Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Wink Martindale’s Giants defense has been in man coverage at the highest rate in the league through the first month of play (45.1 percent), ranking second in blitz rate (49.6 percent) and forcing the third shallowest defensive aDOT (6.7).
- Even with the continued utilization of heavy blitz rates, the Giants rank 23rd in pressure rate, have just four sacks in as many weeks, and have missed the second most tackles (40).
- Miami leads the league in explosive rush rate and the Giants have given up the fifth highest rate of explosive rush plays.
- I’m writing this before the teams release their first injury reports of the week, but the big name to keep an eye on is Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who went into the team’s Week 4 Monday Night Football game doubtful and was ultimately held out. I honestly have no clue what to expect with the team on a short week, and they are likely to only run a walkthrough practice on Wednesday considering their late-week game in Week 4, so monitor the situation carefully this week. Saquon’s presence would be a big boost to the game environment here.
- The Dolphins lead the league in points per game at a whopping 37.5. Even if we remove their 70-point outburst against the Broncos, this offense is averaging 26.67 points per game in their other three games this season, which came against the Chargers, Patriots, and Bills. That would still rank eighth in the league. This offense can put up points with the best of them.
- Miami averages a ridiculous 511.0 yards of offense per game this season, which is 113.0 more per game than the second place 49ers (LOL!).
- The Giants average the second fewest yards per game this year at just 252.0.
- Yup, you read that right – the Dolphins average more than double the yards per game than the Giants.
How new york Will Try To Win ::
Man, I honestly have no clue how the Giants are going to try and win this game. The Dolphins have faced some of the lowest rates of man coverage over the previous two seasons because their personnel and scheme can absolutely decimate man coverage. But at the same time, Wink Martindale has a long history of running some of the highest rates of man coverage in the league behind some of the highest blitz rates in the league. As such, I expect Wink to continue to operate his defense within his wheelhouse, which spells trouble against this particular opponent. On offense, we have a Giants team that has scored just four offensive touchdowns this season, three of which came in the second half of their Week 2 game against the Cardinals. Daniel Jones has accounted for three of those scores, with two passing and one rushing. Finally, the Giants average just 252.0 yards of offense per game this season, which is less than half that of the Dolphins (LOL!). And it’s not like this offense has only struggled against man-heavy or zone-heavy teams – they got shut out against the defense playing the highest rates of man coverage this season in Week 1 (Cowboys) and struggled mightily against the zone-heavy 49ers and Seahawks. This particular matchup aligns a lot with their matchup from Week 4 against the Seahawks (who lead the league in zone coverage rates). The Dolphins blitz a moderate 29.1 percent and are generating pressure at a solid 25.8 percent clip, which is going to force Daniel Jones into quick and accurate reads, an area of his game he has yet to fully master (that’s putting it lightly).
There is some uncertainty surrounding the run game this week due to Saquon Barkley’s availability. The Giants are clearly a better team with Barkley on the field, a back that has managed a robust 85.1 percent opportunity share (second) on the backs of an 83.5 percent snap rate (third) when healthy. His elite 88.1 percent route participation rate highlights just how much he means to this offense. The Dolphins are allowing 4.3 yards per carry and six rushing scores this season, making the matchup non-prohibitive. Saquon is also about as game script-proof as they come considering his robust pass game involvement, making him an interesting yet speculative option should he play. Should Barkley miss, expect Matt Breida to once again serve as the lead back for an offense that has managed just 26 running back carries during the last two weeks without Barkley.
Lord have mercy on this pass offense in its current state, fresh off allowing 10 sacks to a Seahawks defense that managed just six sacks during their first three games of the season. Wan’Dale Robinson and rookie Jalin Hyatt surged in snap rate in Week 4, each playing more than 60 percent of the team’s offensive snaps for the first time this season. Darius Slayton continues to run the most routes and hold the largest snap rate in this offense, but is utilized primarily as an empty-route safety manipulator downfield. Isaiah Hodgins and Parris Campbell should round out the wide receiver corps but were both down below 37 percent snap rates a week ago. Offseason free agent addition Darren Waller has yet to be fully showcased in this offense but provides a solid on-paper mismatch against the zone-heavy nature of the Miami defense. His utilization has been promising to this point in the season, carrying a solid 90 percent route participation rate (seventh), 26.2 percent air yards share (second), and 9.2 aDOT (fourth) through the season’s first four weeks. At some point, things are going to trend upward for the Giants, and Waller is likely to be one of the primary points of emphasis. Finally, Robinson’s laughable aDOT (4.2) makes for a tough sell while Hyatt maintains some level of intrigue with a more robust downfield role (30.0 aDOT doesn’t qualify on just three targets this season, but his 60 percent snap rate in Week 4 hints at increased utilization at some point).