OK, so we're going into enemy territory to play the defending Super Bowls champs. It's a NFC East divisional game against one of our fiercest rivals. The New York Giants are sitting atop the division and the NFC. Many of the pundits and previews of the game have written it off as a loss for the Cowboys. We are a very banged-up football team that will be rolling into the game without our star QB, with a group of young kids in the secondary, without a "change-of-pace" running back, and possibly without our star TE. The odds are definitely not stacked in our favor for this game.
So how do we win it? It all starts with the offensive line. If we are going to do anything in this game the offensive line has to provide Brad "I'm 40 going on 80" Johnson with some semblance of protection. They also need to provide MB3 with a chance in the run game. We are not going to overpower the Giants with our offense, so we need to play smart, try to control the football and not give it away through turnovers. If Brad is getting knocked around in this game I guarantee you at some point he's going to turn it over. If MB3 can't move the chains on the ground we're inviting disaster in the form of the Giants pass rush. If we're going to win, the offensive line needs to play its best game of the season.
On defense, they need to play like they did last week. They need to have the same fire and enthusiasm they had against the Bucs. We also need the kiddie corps in the secondary to play aggressive but smart. If we can manage a decent pass rush it's possible we force "bad Eli" to come out and help us win the game.
How we win the game isn't complicated. But executing that strategy is a tougher proposition. All hands on deck Sunday, it will take a team effort of smart but physical football that emphasizes doing your job over being the hero.
Brad Sham identifies leadership as one of the keys to winning last week and the key to keeping it going.
A general preview from NFL.com.
I love MB3. Not just in the way he runs and the maximum effort he always gives, but also because he doesn't talk to the press very often. He just wants to play football and win, the rest of the stuff is fluff to him. Except for one thing he wants you to know:
"I'm the dominoes champion [in the locker room]," Barber said. "Put that in the paper."
Well played, barbarian.
For all things related to the Giants, head over to Big Blue View, SB Nation's fine Giants blog. ETVal has it all covered from a New York point of view.
The Giants want to win this game to put a huge distance between themselves and the Cowboys in the NFC East.
Some notes on Giants' injuries:
Four players are on the Giants' injury list for this week heading into Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Two will not play: CB Kevin Dockery (back) and LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee). Two others did not practice and will have to be watched during the week: DT Fred Robbins (hand) and LB Bryan Kehl (toe).
Wow, I've never been so jealous of an opposing team's injury list. The Cowboys injury list is two big-city phone books compared to that.