The Giants (0-5) vs. the Denver Broncos (3-1) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 8:30 p.m. ET.
A brisk day turns into a chilly night with temperatures in the 40s and moderate winds.
WHAT IT MEANS
Ben McAdoo needs something -- even just a competitive game here -- to give everyone a chance to take a deep breath. There is a storm of chaos in and around his locker room, and players clearly aren't happy. Don't fool yourself: Things absolutely can get worse. Would a win change their outlook on the season? No. This team is still going nowhere, especially without their best player, Odell Beckham Jr. But McAdoo needs something to show them the rest of the season won't just be a death march toward a new coach in 2018. He needs to find a way to keep them playing hard and not just going through the motions. A miracle win in Denver might just do that trick.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Giants QB Eli Manning. He'll be without his top three receivers, and he'll be playing behind two questionable tackles against a strong, aggressive Denver defense. So … good luck with that! Seriously, Manning was having trouble moving the Giants' offense with Beckham in the lineup. I'm not sure how he's going to do anything without him, and with Roger Lewis and Tavarres King as his top two. At this point, all he can really hope for is survival. But given the circumstances, his long, consecutive-games-played streak seems to be in more jeopardy in this game than it's ever been before.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Giants OTs Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart vs. Broncos LB Von Miller. Still one of the best defenders and pass rushers in the NFL, Miller has four sacks this season and it would be a triumph for the Giants to hold him under four sacks in this game. For Miller, the most challenging part of this game will be to decide which side he wants to rush from, and whether he wants to beat them with a move or just bowl them over. Even if the Giants provide help to their tackles it's not likely to help because it hasn't helped yet. The only real way to neutralize Miller is for Manning to run the super-quick-strike offense he's been running the last couple of weeks and get the ball out before Miller hits him. But without his top three receivers, he may not have any one open that quickly.
I guess if you want to be optimistic, there are teams that rally around injuries and chaos and give surprising performances. But really, is anyone that optimistic about these Giants? This is a decimated Giants team with a lengthy injury list that begins, but sure doesn't end, with their top three receivers. They couldn't generate much of an offense with them, and they may generate zero offense without them. Now they're missing one of their top three cornerbacks and it certainly doesn't sound like the rest of their secondary is very happy. And now they have to travel to Denver and face the NFL's best defense and one of the NFL's best rushing offenses in prime time.
This has all the makings of an absolute disaster. There were a couple of games last season when Manning was basically spiking the ball before he completed his drop backs because that's how fast the pressure was getting in his face. I could see that happening in this game, only he won't have Beckham to bail him out with a big play. Anyone still feeling optimistic about this? I don't even think the Giants players believe they've got a realistic chance. … Broncos 34, Giants 3.
MY RECORD: 2-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO WIN: 0-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO LOSE: 2-0