Giants (2-11) Dolphins (3-10)
The Dolphins lost a tough one to the Jets last
week. The lead went back and forth during the game, and the outcome was decided
by one point in favor of the Jets, 22-21.
Last Monday night in their game with
the Eagles, the Giants had things going their way with a 17-3 lead going into
halftime. They couldn't keep up the pace after that, and lost the game 23-17.
Miami Dolphins are in a tough division that includes the New England Patriots.
The last time they won the AFC East division was in 2008 with an 11-5 record.
The Patriots, coming off a Super Bowl loss to the Giants, had that same record,
but were second on close tie breakers. They picked a bad year to be close, because
an 11-5 record in the AFC was not good enough to get them into the playoffs, even
as a wildcard team. Still, don't feel too bad for the Patriots. They had won the
division 5 times before that, and have ever since to this date.
meanwhile, lost in the 2008 Wild Card playoffs (Ravens 27–9), and their last playoff
game was 2016 as a wildcard team, and they lost in that game (Steelers 30–12).
After opening the 2019 season with 7 straight losses, the Dolphins have won 3
of their last 6 games. The teams they beat were the Jets, the Colts and the Eagles.
They were close to beating the Jets for a second time last week, but lost by one
point when the Jets kicked a field goal in the last seconds of that game.
Dolphins started off the season with a new quarterback. They traded away Ryan
Tannehill and signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has thrown 13 touchdown passes and
12 interceptions. Miami also traded for Josh Rosen who has thrown for 1 touchdown
and 5 interceptions, and been sacked 16 times. Fitzpatrick has been sacked 33
times, which is the second highest in his career. Both top receivers, DaVante
Parker and Albert Wilson, suffered concussions last week, and Wilson is out for
this game. Parker leads the team in receptions (55), yards per catch (16), and
The Dolphins running game is ranked last in the NFL, averaging
67.3 yards a game, and they are last in yards per carry (3.3). Mark Walton was
the leading rusher on the team with 201 yards and no touchdowns, but he was waived
last month. Running back Kalen Ballage, with 135 yards, had the most carries on
the team (74), but for only 1.8 yards a carry. Ballage was placed on injured reserve
after hurting his leg in the recent win over the Eagles. So on the current roster,
do-it-all Fitzpatrick is at the top, with 40 carries for 186 yards, while averaging
4.6 yards a carry, and he has 3 rushing touchdowns.
UPDATE - Albert Wilson
was cleared from the concussion protocol. The Dolphins will have their two starting
receivers back Sunday.
Dolphins are ranked last in the NFL, giving up 30.7 points a game. Although they
like to blitz, they have just 17 sacks to show for it, and that's the fewest of
all the other teams. They are a young defense, and blitzing too much might be
hurting them, by allowing quarterbacks opportunities to find open receivers. Their
second down defense is not the best, as opposing teams have converted to first
downs over 40 percent of the time.
Opponents have also converted on third
downs 44 percent of the time. Defensive end Taco Charlton, a former first-round
pick claimed off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys, leads the team with 5 sacks
in 9 games. Charlton had a big impact when he first came to the team, but not
as much over the last few games. Head coach Brian Flores had him sit out last
week against the Jets, claiming it was strictly a game plan decision. Some feel
Charlton needs to focus more on his run defense as well as pass rushing.
Eli Manning will be back as the
starting quarterback at MetLife stadium for the first time in three months. Manning
did get a start last week in Philadelphia after going a long 10 game stretch without
playing. Things went well at the onset of that game, but the Giants couldn't adjust
to whatever changes the Eagles made, and they ended up losing.
Darius Slayton has exceeded all expectations for a fifth-round draft pick. Manning
hit him for 2 touchdowns last week, and Slayton now leads the team with 7. Golden
Tate has 4, Evan Engram has 3, and Sterling Shepard has 2. Engram and Rhett Ellison
have been ruled out for this game.
Saquon Barkley ran for over 100 yards in
the first two games of the season. After sustaining a high ankle sprain injury
that caused him to miss three games, Barkley has gone 7 straight games without
running for 100 yards. He looks to be running better each game, and last week
broke loose for 10, and 11 yard runs. The Giants will be sure to test the Dolphins
weak run defense.
The Giants have given up an average
27.8 points a game. Many of those points came off of blown plays in the secondary.
The Giants no longer have experienced cornerback
Janoris Jenkins to help in that area as he was waived this week. Ryan Fitzpatrick
is always looking for a way to make a big play, and can easily pick apart a weak
secondary making coverage mistakes.
The Giants need to get to him quickly.
Markus Golden had one sack last week, and he leads the team with 8.5. Oshane Ximines
had 2 to raise his total to 4. Keeping pressure up front would be a big help for
the young defensive backs on the field. Rookie safety Julian Love has continued
to look good in each game. Against the Eagles last week, Love had six tackles,
one for a loss.
The Dolphins running game is down to undrafted Patrick Laird,
who had the most carries of his career against the Jets. Laird had 48 yards rushing
and 38 receiving, and his use as a receiver can't be overlooked. In his limited
playing time, Laird has 147 yards receiving, averaging 9.2 yards a catch.
The Dolphins are back at MetLife for the second
week in a row. First it was for the Jets, and this time they'll be taking on the
Giants. There are only two home games remaining, and it looks as though Eli Manning's
playing days could be nearing an end. Both these teams have poor records, but
the Giants have lost 9 straight games.
In the NFL there are four other teams
that sit with 3 wins, and the Cincinnati Bengals with just 1 are the only team
with a worse record than the Giants and Dolphins. The loser of this one has the
consolation prize of improving their chances for a higher draft pick for 2020.
We doubt that any Giants' fan going to this game would care to see anything less
than Manning breaking the Giants long losing streak as they watch on.
NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Dolphins (3-10) at Giants (2-11).
at 1:00pm Eagles (6-7) at Redskins (3-10).
Sunday at 4:25pm Rams (8-5) at Cowboys
The Giants and Eagles are the NFC East teams favored to win in these
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Manning moved ahead of Ben Roethlisberger for 7th all-time in both passing touchdowns
(364), and passing yards (56,740).
are tied for the franchise record for their longest losing streak in club history
The last time the Giants lost
nine in a row was in 1976, finishing the season
3-11 after opening 0-9.
DEC 22 Giants at Redskins.
Giants Tickets - Buy
DEC 29 Eagles at Giants.