Posted on September 13, 2018, by Travis Pulver
Expectations were low for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys in their Week One games, but both teams were hopeful they could pull off the upset. That, of course, didn’t happen. So, now both teams are hoping to avoid the only thing worse than starting the season 0-1. Starting it 0-2.
To do so, both are going to have plenty of things to fix heading into their Sunday night matchup. But then again, no matter how bad things look, these two hated rivals figure out how to step up their game when they play each other.
The question fans want to be answered is who is going to step up more and secure their first win of the season?
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Table of Contents
The Cowboys had a tough one on their hands in Week One. Even if the offensive line was at full strength, the Carolina Panthers have the best defensive front in football. They would have bottled Ezekiel Elliot up and harassed Dak Prescott all day long anyway. But that isn’t an acceptable excuse for a poor game plan.
For some crazy reason, the Cowboys didn’t think they needed a No. 1 receiver, and they let Dez Bryant go. Bryant is long past his prime, but the attention the would have given him could have loosened things up a little more for Cole Beasley and whoever is playing tight end now. At the least, when the offense was bogged down in the first half, they would have had someone capable of making a big play.
On the other side of the ball, they weren’t bad. They did get to Cam Newton three times, held him under 200 yards passing, and kept the Panthers passing game out of the end zone. Giving up 147 yards on the ground is a bit much, but roughly a third of it came off three plays (Carolina ran the ball 32 times).
The Giants defense will not be nearly as tough this week. Saquon Barkley will be fun to attempt to contain. But most of his work last week came on one run—so it might not be too hard. They will probably stack the box to keep him contained and make Eli Manning beat them.
New York Giants
With the draft, the free agent additions, and the return of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., there were plenty of reasons for hope with the Giants. Maybe with some better protection and an actual running game, Eli Manning could get back to the good version of himself.
But in Week One against the Jaguars, it just didn’t come together. The Jaguars defense practically lived in the backfield, Saquon Barkley ended up running for over 100 yards but only because he broke one for 68. OBJ had a good day (11 receptions for 111 yards). But Eli didn’t have much luck with anyone else (22-37 for 224 yards and an interception).
The only thing that kept the game close was another so-so day by Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette’s injury. However, it is worth noting that the Giants offense outscored the Jags offense (15-13; a pick-6 made the final 20-15, Jags).
The Giants could use an easier opponent to help right the ship. But the Cowboys, with all of their flaws, will not be much easier.
So—who’s going to win?
No matter what, this game usually ends up being a good one. Whether it’s because Dallas plays down to the competition or the Giants actually get their stuff together—the game ends up being competitive. If the Dallas offense plays as it did against Carolina, this one will be competitive.
But that’s not going to happen.
The prediction: It will not be pretty, because the Dallas offense doesn’t have the ability to make it pretty, at the moment. But they will win and cover the spread (three points).