This Sunday’s 1pm match-up between the New York Giants (4-2) and Miami Dolphins (0-6) will feature two teams at opposite ends of the standings. The Giants enter into Sunday’s matchup leading the NFC East division; while the Dolphins remain in AFC East’s basement. The Giants are also coming off their bye week, thus giving them plenty of time to prepare (not that they really need to). With their second trip to the New Meadowlands this year, will the Dolphins get a nice W treat or more tricks?
What to Watch For:
Giants’ Offense vs. Dolphin Defense:
The Giants offense has been generally off-balanced between their ability to rush and pass. They enter the game being ranked 6th in passing and 30th in rushing. Regardless of this imbalance, the Giants have been able to put up points on the scoreboard; they are ranked 9th in pts/game with 25.7. I find their success through the air to be a bit surprising, based on Eli Manning’s history of varying play. Eli has had INTs this season, but has found a way to limit them. Eli currently has more than double the amount of TDs then he does INTs with 11TDs to 5INTs. This success may have come with his ability to spread the ball around. The Giants currently have 5 receivers with 15+ receptions; with Hakeem Nicks leading all with 32rec., 508yards, and 3TDs. The Dolphins’ secondary is no longer at the very bottom of the barrel when it comes to pass defense being ranked 21st (Thanks Tebow!). I still foresee the Dolphins struggling against Eli and his WRs; as Vontae Davis is listed as doubtful for the game.
As previously mentioned, the Giant running has been struggling as of late. This may be due to the inquiry of Brandon Jacobs. This has left the majority of the workload to be carried by Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is only averaging 65yards/game, but has racked up 5 rushing TDs and 1 through the air. The Dolphins’ gave up 104yards on 25 carries to Bronco running backs last week. That was without having, at least shouldn’t have had to, worry about a passing game. The Dolphins were finally able to put pressure on a QB last week, but I think that was a product of a poor Bronco O-line. The defense has played better the past few weeks, but I do not foresee that continuing this week.
Dolphin Offense vs. Giants’ Defense:
Based on stats, the Giant’s defense is pretty average. They are ranked 18th against the pass, 27th against the pass, and 22nd in yards/game. That being said, they might as well be LSU’s D playing a FCS[The Dolphin] offense. This section has become about how bad the Dolphins’ offense is, rather than how they matchup against the other team’s defense. I could say that Daniel Thomas should have another favorable matchup against a Giants’ team that lacks a standout LB, but he has failed to capitalize the past two weeks. Will the addition of QB J.P. Losman be the answer to the Dolphins’ scoring woes? It can’t really get any worse, can it? I do like him better than Moore, but he doesn’t know the offense and our O-line will get him killed regardless. The trend continues for the offense, poor play.
Two Minute Drill:
Dolphins’ Key to the Game: Come Dressed Like the Patriots for Halloween. Sorry if I’m being pessimistic, but I don’t think there’s anything THIS team can do to win. Only way they have a shot is if Eli has a meltdown or the Halloween spirits transform them into a monster.
Giants’ Key to the Game: Be Safe on Mischief Night. Same as it’s going to be for most teams that play the Dolphins. Stick to the basics, play safe, don’t make silly mistakes, and win the game.
Dolphins’ Player to Watch: Daniel Thomas. His match-up looks favorable, but the Giants should be focused on stopping the run. I want to see if he takes it upon himself to play above the situation and make things happen.
Broncos’ Player to Watch: Hakeem Nicks. Davis is doubtful and our secondary is absolutely dreadful. Nicks should tear us apart.
How it plays out: Monster Mash. Without some form of a Halloween transformation, the Dolphins have little chance at winning this one. Maybe “Monster Mash” is a little harsh, but Eli handles whatever the Dolphins throw at him. Without getting pressure, Eli does not become the “bad” version of himself. Only tricks for the Dolphins this weekend.
Prediction: 27-13 Giants. It’s hard to say that the game will be this lopsided because the Dolphins have had a chance in every game, but the Giants have averaged almost 30 points since their week 1 loss and need I mention our offense again.
As always, PhinsUp! -John
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PhinNationJohn for additional Dolphin news and commentary.
Thank you for reading my article, I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to leave a comment.