The Indianapolis Colts face the New York Giants in Week Nine. I spoke with Anthony Valerio, a writer for GMEN HQ, to get some behind the scenes information on this week’s opponent.
1. How has Eli Manning and the rest of the offense adapted to the new scheme? Its clearly cut down on turnovers but the offense has also been completely taken out of games.
In terms of the offense, Eli and co have adapted much quicker than most people expected and the offense has clearly become much more efficient in cutting down turnovers and when executed correctly, controls time of possession. There haven’t been as many deep passing plays, but this offense is much better than last years especially in the red zone even without Victor Cruz.
Most people will look on the surface and say the offense isn’t as explosive but when you closely watch this team, the offense has moved the ball much more fluently and it is much more streamlined creating less confusion between Eli and the receivers and more touchdowns and less turnovers have been the result.
2. With Victor Cruz done for the year, who is Manning finding down field? We know about Larry Donnell, but who should Colts fans be worried about?
Odell Beckham Jr. Should be the main focus of the colts defense. He has the ability to break out at any time with his speed and his ability to attack the ball at its highest point. He has become the main catalyst for this offense now that Victor Cruz is out for the rest of the season and can open up opportunities for guys like Larry Donnell and Reuben Randle if he is given the space to make plays
3. What can we expect from the defense? The identity of this team used to be its pass rush, but what would you say is the hallmark of them now?
The Giants defense has long been known for its elite pass rush but is has also been great at shutting down the run as well. They have done a solid job of both this season but the unsung heroes of this defense have been its secondary.
The Giants have the ability to create turnovers with their aggressive corners and safeties and have been allowed to be more physical with receivers instead of giving them too much of a cushion like this season.
4. Who needs to step up for the Giants to pull off a win? Is there one player who’s poised for a breakout game on offense and defense?
There are quite a few players that need to have an impact but the main one is running back Andre Williams. He is only a rookie but he is the starter due to the injury to Rashad Jennings and must pick up the slack and use better ball carrier vision to make more plays when he has the ball because if the Giants cannot get anything going on the ground, it makes life easier for the Colts to be more aggressive and attack an inconsistent Giants offensive line with blitzes in anticipation of a heavy passing attack by the Giants.
5. What is your predictions for Monday night? Who wins and why?
The colts are coming off an embarrassing defensive performance last week but we’re almost back into the game due to the brilliance of Andrew Luck. The Colts will put up points but I believe the Giants can keep pace with the Colts and pull of a win at home with their playoff hopes already on the line. Giants win in a shootout 34-31.