The weekend is upon us. Our Dallas Cowboys are hosting the New York Football Giants in a big Sunday night game, with the NFC East and playoff chances riding on the outcome. It don't get no better than this. This is one of the premier rivalries in the NFL, and it is a lot of fun to see the game meaning something for both teams.
It also means that it is time for my weekly foray into the SBN site of the upcoming opponent, in this case Big Blue View. In my short tenure on the BTB front page, I have found that the people from BBV that come here tend to be good quality posters with a nice appreciation for how to trash talk without being just nasty. So it should be fun in the last hours running up to the game.
One thing I noticed over there was that they look at some of the same things we discuss here. In particular, they go into the numbers from Pro Football Focus to try and gauge how their players are doing. While it's hard to match up to our inestimable OCC in his weekly examination of the stats, it does give some numbers you might want to look at to get a feel for how the two teams stack up. (Here's a link to OCC's latest one in case you want to do some side by side stuff.)
More reports from behind enemy lines after the jump.
One thing I like to see on the blog sites is some kind of scouting report on the upcoming opponent (as you may have gathered from my weekly video reviews, including the special Nakeem Hicks version this past week). BBV doesn't disappoint with a Game 1 Scouting Report (Game 1, of course, since we get to see the two teams hook up again in week 17). One really nice thing this does is go through the teams and see how the different units (rushing, passing, overall offense, etc.) are ranked so far. Makes for some pretty good reading, and gives a nice, objective flavor to everything. It does have one nice little bit of trash talk at the end, as well.
And now for the "go taunt a Cowboy fan" stat of the week. Dallas has not won a Week 14 game since 2007. Have at it, friends.
You have been warned, so have your spontaneous snappy comebacks planned in advance.
Now, if you want a heated debate, you should check out Eli Manning Or Tony Romo: The Debate That Is Impossible To Ignore. This was put up primarily to generate a long comment thread.
It's really a pointless debate as we lead up to Sunday night's critical Giants-Cowboys game. We already know how this goes. Giants fans will take Manning. Cowboys fans will take Romo. The arguments will get heated between the two camps, neither of which needs much of an excuse to spew venom in the direction of the other.
It succeeded in getting things stirred up, with 373 comments (when I last looked) - and about half of them are from our own bigham, who does an heroic job sticking up for Tony.
For some good insight into what the Giants are facing with injuries, coaching and such, they have a "Friday Five" with the editor of Inside Football (which is really just another Giants-centric blog, although one where the editor gets to attend practices and such with the media). Having just written an article on some recent rumors about whether the coaches in this game could be at risk of losing their jobs, I was interested in his take on Tom Coughlin's job security.
I think so long as they show fight and don't quit on him, Coughlin will get a pass given the injuries that this team had and the rookies he was given to work with. Now with that said, if memory serves me correctly, Coughlin was inked to an extension after the lockout ended which I believe enters its final year next year. Typically the Giants don't let a coach go into lame duck status, so it will be interesting to see what they do with TC if they do keep him. One last point - I am not sure that even if TC is kept, that all of his assistants stick around.
I don't usually mention the News and Notes kinds of articles (known around us front-pager types as "Link Dumps"), but I had to throw this one in just for this line.
I am frothing at the mouth (not literally, thankfully for my keyboard's sake) about this game on Sunday night.
I like some excitement out there.
The Giants are having some struggles defensively (a familiar story) and one of their standouts gives his view on things.
Asked on Thursday if he knew what to expect from the New York Giants defense on Sunday, Justin Tuck,the group's captain, said simply and directly "no, I don't."
Give Tuck serious bonus points for his honesty. And lump him right in there with just about everyone who has watched the undeniably talented but frustratingly unpredictable Giants defense this season.
While the Giants still have playoff hopes, at 6-6 they are going to need some help. Five Essentials To Secure A Playoff Berth takes a look at some of the things that need to happen, including a certain contribution from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers will play the Dallas Cowboys in their final home game of the season. The Cowboys have not done well on the road this year, 2-4 to date. Tampa Bay does not have a stellar record at home (3-4). However, they will be well aware that the only thing they are playing for is pride against the Cowboys, not a playoff spot. Pride is something that this team does not fall short of. They will provide some to the home crowd, sending them off with a win.
BBV does have some pretty good FanPosts. I particularly like this (very) sarcastic take on Eli Manning's chances against the Cowboys. You may get a little peeved, but you also have to chuckle at stuff like this.
To address the second point, I think it's about time that Philadelphia gets the same kind of respect that Dallas has all these years. Every time Dallas comes enters the season as the inherent "dream team" and disappoints, we still respect that it is a matter of coaching, or simple lack of effort/unwillingness to win on part of the players. Dallas could go 16-0 any given year, and it's about time that we give this Philly team that same credit.
I love the NFC East.
That's it for this episode. Oh, and GO COWBOYS!