GIANTS (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-7)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Spread: Dolphins -4
It’s a lot to expect him to break that streak on the road against a Dolphins team that has won four straight games.
But Glennon will get the shot when he starts for injured Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who is officially out on Sunday due to what the team is calling a “strained neck.” And he’ll be trying to revive an offense that has struggled all season and didn’t even get much of a boost last Sunday from the firing of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett — even though new play caller Freddie Kitchens had Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay available and made a point of using them both.
Despite that, and despite having Jones at quarterback, they managed just 13 points and 264 yards. And it’s hard to imagine them doing much better against a blitz-happy Dolphins defense that has 28 sacks on the season. They can be vulnerable to big plays, but opposing quarterbacks rarely have the time to make them.
And Glennon, who is far less mobile than Jones, will basically be a sitting duck behind the Giants’ awful offensive line.
Assuming Glennon will be mostly on the run or on his back the entire game, it’ll negate the fact that the Giants otherwise have the weapons to make a blitzing team pay. Glennon will have Barkley, Golladay and tight end Evan Engram, and possibly Sterling Shepard and John Ross, but they’re of no use if the quarterback has no time to put the ball in their hands.
And the Giants have struggled even against teams that don’t blitz. They’ve struggled even when teams rush only three players. So don’t expect a ton of offense for the Giants — as if anyone sane would.
But the good news is the Dolphins aren’t likely to light up the scoreboard, either. Yes, it’s true: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has looked outstanding the last two weeks — completing a ridiculous 84.3 percent of his passes (54 of 64) for 503 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. But a little perspective is needed because he did it against a fading Carolina Panthers team that has lost seven of nine games and the Jets, who have the worst defense in the league.
The Giants are a better defense, though how much better remains to be seen. They looked terrific against the Eagles in creating four turnovers, but were bullied on Philly’s one touchdown drive. And in the two weeks before that they gave up over 400 yards to both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Las Vegas Raiders. So they’re improved, but they’re certainly vulnerable to the right kind of attack.
Is that the Dolphins? They’re not much of a rushing team — 31st in the NFL — so they won’t duplicate what the Eagles did on their nine-run (10-play), 66-yard touchdown drive last Sunday. That means the game will be in Tagovailoa’s hands. So the question will be: Is he the quarterback he proved to be against the Panthers and Jets, and earlier this season against the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars? Or is he the one who has struggled against the better teams he’s faced?
A secondary question is: Can Patrick Graham do what he’s been best at this season — taking away a team’s game-breakers? Because if the Giants defense can take receiver Jaylen Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki out of the equation, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins might be in trouble.
Maybe the Giants’ defense can do that, but barring a shutout it’s hard to see how they keep the score low enough for a Glennon-led offense to succeed. They might have had a shot with Jones, especially if he was able to get out of the pocket and run away from trouble. But with Glennon, that chance seems to have disappeared.
Pick: Take the Dolphins -4
Prediction: Dolphins 16, Giants 9
My record straight up: 6-5
My record against the spread: 4-6-1
Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/giants-dolphins-week-13-pick-184340436.html?src=rss