return last week, will give it another go. The Giants’ secondary depth will be tested with the loss of nickel corner Walter Thurmond for the year.


SCOUT SAYS

“This would have been a great matchup for the Giants with their traditional strengths up front but that’s not the case anymore. The Texans get the edge on both sides of the ball. Their offensive line has controlled the game and the clock. The Giants’ O-line is a work in progress. Jason Pierre-Paul was very active last week, and that’s a good sign for the Giants but they still gave up too many rushing yards, and the Texans can run it. Beason’s absence is huge. The Cards went right after (Mark) Herzlich as soon as he came in and matched speed against him. Without Beason, the Giants might have to move (Antrel) Rolle into the box to challenge (Ryan) Fitzpatrick.”


INTANGIBLES

Maybe a team that’s 0-2 should pipe down a bit, but that’s not JPP’s style. He’s thrown down the gauntlet by saying “nothing concerns me” about the Texans’ offense. Maybe that’s an indication he’s ready to put the Giants on his shoulders, especially considering Fitzpatrick’s sketchy history. Someone has to, as the G-Men have looked dead, especially at the biggest moments in the game. You would think the odds are against the Giants losing a second straight game at home. Texans coach Bill O’Brien was asked whether the Giants could be a trap game, he said, “A trap game? For the Houston Texans?”


PREDICTION
Texans, 24-20: We’ll go JPP in reverse. Everything concerns us about the Giants.







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