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Opponent Breakdown: Five Questions About the Giants

Getting the lowdown on the New York Giants ahead of the Miami Dolphins' Week 13 game at Hard Rock Stadium

The Miami Dolphins will look to extend their winning streak to five games when they face the New York Giants at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.

The Giants are coming off a 13-7 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, but appear headed nonetheless for a fifth consecutive losing streak.

To get the lowdown on the Giants and topics involving the team, we checked in with Publisher Patrick Traina of SI Fan Nation sister site Giants Country to get her thoughts.

1) It looks like another lost year for the Giants, but has it really been that unexpected?

Actually, yes. The Giants went out and spent a boatload of money on free agent playmakers for the offense and to upgrade the defense with the expectation of making a run for the playoffs. While they’re still mathematically alive for a playoff berth, some early-season missteps combined with a ridiculous injury situation and some questionable coaching from top to bottom have all combined to create a perfect storm that , barring a miraculous run launched starting this week, will see the Giants finish with their fifth straight season with double-digit losses.

2) What about the Giants should give the Dolphins cause for concern?

The defense has been playing lights out the last five weeks — 15.2 points per game, 11 turnovers, 11 sacks, 63.7 opponent passer rating and quarterbacks completing 58 percent of their pass attempts. A big part of that has been the play of some of the guys on the back end — safety Xavier McKinney comes to mind. Cornerback James Bradberry has also been playing better and the pass rush has been doing a better job of getting quarterbacks off their spots. I’ve been very impressed with how Patrick Graham has mixed things up and how the players have done a better job of disguising things of late.

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3) How have LB Benardrick McKinney and OL Matt Skura, who both failed to make the Dolphins roster after being acquired in 2021, performed for the Giants?

I’ll start with McKinney. He was brought on board for his run defense prowess, but while he has done a good job with filling holes with power, more than half of his tackles have come 4 or more yards down the field, which for a linebacker isn’t a very glowing stat, and this was especially on display last week against the Eagles’ RPOs.

Skura has been something of a mixed bag. His balance is terrible, especially in the run-blocking game — we often see him on the ground, which is not what you want to see from an offensive lineman. And there are times when he has shown that he can’t keep up with the speed across from him. That said, Skura is assignment-true, and I can’t recall seeing him get overpowered. If he’s beaten, it’s because he can’t keep up with the speed of his man going around him, but you don’t really see him get knocked on his fanny by a defender who overpowers him. The less space he has to work with, the better.

4) What has made former Dolphins defensive coordinator (and current Giants assistant head coach/DC) Patrick Graham a popular name when it comes to potential future NFL head coaches?

The biggest thing is how he has earned his money. By that I mean the best NFL coaches can adapt to anything thrown their way — injuries, performance letdowns, etc. Those are the coaches who are typically creative and who earn their keep. Graham has the right demeanor for a future head coach, one that reminds me a lot of Tom Coughlin’s. Specifically, when the team wins, it’s on the players and when it doesn’t, Graham points the finger at himself for letting his pupils down. His players love him for that, and they want to play their butts off so that they don’t let him down. And then finally, Graham doesn’t strike me as someone who is afraid to think outside the box. Some coaches stick with what they know but Graham isn’t afraid to try new things. So I think someday he might make some lucky team a fine head coach.

5) How much different will the Giants offense look if Mike Glennon ends up starting at quarterback because Daniel Jones can't play because of his neck injury?

My guess is the biggest difference would be in the zone reads and RPOs called. Daniel Jones has wonderful athleticism and can pull those plays off. Glennon has a strong arm, but he’s more of a pocket passer who doesn’t move as well. He can move if he needs to, but I’m not sure anyone wants to see him take off as a runner.