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Old 11-08-2007, 01:33 PM    (permalink
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Default My Giants/Cowboys Game 2 Breakdown

The Cowboys/Giants game this Sunday is definitely the biggest game of the season for both teams. This game can change the scope of NFC, or can reaffirm our current view on how it should shape out. Even though we both met in Week 1, a lot has changed since that meeting between both teams. However, a lot has also remained the same. Regardless of the outcome, there will be a lot of overreaction to this game and we’ll surely have huge discussions on it. Let’s break it down.

WHAT’S CHANGED

Giants

- The biggest change on the Giants side is in the secondary. Both McQuarters and Webster started the first game. Those 2 guys are currently our #4 and #5 CBs on our depth chart. Think about that. We’re not exactly the deepest team at CB, so to have essentially our 4 and 5 play the Cowboys in week 1 says a lot. In their place however, won’t be exactly Champ Bailey and Deion Sanders. We’ll start Sam Madison and Aaron Ross. Madison is light years better than McQuarters, but still shouldn’t be able to hold up against TO. And while Ross is having an amazing season and is a viable DROY, he’s still a rookie. And you can’t trust rookies to play like vets at critical moments. If it happens, great. But you can’t go into a game of this magnitude expecting Ross to continue his brilliance. Rookies make rookie mistakes. He’s our best CB, but still a rookie.

- Osi Umenyiora should play the whole game and not one snap, and Strahan is in football shape now. In week 1, we essentially played without our 2 best pass rushers. Strahan was clearly not in shape, and Osi was out on the first play. For a team that lives and dies with pressure, that changes a lot. They should be ready this game, and our 4 Ace nickel package will be a lot stronger than what we threw at Dallas in week1. The pass rush should be much improved.

- Kiwi will not be in man coverage with Witten, and won’t be an LB in our nickel. Kiwi and our use of him has changed a lot since game 1. In our nickel he plays UT now, so he won’t be a coverage liability on 3rd down like he was against the Boys in the first game. And he won’t have any man coverage responsibilities. The Giants now use a lot of Cover 2 in the base 4-3 to minimize his deficiences in coverage, then go all out with our nickel packages and bring the heat on 3rd down. We’ll go into schemes in more detail later.

- Like I eluded to earlier, the scheme has changed since week 1. Just like the Cowboys, Spags has adjusted his scheme to fit our personnel better. In week 1, he brought in basically the same scheme the Eagles run. Clearly, we’re not good enough in the secondary to run that scheme, and with so much Cover 0/1 we got torched badly. So now we run a lot of Cover 2 in the base, however, we do bring a lot of his blitz packages in our nickel defense. But not on every 3rd down. Our front 4 pressure in the nickel is so good we can still only rush 4 and get good pressure. He mixes it up on 3rd down so don’t expect the ridiculously success rate that Dallas had on 3rd to happen again. Not at that rate you saw the first time at least.

- Brandon Jacobs will play more, or should at least. He introduces a different running style to Ward, and can wear a defense down. Since he’s been back, he has a great YPC average, I believe 2nd to only AD, and has been a great workhorse. He’ll change the dynamic of the rushing attack compared to the first game. Dallas still should do well against him, but what he brings that Ward doesn’t is the ability to wear down a defense over 4 quarters.

- Our slot WR is a question mark so far. We don’t know if Steve Smith will play. He’s our only reliable slot WR, and quite frankly, we need our slot to come up huge. Our 3 WR set is critical to win this game, and without a reliable slot, we might not be able to take advantage of the coverages we’ll get from Dallas.

- Plaxico Burress is not 100%. In fact, he probably won’t be for the entire season. He can’t even practice, and just shows up to the game. I doubt he has the same impact he had in the first game. There will be a lack of chemistry with Eli, and he simply isn’t getting off the ball quickly enough. And he has Newman covering him this time.

Dallas

- Like the Giants, a lot has changed with Dallas as well. And like the Giants, most of that change is on the defensive side of the ball.

- First and foremost, Terrance Newman is playing in this game. That changes a lot because he is a shutdown CB. Don’t expect a hobbled Plaxico to shred their pass defense the way he did in week 1 with this guy on him. Chances are he’ll take on Plax, and we’ll see a lot of coverages directed at taking Shockey out since Newman can be relied upon against Plax.

- Roy Williams will only play “safety” in the base 3-4. Wade had him playing safety in the first game and he got shredded in that role. Now on obvious passing downs he’s essentially demoted to LB responsibilities and they come out with Watkins and Hamlin at safety. The team’s pass defense has improved because of it, because you can’t isolate and expose Roy Williams in coverage like you used to. However, because they have Roy playing Rover now, you can’t do as much Man coverage as Wade wants to, and exposes the sidelines deep. This however, is something they feel comfortable with. Do the Giants have anyone who can punish them with this coverage? No, not really. This is where Sinorice’s bumb ass would come in handy, but he’s invisible out there.

- Tank Johnson will get some reps at NT. Don’t expect his impact to be huge in this game however. He’s probably not in football shape yet, it usually takes around 3 games to get in football shape. But having him does give Ratliff a breather once in awhile, and that in itself will help.

- It seems as if Greg Ellis will be starting instead of Spencer. To me personally, that’s an advantage for the Giants. Spencer was better in coverage, faster, and just as stoute against the run. He was the thorn in our behind in week 1. He’s the one who also injured Eli (a horsecollar by the way). He’s also a better fit for Wade’s scheme on the traditional “weakside” (Wade’s strongside).

- The Cowboys seem to blitz less than the first game. At least that’s what I saw during the couple of games Ive gotten to see this season. I think Wade has also pulled in the reigns a little to adjust to his current personnel just like Spags did.


WHATS THE SAME

- Essentially both offenses. The only change will be Jacobs for the Giants. And Diehl being more adjusted to playing LT. The Cowboys offense has been a train that hasn’t slowed down. No changes really personnel wise or scheme wise on their part.

- Roy Williams can still be a liability in coverage. The key is spreading out the Dallas defense. That has been the blueprint against their front, and will continue to be. They use a lot of dime now, but a good 3 WR set can take advantage of Reeves and Roy Williams. The key is that slot WR, he is critical in exposing their weaknesses.

- The Giants still have no one who can cover the TE, and Witten will still get his. We haven’t gone against a passing attack like Dallas since…well, since Dallas. While we have reduced the impact of the TE in weeks past, we still have no answer for a guy of Witten’s caliber. He’ll still shred us.

- The Cowboys still overmatch our defense personnel wise as a whole. We have small average DTs who should get mauled by the Dallas oline, and we don’t have the coverage to hold up against their dominant passing attack. We have pressure, and we’ll live and die with it. That’s basically what it comes down to for us.

- Both olines are very good. Very different in philosophy, but both very effective. I personally have the Dallas oline as the 2nd best in the league, and the Giants oline as the 5th best. Dallas overpowers you with big strong guys, who just move you out of the way. The Giants use smaller quicker guys who pull and use athleticism. Very different philosophies, but both very effective. People are sleeping on how well Shaun OHara has played this season. The Giants oline as a whole reminds me of the Patriots oline in a sense that theres no star caliber player (other than Mankins/Snee comparo ) but they both just work really really well together as a unit.


Eh, I was thinking about breaking down exact details of each defensive scheme and what the offenses might do to take advantage of it, but this writeup is long enough, I doubt this even fits in one post as is, so let’s leave it at that.

PREDICTION

The Cowboys should win this game. I don’t think enough has changed to give the Giants the edge in this game. That doesn’t mean that the Giants don’t have a chance, it just means that Dallas should win based on what Ive observed over the past 8 weeks. Im not gonna guess the score, but I doubt the score will be as high as the first time. This is a huge game for Giants fans. What Im taking out of this game is, how legit are we really? Are we a legitimate contender for the NFC? Or are we a wildcard team that will most likely be one and done in the playoffs? We’ll find out on Sunday. And can anyone stop the Cowboys? If they win this game, theyre the clear SB favorite in my eyes out of the NFC. Im sure myself as well as everyone else will overreact to this game, but you can’t help but do so sometimes. So im calling it now, I probably will overreact to the outcome of this game.

Share your thoughts. And thanks for spending the time to read this.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:58 PM    (permalink
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Aaah, screw it. The Giants are winning 24-21.


GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO G-Men :D
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:10 PM    (permalink
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Plax wasn't 100% for the first game either. I don't think he has practiced once all season (except a little yesterday) and has missed all but the first week of training camp.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:15 PM    (permalink
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I see the Giants winning this game on the strength of a defensive touchdown. At some point, or at many points, that pass rush is going to get to Romo, and Romo may make a poor decision or hang the football as he has done in the past. Yes the Cowboys will be able to neutralize the rush for most of the game, especially if they use Julius Jones effectively on the draw play and quick strike passes to Terrell Owens, but the Giants will get to Romo. It will be up to Dallas' defense to keep the game close, so that the Cowboys don't have to get into a slinging match and can give the Giants line a steady dose of Julius Jones and Marion Barber, along with taking advantage of the Giants coverage with throws to Owens and Witten.

Giants 34-24.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:21 PM    (permalink
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Plax wasn't 100% for the first game either. I don't think he has practiced once all season (except a little yesterday) and has missed all but the first week of training camp.
But his condition isn't any better now. Its probably worse. Throw in Terrance Newman who's always done a good job on whoever he covers against the Giants, and chances are we're not gonna get great production out of him.

Shockey is gonna have to come up big for us. Theres no way Wade is gonna let Burress do that to him twice.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:25 PM    (permalink
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But his condition isn't any better now. Its probably worse. Throw in Terrance Newman who's always done a good job on whoever he covers against the Giants, and chances are we're not gonna get great production out of him.

Shockey is gonna have to come up big for us. Theres no way Wade is gonna let Burress do that to him twice.
I dunno about his condition not being any better. Word is that Plax basically get healthy in time enough to play, and then has to get treatment all week after a game for the swelling to go down in his ankle. There was no game this past weekend. And Plax actually did practice a little bit for the first time all season yesterday so it has to be feeling a little better this week compared to others.

I'm obviously not counting on 3 TDs because that is hard to get regardless, and like you said Newman is back. But the injury isn't really a concern to me. Especially not after the bye.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:25 PM    (permalink
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I see the Giants winning this game on the strength of a defensive touchdown. At some point, or at many points, that pass rush is going to get to Romo, and Romo may make a poor decision or hang the football as he has done in the past. Yes the Cowboys will be able to neutralize the rush for most of the game, especially if they use Julius Jones effectively on the draw play and quick strike passes to Terrell Owens, but the Giants will get to Romo. It will be up to Dallas' defense to keep the game close, so that the Cowboys don't have to get into a slinging match and can give the Giants line a steady dose of Julius Jones and Marion Barber, along with taking advantage of the Giants coverage with throws to Owens and Witten.

Giants 34-24.
What it comes down to in my eyes is, I think Dallas has a better chance of slowing us down than vice versa. But I do feel that both offenses will be slowed down compared to last time. Theres no way it gets that out of control again.

Especially at windy Giants stadium. Weather could play a role in this too. That X factor is something we often overlook.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:26 PM    (permalink
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I dunno about his condition not being any better. Word is that Plax basically get healthy in time enough to play, and then has to get treatment all week after a game for the swelling to go down in his ankle. There was no game this past weekend. And Plax actually did practice a little bit for the first time all season yesterday so it has to be feeling a little better this week compared to others.

I'm obviously not counting on 3 TDs because that is hard to get regardless, and like you said Newman is back. But the injury isn't really a concern to me. Especially not after the bye.
I hope so. Any updates on Smith? He's the guy Im most interested in. I think we need him real bad for this game.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:38 PM    (permalink
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BBD great writeup. I enjoyed the read and think your dead on in your analysis. Hopefully we can out score you because I still see it being high scoring. Boys 31-27.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:54 PM    (permalink
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I hope so. Any updates on Smith? He's the guy Im most interested in. I think we need him real bad for this game.
Nope I know he didn't practice yesterday because of his hammy. Thats all I know.

Also we'll see what happens, but the Giants want everyone going to the game to where Red this week. We'll see how well of a turnout they get for that. If the majority of people do it, it might screw with the Cowboys offense a bit with the defense in red as well as the entire crowd.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:00 PM    (permalink
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I will be there kiddos. Got the confirmation today. Luxury Boxes courtsey greedy corporation. It is good to know people who know people when you are a nobody!!!!

I am psyched -- except for that horrid traffice getting out of the lot. Cowboys 45 - Giants 24.

BBD, it is all about Brandon/Oline for the Giants IMHO. That D will give up points.

For the Cowboys it is all about Romo's play in the wind. THe D will be fine unless Jacobs tears up the undersized NTs.

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Old 11-08-2007, 03:04 PM    (permalink
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I will be there kiddos. Got the confirmation today. Luxury Boxes courtsey greedy corporation. It is good to know people who knwo people!!!! I am psyched -- except for that horrid traffice getting out of the lot.

Cowboys 45 - Giants 24.
Not a fan of the luxury boxes. At least not the ones at Giants Stadium, although they are the only ones I've experienced. I hardly felt like I was at the game when I sat in them.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:24 PM    (permalink
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Not a fan of the luxury boxes. At least not the ones at Giants Stadium, although they are the only ones I've experienced. I hardly felt like I was at the game when I sat in them.
Yes, but it is warm, seats are free, liqour is free and the food is free.

Getting there is pricey enuff for a loser like me.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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I will be there kiddos. Got the confirmation today. Luxury Boxes courtsey greedy corporation. It is good to know people who know people when you are a nobody!!!!

I am psyched -- except for that horrid traffice getting out of the lot. Cowboys 45 - Giants 24.

BBD, it is all about Brandon/Oline for the Giants IMHO. That D will give up points.

For the Cowboys it is all about Romo's play in the wind. THe D will be fine unless Jacobs tears up the undersized NTs.

I understand your worries about Romo in the wind/bad weather but did you see Eli in London? I think we have the superior Q.B. regardless of the conditions.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:41 PM    (permalink
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I understand your worries about Romo in the wind/bad weather but did you see Eli in London? I think we have the superior Q.B. regardless of the conditions.
I understand and agree but we run more on Romo than the GMen on Eli.

Eli can have a horrid game and throw up two alley oop passes to Plax, pound Jacobs and Ward 40 time and win a game.

We need to be more precise offensively to win.

Looking forward to the trip and game.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:03 PM    (permalink
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I understand and agree but we run more on Romo than the GMen on Eli.

Eli can have a horrid game and throw up two alley oop passes to Plax, pound Jacobs and Ward 40 time and win a game.

We need to be more precise offensively to win.

Looking forward to the trip and game.
Thats not true. The Giants rely on Eli just as much. When was the last time we ran it 40 times? I can't recall us doing that in damn near 4 years.

And Eli just doesn't lob it up to Burress, come on now. If thats the case, you can say the same thiing about alot of QBs, including Tom Brady.

If we win this game, Eli is gonna have to have a great game. Theres no way in hell we win this game if Eli has a poor game. No way.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:16 PM    (permalink
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Thats not true. The Giants rely on Eli just as much. When was the last time we ran it 40 times? I can't recall us doing that in damn near 4 years.
I am not saying you will. I am saying you can. We can not. We get in the end zone with precision -- not raw talent like Plax or Moss.

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And Eli just doesn't lob it up to Burress, come on now.
I am not saying that is all he can do. I am saying that he can play poorly but connect to two Alley Oops passes and you score points. We can not do that.

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If thats the case, you can say the same thiing about alot of QBs, including Tom Brady.
Well, what Moss did for Culpepper he is doing for Brady. Making him look good on throws which are usually picked or fall to the floor.

But, I am saying Brady is much better this year b/c they have a "throw away" play that works for 7. No one is open, Randy just runs as far as you can and wait for the ball.

G-Men have that with Eli and Plax. Be thankful.

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If we win this game, Eli is gonna have to have a great game. Theres no way in hell we win this game if Eli has a poor game. No way.
Likely that for you to win he has to play well but definately not the only way. Romo, however, needs to play well for us to win on the Road versus quality teams like the GMen.

I can easily see wind and rain with Romo turning it over 4-5 times. Eli going under 50% completion rate with no picks and your RB duo going for 250 yards on 40 carries.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:26 PM    (permalink
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I actually like Dallas's ground game against our front more than our ground game against your front.

Dallas is a better run stuffing unit. And your big powerful oline matches up real well withour undersized average DTs. I think Dallas can pound us if they wanted to.

We haven't been dominant against the run this year. You can move the ball between the tackles against our DTs. And we're vulnerable to cutback runs/reverses bc Kiwi as LB in our base 4-3 is susceptible to double moves.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:51 PM    (permalink
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I think boys take it easy.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:48 PM    (permalink
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Excellent post, BBD. Beautiful. I'd give you more rep if the board allowed me to at the moment.

I'm leaning towards the Giants at home as my pick, although I have more faith in the leg of Nick Folk than that of Lawrence Tynes (this is the x-factor I wouldn't overlook). It's a division game at Giants stadium, I expect a close game, and I certainly don't expect the Cowboys to score 45 like they did in Week 1.

The starting corner duo of Madison & Ross is such a massive upgrade over Webster & McQuarters, I don't know if that can be stated enough. Terence Newman being healthy for the 'boys is also a boon, as is Anthony Henry being healthy enough to at least see nickel corner snaps.

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I actually like Dallas's ground game against our front more than our ground game against your front.

Dallas is a better run stuffing unit. And your big powerful oline matches up real well withour undersized average DTs. I think Dallas can pound us if they wanted to.

We haven't been dominant against the run this year. You can move the ball between the tackles against our DTs. And we're vulnerable to cutback runs/reverses bc Kiwi as LB in our base 4-3 is susceptible to double moves.
I was thinking this very thing, I could very well see the Cowboys offensive line wearing down the Giants defensive front, allowing Marion Barber III and Julius Jones to be effective in the second half/ fourth quarter, assuming the Cowboys remain committed to the run. And that they are in position to pound the ball, say as opposed to being down two scores and putting pressure on their previously successful passing game to get them back.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:24 PM    (permalink
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Excellent post, BBD. Beautiful. I'd give you more rep if the board allowed me to at the moment.

I'm leaning towards the Giants at home as my pick, although I have more faith in the leg of Nick Folk than that of Lawrence Tynes (this is the x-factor I wouldn't overlook). It's a division game at Giants stadium, I expect a close game, and I certainly don't expect the Cowboys to score 45 like they did in Week 1.

The starting corner duo of Madison & Ross is such a massive upgrade over Webster & McQuarters, I don't know if that can be stated enough. Terence Newman being healthy for the 'boys is also a boon, as is Anthony Henry being healthy enough to at least see nickel corner snaps.


I was thinking this very thing, I could very well see the Cowboys offensive line wearing down the Giants defensive front, allowing Marion Barber III and Julius Jones to be effective in the second half/ fourth quarter, assuming the Cowboys remain committed to the run. And that they are in position to pound the ball, say as opposed to being down two scores and putting pressure on their previously successful passing game to get them back.

Yes, our kicking situation is not good. Thats been an issue for awhile, and I hope and pray it doesn't bite us in the butt in this game. Im actually not too worried about containing Owens and Crayton. I think we'll do an ok job against them. Im not saying we'll shut them down, but we'll do an ok job.

Im worried about Witten. We still have no answer for Witten. We can try to put a CB on him, or come out with 3 safeties and put Michael Johnson on him but then we're weak against the run.

I wouldn't mind seeing a 3 safety set in our nickel though. I trust Johnson in man coverage with Witten more than I do Kawika Mitchell. We don't have to shut down Witten, just stop him on 3rd down. Dallas's success rate on 3rd down in the first game was literally around 85%.

If we can get it down to even 50%, I like our chances. Thats of course, considering we get them in 3rd down situations. But to me thats a major key for us, stopping them on 3rd down.

I wouldn't mind to see the Giants use a Bellichick type of gameplan, where we bait the Cowboys into running the ball on us. It could work. OC's are cocky. They want to throw the ball. If we can come out in passing fronts and bait them into running it, they'll score less, and eventually Garrett will get impatient and try to throw it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:24 PM    (permalink
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considering Dallas has some unnatural love julius jones their running attack doesn't worry me as much as it would if they just let The Barbarian run behind thief big oline right at our smaller d. Luckily they are suseptible to the "sean Payton" syndrome where they forgo the run to live up to their reputation as a passing powerhouse.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:04 PM    (permalink
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I would say this game comes down to two things for me. And they are interwoven into each other.

1) Quarterback play
2) Pass rush

I am really scared of this game. This may be over simplifying things too much, but the pass rush for both teams will determine everything.

I work with a huge Giants fan, and he was complaining at the beginning of the season about his team. I think the Giants are VERY solid. I really dont see what is not to like about them. They seem acceptable at almost every posistion (talent wise), have a good #1 wide receiver and can run the football.

They can pass rush with the best of them, period. That is enough for me to like what I see. Over simplification, yes. But that is what I think.

I do think the overall talent of the Cowboys is superior to the Giants. But the Giants pass rush is good, and Aaron Ross is a keeper.

Soooo.....I think whichever quarterback plays the best under the pass rush will lead his team to victory.

And that quarterback will be Romo. Cowboys 38, Giants24.

HOWEVER!!!! It would not suprise me to see the score reversed in the least.

I will now start to pray that my favorite (Roy Williams) will make a game changing play this week.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:13 PM    (permalink
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I will now start to pray that my favorite (Roy Williams) will make a game changing play this week.
Unfortunately, the probability is that is in favor of the GMen.

Time to put the autographed jersey on Ebay. In spite of the early career promise he is never going to the HOF.

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Old 11-08-2007, 11:18 PM    (permalink
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I wouldn't mind to see the Giants use a Bellichick type of gameplan, ........

The Belichick gameplan is keep Romo in the pocket, take away the deep middle, and force him to either make his deep throws towards the sideline or his short throws in front of the LB and CB in zone.

It is the basic principal to the Saban/Belichick Pass D. Pack the middle and force it to the outside. If you can make the throws you will score.

How you think the Colts dogged them recently -- down and out once you get past the CB in zone covering the flats. 15 yards every time if you can make the throws and keep the CB/S honest with another pattern in the area.

THe other options to beat this D is get two WR who can get 30 yards downfield fast and attack the safeties before the rush gets there.........

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