Sunday, January 1, 2012

Giants vs. Dallas--Giant Advantage

In the game of the day, the Dallas Cowboys vs. the New York Giants, just about everything points to a  Giants victory.

Giant pluses abound:

The Giants are at home; their running game, with little Ahmad Bradshaw and giant Brandon Jacobs, has finally started to jell; they have a ferocious pass rush, featuring Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul; even gimpy pass-rusher Osi Umenyiora, hobbled by an ankle sprain, will play; Dallas QB Tony Romo is hampered by a banged-up right hand; Dallas' runniing game is subpar, with RB DeMarco Murray out and Felix Jones slowed by a hamstring pull; in four out of his last games vs. Dallas, Giants' QB Eli Manning has passed for over 300 yards and at least 2 TDs per game; Manning looked really sharp in his last bout with the Cowboys, hitting the 400-yard-passing mark in leading the Giants from behind in that 37-34 thriller in Dallas. Naturally, the oddsmakers like the Giants too, by three points.

But wait...

There's one ominous negative looming against the Giants. For them to win, they need a smart, mistake-free game from Manning. Lately, though, he hasn't been that sharp. In the last two weeks, he's thrown four picks and only one TD pass. He was particularly off target in that three-pick, 23-10 loss to the Redskins two weeks ago.

The keys to a Giants victory are their pass rushers overwhelming the Dallas offfensive line, which would handcuff Romo, and Manning not making mistakes. New York could survive a stalemate in the trenches, but not a Manning stinker.