One of football’s greatest rivalries will be featured in the national spotlight on football’s biggest holiday later this week. On Thursday afternoon, the NY Giants will battle the Dallas Cowboys in a Thanksgiving Day showdown that has significant playoff ramifications.
The Giants will likely be significantly shorthanded on Thanksgiving. The Giants offense will be playing without their top two wideouts and several key offensive linemen, not to mention the injuries to Adoree’ Jackson, Xavier McKinney, Wan’Dale Robinson, Azeez Ojulari and Fabian Moreau. Yeah, that’s rough.
However, the Giants thrive when they are backed against a wall, with nobody giving them a chance. Here are four reasons the Giants will stun the Cowboys on Turkey Day.
4. Big Blue’s rushing attack
Saquon Barkley is the leader of Big Blue’s rushing attack, being a big reason why this team is 7-3. The Giants currently have the NFL’s fourth-best rushing attack, averaging 157.2 rushing yards per game. That rushing attack should have a Thanksgiving feast against the Cowboys, who have a subpar run defense. Dallas’ defense is seventh-worst in the NFL against the run, giving up 136.1 rushing yards per game.
If the NFL MVP was not a quarterback-driven award, Barkley would be the frontrunner. Barkley has turned into a workhorse, averaging 24.4 touches per game and 116.3 scrimmage yards. It’s nearly impossible for defenses to stop Barkley, but when they do, the Giants simply call read options and let Daniel Jones decide to run himself or hand the ball off to the NFL’s best running back.
The Giants have the NFL’s best running back and Top 5 rushing quarterback. Big Blue has also mixed Matt Breida in recently as a change of pace back, and it’s paid dividends as he scored his first touchdown last weekend.
Expect the Giants to come out run-heavy again on Thursday. Stopping the read option is all about reading the quarterback’s eyes, and it’s fair to assume the undisciplined Cowboys will struggle with that. Mike Kafka will also likely install multiple new running looks, which will keep the Cowboys on their heels.
Jones aka Vanilla Vick, Barkley, and Breida will all surpass their season rushing averages on Thursday, and be the key cogs in the Giants stunning victory.