Skip to content

Free safety Xavier McKinney’s absence after an ATV accident leaves the Giants’ defense threadbare. It’s possible they could be starting fourth-round rookie Dane Belton at safety and fifth-round rookie Micah McFadden at weak side inside linebacker. Wink Martindale’s defense blitzes on a league-high 42.9% of passing downs, per NFL NextGen Stats. He’ll need Dexter Lawrence, the pass rush and his trademark pressure to conceal weaknesses on the back end.

The Houston Texans’ fourth-round pick out of Florida leads the NFL with 26 broken tackles in eight games. He leads all rookies with 678 rushing yards, good for sixth in the NFL. As Pierce goes, Houston’s offense goes. The Giants have the league’s 25th-ranked run defense, allowing 137.3 rush yards per game. The game starts and stops there.

Saquon Barkley

The Texans defense allows an absurd 180.6 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses. That is by far the worst in the league. The Detroit Lions are next at 148.8. Houston allowed an astounding 314 rushing yards to the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago on 45 carries (7.0 yards per rush). Derrick Henry went for 219 that day. Can Saquon Barkley break Tiki Barber’s Giants single-game rushing record of 234 yards? It’s time to find out Sunday.