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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: NYG 20, DAL 24

Always a fun matchup, this time it includes the first regular season game in the Cowboys Stadium. I've actually seen it and the best I can describe it is like the movie "Independence Day" where the huge mothership crashes into earth. In this case, they play football inside of it. This is the late game on Sunday and should be a great one.

These divisional foes each won their home meetings in 2008. The Cowboys won in Dallas 20-8 while the Giants took theirs 35-14 in New York.

New York Giants (1-0)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 23-17 -6.5 37
2 @DAL - +3 43.5
3 @TB - - -
4 @KC - - -
5 OAK - - -
6 @NO - - -
7 ARI - - -
8 @PHI - - -
9 SD - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 ATL - - -
12 @DEN - - -
13 DAL - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @WAS - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     200,1
RB Brandon Jacobs 80,1 10  
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 40 30  
TE Kevin Boss   30  
WR Steve Smith   80,1  
WR Domenik Hixon   30  
WR Mario Manningham   50  
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Giants got the win over the Redskins last week but it wasn't as easy as it had been in the past. The Giants lost Danny Ware and Hakeem Nicks for a few weeks and what had been a dominating rushing game wasn't quite so effective running into Albert Haynesworth. Eli Manning did well enough to sort out all these new receivers but he'll need to be more comfortable with his passes long before the punts start pinging off the scoreboard.

Quarterback: Eli Manning finally played a game without any veterans there to take care of him and he did pretty well against an aggressive Washington defense. He passed for 256 yards and a score with one interception. He was able to spread the ball around among several receivers and settle down into an apparent pecking order.

Manning only passed for 191 yards and no scores in Dallas last year but he had 147 yards and three scores in the home meeting. This time around - no Burress or Toomer. Look for moderate yardage and a score from Manning since the rushing game is likely to have more success this week and the Giants will want to control the ball more.

Running Backs: The Giants lost Danny Ware for a few weeks with a dislocated elbow on the opening kickoff and it could be longer than that. Brandon Jacobs had a tougher time running against the Redskins when he only produced 46 yards on 16 rushes. Ahmad Bradshaw was better when he ran 12 times for 60 yards but he always gets the "not Jacobs" benefit that has always worked so well for the Giants #2 running back.

Jacobs was out the week that the Giants went to Dallas and in his place Derrick Ward ran for 64 yards on 14 carries. Jacobs rumbled for 117 yards and a score in the home meeting with the Cowboys and Ward had a score and 63 yards in that game as well.

This time Jacobs should see some success considering that Carnell Williams and Derrick Ward combined for 159 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys last week. But this will be in Dallas and it will be a big game thanks to the new mothership stadium. Look for moderate to good numbers from Jacobs and a definite chance for a score.

Wide Receivers: The Giants are using a two receiver, two tight-end set and had Mario Manningham as the flanker - not Steve Smith who became the slot receiver. Domenik Hixon took the split end as expected but the pleasant surprise here was Manningham who had three catches for 58 yards and the one passing touchdown. Smith had the most work with six catches for 80 yards and Hixon only managed one catch for ten yards.

The Giants also lost Hakeem Nicks for a few weeks with a ligament strain in his foot.

The early returns on these new receivers is mostly good. Manningham showed talent after a lost rookie season. Smith settled effectively into the slot and HIxon... well... two out of three is pretty good. The Cowboys secondary continues to have some problems when a shoot out happens. They gave up 93 yards to Mark Clayton which would equate to Hixon but he's apparently behind the curve. Look for some decent yardage and a score from this unit. Smith stands as the most likely to score against the Dallas safeties.

Tight Ends: With all these young wideouts, Kevin Boss continues to provide a safe outlet for Manning and had three catches for 62 yards against the Redskins. Boss only had one catch for 23 yards in Dallas though he scored once and had three receptions for 30 yards in the home meeting.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 17 23 10 18 1 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    DAL 20 29 15 29 6 2

Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TB 34-21 -5 39
2 NYG - -3 43.5
3 CAR - - -
4 @DEN - - -
5 @KC - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 ATL - - -
8 SEA - - -
9 @PHI - - -
10 @GB - - -
11 WAS - - -
12 OAK - - -
13 @NYG - - -
14 SD - - -
15 @NO - - -
16 @WAS - - -
17 PHI - - -
DAL vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     250,2
RB Marion Barber III 80,1 10  
RB Felix Jones 40    
TE Jason Witten   50,1  
WR Roy Williams   70  
WR Patrick Crayton   50  
WR Miles Austin   50,1  
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys big win in Tampa Bay covered the fact that the defense was struggling to stop the Buccaneers rushers. All of them. Even the ones that had barely played for a few years. That will come back to haunt the Cowboys this week with Brandon Jacobs. But the important thing, at least to shut up the newscasters, is that the Cowboys won - and passed well - without Terrell Owens. This week is a big game because a win here may very well send the Cowboys 5-0 into their bye week.

Quarterback: Apparently the loss of Terrell Owens not only can be withstood, but for Tony Romo it causes him to have a career best game. He passed for 353 yards and three touchdowns - all to different wide receivers that no one realized played for the Cowboys. It was only one game and the Buccaneers are nothing like the older version that had a defense, but it could not have gone better for Romo and the Dallas offense.

Romo threw for 244 yards and two scores in the home meeting with the Giants last year. This is a big game in the new stadium and the Cowboys will be extra motivated. Look for a solid game here with a couple of scores and good yardage. Romo has a sore ankle but is expected to be fine for the game.

Running Backs: Marion Barber gained an impressive 79 yards and a score on just 14 carries last week and while Felix Jones joined in, he only had 22 yards on six carries. With Jones, he either breaks a long one or he doesn't. Last week - no breakers. He did have a thigh bruise that slowed him though.

Tashard Choice also had a couple of carries as well but it remains mostly about Barber here and none of the backs figured in much as a receiver so far.

Barber was injured in the home meeting with the Giants last year but Tashard Choice gained 91 yards and a score on just nine carries in that game. Barber ran for 54 yards on 19 carries in New York earlier last year.

Barber should have a nice game here with a chance for at least one rushing score. Jones did not break one in Tampa Bay but stands a better chance on the faster surface of the Cowboys stadium.

Wide Receivers: While it was only one game, what a breath of relief for Cowboy fans and coaches to see the wide receivers actually come to life without Owens around. Patrick Crayton led the group with four receptions for 135 yards and a score, then Roy Williams had three catches for 86 yards and a score followed by Miles Austin with just one catch that went 42 yards and a touchdown. Pretty heady stuff after a few years of feeding Owens more and more passes just to shut him up.

This will be a new scheme for the Giants to cover and no doubt at home the Cowboys will try for a few long plays. Look for lower games from Williams and Crayton this week but the unit should produce another touchdown, Consider Austin as likely as any since he'll play the slot and get picked up by a safety.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten still had a nice game last week - five catches for 71 yards. He was just not the primary receiver envisioned when Owens left. He did have seven passes like Roy Williams did though. He'll also continue to be the most consistent receiver for the Cowboys.

Witten caught five passes for 44 yards when the Giants visited last year. He had no catches in the game in New York.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 2 17 1 13 4 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 11 7 8 25 10 10

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