Team Giants


Giants - Cowboys
Game 2 preview
Sunday Sept 16, 8:20 PM - Giants at Cowboys

Giants (0-1) vs Cowboys (0-1)
In their season opener the Cowboys were unable to put points on the board until the fourth quarter was closing in on the halfway mark. The Cowboys trailed for the entire game and ended up with a 16-8 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Giants opened at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Any thoughts the fans had of seeing an explosive offense were squashed, as the Jaguars top defense played as well as they did last year.
The Giants lost to the Jaguars with a 20-15 score.

The Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys finished up last year in second place in the NFC East with a 9-7 record. They had two big issues to face going into this season. Tight end Jason Witten had retired after a nice long 15 year career, and they had released wide receiver Dez Bryant. Since 2006, one of those two were the top receivers on the team except for the 2016 season when slot receiver Cole Beasley led the team. Bryant and Witten were the top one and two receivers last year in that order, and had a combined 132 receptions for 1398 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Dak Prescott is coming off a down year, and losing those two hot targets will not help, although he still has Beasley. Prescott did make good use of him last week, but connecting with Beasley and six others, who also caught passes, resulted in only 170 total yards. They couldn't keep the chains moving. Prescott threw the ball 29 times, and running back Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball only 15 times. Maybe that's not going to be a winning formula this year.

Cowboys Offense
Last week Dak Prescott completed over 65 percent of his passes. Cole Beasley pulled in 7 out of 8 for 73 yards. Ezekiel Elliott averaged 4.6 yards a carry, ran for one touchdown, and caught 3 out of 4 passes for 17 yards. Prescott ran with the ball five times for 19 yards, and threw no interceptions. How could the Cowboys lose? Well, you still have to put points up on the board. They did miss one field goal, but that's not the whole story.
In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys scoring drive was their longest of the day, and they had to face only one 3rd down which they made. That was big, as the Cowboys had made only one other before that. They then trailed by eight points, but on their final drive of the game, Prescott was sacked for a sixth time, and fumbled the ball away. The Cowboys have a strong offensive line, and some feel that Prescott doesn't have a good
pocket awareness, but he is in need of some targets other than Beasley.

Cowboys Defense
Their biggest strength in 2016 was playing against the run. They were the strongest defense in the league, allowing an average of just 83.5 yards per game. They slipped a bit last year, but still ranked eight in that area. Last week though, quarterback Cam Newton surprised them, running 13 times for 58 yards. Christian McCaffrey got 50 yards on 10 carries, and overall the Cowboys gave up 147 yards on the ground. As far as defending against the pass, the defense did sack Newton three times for 15 yards, and they held him to 161 passing yards and no touchdowns.
Eli Manning is up next, and while the Cowboys will appreciate not having to chase an elusive quarterback around the field, they'll be very anxious to sack one behind the line. Pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence mentioned that this week, noting an apparent weakness on the Giants offensive line. Lawrence led his team last year with 14.5 sacks, and picked up one last week against the Panthers. The Cowboys will still have to watch what Manning can do with his arm, especially since there were big changes to their secondary during the offseason.

Giants Offense
The last time Eli Manning faced the Cowboys he was at a big disadvantage. Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard were not on the field. With the lack of wide receiver talent, Manning had to throw more passes to his running backs, and he did so 16 times in the game. They actually pulled in more catches on less throws, and for slightly more yardage than did the receivers. Manning also had a porous offensive line. I know you'll stop me right there thinking back to last week, but let's assume, at least for now, that the better talent this year will figure things out and get the job done.
The Cowboys defense will give that a good test this week. Beckham caught 11 passes playing against a Jaguars pass defense that was the best in the NFL coming into this game. Even they had to 'cheat', pulling two pass interference calls when Beckham was about to get past them for much bigger gains. The Jaguars were also the second best team in sacks recorded, someone should remind
DeMarcus Lawrence, as the Cowboys were in the middle of the pack by comparison.

Giants Defense
Stopping the run is what is on their minds, especially seeing how poorly Dak Prescott played last week when the ball was in his hands. Still, last year in the season opener with the Cowboys, Dak Prescott threw for 268 yards. That was his best until, you guessed it, he faced the Giants again in their second season matchup. Prescott had his best game, throwing for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Eli Apple was inactive for that game for whatever McAdoo reason. That won't be the case this week, and Apple is coming off a good showing, and was out there for every defensive snap against the Jaguars. For this match up, the Giants will again be without defensive end Olivier Vernon, dealing with a high ankle sprain, and the Cowboys without their starting center Travis Fredrick due to an illness.
There has been talk that the Cowboys need to get more passes to Ezekiel Elliott, especially if they can't get a ground game going. Elliott caught 3 out of 4 last week, so the Giants will have to watch for that. Working in a new scheme, this defense held the Jacksonville Jaguars to just one offensive touchdown, and to zero points in the second half of the game. They need to build on that.

Last week neither of these starting quarterbacks threw a touchdown pass. Eli Manning will once again face a tough pass rushing unit, but the Cowboys secondary will be easier to throw on. There was some talk that Dak Prescott sustained a late game ankle injury in the loss to the Panthers, and that defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence missed some practice nursing a groin injury. We won't know if any of that will be a factor until later in the game. Whichever team loses will be dead last in the division no matter the outcome of the other team's games. We think it will take more than a few games before the Cowboys can adjust to not having two of their long time top receivers (Jason Witten, Dez Bryant) playing, so the Giants should take this one.

NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (1-0) at Tampa Bay (1-0).
Sunday at 1:00pm Colts (0-1) at Redskins (1-0).
Sunday at 8:20pm Giants (0-1) at Cowboys (0-1).
The Eagles, Redskins, and Cowboys are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.

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Giants in 15 of the 18 seasons they started with two straight losses, have ended with a losing record.

Giants lost both games to the Cowboys last season.

Giants Saquon Barkley's 106 rushing yards was the third highest in the NFL last week.

Cowboys are 10-2 in regular season games when Ezekiel Elliott rushes for at least 100 yards.

Cowboys have passed for more than 200 yards in just two of their last nine games.

Since 1990, (NFL went to 12 playoff teams), 87.8 percent of teams who started 0-2 missed the playoffs.
Next Games
Sept 23 Giants at Houston.
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Sept 30 Saints at Giants.
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