So a lot of you may think I’m crazy and 100% bias in saying the Giants will beat the Cowboys this afternoon in the Divisional round of the NFC Playoffs. I will admit, maybe I am a little, but given that I don’t think I’m going way out on a limb in saying that they will win. I want to start off by saying that the x-factor in this game is really Terrell Owens. He says he is 100% healthy and will play at an extremely high level, but ankle sprains are often times one of the most difficult injuries to play through. Just look at Plaxico Burress – he didn’t practice the entire season because of an ankle injury and you could really see how much it affected it on gamedays later in the season. With that said, if T.O. is as healthy as he says and is able to do what he did the last time against the Giants (6 rec, 125 yards, 2 TD) then I have an awfully hard time taking the Giants. T.O. really makes this offense dynamic…just ask Tony Romo. In week 17 he was just 7-16 for 86 yards passing with no touchdown passes and an interception. This of course was without Owens and I know the game meant nothing to the Cowboys, but the Dallas starters were still playing into the 3rd quarter. Take it for what it’s worth, but the Redskins defense showed how much of a difference not having to worry about covering #81 makes.
Enough said about T.O. – the fact of the matter is that the Cowboys have beaten the Giants twice this season. It is extremely hard to beat a team in the NFL three times in one season. The Giants are playing with a ton of confidence right now and don’t want to lose to a team in their own division for a third time in one season…that is flat out embarrassing.
Next, is Eli Manning actually finding a groove and possibly coming into his own? I am very hesitant in trusting Eli and saying that he has finally turned the corner, but no one can deny that he was beyond impressive in his past two starts (one being against the perfect Patriots, the other being on the road in a playoff game against a very good Tampa Bay defense). His last two passer ratings – 118.6 and 117.1. That’s what you need out of a leader. Eli also has had some success against Dallas this season. Despite losing both games, Eli and the Giants have found ways to make big plays. Plaxico is finally looking sharp again and I see Eli and Plax to hook up on some big plays like they did in week 1. Lastly, the biggest thing with Eli is just his body language. I have never seen Eli so confident before. Instead of sulking and having that lost look on his face I finally see some fire and confidence in his eyes. I feel like he finally expects to perform well and win this game.
Finally, the fact of the matter this season is that the Giants are a road team. A 3-5 record at home is dreadful, but the reason the Giants are where they are today is because of their 8-1 road record this season. Their only loss on the road this season was week 1 to Dallas. However, a lot of things have changed since then and the G-Men have won 8 straight on the road. The Giants are peaking at the right time while Dallas has not really played a complete game since their week 13 win over Green Bay. With all of that said, it should be an interesting game and in case you couldn’t tell yet here is my pick…