Giants fans shouldn’t get too excited about their win over the Texans. The ugly truth is they just won a game between two of the NFL’s worst teams.
For one week, Eli Manning looked like the exact quarterback the Giants need this season. Unfortunately, his performance against the Texans is an exception rather than the rule. All New York accomplished on Sunday was to win a game against another bad NFL team.
Full credit to Manning. He was excellent against Houston’s porous defense. The veteran signal caller completed 25 of his 29 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns. That was just enough to earn his team a 27-22 win. It is not, however, enough to change the long-term outlook for the Giants season.
The Texans were 0-2 coming into this game for a reason. Their defense is not playing at the same level as years past when J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus suffocated opposing quarterbacks. Watt got to Manning three times in this game, but the Houston secondary was a mess in this game. The absence of Kevin Johnson has forced Aaron Colvin to move from corner out wide. That clearly didn’t work against Odell Beckham Jr. and company.
The real reason the Giants’ offense worked in this game was because of their elite talent at the skill positions. Beckham Jr. went off for nine catches for 109 yards. Saquon Barkley was effective too. The rookie running back racked up 82 yards on 17 carries. Their talent was just enough to allow the Giants to narrowly edge the Texans.
It’s worth noting the Giants defense was a mess in this game. The Texans came into this game devoid of any offensive momentum. Bill O’Brien’s group got their passing game going against a banged up Giants secondary. Deshaun Watson had, by far, his best outing of the season with 385 yards passing. The Giants aren’t going to win many football games when they give up that kind of yardage through the air.
The conclusion here is that the Giants are still exactly the team we thought they were heading into this week. They’ve got some elite skill players on offense that will allow them to win games where they can hold their own everywhere else on the field. That means they’ll be able to beat bad news most of the time. That’s all they did on Sunday. 8-8 would still be a good season for the Giants in 2018.