Tale Of The Tape: Oakland Raiders At New York Giants
- QuarterbackTerrelle Pryor is still learning on the job and he is capable of having a poor game, as he showed against the Philadelphia Eagles at home in Week Nine. However, the arrow is generally pointing up for Pryor, who has thrown for 1,437 yards and completed 61.1 percent of his passes. He is also a dynamic runner who can cause problems for any defense that is unprepared for him.The Giants appear to have gotten things going back in the right direction with two consecutive victories prior to their bye week, but they are a long way from being a good team. Eli Manning has to take much of the responsibility for the team’s awful start on his own shoulders because he has thrown 15 interceptions. Still, Manning is capable of turning things around and leading the Giants to a respectable finish.
- OffenseThe Raiders can’t simply depend on Pryor for the bulk of their offense or they will be putting themselves in harm’s way. Darren McFadden suffered a hamstring injury against the Eagles and he may not be able to line up against the Giants. Denarius Moore is a decent receiver who can stretch the field while Rod Streater is an improving complementary receiver.One of the reasons the Giants have struggled this year has been their inability to mount a consistent ground game. If David Wilson is healthy (neck), he gives the Giants explosive speed and big-play ability. However, Tom Coughlin also knows that Wilson has a fumbling problem. Victor Cruz is one of the most explosive wide receivers in the league, but the Giants need more from Hakeem Nicks.
- DefenseThe Raiders’ defense got destroyed by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week Nine, but that performance does not mean they should be branded as a bad defense. That unit merely had a bad day. They are fully capable of turning it around, because middle linebacker Nick Roach is a solid tackler who leads the team with 47 stops. Defensive end Lamarr Houston leads the Raiders with 4.0 sacks.The Giants struggled mightily on defense earlier in the season, but they have played better in their last two games. If they are going to play respectable defense the rest of the way, they need to find a consistent pass rush. Mathias Kiwanuka leads the team with 2.5 sacks through eight games, and that’s not going to get it done. Free safety Ryan Mundy has a team-high 48 tackles.
- Special TeamsThe Raiders have done a fair job in their punt and kickoff coverage, while Jacoby Ford is capable of giving them a lift with his return ability. Sebastian Janikowski has one of the strongest legs in the league, but he is just 9-of-13 on FG attempts this season. Marquette King is an ordinary punter.The Giants have been hurt badly with their poor kick coverage as they have given up three punt returns for touchdowns. Josh Brown has done a solid job this season, making 12-of-14 FG attempts. Punter Steve Weatherford has a strong leg but he will regularly out-kick his coverage.
The Raiders may be in a state of shock after getting blown out at home by the Eagles. However, that game is likely to serve as a wake-up call. Nevertheless, the Giants bottomed out a few weeks ago and appear to be close to turning it around. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor