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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) * HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ * NYG at DAL TB at JAC
* Update * CHI at DEN * MIN at DET * OAK at GB * STL at SEA (mon)

Prediction: NYG 24, DAL 31

Update: Miles Austin is listed as questionable to play and was limited in all practices but is still expected to play. Laurent Robinson did not practice until Friday and is also questionable but insists that he will play and will likely wear extra padding to protect his shoulder separation. I am downgrading Robinson because his minimal amount of practice and the continued need for protecting his shoulder.

This is the big game in the NFC East where the 6-6 Giants are on a four game losing streak and are only 3-3 on the road. The Cowboys are one game up at 7-5 and are 5-1 at home. This is always a "throw out the standings" game and the beauty is that each of the last four meetings have resulted in 53+ total points scored. Let the rockets red glare begin...

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS 14-28 10 @SF 20-27
2 STL 28-16 11 PHI 10-17
3 @PHI 29-16 12 @NO 24-49
4 @ARI 31-27 13 GB 35-38
5 SEA 25-36 14 @DAL -
6 BUF 27-24 15 WAS -
7 Bye - 16 @NYJ -
8 MIA 20-17 17 DAL -
9 @NE 24-20 - - -
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 300,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 30,1 - -
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 50 20 -
TE Jake Ballard - 40 -
WR Victor Cruz - 110,1 -
WR Hakeem Nicks - 80,1 -
WR Ramses Barden - 20 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: On the plus side, the Giants came close to knocking off the undefeated Packers but realistically no one really thought they were going to pull it off. The final schedule is brutal here with @DAL, WAS, @NYJ and DAL left to play. But the Jets game is a home game and it really comes down to what happens in the two matchups with the Cowboys. It is as simple as that - beat the Boys or go home for January.

QUARTERBACK: Last year, Eli Manning passed for over 300 yards in both the meetings with the Cowboys and totaled six touchdowns in two games. Manning has been hot this year and already has 23 touchdowns and six games over 300 yards including twice topping 400 yards. The Cowboys have been better on defense and no opponent has passed for more than two scores on them this season but higher yardage is highly likely.

Manning is a must start and should turn in a standard big game against the Cowboys.

RUNNING BACKS: Ahmad Bradshaw has been out with a bad foot since week eight and finally returned for the Packers game. He ended with only 11 carries for 38 yards but did not do any more damage to his foot and did not appear to be limited. Brandon Jacobs has never been good for much more than 50 yards regardless if Bradshaw is there or not but has scored in each of the last two games. and has been a much bigger part of the offense since Bradshaw went down.

The Cowboys have been better against the running backs when at home where only three backs have scored on them but the Giants always present an "off line" opponent that past stats have less meaning. Bradshaw is not completely back and the Cowboys should keep him in check but Jacobs could end up with a short score here.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mario Manningham missed two games with a bad knee and is no lock to play this week. Hakeem Nicks sprained his ankle in the Packers game but is not expected to be limited this week. Nicks comes off a two-score game and has six touchdowns on the season but has not topped 100 yards in a game since week four. Nicks ended with 108 yards and two touchdowns in the 2010 meeting in Dallas. Victor Cruz has become the leading receiver for the Giants after recording his seventh game of 98+ yards and he scored seven times. Since week three, Cruz had one bad game and nine golden ones. Ramses Barden will play for Manningham but that has never meant much.

The Cowboys are healthier in the secondary but again - this game is always a shootout and differs from the others. Cruz and Nicks are both must plays who should total big yards and score.

TIGHT ENDS: Jake Ballard remains a component of the passing game but has not scored in five weeks and remains below 50 yards in each game. He's marginal play even in a large league.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 6 13 2 14 26 12
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 15 6 9 25 12 9


Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ 24-27 10 BUF 44-7
2 @SF 27-24 11 @WAS 27-24
3 WAS 18-16 12 MIA 20-19
4 DET 30-34 13 @ARI 13-19
5 Bye - 14 NYG -
6 @NE 16-20 15 @TB -
7 STL 34-7 16 PHI -
8 @PHI 7-34 17 @NYG -
9 SEA 23-13      
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 290,3
RB Felix Jones 20 10 -
RB DeMarco Murray 90,1 40 -
TE Jason Witten - 50,1 -
WR Laurent Robinson - 40,1 -
WR Dez Bryant - 70,1 -
WR Miles Austin - 60 -
PK Dan Bailey 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: You could pretend that all was well until Jason Garrett iced his own kicker but the Cowboys winning streak featured squeaking past the visiting Dolphins by one point and beating the Skins by a field goal. Still the Cowboys are in charge of their own destiny with two more games against the Giants, hosting the Eagles and playing in Tampa Bay. All "winnable" but the Boys on the road have yet to win a game by more than three points if they win at all. This week is a must win or that final trip to New York may be yet another road heartache.

QUARTERBACK: Tony Romo may not have won games recently but at least he is not losing them. Romo has thrown for high 200's or better in in all but three games and has thrown for 22 touchdowns on the year against only nine interceptions and he's only thrown three picks over the last seven games. Romo was already injured in both meetings last year with the Giants.

At home against a familiar opponent and Romo finally gets back a full complement of receivers with Miles Austin back. Anything short of his high-200, double score standard game would be very disappointing.

RUNNING BACKS: DeMarco Murray has cooled down for the last three weeks with no scores and never more than 87 rushing yards but he adds in yards as a receiver to compensate. Oddly Murray had no passes thrown to him in Arizona but was good for five receptions in each of the last four games. He has not started at home without turning in a 120+ total yard game so far. Felix Jones is a nonfactor now and merely a relief player.

The Giants are soft against the run as well and allowed eight touchdowns over six road games along with big yardage. Look for a bounce back game by Murray this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Miles Austin is expected to be a "full go" according to Jerry Jones after missing four games with a balky hamstring. His return does put Laurent Robinson a step back on the depth chart despite his seven touchdowns in the last six games but Robinson will remain a bigger factor than just another slot receiver. Austin's return gives the Cowboys a solid three wide formation. Dez Bryant also has seven touchdowns on the season and three in the last four games but his yardage has yet to eclipse 90 yards in any game.

The G-Men are weak against the position and on the road to a divisional rival with a healthy set of three wideouts. The challenge here is getting which receivers go off correct because one or two should end up with very nice fantasy stats. Dez Bryant had three scores on the Giants last year including two in Dallas. Austin is the wildcard here but he has really done nothing since week two - no way that can be relied on yet.

TIGHT ENDS: Jason Witten had two scores against the visiting Giants last year and they come in ranked 29th against the position anyway. Witten is a must start and should score for his first time in three games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 8 22 5 5 2 10
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 28 22 29 29 17 15

WEEK 14
2011
CLE at PIT (thu) HOU at CIN NE at WAS PHI at MIA
ATL at CAR IND at BAL NO at TEN SF at ARI
BUF at SD KC at NYJ NYG at DAL TB at JAC
  CHI at DEN MIN at DET OAK at GB STL at SEA (mon)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t