Trying to Lasso a Shot at the Playoffs

Nicholas LianosCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2009

Remember back in Week 2 the Giants and Cowboys opened the brand new Cowboys Stadium and sent 100,000 people home crying.  That was two months ago and both teams are going in opposite directions.

The Giants mash unit comes back home after yet another ugly loss, this time to Denver on Thanksgiving night.  The Giants are at 6-5 and trying to salvage their season with three straight division games starting with the Cowboys. 

Dallas on the other hand comes in winning two straight games, with their defense having only allowed a mere thirty points in the last three games.  Dallas seems to have righted themselves following an overtime victory in KC. Dallas is sitting at 7-4 in first place in the division but with a killer December schedule ahead of them.

What to look for in this game. 

Dallas will run right at the Giants. In the first meeting in Dallas the Cowboys ran wild for 251 yards with most of it coming right at Osi Umenyiora side of the field.  The Cowboys offense is now more run than pass to make it easier on Tony Romo. With running backs of Marion Barber, speedster Felix Jones and Tashard Choice running behind a massive offensive line it makes it a no brainer.

Tony Romo had a horrible day against the Giants in week 2. Throwing three interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown by Bruce Johnson.  The other two were by Kenny Phillips who will not be there to freelance.  Either will be the other Giant safty from week two Michael Johnson who is out with a groin injury.  Romo should be able to pick apart the Giants defense with all the injuries.  Whitten will be the primary target for Romo against a subpar Giants linebackers and safties. 

Austin Miles is the primary wide receiver that Romo throws to.  Roy Williams who so far has been a bust in Dallas has asked for the ball more ala Mr. Crybaby himself.  Look for the Giants to match Corey Webster on Austin Miles trying to limit his receptions and force the ball to Williams. 

The Giants offensively have to remember what they did in week 2 against the Cowboys.  In week two Mario Manningham and Steve Smith both went over 100 yard receiving and each had a touchdown.  Eli picked apart the Cowboys all day as he was able to throw for 330 yards and marched the team down for the winning field goal in the last two minutes. 

The Giants need to get Brandon Jacobs going.  With Jacobs being the only running back healthy the Giants offensive line needs to open holes for the big fella to run through.  In order to get the running game going Shaun O'Hara has to contain DT Jay Ratliff.  Teams have used double teams on him and running right at him with success.

Look for the Giants to attack the Cowboys secondary.  Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scnadrick are corners the Giants receivers can take advantage of.  Double moves, as the Giants used in week two should allow the Giant receivers to run after the catch against the Cowboys. Kevin Boss should also get some looks in the middle of the field with the Giants receivers to get double teamed. 

The Giants season depends on this game. Both teams know it. A win puts the Giants in position to win the division and earn a playoff spot. A loss pretty much says goodbye to the playoffs. 

Both teams will have extra motivation for this game.  Besides the Giants season riding on this game they remember the dirty play by Flozell Adams that injured Jason Tuck.  The Giants have circled this game on the calendar from back in September. 

The Cowboys are upset at Eli Manning for signing the wall in the Cowboys new stadium. Eli wrote the score, date and "first win" which didnt please Cowboys coach Wade Phillips or middle lineback Bradie James.  Both implied that it wasnt the right thing to do.

I see the Giants starting out hot after that goose egg they laid in Denver.  I expect the offense to score early to take the pressure off the defense.  The defense will have its hands full trying to stop the Boys running game.  I think the speed the Giants added with Goff will help the defense.  Adding Kiwanuka to the end spot instead of Osi will also play dividens for the Giants upfront.  Look for Kiwi an Canty to get alot more playing time against the Cowboys.

I see a shootout.  Neither defense can stop anyone. The Giants defense is horrible. As much as it pains me to say it, they cant stop anyone on the ground or the air. I think the embarassing game in Denver will not be repeated again.  The Giants defense will make enough stops to eek out a victory 28-24.