September 5 2012. Today is it. The nfl 2012 season officially begins withy he Dallas cowboya showing the world that they can knock the giants off the top spot.
The game is bound to be exciting. Both teams feature elite qbs, great receiving threats, but a poor o line. Here are my predictions and previews of tonight's epic contest.
Demarcus Ware vs Sean locklear
This is the most favorable matchup the cowboys have in the entire game, save for micheal coe (more on that later). Demarcus ware is the best pass rusher in the league, and arguably the best the league has ever seen. Demarcus has given qbs protected by star tackles fits. The giants are in deep trouble having a backup player protecting Eli mannings blind side, and it will be absolute hell to know that it's against demarcus ware.
Dez Bryant/miles Austin vs michael coe
This is another matchup the the cowboys will look to exploit. Micheal Coe is starting because Terrell Thomas, prince amukamara and jayrin his key are all injured. Coe is the giants #5 corner and will be easy to shred with stud recievers like Austin and Bryant.
Tyron smith vs Jason Pierre Paul
This matchup is up in the air. It could ruin tony romos day, or make him giddy with the results.
I think this one is just like the one above. This matchup really depends on Claiborne. Carr can handle a reciever by himself, but if Claiborne gives up high plays, the secondary will have trouble again. However, if Claiborne can show the dominance he had in college, Eli manning will find it alot harder to find soft spots in the cowboys d. Odd are against Claiborne right now as he is only a rookie.
Cowboys o line vs giants d line
This is a matchup the giants win. The giants d line is simply too strong for a weak cowboys o line to handle. The best roo can hope for is to have just enough time to get rid of the ball, but he will not have time to wait in the pocket.
The above mentioned matchups will be the deciding factors in the game tonight. Here are my predictions for the game (assuming witten does not play)
Cowboys win 33-26
Here is a detailed explanation of how I see the ame playing out: it should look something like this:
The giants receive the ball to start. They are stopped and punt the ball. The cowboys atart how and take it into the giants ten, but the d line makes some big stops and forces a field goal. 3-0. The giants have gotten a feel for the cowboys d from the previous drive and are able to exploit it for a td pass from manning. 3-7. The cowboys offense also knows the giants d now and manages to get down the field and make a 10-30 yard romo/Bryant td. 10-7.
End of first quarter.
The giants are ready for a back and forth fight and after a series of short passes, runs and frustrating 3rd down conversions, th giants get into field goal range an tie the game. 10-10. The cowboys take over hoping to emulate their previous success, but have to ultimately punt the ball as romo takes his first sack. The giants are prepared to retake the lead, but meet the same wall as the cowboys and have to give the ball back. As time runs out in the second half, the cowboys manage to get a field goal in the final play. 13-10.
End of second quarter.
First half analysis: the game is obviously pretty tight at this point. Both offenses are off to a decent start, and the nyg defense is not doing so bad ( I predict two sacks at halftime). But the game doesn't end here. Read on for quarters 3 and 4.
Cosboys return kick, hoping to score twice in a row. However, the d line for new York powers on again, sacking him once, and providing pressure on two pass attempts to force a 3 and out. Punt. New York drives, td pass. 13-17. Dallas gets the ball back, hoping to get back on their feet. Drive, Murray td run. 20-17. New York is hoping to keep up the momentum and not lose it. New York drive, big 3rd down play, eventual field goal. 20-20. Dallas gets ball back and keeps the incredibly offensive 3rd quarter alive with a field goal in the final seconds. 23-20.
End of third quarter.
New York is in position to tie the game up in the 4th. Eli gets pressured, throws deep, turnover. Cowboya seize sudden moment and get td. 30-20. New York gets the ball back, afraid that they are losing the crowd and are in a bad situation. Eli shows he's still got some spark and leads a quick field goal. 30-23. Dallas is trying to avoid the 4th quarter meltdown identity and try to score again, but giants get a turnover. New York is in a good position now, and Eli gets downfield, but is stopped again. Field goal. 30-26. With only 4 minutes left to play, Dallas needs to score, or ny could take a lead. They get down into field goal range. 33-26. 1 minute left. New York need a td so send it into overtime. Eli drive to the cowboya 40 and is faced with 4 seconds left an needs a 40 yard td. Snaps ball and puts it up.........but it is knocked down by the safety in the endzone.
Cowboys win a close thriller 33-26.
Romo:28/42 300 yards 2 td 1 int
Murray: 20 rush 105 yards 1 td
Bryant: 8 rec 120 yards 1 td
Austin: 6 rec 90 yards 1 td
Ware: 4 sacks 8 tackles
Lee: 12 tackles, 1 defended pass
Claiborne: 3 tackles, 1 defended pass
Carr: 5 tackles, 1 int
Manning: 26/35 270 yards 3 td 1 int
Bradshaw: 16 rush 55 yards
Wilson: 8 rush 25 yards
Nicks: 5 rec 60 yards 1 td
Cruz: 10 rec 120 yards 2 td
Jpp: 5 tackles 2 sacks
Tuck: 5 tackles 1 sack
Umenyiora: 3 tackles 1 sack