NFC Game Of The Week
Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4)
Cowboys: Another week and we have the same result. It’s another win for America’s team. Last week, however, the Cowboys were punched in the mouth by the Minnesota Vikings. The offensive line which has been regarded by many as the best in the league was dominated in the trenches and Prescott took some rough hits, but as they’ve done on many occasions this year when they’ve been down, they fought back and won to improve to 11-1 and this is their 11th straight victory. Last week was also the best I had seen their defense look and for more of the year, they haven’t been as consistent as they should be, but they have nice pieces that make plays all around and everything begins with Sean Lee. He’s a linebacker with great instincts and he has great speed to travel to bring down the ball carrier and he can drop back and cover in pass coverage as well. This is still a defense I’m worried about as January approaches because you have to be able to stop people and rush the passer and that’s been a lingering issue all season long. If Randy Gregory or Rolando McClain were playing, I’d have more confidence. Offensively, they’re going to outscore you and move the football down the field only the way they can. To improve this franchise record winning streak, they’ll have to get by the team that handed them their only loss this season.
Giants: They are by far one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. This year, they’ve shown that they are more than capable of getting a lead and holding onto it is what’s been the biggest improvement. How could we forget 2015? They would score and generate nice drives that would end in six points. The issue was the defense being able to stand tall and hold a lead and they would give up quite a few. They had a nice six-game winning streak going of their own before it came to an end in Pittsburgh and they looked terrible in every phase of the game. The offensive line struggled to protect Eli and the defense had a tough day stopping that fast Steelers offense. A few weeks ago when I was asked a few questions about the NFC, I tabbed the Giants as the third best team in the NFC behind Dallas and Seattle and I also stated that this is a team that can get hot in January and win. They’ve done this in the past twice and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again. There’s only one thing wrong with the Giants and that’s their running game. They’ve struggled all year to balance things out offensively and really click. The Giants have been the only team to defeat the Cowboys and do what 11 other teams couldn’t. They’ll get the chance at that season sweep on Sunday night.
Cowboys Player To Watch: Jason Witten– Last week, the Minnesota Vikings held him in check and he didn’t catch a single pass. The Giants couldn’t stop a tight end if they tried and we saw that last week in Pittsburgh when Ladarius Green has his way with them last Sunday. I look for Prescott to get Witten involved early on and challenge the Giants.
Giants Player To Watch: Sterling Shepard– As explosive as a receiver that Odell has been since being drafted by the Giants in 2014, they sometimes force him the football a little too much. This is where other receivers need to step it up and the Giants have the formula to attack the Cowboys defense. Lots of big plays down the field. Someone not wearing the number 13 needs to be another option for Eli whether it’s Victor Cruz or even Sterling Shepard.
Prediction: Dallas has breezed through the months of October and November since that loss at home to the Giants in September and they could clinch a first-round bye with a win and a Lions loss on Sunday. The Giants suffered a huge loss with the injury of Jason Pierre-Paul who’s out for this game and the remainder of the season. The Giants do have the formula to attack the Cowboys as I said up top but I don’t think it’ll be enough for them get the win. I like Dallas to win another game. Cowboys 31 Giants 28.