Dexter Lawrence’s eyes and ears are open, as a result of he is a Giants captain, as voted by his teammates, and that vigilance is a part of the duty that comes with the glory.
He should detect any irregularities through the workweek; attempt to spot any slippage in how the Giants are going about their business; see if he can sense lapses lurking across the nook, and if he does, eliminate them earlier than it involves fruition.
That means Lawrence was particularly targeted this previous week. The crew is coming off a bye, and generally it is troublesome to restart the engines. The Giants lost an important participant, security Xavier McKinney, to a freak accident, which may flip issues sideways. And, most threatening, the Giants will play Sunday within the cozy environs of MetLife Stadium, welcoming within the Texans, who’ve the worst file within the league.
So Lawrence looked for clues that might alert him that the Giants won’t be in the fitting headspace.
“I believe the blokes in right here, we simply take each week severely,’’ Lawrence advised The Post. “I haven’t needed to deal with, ‘OK, come on, let’s get rolling.’ We simply take each recreation critical and the identical, so there’s not a number of, ‘Get serious, get serious, lock in.’ We know what we obtained to do and wish to do it.’’
What the Giants wish to do is attend to business the subsequent two video games — they will stay dwelling to host the Lions in Week 11 — earlier than hunkering down for one of many NFL’s most demanding schedules down the stretch.
At 6-2, they are stuffed with prospects, although they are technically in third place within the NFC East behind the Eagles (8-0) and Cowboys (6-2), as a result of they lost to Dallas. The Giants do have a cushion within the NFC wild-card race. First-year head coach Brian Daboll so far has been in a position to protect from his crew from such projections.
“We simply reside within the second,’’ Daboll mentioned. “Each week is its personal week within the NFL, and also you attempt to stack as many [wins] as you may collectively. And on the finish of the year, wherever you’re at, you’re at.
“If you get too far forward of your self, it brings you again to actuality actual fast.’’
Daboll has not but skilled a very low second to carry his crew out of — the 2 losses have been carefully contested, irritating however not anguish-inducing. Losing this week or the subsequent would qualify as a step again.
The Texans don’t do something notably properly. They are twenty ninth in whole offense — twenty sixth in passing offense, twenty fifth in dashing and twenty fifth in scoring, averaging 16.6 factors a recreation. They are thirtieth in whole protection — nineteenth in passing protection, useless final at thirty second in run protection and nineteenth in scoring protection, permitting 22.9 factors a recreation.
Davis Mills has been intercepted eight instances, tied for second within the league, behind solely the benched Matt Ryan of the Colts with 9. The Texans are poor in opposition to the run, permitting 180.6 yards per recreation, and the Giants have each intention of furthering that distress, with Saquon Barkley and in addition Daniel Jones, who was stymied as a operating menace within the loss at Seattle earlier than the bye.
“You look on tape, I believe they’re an excellent crew,’’ Jones mentioned. “They do a number of good issues on the defensive facet of the ball. They’ve obtained a number of good gamers, good sound scheme. Everyone on this league is good. I believe it’s one thing you’ve discovered, it’s one thing I’ve discovered, by means of these first few years. They’re an excellent crew. They’ve obtained good gamers, and we’ll must play our greatest recreation.’’
The Giants would possibly be capable of get by with one thing in need of their finest recreation, however possibly not.
“We deal with each recreation as an essential recreation,’’ Lawrence mentioned. “I don’t assume any recreation we play isn’t essential. We hold the perspective that we’ve nonetheless obtained to return out and play and beat this crew. No matter what their file is, we’re all execs. Any crew can get beat any day. It’s about going on the market and taking part in arduous, taking part in for one another, making an attempt to win for one another.’’