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The Giants look to get back on track on Sunday night


Photo Credit: Bill Kostroun/ Associated Press


The last time the Giants faced the Cowboys, it was the beginning of the season and the Giants came out on top by the slimmest of margins at 20-19.  The Giants six game winning streak ended in Pittsburgh as Manning and the offense struggled to play cohesively throughout the contest.  The Cowboys have been riding high ever since the Giants handed them their sole loss of the 2016 campaign in the season opener.  Dallas has a three game lead on the Giants and at this point it’s very unlikely that big blue will catch them and take the division title but a wildcard playoff spot is very much at stake.  Below are a couple of keys for the Giants to have a chance at ending the Cowboys eleven game win streak and regaining some much needed momentum as the season winds down.


Contain Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys rushing attack:

The Cowboys have the second ranked rushing offense in the league averaging 155 yards on the ground per game, with Ezekiel Elliott responsible for 107 of those yards each contest.  The Giants were able to limit him to just 51 yards in the season opener, which is his season low.  For the Giants to have a chance in this game their defense is going to need to step up in a big way and find a way to limit his production.  This would be a tough task if the Giants defensive line were totally healthy but to make matters worse they will be playing without Jason Pierre-Paul who had hernia surgery on Wednesday and will be out for the remainder of the regular season.  This puts the Giants defense in a very tough position as Pierre-Paul has played a key role in the defensive line’s success of late and had been playing close to 91 percent of the snaps each game.  It’s likely that defensive end Kerry Wynn will step in and play a lot more in Pierre-Paul’s absence.


Manning and the offense must bounce back :

Last week against the Steelers, the Giants offense struggled mightily as they slogged through an afternoon marked by inconsistency and an inability sustain drives.  They scored just fourteen points with seven coming in garbage time with just thirty seconds remaining in the game.  Their running game was ineffective as its been for the majority of the season and Eli Manning struggled all afternoon to find his receivers and generate offense.  The Giants will need to bounce back in a big way and rise to the challenge of playing a division rival who have become a team that has a legitimate chance at making a run to the Super Bowl.  There are two keys players that have been practicing this week and may play on Sunday.  Offensive lineman Justin Pugh has been out with an injured knee since week nine’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.  The left guard’s return could allow for some stability to return to the left side of the line where three different players, (Brett Jones, Marshall Newhouse, and Adam Gettis) have all played in his absence.  In addition to Pugh’s potential return, running back Shane Vereen, who’s been out since week three with a torn tricep injury has recently returned to the practice field.  Coach Ben McAdoo said that the team will make a decision on Saturday as to whether Vereen will play on Sunday night.  The addition of the versatile running back would certainly give the Giants offense a needed boost.  Regardless of whether Pugh or Vereen get the opportunity to contribute on Sunday, Manning will need to play more consistently and limit his turnovers so that the Giants have a chance to walk away with a victory.


Prediction:  Giants lose 27-20

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