If there’s such a thing as a must-win game in Week 3, the Giants are facing it.
At 0-2, alone in the NFC East basement, Big Blue plays host on Sunday to the 2-0 Texans. A win would get New York’s season back on track. A loss would, if history is any indication, likely torpedo their postseason hopes.
The Texans boast the NFL’s eighth-best rushing attack, led by the ever-dangerous Arian Foster. They also have some guy named Andre Johnson still performing at a high level.
So what’s most worrisome about Houston’s offense?
“Uh, nothing,” Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said, via NJ.com. “Yeah, I think we should be able to handle that offense. Nothing concerns me.”
Pierre-Paul, appearing to return to dominant form, has done the scouting. He knows the Texans are a strict run-first team, with Foster having already totaled 55 carries. He’s confident his unit can win the battle in the trenches.
“I like it. If it’s going to be a running game, it’s going to be a running game. We’re going to be physical with them. Period,” Pierre-Paul said. “The most physical team is going to win. And the team that is most prepared.
“They can bring it. They’re going to bring it with the running game and we’re ready and prepared for it. I’m ready and I know the D-line is ready. We’ll be all right.”
If they can shut down Foster, the Texans would be forced to take to the air, a strategy they’ve yet to lean on this year. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has attempted just 41 passes (28 completions) in two games, which ranks among the lowest in the league.
“Hey, everybody has problems. That aint mine,” Pierre-Paul said with a laugh. “Make them put it in the air. We have to make them want to throw the ball. Stop the run. And we’re going to stop the run, I promise you that.”
Fortunately, it seems the Giants caught a break, as Foster, who’s battling a hamstring injury, is listed as questionable for the game. Foster, he of major durability concerns, is tentatively expected to play, but likely won’t be near 100 percent.
It could come down to Fitzpatrick vs. the Giants D, a matchup that heavily favors JPP and Co.
(Photo credit: Seth Wenig/Associated Press)
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