Was biting my nails up until the JPP pick 6, but the Giants got it done against the Pack. Tolzien had a tough time reading the defense and threw 3 picks. Eddie Lacy was bottled up for a total of 27 yards on 14 carries. Giants still have not found a solid kick returner, Cox did not do anything spectacular. Andre only had 66 yards on 18 carries, and Jacobs punched it in once. Nicks had 50 yards on 4 receptions, and caused an interception after taking himself out of the game due to an injury (frustration).
This week is a whole different situation. A starting QB, a division rival, and a chance to keep the Giants playoff hopes alive. Here are 5 keys to a Giants victory Sunday afternoon:
1) Watch for the 2nd and 3rd Receivers
With Dez Bryant the obvious number 1 on the Cowboys, the Giants have to be aware of Miles Austin and Terrence Williams. In the week 1 matchup, Austin had 10 receptions for 72 yards without getting into the endzone. Austin has been hurt for the majority of the season, and has not really been missed much. Terrence Williams took over as that solidified number 2 wideout once Austin went down and has put up decent numbers. His best game came against the shootout vs Denver where, off of only 4 receptions, he had 151 yards and a TD. Dez will be getting a lot of attention, probably bringing the safety over the top to help in passing situations. Secondary needs to keep their heads on a swivel or we can have another Ogletree situation.
2) Figure Out a Way to Stop Jason Witten
Witten had 8 receptions for 70 yards and 2 TDs in week 1. He is ALWAYS a thorn in the Giants side and needs to be stopped. Will Hill was suspended week 1 and has never gotten to play against Witten. Hill is quick and very athletic but much smaller than Witten. Does Fewell have Hill come down and try to guard Witten? Maybe Rolle? Linebackers just can’t seem to get it done.
3) Help With DeMarcus
Ware has been banged up for the past couple of weeks with an injured thigh. May have came back too early against the Saints. However, the was the bye week to rest and he is probable for Sunday. Remember last year when he picked off that screen pass to start the game? He did not do much after that. The Giants can now rely on running backs to come hit Ware as they come out of the backfield with Andre and Jacobs. A healthy Ware will beat either Pugh or Beatty one on one, that’s for sure.
4) Take Advantage of Depleted Linebackers
Starting middle linebacker Sean Lee is out. Starting strong side linebacker Justin Durant is out. Backup strong side linebacker DeVonte Holloman is also out. Bruce Carter is the only starter that is not injured. Ernie Sims may get the start in the middle of the Cowboys defense in place of Lee. The offensive line for the New York Giants has to block their assignments and Andre Brown needs to take advantage of a linebacker unit that is very banged up. I expect a big day for Brown on the ground due to weather and that injured LB squad.
5) Limit Deep Throws
Wind is going to be gusting tomorrow at Metlife, possibly reaching 30 mph. Eli needs to make sure he is sticking with the 3 step drops and shorter routes in order to be successful through the air. The Cowboys may even stack the box putting it all on a struggling Eli Manning and his wide receivers to get the win.
There’s the 5 I have. Weather will definitely play a factor in this game and may limit both offenses. However, first offensive play for the Giants, why not a little play action deep bomb to one of the receivers? Cowboys may be thinking that the Giants want to establish the run early, won’t throw deep with the wind, then bam, 80 yards to the house! Probably won’t happen.