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New York Giants - Week 14 Storylines to Watch

The Giants are spending the week out west ahead of their Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Here are some major storylines to keep an eye on this week.

Most Giants fans at this point would just as soon see this disappointing 2021 season end already. But alas, there are still five games to go, the first of which is this weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers, who, since coming out of their Week 7 bye, have alternated wins and losses.

According to the pattern that's been established, the Chargers are due a loss against the Giants. Given how banged up and how disjointed the Giants are, that's asking a lot from a team that looks like it's going to have to start a quarterback who has never before taken a regular-season snap (Jake Fromm) behind an offensive line that's been a disaster this year, and potentially without some weapons to help him out.

It will be a long day Sunday, but since we have a few days before we get there, let's look at the top stories developing for the week ahead.

Will the Time Away Help Rejuvenate the Giants?

Giants head coach Joe Judge planned to take the team out west and stay there after the Miami game long before the season started. Given how the season has gone, it's fair to wonder if the time away might do the team's fractured psyche any good.

"I think it could be great," safety Logan Ryan said after the loss to Miami. "It's good to get away. ... The team's I've been on the past, this has been very beneficial. I'm sure Joe spoke on that. And that's why we're doing it, to get away from the noise a little bit.

"This is an ability to free up our schedules and go watch the tape together, go do some bonding activities and go be tighter as a team because down the stretch, it really doesn't matter how much you care about each other. Those little things do play a difference in building team unit."

Head coach Joe Judge praised the University of Arizona for rolling out the red carpet.

"They’ve bent over backwards. They couldn’t be more hospitable for us. We’re very appreciative of everyone out here, but the most important thing for us is that our players have what it takes to prepare to go out there on the field," he said.

But while the change of scenery isn't necessarily a bad thing, will it have mattered if the results end up being the same?

Who's Under Center?

With Daniel Jones reportedly set to miss his second straight game due to a neck injury and backup Mike Glennon in the concussion protocol, all signs are pointing to former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm getting his first start.

Fromm, signed to the Giants 53-man roster off the Bills practice squad last Tuesday, has been getting a crash course in the Giants system, a process that, at least for this week, could be complicated by the COVID-19 related loss of quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski. But so far, Judge likes what he's seen and heard about the former Georgia signal-caller.

"He’s shown at practice a good competitiveness and the ability to go out there and handle some different situations," said Judge. "He had a lot thrown on his plate in a short period of time last week."

The coaches are trying to make it easy for Fromm to do more than just hand the ball off. To do that, the coaching staff has limited what they throw at Fromm to what applies in that week's game plan.

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"For a guy who’s only been here in your system for a couple days, you’ve got to go ahead and select more of menu of what he can go ahead and operate in and that’s not always limiting based on his ability, it’s just based on being new in a scheme and system," Judge said.

"What’s he comfortable with going out there and playing aggressively and making the right decisions within? At this point, you really want to go ahead and let him continue to improve on it."

Who's In, Who's Out?

The quarterback might be the week's main story, but that's because of the Giants' injury situation, which doesn't seem to be getting better any time soon.

Besides Glennon and Jones being out, the team will need to see if receiver Kenny Golladay (ribs) is good to go after injuring himself last week. They'll also be looking for cornerback Adoree' Jackson and receivers Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney to return as well.

The good news is the warm weather can sometimes help aches and pains feel better. The Giants are certainly hoping that if Jake Fromm has to start at quarterback, they can surround him with as many veteran weapons as possible.

Can Saquon Barkley Bounce Back?

Despite being back from an ankle injury, Giants running back Saquon Barkley still hasn't looked like his old self.

Since returning, Barkley has rushed for 120 yards on 30 carries (4.0 average) and has caught 16 out of 20 pass targets for 63 yards (3.9 yards/catch). He has had two dropped balls in last week's game against the Dolphins, and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 4 against the Saints.

Barkley, who sort of ducked a question about whether he felt 100 percent by saying no one is 100 percent at this point in the season, took his lack of production and his inability to take over a game personally.

"Myself, I'm not doing anything in the running game. I'm not affecting the game in that aspect," he said last week.

"I guess we're in a slump right now, talking personally, myself. And I could either sit down, cry about it and give up or go back to work and keep working and keep figuring it out."

Barkley vowed to go back to work to figure it out. The Giants hope that he can find answers quickly enough to start taking over the game as he did in his rookie season.


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