This is the debut of a brand new feature of Fast Football: Monday night match-up.
Every week, fellow-former YCP Spartan Rob Marine and I will analyze the teams playing on MNF: how their season has gone so far, what they need to do to win and our prediction for the game.
This week, Rob writes about the Cowboys, and I’ll be writing about the G-men.
Dallas Cowboys (1-4, 0-2 at home)
October 25th, 2010 at 8:30 p.m.. Mark it down on your calendars, circle it, highlight it. Whatever you do, don’t miss this Monday Night Football showdown.
This game is a must win for the Dallas Cowboys, who are currently dead last in the always-competitive NFC East. The Cowboys need to stop playing “flag football” (excessive celebration penalties) and focus on playing up to their prospective potential.
I mean seriously, Sam Hurd (Northern Illinois)? What are you doing joining in with Roy Williams (Texas) in the “Hook Em’ Horns” celebration? Not to mention Miles Austin leap frogging Williams during the same celebration.
Hey Dallas, why are you celebrating a first quarter touchdown in a must-win game when you’re 1-2 on the road against a Minnesota Vikings team who needs the win as bad as you do?
It seems to me there is a lack of leadership and/or discipline in the Cowboys locker room. Dallas has too many weapons on offense to be performing this poorly.
Here are some of their many talented offensive players: Three-time Pro Bowl QB Tony Romo (career QB rating of 95.5), WR Roy Williams who is starting to prove his worth (finally), 2009 Pro Bowl WR Miles Austin, explosive rookie WR Dez Bryant, RB Marion Barber (43 rushing touchdowns since 2005), a three-time Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week winner Felix Jones and six-time Pro Bowl TE Jason Witten.
If you’re the opposing defense, who do you highlight? Who do you scheme against? A team with three solid, incredibly gifted receivers, a perennial pro bowler at tight end and a powerful, fast backfield should be lights out.
I know that defense, special teams, playing at home vs. playing away, weather, etc. are all factors, but let’s be honest. Neither Jerry Jones nor Wade Phillips saw 1-4 coming when they looked at their 2010 Cowboys roster.
Either way, games are played on the field, and at 8:30pm this Monday night, make sure to tune-in to ESPN to watch the 1st place Giants (4-2) take on the last place Dallas Cowboys (1-4).
This could be one for the ages.
My prediction: 21-17, Cowboys.
New York Giants (4-2, 1-1 away)
One month ago tonight, the New York Giants got throttled in Indianapolis in “Manning Bowl II”. The Giants lost that game, 38-14, but it wasn’t that close.
Brandon Jacobs threw his helmet into the stands, which was actually one of the most exciting things the Giants did that night.
Since then, the Giants have gone 3-1 (including three straight wins), and currently sit atop the very tough NFC East. In that one loss, Eli Manning thew for 386 yards. In the each of the subsequent three games, Manning threw for under 300 yards.
But Monday night is about the here and the now. After the absolute snooze-fest we saw last night, this weeks NFL main event figures to be a good one.
The Giants are ranked second in the league in overall defense. The Cowboys are ranked third in the league in overall offense (rankings based solely on yardage).
But if stats told the whole story, Dallas would be undefeated.
So, what else goes into this game?
Well, the Cowboys have shown they aren’t a good team. The Giants have shown they can be a very good team. The Giants get after the quarterback, early and often. Although Tony Romo is probably more effective outside the pocket, he’s shown a propensity to make decisions that are more risky than beneficial.
Another big advantage for the Giants is that they have similar offensive personnel to Dallas. In other words, they can spread the ball around in a number of different ways.
Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs? Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith or Mario Manningham?
With a bye week ahead of them, the Giants should be locked in on Monday night in their first divisional game of the season. New York is 10-3 in their last 13 divisional games.
My prediction: 27-20, Giants.
Thanks for reading.
-Mike & Rob