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Giants - Dolphins
Game 14 preview
Sunday Dec 15, 1:00 PM - Dolphins at Giants

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
The 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.
The Dolphins meanwhile, lost in the 2008 Wild Card playoffs (Ravens 279), and their last playoff game was 2016 as a wildcard team, and they lost in that game (Steelers 3012). 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.

Miami Dolphins Offense
The 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 touchdowns (6).
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.

Miami Dolphins Defense
The 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.

Giants Offense
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.
Rookie receiver 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.

Giants 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.

Overall
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).
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (6-7) at Redskins (3-10).
Sunday at 4:25pm Rams (8-5) at Cowboys (6-7).
The Giants and Eagles are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Notes.

Eli Manning moved ahead of Ben Roethlisberger for 7th all-time in both passing touchdowns (364), and passing yards (56,740).

Giants are tied for the franchise record for their longest losing streak in club history (nine).

The last time the Giants lost nine in a row was in 1976, finishing the season 3-11 after opening 0-9.
Next Games
DEC 22 Giants at Redskins.
Giants Tickets  -  Buy or Sell

DEC 29 Eagles at Giants.
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