Giants vs. Raiders Week 9 pick and prediction

Daniel Jones throw vs Chiefs, white jersey

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Spread: Raiders minus-3

The Giants offense has had enough problems this season. They certainly didn’t need a disruption to their routine on an already-short week.

But that’s what they got thanks to the Giants’ COVID-19 mess this week, with a slew of false positive tests resulting in new protocols. They were still able to practice, for the most part, but they had to switch all their meetings to virtual and their facility was closed for a day. That’s not exactly an insurmountable challenge.

It’s just one more unwanted obstacle in their way.

They already are dealing with season-long struggle of a unit that hasn’t topped 30 points once and has been held to fewer than 25 points in five of their eight games – an absurdity in this high-scoring NFL era. And they’re dealing with the loss of running back Saquon Barkley and for a fourth-straight game, and now receiver Sterling Shepard will join him on the sideline, too.

As usual, that’s a problem in a game against a potent offense – the Raiders rank ninth overall, second in passing – where they’re going to have to score a lot to win.

Of course, it’s been an emotionally draining week for the Raiders too. They were dealing with a far more serious situation – the tragic car crash that left a woman dead and got receiver Henry Ruggs III arrested for DUI. Ruggs was quickly released, but there’s no doubt the entire Raiders locker room was shaken by what occurred.

It’s impossible to even guess at how that might affect them on the field.

Even without Ruggs, though, the Raiders have a dangerous passing attack. Quarterback Derek Carr is having a terrific season – statistically one of his best – even though the Raiders’ running game has been struggling. He has some excellent receivers in Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller, and they hope Zay Jones can step into Ruggs’ shoes.

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That puts a lot of pressure on the Giants defense to…

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