New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys Pick
New York Giants (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
When: Sunday September 16, 7:20 PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tx
By Keith Allen, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Spread: NYG + 3 / Dal -3
It’s an NFC East showdown on tap for week 2 Sunday Night as the Giants head to Big D to play the division rival Cowboys. Both teams will look to rebound from disappointing week 1 performances that resulted in losses both on the scoreboard and at betting sites as neither team covered. Both teams need wins to avoid potentially dropping 2 games behind the Eagles and Redskins in this competitive division. The quarterbacks will be on the hot seat after week 1 performances that didn’t instill any confidence in either of the signal callers.
New York managed 5.2 yards per play against the vaunted Jaguars defense that may be the best in the league. While that seems like a good showing, 68 of their 324 yards came on one Saquon Barkley run. The offensive line that was expected to show improvement this year did not hold up well against the swarming Jaguar front (Wk 2 Jags play Pats). Eli Manning was constantly under duress forcing the Giants to relay on a quick strike passing attack. Odell Beckham Jr. proved he was back at 100% with 11 catches for 111 yards, though his longest reception was only 24 yards. The balance of the pass catchers brought in 12 passes for 113 yards. Manning had opportunities to make some downfield plays but couldn’t make the big play to change the game. We’ll see over the next couple of weeks if that is further proof that Eli is on his last leg, or if it was just the Jaguar’s elite defense.
Barkley served as a true work-horse back, and had a solid outing for his rookie debut against the stout Jags front 7. He totaled 128 yards from scrimmage including 22 yards on 2 catches. 15 of his runs generated less than 5 yards, but he is capable of taking it to the house every time he touches the ball. Barkley’s ability out of the backfield appears to be an excellent balance for Beckham’s skills on the outside. Manning tried to get tight end Evan Engram involved but could only connect twice. The 2018 Giants offense has the skill players to be a dynamic offense, their success will be determined by their line and Manning.
The Cowboys stop unit will not present the same challenge that the Jags did, as they allowed the Panthers 293 total yards including 147 rushing yards on 32 carries. Carolina’s O-line is not much better than the G-Men’s line, so Barkley should have more room to run and Manning should have more time to push the ball down the field. David Irving is suspended and Randy Gregory exited Sunday’s contest with a concussion so his status for Sunday is not known which may leave DeMarcus Lawrence as the lone Cowboy pass rusher that the Giants will be concerned about. The Giants should have more success moving the ball this week. Head coach Pat Shurmur is expected to be able to formulate a game plan to get his playmakers the ball in space and put some points up.
The Cowboys week 1 offensive performance was even more dismal than that of the Giants. They managed only 4.1 yards per play, didn’t cross midfield in the first half and didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 4th quarter. Their offensive line which has been considered the best in the league was ran over by the front seven of the Panthers (wk2 @ Falcons). With Center Travis Frederick out indefinitely, the Cowboys have not been able to fill all the holes that popped up. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott had no room to run most of the day and finished the game with only 69 rushing yards on 15 carries, and 33 yards of those yards came on 2 carries.
Dak Prescott had just as tough of a day leading the passing attack. Prescott was sacked 6 times despite being one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the league. He completed 19 passes for 170 yards, again with most of his success coming late in the game as the Panther’s employed a bend but don’t break strategy to protect the lead. Prescott’s leading receivers were Cole Beasly and Deonte Thompson – 2 players that probably could not make 20 of the other 31 squads in the league. Dallas made an effort to get Elliott involved in the passing game, targeting him 4 times as it became obvious that Elliott is the only playmaker on the Cowboy offense.
Big Blue’s defense held their own against the Jags. They contained the Jags running backs to less than 4 yards per carry, although lead back Leonard Fournette missed the second half of the game with a quad injury. Pass rush is the big question mark for the Giants. They recorded only one sack of Jaguar QB Blake Bortles and picked off Bortles once. The Cowboys and Jaguars have very similar offensive talent, game plans, and strengths and weaknesses. If the Cowboys line proves to be mortal, the Giants and future Cowboy opponents will be able to exploit the weak links. If the Giants can win the line of scrimmage, Dallas will have an offensive output very similar to last weeks.
Both teams will be fully motivated coming off an opening day loss to avoid to 0-2. The line starting the week sits at Cowboys -3, but the look ahead line last week at 5DIMES was -5½. The sportsbooks and the market think the Cowboys are in trouble. Dallas formula for winning starts and ends with their offensive line and running game, and the clock may have struck midnight for their formula. If the offensive line has turned into a pumpkin, America’s Team may be the worst team in the NFC. New York didn’t do a lot to instill confidence from the betting community but they looked much better than the Cowboys. The play is to bet against the Cowboys. Take the 3 points and play the Giants, or shop prices and get the best deal on Giants’ money line.