Eli Manning has proven he can still sneak out wins for the Giants, but Week 14 at homeagainst a divisional opponent is a game Eli has to flat out win. This game is the turning point of the Giants’ season not only because it is a divisional game but because Big Blue is the only team to beat the Cowboys this season. But that was the first week of the season, and the Cowboys haven’t lost a game since. Meanwhile,the Giants have been folding like a beach chair of late.
For the Giants to bring an end to Dallas’10-game winning streak,Manning has to play his best game of the season. All signs are pointing in Manning’s favor to play well, but in the end it’s about execution. Statistically the Cowboys have been bad against the pass this season but have held opposing quarterbacks to under 200 yards over the past two weeks.
Manning did have one of his better games of the season in Week 1 against Dallas and over his career hehas a 91.1 quarterback rating against the Cowboys. Thatleads me to believe Eli is due. Dallas’secondary isplaying some of its best football recently, and that does warrant some skepticism, but the matchupis shaping up to be a good opportunity for Eli to get back on track.
That being said, believe it or not, I say there is still a concern at the quarterback spot. Eli is clearly not an “elite” quarterback anymore and the clock is ticking on his body.The Giants’ offensive line hasn’t given up more than threesacks in a game all season but they have play better in the running game to keep Eli from using his legs too much. It is not good news for Giants running backs or offensive linemen as Dallas owns the league’s second best rushing defense.It’s going to take a collective effort to keep Eli upright with time to make plays.You can bet that it’ll be a battle in the trenches on Sunday Night in the swamps of New Jersey.
With hopes that Eli can keep his game on track, it’s more than enough reason to believe that Odell Beckham Jr will benefit from good quarterback play – and the numbers are in Odell’s favor too. Dallas’secondary has giving up 173 receptions to opposing wideouts this season, which is tied for most in the NFL. OBJ has gotten double-digit targets the past two weeks and if the Giants coaching staff is smart,itwill get the ball in his hands early and often.
Sterling Shepard could also be in for a big day. Over their past two games the Cowboys’ secondary has given up eightreceptions a piece to two very talented slot receivers in Washington’s Jamison Crowder and Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs.Nether Crowder or Diggs managed to find the end zone, but they were getting plenty of looks and made some key catches that kept drives alive.
This is a make or break game for the Giants this weekend.They have given us fans a reason to worry over the past couple of weeks, and beating the best team in the NFL could shape up to be a season-changing win. We are in for a good ol’ NFC East showdown Sunday Night.