From Tom Coughlin, to Eli Manning, to Justin Tuck, and the suddenly vocal Mathias Kiwanuka, the Giants appear to be ALL IN. Even Lawrence Taylor chimed in this week, saying only the Giants were capable of beating the Giants in this contest Sunday Night at Giants Stadium against the Cowboys of Arlington. The Giants will hand out towels to all fans Sunday that have the phrase ALL IN Printed on them, and it seems to reflect the mood around Giant camp this week.
No bold predictions, but a confidence that they know if they play together, play smart, they can accomplish anything. They are at home playing for a division title, they are coming off a dominant defensive win, their first of the year, and they think they can continue with that effort. Let’s take a look at some of the match-ups.
Giants D-Line vs. Dallas O-Line: The Giants will have a full complement of defensive linemen to rotate into the game Sunday Night. Osi is back, Tuck is healthy, and J.P.P. has gotten better every week. The rotation of healthy pass rushers and run stoppers is phenomenal. Chris Canty, Rocky Benard, Linval Joseph and Dave Tollefson will all contribute. The Cowboy offensive line is perhaps the weakest part of their team. Costa at center has been injured, and is inconsistent at best. Not just his blocking, but snapping the ball in shotgun formation is always an adventure. Tony Romo, with his bruised hand, figures to be in shotgun a lot Sunday, so look for this to be factor at some point. Montrae Holland, the starting left guard, was placed on IR last week ending his season. J.P.P. lines up against Doug Free, who he beat repeatedly last time they met, and now next to him is either Daniel Loper or rookie Kevin Kowalski. Kosier and Smith are pretty good on the right side, but Justin Tuck missed most of the previous Dallas game, and he will be back in force to challenge this side of the line. The Giants should have no problem getting pressure on Tony Romo Sunday night.
Dallas running game vs. Giants D: The Giants have struggled against the run all year. Except for the odd play calling last week, the Giants really haven’t stopped anyone from running against them this season. The Cowboys however are down to one healthy running back in Sammy Morris, and one that is listed as questionable in Felix Jones. If the Giants can just limit the running game it will go a long way towards defeating the Cowboys. Not having to drop the safeties down, or worry about the corners giving too much run support will help this defense perform better as a whole.
Both Passing Offenses vs Pass Defenses: The last few times these teams have met they have scored plenty of points. The passing games of both these teams can be lethal. The pure speed of Miles Austin going one-on-one against Aaron Ross. The height and strength of both Hakeem Nicks of the Giants and Dez Bryant of the Cowboys can be unstoppable. The playmaking ability of Victor Cruz and Laurent Robinson can be devastating. If these two quarterbacks get time, they WILL complete passes, and for big plays.
Giants running attack vs Dallas D: The Giants running attack awoke three weeks ago in Dallas. Brandon Jacobs always seems to run hard against Dallas. I think he likes running over their undersized safeties and little corners. Ahmad Bradshaw is fresh and running fierce. D. J Ware has found a role as a pass catcher, a very good blocker, and two point specialist, and Henry Hynoski is healthy and opening holes. If the Giants can have a balanced attack, and run the ball for a nice average, Eli will have a big day.
The weather seems like it will be a non-factor, of course the wind current will play games at times, but should only affect the kicking game. Turnovers, Penalties, and Special Teams will be all important in this one as always. Sunday Night at Home for all the marbles, and a chance to get into the playoffs and maybe make a nice run. ALL IN!