With a victory Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, the Giants could find themselves out of the NFC East's basement. Or, at least, they'd have company.
New York (2-6) will move into a tie with the Washington Redskins for third place in the NFC East. The Giants would still technically be in last place of the division. But they'd no longer be the only team to claim that dubious distinction with Washington's 34-27 loss to Minnesota Thursday night.
The Redskins held a 24-14 halftime lead against the Vikings, who entered the night with just one win. But Washington could not close the deal.
Now, let's see if the Giants can capitalize and move up a little in the East's pecking order.
Here’s our preview of Sunday's Raiders-Giants matchup:
Reasons why the Giants can win Sunday
The Raiders' defense comes off its worst game of the season. Last week, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles tied an NFL record with seven TD passes against Oakland, which gave up 542 yards and 49 points in defeat. For as well as the Raiders have played defensively at times this season, they are still vulnerable on this side of the ball.
The Giants’ defense is in top form. The Giants have not surrendered an offensive touchdown since Oct. 10.
The Raiders have been much tougher at home than on the road. The Raiders are 0-3 away from Oakland. Their last road win was Oct. 28, 2012 at Kansas City, which would go on to earn the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The Raiders do not finish games especially well. On average, Oakland is scoring about six points after halftime this season.
Reasons why the Giants could run into trouble against the Raiders
The Giants could come out flat after their bye week. Though Big Blue hasn’t lost in its return from the bye since 2007, the prospect of a slow start after two weeks away from game action is a legitimate concern.
The Giants’ offense doesn’t pick up its play. Two weeks ago, the Giants managed to beat the Eagles without scoring a touchdown in a 15-7 triumph. New York’s resourcefulness and grit is to be applauded, but more points are needed going forward.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor can make big plays. Pryor is the Raiders’ top playmaker. The Giants can’t give him the means to operate, whether it’s in the running game or the passing game.
The Giants fall back into bad habits. The Giants committed 24 turnovers in their first eight games, with Eli Manning committing 17 alone. If this keeps up, any hopes of a second-half run will be soon extinguished.
The Raiders’ overall form is quite respectable, and they are unlikely to be as hapless as they were ago against the Eagles. They are capable of beating Big Blue if they play their best game. Our guess? The Raiders lead early, perhaps even into the third quarter. In the end, though, the Giants will win their third straight game.
Predicted score: Giants 20, Raiders 16.