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New York Giants: Week 9 Storylines to Watch

Things don't get any easier for the New York Giants, who return home to host the soaring Las Vegas Raiders Sunday.

There's no time for the Giants to lick their wounds after letting a very winnable game against the Kansas City Chiefs slip through their fingers Monday Night.

So here's a look at some of the storylines that figure to play out this week.

Fight or Flight?

Let's be realistic. There's only so much losing any human being can tolerate before it wears down and turns a once eager beaver into someone simply going through the motions.

The Giants? They still have nine more games before their season mercifully comes to an end. That means there's a lot of football left to be played for a coaching staff that's going to be extra tuned in to see who is still on board and who's mailing it in.

With the bye week following after this game, changes are going to be made. And just because the trade deadline passed, that doesn't mean that those changes can't mean fewer snaps for anyone who chooses flight over fight.

Who's In, Who's Out?

The Giants injury situation continues to be a season-long storyline, and this week, it's once again in the spotlight.

Besides waiting to see if running back Saquon Barkley and receiver Kenny Golladay, each of whom has missed three games, are back for this weekend (and does it even matter at this point with the bye week coming up, which would afford each another week to get healthier?), the team will be monitoring the statuses of receivers Sterling Shepard (quad), Dante Pettis (shoulder), and Kadarius Toney (thumb), as well as those guys who missed last week like outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter.

Cleanup on Aisle Ten

Okay, it's late, and I couldn't think of a more clever subhead, but the point of this particular storyline is the cleanup of the ten penalties, five of which were of the discipline variety, that helped sink the Giants' chances Monday night. 

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New York has racked up 18 penalties over its last two weeks after logging just 10 in the two weeks prior and has 54 total penalties this season (tied for seventh-most) for 430 yards.

The offense has been the primary culprit for the penalties, drawing 27 flags this year to the defense's 16. The top two most penalized Giants are offensive linemen Nate Solder and Will Hernandez, tied with four apiece (Solder leading Hernandez in penalty yards, 30 to 20).

Simply put, the Giants need to get that cleaned up because, as we saw last week, those penalties are hurting them at the worst possible times.

Bye-Bye

The Raiders are riding a two-game winning streak under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and are coming off their bye week. However, historically speaking, the Raiders haven't been very good coming out of the bye week, posting a 16-22 record (42.1 percent win rate), which is 28th in the NFL.

Further, the Raiders have a 34-47 win-loss record when they have more than the standard week of rest, a trend that might just suggest Las Vegas comes out of a lengthy period of inactivity sluggish and more bearable than usual.

The Giants, meanwhile, have a surprising 58-51 record when coming off a short work week, Will the statistical trend hold up this week?


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