Giants (1-3) Cowboys
Sunday, Dak Prescott threw four touchdown passes, and Ezekiel Elliott ran for
another in the Cowboys 36-28 win over the Carolina Panthers.
The Giants surprised
everyone with an upset 27-21 win over the Saints in overtime in New Orleans. It
was their first win of the season.
The Cowboys took an expected loss
playing in the opening game of the NFL season against the defending Super Bowl
championship Tampa Bay team, though they put up a good fight, and kept the game
close with a 31-29 loss. The Cowboys kept the fight going and have won three straight
games, the last two by big margins, 20, and 12 points, and they currently hold
the lead in the NFC East.
Against Carolina, Dak Prescott threw four touchdowns, and Ezekiel Elliott ran
the ball 20 times for 143 yards and 1 touchdown. That was a 7.2 yard average per
carry. Not to be totally outdone, Tony Pollard did his part with 10 carries for
67 yards. Overall, with Prescott's 4 carries, they totaled 245 yards against the
Panthers. Running was the name of the game, as Prescott threw the ball only 22
times compared to the Cowboys total 34 running plays. That was quite a contrast
to their first game, where Prescott threw the ball 58 times, and there were only
18 running plays in their loss to Tampa Bay.
In every game since then, all
wins, Elliott and Pollard have combined for more running plays than Prescott has
thrown the ball. It's odd, considering Prescott has completed over 75 percent
of the passes he's thrown. Wide receiver Amari Cooper leads the team with 22 receptions,
and has 3 touchdowns. Tight end Dalton Schultz also has 3 touchdowns, catching
20 of 23 passes from Prescott. CeeDee Lamb has been targeted the most, 32 times,
but has pulled in just 20 for 1 touchdown.
Prescott wasn't available for 11 games, and still their passing game finished
up 8th in the league. The Cowboys rushing game was average, as well as their scoring,
which was about 24.7 points a game. They won only six games, and the point we're
getting to is you have to look at the defense. They gave up nearly ten more points
a game than they did the year earlier. The 473 points was the worst in their history.
They also allowed the second most rushing yards, and total yards ever.
fix for 2021 was hiring Dan Quinn to replace Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator.
Is it working? Well, they have won three games, and they are giving up even more
yards per game than last year, but points are what matter most. They are creating
turnovers, and turnovers kill drives. The Cowboys have 10 so far this year, and
have limited things to 24 points a game, a 5 point improvement over last year.
Cornerback Trevon Diggs leads the league with his 5 interceptions.
Let's start with this - Daniel Jones
was named NFC offensive player of the week. Jones led the team to their first
win of the 2021 season in New Orleans last
Sunday. He threw for a career high 402 yards in the 27-21 overtime victory. Starting
receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton were out with hamstring injuries,
but the offense still made things work. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was
forced to be more creative, as when Saquon Barkley lined out wide, and came up
with a 54-yard touchdown reception.
Kenny Golladay caught 6 of 7 passes for
116 yards, and Kadarius Toney pulled in 6 for 78 yards. John Ross certainly did
his part catching a 52-yard touchdown. Barkley later scored the game winning touchdown
on a 6-yard run. The offensive line kept Jones free of sacks, and for the first
time this season, they will start the same line as they had the previous week.
That is if left tackle Andrew Thomas plays. Thomas missed some practice this week
and is questionable for this game, and Shepard and Slayton are out.
This is the first time the Giants
defense will face Dak Prescott since he was injured playing against them at AT&T
Stadium, coincidentally also the fifth game of the season, and just one day off
a year to the same date. It was a play where Prescott ran for 9 yards and was
tackled by Logan Ryan. Well, Prescott is back, and the Giants will have to pay
attention to the fact that he has been very accurate, especially throwing to his
tight ends and running backs. Prescott has targeted them for 51 passes, and only
7 have been incomplete.
Aside from that, the defense has to deal with a very
effective rushing attack. Although they held Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard
to 57 total yards the last time they played, they just gave up 170 rushing yards
to the Saints last week, so they might not be up to that task. Still, focusing
on that will limit their pass rush, allowing Prescott to not only hit on his easy
running back - tight end targets, but have time to throw big to Amari Cooper and
CeeDee Lamb. If they do everything right, they
will still have to remember to shut the Cowboys down at the end of the second
and fourth quarters. That's been a big problem for them this year.
The Giants were 0-3 facing their toughest part
of the schedule. They started that stretch off just fine, pulling off an upset
win over the New Orleans Saints. Can they do it again against the Dallas Cowboys
this week? The last time these teams played was in the final game of the 2020
season. The Giants won that one, but this Cowboy team with Dak Prescott playing,
and with an improved defense, will be hard to beat. If the Giants pull it off,
you would have to say the team has turned the corner, and it will paint a very
different picture in the NFC East going forward.
Sunday at 1:00pm Giants (1-3)
at Cowboys (3-1).
Sunday at 1:00pm Saints (2-2) at Washington (2-2).
at 1:00pm Eagles (1-3) at Panthers (3-1).
The Cowboys are the only NFC East
team favored to win in these games.
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Cowboys defense leads the league with 8 interceptions, and with 10 overall turnovers.
Jones has thrown only 1 interception this year, a Hail Mary pass at the end of
the first half last week.
17 L.A. Rams at Giants
Oct 24 Panthers at Giants