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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
October 16, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
CAR at DET* MIA at TBB* Sun 4 PM On Bye: Mon 9 PM
CLE at BAL NYG at DAL* NYJ at BUF PHI, SF *Updated

Prediction: NY Giants 23, Dallas 30

The Giants come off their bye week tied for the NFC East lead and bring their explosive offense to Dallas where suddenly a defense has broken out. This game should feature some good fantasy points unless that effort by Dallas last week was more than a one time thumping of an old nemesis. Then again, the Giants are a nemesis too.

The Giants swept the Cowboys in 2004, winning 26-10 in Dallas and later 28-24 in New York.

Update: Julius Jones remains questionable to play and Tyson Thompson is taking snaps with the first team. Best bet here is that Jones is unable to play and that Thompson gets the start and most of the carries. While either Anthony Thomas or Marion Barber could figure in, Thompson looks to be the main man this week against the #31 defense in the NFL. Nice timing.

New York Giants (3-1)
1 42-19 ARI 10 Nov 13 MIN
2 27-10 @NOR 11 Nov 20 PHI
3 23-45 @SDC 12 Nov 27 @SEA
4 44-24 STL 13 Dec 4 DAL
5 Open Bye 14 Dec 11 @PHI
6 Oct 16 @DAL 15 Dec 17 KCC
7 Oct 23 DEN 16 Dec 24 @WAS
8 Oct 30 WAS 17 Dec 31 @OAK
9 Nov 6 @SFO . . SAT
NYG at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 240,2
RB Tiki Barber 60 10 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 50 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 80,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 20 0
PK Jay Feeley 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants come off their bye week having only lost to the Chargers in San Diego. Otherwise, this offense has been posting some shocking numbers every week. Eli Manning has decided to shorten his learning curve to just last season and the addition of Plaxico Burress has apparently been the missing ingredient for the Giants to be an offensive force.

Quarterback: After only four games, Eli Manning has thrown for 11 touchdowns - two more than he did his entire rookie season. He's had at least 296 yards in the last two games and has thrown for six of his scores in that time. His best performance came in the losing effort in San Diego when he had 352 yards and two scores though he had four scores against the Rams. Another major difference - he has not thrown an interception in the last three games.

Eli Manning was the starter in the second meeting with the Cowboys and threw for 144 yards and three touchdowns.

Running Backs: Tiki Barber ripped up the Rams for 128 yards and one score but that was his first 100 yard rushing effort of the year. Regardless of the presence of Brandon Jacobs, Barber still is getting almost all the carries every week and Jacobs has done little in the last two games. What's more surprising - Barber has only six catches on the season.

Barber ran for 122 yards and one score with 76 receiving yards while playing at Dallas in week five of last year and later had 117 yards and two scores in week 17 at home against the Cowboys.

Wide Receivers: Talk about a difference. Last season Manning could not hit a receiver with a shotgun in a phone booth. In the week four against the Rams, Plaxico Burress had 204 yards and two scores - over double his previous best game as a Giant. Burress never has less than five catches a week and has scored in three of his four games. Amani Toomer finally got some action in the previous game and scored once but he still only had three catches for 20 yards. Manning looks at Burress first, but then usually finds Shockey before he gets to Toomer.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey already has two scores on the year and a 100 yard effort against the Chargers, He's consistently catching around five passes per game and gaining at least 60 yards. Shockey had 44 yards and one score in Dallas last year but did not play in the final game of the season.

Match Against the Defense: This partly depends on which Dallas defense shows up this week. Tiki Barber should have a tough time running regardless since the Cowboys at home have allowed neither Portis (52 yards) or Westbrook (12 yards) to fare well there this year but the passing game appeared to be a lock for astronomic numbers until Dallas somehow found a missing key and shut down the Eagles last week.

Manning has been outstanding lately and has thrown for multiple scores in three of four games this year. The Cowboys have allowed the same in their first three matchups this season. But the Cowboys have not allowed a passing score in the last two games and have not allowed over 218 yards. This could go several ways of course and Burress matches well on CB Anthony Henry though he'll be getting plenty of help without a doubt. The Cowboys at home should be closer to last week's performance but that was a big game that commanded a big effort. Expect more passing yards this week that should see Manning manage to keep his multiple TD string going.

Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
1 28-24 @SDC 10 Nov 14 @PHI
2 13-14 WAS 11 Nov 20 DET
3 34-31 @SFO 12 Nov 24 DEN
4 13-19 @OAK 13 Dec 4 @NYG
5 33-10 PHI 14 Dec 11 KCC
6 Oct 16 NYG 15 Dec 18 @WAS
7 Oct 23 @SEA 16 Dec 24 @CAR
8 Oct 30 ARI 17 Jan 1 STL
9 Open Bye M THU SAT
DAL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 270,2
RB Tyson Thompson 80,1 10 0
TE Jason Witten 0 60,1 0
WR Keyshawn Johnson 0 50 0
WR Terry Glenn 0 100,1 0
WR Patrick Crayton 0 30 0
PK Jose Cortez 3 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys came off a loss in Oakland to a team that had not won yet and turned around to slap the Eagles all over Texas Stadium last week. It was if they had been saving everything for that one game and controlled Philly from start to finish. A win here puts Dallas closer to the division lead depending on the Redskins this week and more importantly, moves the Giants back. This is a big game too.

Quarterback: Drew Bledsoe is showing no signs of slowing down this season. He has scored in every game so far and comes off a season high 289 yards and three scores. He has ten scores on the year against only three interceptions and has developed great chemistry with Terry Glenn and even Jason Witten in the last few weeks. With the rushing game less than planned, Bledsoe is taking up the slack and making his acquisition look like a shrewd move.

Running Backs: Julius Jones only gained 72 yards on 16 carries before injuring his ankle last week. The early diagnosis suggests a sprain that could be a high ankle sprain. Until more is known, I am assuming that Jones will sit this week out and that a mixture of Anthony Thomas and Tyson Thompson will fill in. The Cowboys could end using Marion Barber as well. Updates as warranted.

Julius Jones rushed for 149 yards and one score in his game at New York last year. He did not play in the meeting in Dallas when George only ran for 75 yards.

Wide Receivers: Terry Glenn comes off his best game of the year scoring twice during his seven catches for 118 yards and that makes his third time over 100 yards this season. If he can stay healthy, he's heading for a career year. Keyshawn Johnson remains just a possession outlet and has yet to gain more than 74 yards in any game. While Patrick Crayton also contributes a couple of catches a week, this unit is really all about Glenn until a defense can stop him.

Tight Ends: While fantasy owners were grumbling after the first two weeks of the season, those with Jason Witten are all smiles once again. Witten had seven catches for 80 yards last week and has 18 receptions for 219 yards in the last three games.

Witten had 77 yards and one score on the road to New York last year but only managed 35 yards while at home in week five of 2004.

Match Against the Defense: The Giants rushing defense was pretty good against visitors this year but on the road the Giants have only played once - against the Chargers when Tomlinson ran for 192 yards and three scores. Jones potentially being out will hurt the Cowboys rushing and he is not exactly Tomlinson anyway, but the potential for rushing well is certainly there.

The passing defense of the Giants has undoubtedly been a subject of scrutiny during their bye week since Bulger had 442 yards against them. There is no bad side here, there isn't even any good side. The Giants have been beaten so badly in the passing game by both tight ends and wideouts that they are focusing more on getting to the quarterback before he kills them. Expect another big game from Glenn here and Witten should do no worse than he has for the last three weeks. Some of the passing will depend on game situation but after the Washington debacle, the Cowboys will not sit on a lead.