Who's The Guy?
Saquon Barkley is the straw that stirs the drink for the Giants. The two-time Pro Bowler and 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year is a dynamic playmaker with the potential to produce big plays as a runner/receiver on the perimeter. The sixth-year pro has notched 20-plus touches in each of the Giants' last three games, including a 36-carry, 128-yard effort against the New York Jets in Week 8. If No. 26 gets it going, the Giants can control the clock and make life miserable for opponents unable to deal with their slow-down approach.
Know His Name
Kayvon Thibodeaux is as good as advertised as a pass-rusher/playmaker off the edge. The second-year pro leads the Giants with 8.5 sacks, displaying outstanding first-step quickness and burst off the corner to pursue the quarterback. Though Thibodeaux is still polishing up his complementary pass rush maneuvers, the former first-rounder is a difference maker with take over the game potential.
Don't Sleep On
Bobby Okereke is one of the best linebackers in football, but few observers know his name outside of New York. The fifth-year pro leads the Giants in tackles (73) and forced fumbles (two), exhibiting superb instincts, awareness and diagnostic skills. The fifth-year pro has flourished in Wink Martindale's aggressive scheme as a "see ball, get ball" defender on the second level.
The pressure is on Daniel Jones to show the football world who he is. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound dual threat enters Week 9 with an upside-down touchdown-to-interception rate (two touchdowns; six interceptions) that leads to questions and concerns about his ceiling as a quarterback. Given another opportunity to show his ability to carry the load without a stellar supporting cast due to injuries, Jones must display more playmaking skills to convince Giants' coaches and scouts that he can get it done.
Matchup To Watch
Evan Neal vs. Maxx Crosby
The relentless pressure created by Crosby could force the Giants to put a tight end or running back in to help Neal win his matchup. Though the second-year pro will need to hold his own on a few one-on-one snaps, the Giants must control Crosby to have a chance of moving the ball against an energetic Raiders defense.
As one of the most creative play-callers and play designers in football, Brian Daboll will likely urge offensive coordinator Mike Kafka to challenge the Raiders with exotic formations and personnel groupings to test the discipline and awareness of Patrick Graham's squad. From the unbalanced formations to the multi-tight end sets, the Giants will want to keep the Raiders guessing with hard-hitting runs from overload formations. How well the Raiders handle the constant shifts and wonky formations will determine whether the defense contains an offense struggling to put points on the board.
The Giants defense creates chaos for opponents with blitzes and simulated pressures that stress quarterbacks from the opening snap to the final buzzer. Wink Martindale's clever tactics will test Aidan O'Connell's awareness and anticipation at the line of scrimmage. With turnovers ultimately deciding a contest's outcome, the Raiders and their young starter must be ready for a high-pressure approach from a savvy play-caller with a voluminous playbook.
As the Raiders prepare for their Week 9 matchup at Allegiant Stadium, take a look back at past matchups between the Silver and Black and the New York Giants.