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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
October 18, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
On Bye
JAX at HOU SD at KC WAS at IND   *updated

Prediction: NYG 20, DAL 27

Monster match-up in the NFC East which sends the loser likely two games behind the Eagles in the division. The Giants have stumbled twice this year but against very good opponents. The Cowboys two losses also went against very good teams. In 2006, this match-up smacks of last year where the home team always wins with the Cowboys winning 16-13 and later the Giants taking their home stand 17-10. This is a Monday night game so expect at least some fireworks.

New York Giants (3-2)
1 21-26 IND 10 --- CHI
2 30-24 @PHI 11 --- @JAX
3 30-42 @SEA 12 --- @TEN
4 Open Bye 13 --- DAL
5 19-3 WAS 14 --- @CAR
6 27-14 @ATL 15 --- PHI
7 --- @DAL 16 --- NO
8 --- TB 17 --- @WAS
9 --- HOU - MON SAT
NYG at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 0 0 280,2
RB Tiki Barber 50 50 0
TE Jeremy Shockey 0 60,1 0
WR Amani Toomer 0 70 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 90,1 0
WR Tim Carter 0 10 0
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The G-men are dangerous this year even if that only has translated into a 3-2 record. But the last two weeks has seen the rushing game finally come back to life and no one outside of the Giants organization wanted to see that happen. While this will be a very tough contest in Dallas, the Giants do have the one ability that has been the Cowboys weakness - giving up the big play. With Barber now stepping up, that could come from either a pass or a run. Now about stopping Owens...

Quarterback: Eli Manning comes off his lowest yardage effort of the year when he only had 180 yards in Atlanta but he tossed two touchdowns as he has in all but one game this year. Manning still has problems with interceptions which could play a role this week but he's been topping 250 passing yards in every game this year until last week.

Manning had little success against the Cowboys last year, with only 215 yards and one score in Dallas and later 152 yards with no score at home.

Running Backs: After two down games against the Eagles and Seahawks - both on the road - Tiki Barber turned in 185 yards on just 26 carries last week and added 42 yards on three carries for his best game of the season. Barber still has not scored a touchdown. Brandon Jacobs took that honor last week when he ran for 53 yards on 11 carries but his role has been widely varying this year between only one carry up to the 11 of last week. It all depends on the Giants getting a lead and that hasn't happened often even during the wins.

Barber only gained 64 yards on 14 carries in Dallas last season but later had 115 yards on 30 carries in New York.

Wide Receivers: The wideouts mirror the game situation - when Barber is running well, they remain under around 80 yards but when Manning has to mount his furious comebacks, either Plaxico Burress or Amani Toomer have come up big. Burress already has three scores on the season and one game over 100 yards while Toomer has four touchdowns and one game over 100 yards as well. Unless either wideout is out injured, the others don't matter much in games.

Burress only had games of 55 and 48 yards against the Cowboys last year and never scored. Toomer never had more than 11 yards in either game.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey is continuing his trend of being perpetually dinged up and his foot doesn't appear to be in a hurry to heal but that didn't stop him from scoring twice last week with 55 yards on six carries in Atlanta. Next to Burress, Shockey is usually the most used receiver by Manning.

Shockey enjoyed a big game in Dallas last year, gaining 129 yards on five catches and scoring once but later was held to just 20 yards and no score at home.

Match Against the Defense: The Cowboys rushing defense has been good this year with no runner going over 74 yards and only allowing two tailbacks to score. At home the defense has been outstanding though WAS and HOU were hardly top -notch competition. Look for a drop from Barber this week but some decent yardage via the pass to make it worthwhile.

Manning faces a secondary that has been rock solid other than against the Eagles but - the Eagles were the only really good passing team yet that they have faced. I really like this game to have some passing in it coming on a Monday night and Manning should break the previous mold set by lesser opponents by tossing for two scores and some nice yardage in this game. It may come mostly in the second half in a comeback bid, but it all counts the same in fantasy football.

Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
1 17-24 @JAX 10 --- @ARZ
2 27-10 WAS 11 --- IND
3 Open Bye 12 --- TB
4 45-14 @TEN 13 --- @NYG
5 24-38 @PHI 14 --- NO
6 34-6 HOU 15 --- @ATL
7 --- NYG 16 --- PHI
8 --- @CAR 17 --- DET
9 --- @WAS M THU SAT
DAL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Bledsoe 0 0 260,2
RB Julius Jones 70 0 0
RB Marion Barber 20,1 30 0
TE Jason Witten 0 30 0
WR Terrell Owens 0 80,1 0
WR Terry Glenn 0 70,1 0
WR Patrick Crayton 0 30 0
PK Mike Vanderjagt 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: After a heart-breaking loss in Philly, the Cowboys gladly followed the doctor's orders by whooping up on Houston last week though it was almost entirely in the second half when Terrell Owens started reeling in endzone passes. The rushing game has been solid with Julius Jones and Marion Barber and the passing game has lurched forward on occasion. The defense has been the weakness here so far but at home has not allowed an offensive touchdown this year.

Quarterback: Nothing like a home game against the Texans to quiet the critics. While he started slowly last week, Drew Bledsoe ended with 168 yards and two scores to Terrell Owens in a controlled, effective passing game. While he has been sporadically playing well and poorly on the road this year, Bledsoe has no turnovers in two home games and two scores in each. Unfortunately the blowout last week allowed Tony Romo to play for a series and he too threw a score to Owens which kept his name alive in the hearts of the media.

Bledsoe had a big 312 yard game with one score when the Giants visited in 2005 but then only had 146 yards and a touchdown in New York.

Running Backs: Julius Jones is on a three game streak with rushing efforts over 100 yards though he never breaks it by much and has only two touchdowns on the season. He also only has two receptions this year. Marion Barber never starts and never has more than ten carries in a game, but he also trotted on for a touchdown run in each of the last four games. Jones gets as many attempts near the goal line as Barber, it's just that Barber actually bangs through.

Jones was injured during the first meeting with the Giants last season but later had 74 yards on 23 carries in New York.

Wide Receivers: Okay, so Terrell Owens had three touchdowns last week but he only had five catches for 45 yards in the game. The Cowboys version of "shut up already" turned into pitch and catch in the endzone for Owens who remarkable has made little mark in the yardage department so far. Terry Glenn comes off his worst game of the year with only 47 yards but he constantly figures into the passing game and lost out only because the Texans rout did not need him. With Owens scoring three times last week, the defense should be even more slanted against him - and less so on Glenn.

Glenn never had more than 64 yards against the Giants in two meetings last year and scored once in the road game.

Tight Ends: Maybe you drafted Jason Witten thinking about 2005 but this year he is a really good blocker capable of about 30 yards each week and apparently dancing with the defensive ends whenever the goal line nears. He has yet to score a touchdown in 2006.

Witten turned in five catches for 56 yards and a score when the Giants came to Dallas last year, but then only had one catch for five yards in the away game.

Match Against the Defense: While the Giants gave up 146 yards to Dunn last week, 90 of that came on one run and otherwise, this unit is tough to run against. Look for a sub-100 game from Jones who never catches passes but for at least one score from Barber who must grin when he passes Jones for a goal line substitution.

The Giants secondary has been toasted by top quarterbacks and then looked great against the passing flops of Vick and Brunell. Figure on Bledsoe falling somewhere between those two this week since he is at home and should have a nice game on Monday night football. This is Terrell Owens sort of game and he will do well here but Glenn should show up as well. Unlike last week where rushing was primary and passing went to Owens, both wideouts should figure in this week.