If you watched the New York Giants‘ loss to the Jaguars on Sunday you probably saw a resilient team that stayed in the game until the final moment. If you happened to catch the Dallas Cowboys take on the Carolina Panthers later in the day you likely saw a terrible team that was better off playing pee wee football.
Now, that should spur optimism for the Giants in week 2, but we know how these divisional games go – the Cowboys put up a great fight and it comes down to the final second. In recent years, the Cowboys have put the Giants away with last second touchdowns, but this time around has a different feeling about it.
Against the Panthers, Dallas amassed a dismal 264 yards of total offense. Their first points of the game came in the fourth quarter with 8:51 left in the game. The offense looked weak and incapable. The defense held the Panthers to just 16 points on the day, and while that might seem impressive, it’s important to note that they were without tight end Greg Olson and are missing a true No.1 receiver.
Facing off against an offense featuring Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley should present a whole different set of problems. Dallas doesn’t have a top corner to contain Beckham, and their defensive line is spotty. We can assume they will place Demarcus Larwance on the right side of the line against Ereck Flowers. They will do everything in their power to put pressure on the right side of the line to force Eli Manning to flush the pocket. Expect to see Barkley get more involved in the passing game and for Eli Manning to take some shots down-field to Beckham.
How can the Giants control the game on the defensive side of the ball:
The key to stopping the Cowboys is to put pressure on Dak Prescott. The second-year signal caller becomes a rag-doll when under duress, but he is capable of using his legs to pick up yardage. The Giants did a solid job of keeping Blake Bortles behind the line of scrimmage for the majority of the game in week 1.
The run-stopping game must also be prepared to take on a bruising back in Ezekiel Elliott. He recorded the only points for Dallas in their season opener to the Panthers.
The bottom line, the Giants have the weapons to win this game with ease, but we know division games don’t come easy. The Cowboys will be at home and it they will likely attract the odds, but this game as Odell Beckham Jr. written all over it.