The New York Giants look to bounce back from a humbling 24-14 defeat to AFC playoff hopefuls, the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they welcome the high-flying Dallas Cowboys to Met-life, who have won 11 straight since their opening weekend defeat to the Giants.
The Giants sit at 8-4 and will continue to fight for a playoff place, as the NFC wildcard chase hots ups. Here are some players for the Giants, who I believe could be key on Sunday, if the Giants want to beat their NFC East rivals.
The number 1 defender vs the run comes up against the rushing league leader in Ezekiel Elliott, who is running behind the best offensive line in the league. The Giants will be without Jason Pierre-Paul, who has had an incredible comeback season and has been a force against the run. This adds more pressure on Harrison, who the Giants will look to to make things tough for the rookie running back. Expect to see the Giants stack the box, as they try to negate Elliott and force Prescott to throw downfield. Stopping the run starts with Harrison.
The running back has been out since week 3, where he suffered a triceps injury. The dynamic running back-receiver gives Eli Manning another threatening option coming out the backfield, but also expect Vereen to play his part running with the ball. Before his injury, Vereen was averaging 4.7 yards per rush, in a team which averages only 3.5 yards per carry. Vereen can be a dangerous player and he gives the Cowboys defense something to think about, as he always has to be accounted for.
The lock down corner will be coming up against Dez Bryant, who has really started to flourish in recent weeks with rookie QB, Dak Prescott. Averaging 17 yards per catch, he clearly has the big play ability that the Giants will need to guard against on Sunday night. Jenkins comes into the game as one the best rated cornerback’s in the league, locking down number 1 wide receivers for most of the season. Locking down Dez could be key if the Giants can stuff the run and force Dak to throw the ball.
Number 10 needs a bounce back performance, after a dismal display vs the Steelers. Poor accuracy, under throws and mistiming with wide receivers from Manning, in which his performance was summed up by 2 interceptions, both badly thrown balls. There’s no better place for a bounce back performance than at home vs the Cowboys in prime time. I expect Manning to have a good game and control the game for the Giants. It’s crunch time for the Giants, but Manning has been here many times before.
Manning had to deal with another wide receiver complaint this week, as Victor Cruz wanted answers as to why he didn’t receive any targets vs the Steelers. I think he’ll get some targets Sunday, and will hopefully be a big impact vs the Cowboys. There’s no doubt that pressure has to be taken off OBJ, who was targeted 16 times vs Steelers. Cruz got his first touchdown of the season in week 1 vs the Cowboys, and will be looking to Sunday night for a repeat performance.
Prediction; The loss of JPP will be tough on the Giants. If the Cowboys get the run game going then it’ll be long night. Giants offense cannot play like they did vs Steelers. I think they’ll step up and cause the Cowboys defense some problems.
Cowboys 23-28 Giants