New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley breaks free from the tackle of Atlanta Falcons defensive back Brian Poole on Sunday. Image by: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans will be at Lambeau Field on Sunday, with the final score most likely ending up close.
The Giants, after suffering through a miserable beginning to the season, have won two in a row, including a key 38-35 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The Titans, on the other hand, have lost three of their last four. And the Giants have been the better team in both games.
Behind running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Eli Manning, the Giants have won two games by a combined 13 points. The Titans have won one game, by a combined 11 points. That combination could make for a tight, thrill-a-minute game, or something else.
For one, both teams have questions at their respective quarterback spots. The Giants have Manning, who has been playing well. The Titans, however, still have Marcus Mariota, who struggled with the passing game last week against the New York Jets. The Giants and Titans have lost because of their decisions at quarterback.
The Titans, for instance, went with Mariota, despite his bad week against the Jets, because they were still missing wide receiver Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker, two of their top four playmakers. That was less than ideal, as Mariota struggled to deliver in the Titans’ win against the Seahawks, who were playing without two of their four top wide receivers.
The Giants, meanwhile, won a matchup against the Colts last week despite losing wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Evan Engram to injuries. With Barkley and Engram still struggling — Engram was limited in practice this week because of a concussion — the Giants offense looked somewhat disjointed, and Barkley looks out of sorts behind an offensive line that consistently underwhelmed in Week 6.
But the Giants can still pull off the upset at the venerable Lambeau Field. It will be tough. The Giants have been playing much better football in the last two weeks, despite their injuries and the failure of coach Pat Shurmur to get their passing game going. They remain dangerously susceptible to penalties, but the most pressing issues for the Giants remain their quarterbacks. For Tennessee, Mariota’s name is a bigger problem.
The Giants are a little better, but the Titans have a player in Mariota who has never been sacked in the regular season. They’re 9-2 when he plays, and 6-4 when he doesn’t. The Packers are also coming off a lousy loss to the Jets. Unlike the Titans, the Packers are playing at home, and they have a much easier matchup in quarterback Aaron Rodgers.