New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
The New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys meet for the final game of the 2011 NFL regular season with the NFC East crown and a spot in the playoffs going to the winner as they settle it on Sunday Night Football. The Giants are -2.5 point favorites over the Cowboys with an over/under total set at 46.5.
The New York Giants have had their share of ups and downs this season but despite the speed bumps they have hit along the way Tom Coughlin’s team is just a win away from winning the NFC East and hosting a playoff game. The Giants beat the Jets last Sunday in a must win game for both teams and looked convincing doing so and they will need another big game from everyone to get it done in this spot. Eli Manning has taken every snap for the Giants this year completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 4,587 yards with 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Ahmad Bradshaw has been off and on this year but now he is healthy enough to play and though he averages just 3.9 yards per carry he has scored eight touchdowns and just his presence makes Brandon Jacobs more effective as he has scored seven touchdowns. Victor Cruz has 76 catches for 1,358 yards and eight touchdowns, Hakeem Nicks has 71 catches for 1,116 yards and six touchdowns, and Mario Manningham has 39 catches as New York has transformed from a tight end based passing game to one that features the wide receivers. The Giants defense has 42 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries, and 19 interceptions with a plus five turnover ratio and they allow 381.5 yards and 25.7 points per game. Antrel Rolle has 88 tackles, Michael Boley has 84 tackles, and Jason Pierre-Paul has 81 tackles and 15.5 sacks. The Giants have looked really good this year and have looked really bad at other times, they will need to bring their best in this spot.
The Dallas Cowboys have had some high and low points this season but that is all in the rear view mirror for Jason Garrett’s team as it all comes down to this one game and a “win and they are in scenario” when it comes to the playoffs. The Cowboys can look at numerous blown chances like against Detroit over the course of the season but they also had some great escapes like against Miami and San Francisco where they walked away with a win. Tony Romo banged up his hand last game but he will definitely be playing in this one and for the season he has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 3,895 yards with 29 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. The Dallas running game has been banged up but right now it looks to be Felix Jones and Sammy Morris look to get the action from this point forward. Jason Witten has 72 catches, Dez Bryant has 57 and nine touchdowns, and Laurent Robinson has 50 and and nine touchdowns while Miles Austin is also healthy once again. Defensively the Cowboys have 40 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries, and 15 interceptions with a plus six turnover ratio while they allow 336.9 yards and 21.1 points per game. Sean Lee has 94 tackles, Gerald Sensabaugh has 69 tackles, and DeMarcus Ware has 18 sacks. Dallas hasn’t seemed to be at 100 percent all season long yet they have managed to get it done which is a credit to their coaching staff.
New York is 2-5 against the spread in their last seven against the NFC East, 1-4-1 against the spread in their last five home games, and 0-4-1 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite. Dallas is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games as an underdog, 1-5 against the spread in their last six games overall, and 0-5 against the spread in their last six games against the NFC East. The underdog has covered five in a row in this series.
The total in this one is set at 46.5 and while it is in essence a playoff game the NFL game has changed and this one should go over the number as both of these teams passing games are far better than their running game which means more clock stoppages which means more plays which means more scoring; no need to make it more difficult than it is.