When it comes to game previews, everyone writes 'keys to victory' or 'things to watch for' or some variation of that. Well, here at Big Blue View we like to think we have our own unique style. After all, who else does 'Kudos & Wet Willies' to review the games?
There will be lots of 'kudos' Monday if ...
- The Giants can quiet the crowd. Jerry Jones is gunning for a record-setting crowd to open Cowboys Stadium, and the atmosphere could easily be a problem for the Giants. A fast start and an early lead are a must to keep the crowd out of the game, for at least a while. Get behind early, and it could be a long night.
- The Giants control the Dallas pass rush. The Cowboys had eight sacks the last time the teams played, and 12 in the two games in 2008. If the Giants can keep Eli Manning upright most of the game they will have opportunities to make plays.
- The Giants can get to Tony Romo. I am not talking about 'pressuring' the Dallas quarterback. He is slippery as an eel in the pocket and makes many of his best plays once he starts moving around. I am talking about sacking him. Three to five times, at least. Once he starts moving around it is inevitable that he will create some big plays.
The Giants make the Cowboys' offense one-dimensional. Stuff the Dallas running attack (easier said than done) or get a lead and make Dallas throw, and the Giants' linemen can just go all-out after Romo.
There will be lots of 'Wet Willies' Monday if ...
- DeMarcus Ware has a big day. The extraordinary Dallas linebacker is a terrible matchup for Giants' left tackle David Diehl. If the Giants don't give Diehl help, and Ware has a big day, that's bad news for the Giants.
- The Giants can't run the ball. It should be a given with the Giants' punishing ground game and the Cowboys' seemingly soft run defense that Brandon Jacobs and Co. should have their way running the ball. If, for some reason, that doesn't happen Eli could be in for a lot of punishment.
The Giants defense can't control the middle of the field. Historically, the soft spot in the Giants' pass coverage is the short crossing routes and handling the tight end in the middle of the field. Bill Sheridan has to find a way to contain Dallas tight end Jason Witten.
- The Giants can't get touchdowns in the Green Zone. Or first downs on third and short anywhere on the field, for that matter. This ongoing issue has to get solved, or it will bite the Giants eventually.
- The Giants run out of healthy bodies in the secondary. Aaron Ross is out. Kevin Dockery is limited. Starting safeties Michael Johnson (burner) and Kenny Phillips (knee) should play, but no one knows how long or how effectively. Corey Webster can't cover everybody.