Already owning the second longest current-win streak in the NFL, the New York Giants can overtake the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
New York won four straight thanks to an incredible showing by their ninth-ranked defense, while the 5-5 Cowboys are coming off their worst loss of the season and have given up an average of 35.6 points in the last three games.
Both clubs will try to keep pace with first-place Philadelphia, but the 4-6 Giants especially need a victory to even up the season series with the Cowboys. Dallas won the Week One opener, 36-31, due in large part to six Giants turnovers, and New York dropped into a early 0-6 tailspin.
Three of those turnovers were interceptions from quarterback Eli Manning, who’s been one of the lowest rated passers in the league this year. Manning’s chucked an NFL worst 17 picks, but has improved his accuracy during the streak.
New York linebacker Jon Beason has earned a lot of credit of turning around the defense, totaling 36 tackles since he was traded by Carolina. Beason also forced his 10th career interception in last week’s 27-13 win over Green Bay. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and safety Antrel Rolle also tallied interceptions, and the Giants held one of the league’s best rushing attacks to 55 total yards.
On the flip side, the Cowboys defense surrendered 625 total yards in a 49-17 loss to New Orleans before their bye. Quarterback Tony Romo failed to extend drives, while Dallas went 0-for-9 on third down.
It was Romo’s worst game of the year so far, going 10-for-24 for 128 yards and one touchdown. Yet, he’s still ninth in passing yards (2,681)and tied for third in touchdowns (21).
Hoping to avoid a second straight loss, Romo will have another of his top targets back on Sunday. Receiver Miles Austin will make his return from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out the last three weeks, and left him without a catch since Week Five.
That’s also good news for Dallas receiver Dez Bryant, who was held to a season-low one catch for 44 yards off two targets against New Orleans. Austin should provide more of a distraction to New York’s defense, giving Bryant room to breath and break long plays.
Dallas will also welcome back young cornerback Morris Claiborne from a hamstring injury, but will miss linebackers Sean Lee, DeVonte Holloman, and Justin Durant.
New York’s biggest injury concern is No.2 receiver Hakeem Nicks,who is questionable with an abdomen injury. Running back Brandon Jacobs is also questionable, while cornerback Corey Webster is out for the third straight week.
Betting Odds: New York favored by 3 points.
Over/Under: 45 points
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream Info: NFL Sunday Ticket
Prediction: New York 30, Dallas 24
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.