Free Opening Night Pick - Cowboys at Giants|
Old Man Winner - 09/04/2012
Yes, I know the game is on Wednesday, but we are going to supply a pick for all
the Thursday night games this year and this is our first installment. Think
"Monday Night Football" that you were watching on Thursday or Friday this
pre-season! What? You weren't watching? Don't worry - we were and we've got you
covered! Here we go and good luck to you on another successful NFL season!
Wednesday Night Pick
DAL/NYG UNDER 45.5
We all know you cannot put too much credence on how teams played in the
pre-season. However, you can pick up some tidbits here and there like who is
likely to start, who is entering the season with injuries or just coming off
injuries, and how the offensive and defensive lines may gel.
That said, here are my takeaways from both the offseason and the pre-season.
Let's start with Dallas. Their defense should be improved. There line play was
good last year both against the run (7th in the league) and rushing the passer
(7th in the league). However, they were pretty awful in the secondary (23rd in
the league against the pass). They spent a significant amount of both money and
draft capital to improve their corners. If Morris Claiborne, who they traded up
to take with the 6th pick in the first round of the draft, along with Brandon
Carr, who was their marquee free agent signing via KC, can solidify their
secondary, then the Cowboys should have a pretty solid defense this year.
On the other side of the ball, however, things look to be sliding in the wrong
direction. The offensive line looked absolutely putrid in the pre-season and
Romo, in the limited snaps he took, looked like he was running for his life -
and that is in the pre-season when teams normally do not show all their blitz
packages. We also know that Romo is fairly injury prone and I do not see him
making it through the year without missing at least a few games. DeMarcus Murray
was a nice surprise last year and projects to have a nice season, but he is
coming off a wrist injury. Romo's receiving targets are a mess. Romo's "Binky",
Jason Witten, ruptured his spleen and is doubtful for the game this week. Miles
Austin has struggled with hamstring issues all pre-season, a constant, nagging
issue with him. And Dez Bryant has had knee issues, not to even mention his
The Giants defensive line could very well be the best in the league. Deep, deep,
deep - they just keep bringing the heat with fresh rotating linemen. Last year
they lost a lot of games to injury on that line. It was only late in the year
when they got all their players back and we all saw what happened after that!
However, big injuries in the secondary, with both projected pre-season starters
out for this game, could create big issues if Austin and Bryant are actually
healthy. LB Michael Boley is projected to play, which should help stabilize the
middle of the field.
Offensively the Giants should be fairly stable as compared to last year - a very
good passing team (5th in the league last year) and a rushing game that can't
get any worse (last). The line has gotten younger and should prove to be a
little better than last year.
Wednesday night I see the defensive lines owning the night. Both teams should
get significant pressure and I don't see either rushing attack contributing
much. Look for some big pass plays, but an overall lower scoring game.
If someone were twisting my arm, I'd lay the points, but I much prefer the UNDER
to get the season started profitably.
NYG 23 Dal 16