With the New York Giants picking up their first win of the season over the Minnesota Vikings, the rest of the season can only be discussed game by game. No longer can we look further than the next game because each game is win or go home for the Giants. The seemingly impossible task of getting back in contention for the playoffs starts this Sunday against the archrival Philadelphia Eagles. Based on what I’ve witnessed this season, Rueben Randle is going to be the Giants best hope of picking up their first win in the division.
One of the reasons Randle gives the Giants the best chance at a victory is because the other star receivers haven’t been able to contribute as much as they’ve wanted to. Hakeem Nicks has had one of the worst seasons of his career. Some say it’s due to injury, other suggests that he’s lost a step. Regardless of the reason, he hasn’t been a big playmaker this season. With Nicks struggling, defenses have focused their attention on covering Victor Cruz. For the majority of the games, Cruz has been heavily covered every chance he gets to make a big play downfield. That leaves Randle as the sole receiver who can get enough space to make a play.
It’s not as if Randle hasn’t proven to be one of the more underrated receivers in the NFL. He’s tied for first with Cruz for most touchdowns on the Giants. When facing the Vikings, he was targeted three times and made three catches for 40 yards. However, the most important statistic for Randle was his touchdown because that score gave the Giants the lead and they never looked back. In fact, he was the only receiver to have a touchdown in that game.
Randle was also a big playmaker the last time his team faced the Eagles. In the previous matchup, Randle had six catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Both of those touchdowns could have been game changing if Eli Manning hadn’t thrown three interceptions on consecutive drives.
The first touchdown he had got the Giants within five points, making the score 19-14. Then, on the next possession, Randle caught the touchdown that gave the Giants the 21-19 lead. In other words, based on what I’ve seen this season, Randle has made the clutch plays that none of the other receivers have been able to make. Randle is going to need to have his best game of the season if the Giants want a chance to beat the Eagles.