Is Monday a Must-Win for the Giants? Daily News Reporter Pat Leonard Joins Big Board Sports
It's too early for real panic to set in, isn't it? One more-than-lackluster offensive performance into the season with the threat, no, fear of watching this Giants team operate again without Odell Beckham, Jr. and the prospects of an 0-2 start to the season have everyone a little fidgety. History tells us that teams to lose their first two games have a 12 percent chance of reaching the playoffs. That said, is it worth propping Beckham up on one good leg tonight to simply convey the possibility of a threat on the outside? The 2007 Giants lost their first two games and they won the Super Bowl. It can be done.
The full potential of receiving options for Eli Manning is and has always been predicated on the presence of Beckham. We saw that during the preseason, before and after he suffered his ankle injury in Cleveland. The first team offense managed only one touchdown in 4 games. And we've seen it one week into the regular season. The only points put on the board opening night in Dallas were thanks to a field goal. Is it crazy to think one player might make all the difference? Not at all. As currently constructed, the offensive line dictates that Manning must get the ball out of his hands quickly and there is no one better in the NFL at taking a 3 yard slant 30, 40, 50, 60 (you get the idea) yards than Beckham. He commands at least the other team's best cornerback, if not a double team at all times.
If Beckham plays tonight, the Giants win. If he doesn't, it'll be another long night for the defense which might still be good enough to get a W. My guess: Beckham doesn't play.
Pat Leonard knows as well as anyone what to expect tonight. He covers the Giants for the Daily News and he joined Rodger and Chris to preview Monday night's game.