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Fact or Fiction: Jalin Hyatt's 1st TD? Another Deonte Banks INT?


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

A Giants rookie will either score a touchdown or have an interception on Sunday.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - This would basically have to be either a defensive score or a touchdown from Jalin Hyatt. Is this possible? Sure. Is it likely? No. I am curious to see how the Giants use their wide receivers this week given the Jets do not move their cornerbacks based on matchups. Sauce Gardner has played all but 23 of his cornerback snaps this year on the left side, with D.J. Reed manning the right side. Will the Giants try to line up Hyatt to Gardner's side or keep him away from him?

Dan Salomone: Fact – Hyatt has only nine receptions in his young career, but four of them have gone for more than 30 yards. Two of those big plays led to touchdowns while the other two came before an uncharacteristic 42-yard miss by field goal kicker Graham Gano and Saquon Barkley's even more uncharacteristic fumble inside Washington's 10-yard line last week. It's time for the third-round pick to get into the end zone himself.

Lance Medow: Fiction - The main two candidates who apply here are Deonte Banks and Jalin Hyatt. Banks recorded his first career interception last week and in Wink Martindale's defense and you don't see corners collect many picks since man-to-man focus requires corners to be far more occupied with the players they're defending as opposed to the ball. To further support that claim, Banks is the only corner on the team to have an interception this season. On offense, the Giants only have four touchdown passes in seven games with only one going to a receiver (Isaiah Hodgins in Week 3). The Jets' secondary is solid and their top two corners (Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed) are expected to be back in the lineup after missing the team's previous game with concussions. When you take all those factors into consideration, I think it's going to be hard for a rookie to meet one of those two conditions.

Matt Citak: Fiction – This basically comes down to Deonte Banks, Tre Hawkins III and Jalin Hyatt. Banks just had his first career interception last week, while Hawkins' playing time relies heavily on the availability of veteran cornerback Adoree' Jackson. If Jackson plays this weekend, Hawkins won't see nearly as many defensive snaps. Banks could have back-to-back games with an interception, but that might be a tall order. Meanwhile, Hyatt has seen his offensive snaps increase significantly over the last two games. There's always a chance the rookie wideout could get behind the defense for a long touchdown, but against the Jets' talented pass defense, I think we have to wait one more week before Hyatt scores his first touchdown. Circle next week's matchup against the Raiders for that one.

Taking away the run game is the No. 1 key this week for the Giants.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - For the Giants defense? Absolutely. For the entire team? No. Breece Hall is strong, fast and a big play waiting to happen. He already has two 40+ yard runs this year and leads the NFL in yards per carry per rushing attempt, according to Pro Football Focus. The most important thing for the Giants to do this week is limit their turnovers. The Jets are tied for the 3rd-most takeaways in the league with 13 (despite already having their bye) and all three of their wins have come in games where they have at least three takeaways. If the Giants protect the football in this game, they have a great chance to win it.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The Jets are 3-12 when quarterback Zach Wilson has to throw more than 26 times (one of those victories came in overtime, when the former second overall draft pick attempted seven passes after the end of regulation). In addition, Wilson has completed fewer than 20 passes in all seven of his wins as a starter since 2022.

Lance Medow: Fact - Right now, the Jets' offense is running through Breece Hall, who is averaging an NFL-best 6.5 yards per carry and has two 100-yard games. If you're the Giants, you want this to be a Zach Wilson-based game, where he may have to take several chances down the field. Hall can take it the distance on any carry and as long as this game stays close or the Jets are playing from ahead, he'll be able to set the tone as a runner and/or receiver.

Matt Citak: Fact – What Breece Hall has done this season is nothing short of amazing. Less than one year removed from a torn ACL, the second-year running back is averaging an incredible 6.5 yards per carry on 66 attempts. He reached 21.50 miles per hour on his 72-yard touchdown run against the Broncos in Week 5, tied for the eighth-fastest speed of any ball carrier this season. Containing Hall would also force the Jets' offense to rely on the arm of Zach Wilson; the Jets enter this game with the league's 32nd-ranked passing offense. Bottling up Hall would go a long way in helping the Giants pick up the victory.

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 8 matchup against the New York Jets.

Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner is the most dangerous defender the Giants will face the rest of the year.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - You can make a conscious decision not to throw the ball to Sauce Gardner, which takes his danger level down a little bit. He is the best cornerback the Giants will see the rest of the way, though Jaire Alexander and Marshon Lattimore might have something to say about that. I will always lean toward the players up front since they can wreck any pass play. The Giants have to play Micah Parsons again, as well as Aaron Donald, who is still probably the best defensive player in football.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Sauce doesn't have a ceiling, but there's a certain three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year coming to town on New Year's Eve.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Sauce Gardner has already established himself as one of the top corners in the league but the Giants still have several dangerous pass rushers on the schedule, including the Raders' Maxx Crosby, Micah Parsons of the Cowboys, Washington's Chase Young and Montez Sweat again, Cam Jordan of the Saints, the Eagles' defensive front and the Rams' Aaron Donald. If you want, you can avoid throwing toward a corner and limiting the headaches he causes but you can't do that with a pass rusher as he's capable of disrupting the game on every play if he's not effectively blocked. From that standpoint, I can't put a defensive back atop the list.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Gardner is undoubtedly one of the top, young cornerbacks in the NFL. However, given the nature of his position, he doesn't have quite the same potential to completely wreck a game as do some other defenders the Giants will face this season. Following Sunday's game, the Giants will face Las Vegas' Maxx Crosby and Dallas' Micah Parsons in back-to-back weeks, not to mention a Week 17 matchup against Los Angeles' Aaron Donald. I'll take my chances against Gardner over any of those three pass rushers.

Deonte Banks vs. Garrett Wilson is the marquee matchup to watch.

John Schmeelk: Fact - I thought about trying to concoct some kind of C.J. Mosely matchup against Darren Waller or Saquon Barkley here, but the Jets will need their entire defense to slow down those two guys. Banks will get plenty of man-on-man reps and I'm curious if he will get matched up with Wilson if Adoree' Jackson is healthy. If he is, I would expect the Jets to take a number of man-coverage shots down the field - if there is no safety help - the way the Commanders did with Tarry McLaurin last week. I hope we do see those two players lined up against one another because I look forward to watching the matchup.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Banks recorded his first NFL interception last week to bring a little more noise to what had been a quietly strong start to his career. The first-round draft choice out of Maryland put himself on the map with a strong collegiate showing against Marvin Harrison Jr., and this week he will take on another Ohio State standout receiver in Garrett Wilson, who leads the Jets with 32 catches for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Garrett Wilson is by far the Jets' best weapon in the passing attack but the offense is running through Breece Hall and with the Jets averaging just under 20 points per game, their defense is doing a lot of the heavy lifting. That's why the marquee matchup is the Giants' offensive line against Gang Green's defensive front and vice-versa. The Jets don't blitz much because they have faith that their talented and deep front seven will consistently win their battles. Although their sacks (13) and quarterback hits (38) don't necessarily jump off the page, Quinnen Williams & Co. are more than capable of disrupting games and the play up front is a big reason the team is tied for third in the NFL with 13 takeaways. How Big Blue handles that unit will tell an awful lot about the flow of the contest.

Matt Citak: Fact – Banks has had matchups against some very talented wide receivers this season, and Wilson is next on the list. The second-year receiver is coming off his best game of the season in which he caught eight passes for 90 yards. Likewise, Banks is also coming off a strong performance after he recorded his first NFL interception in last week's win over Washington. Banks' 4.2 yards per target allowed this season is second among cornerbacks with at least 20 targets. The matchup between the Giants' first-round pick and last year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is going to be very interesting. Get your popcorn ready.

View rare photos from the local rivalry between the Giants and Jets.


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