Cameron lays down his predictions for tonight’s game between the New York Football Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a NFC East showdown.
Are you ready for some goddamn football!? Hell yes you are. At least I hope so. Tonight the NFL season kicks off with a classic divisional rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Both teams are looking to start the season off with a win, but by the laws of winning and losing only one team can win, or at least they both can tie, but ties are stupid and we won’t be discussing those today. Today, as a matter of fact, is merely for prediction purposes.
Vegas line: Cowboys: +170, Giants: -200
Dallas Cowboys – With the Cowboys you have a team that has been underachieving for the better part of eight years, even though they own the total wins in this rivalry (56-42-2), they’ve only gotten out of the first round of the playoffs once in the four playoff appearances they’ve made in those last eight years. Their defensive coordinator is Rob Ryan, the fatter, more harrier brother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, their quarter back is a stat-sheet stuffer who seems to garner a ton of yards and touchdowns yet a minimal amount of wins.
This is Romo’s stat-line for the last four years. Remember, in those four years, the Cowboys have made the playoffs once.
2008 – 13 games, 61% completion, 3,448-yards, 26-touchdowns, 14 interceptions.
2009 (playoff year) – 16 games, 63% completion, 4.483-yards, 26-touchdowns, nine-interceptions. One horrendous ass pounding by Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs.
2010 – six games, 69% completion, 1,605-yards, 11-touchdowns, seven-interceptions.
2011 – 16 games, 66% completion, 4,184-yards, 31-touchdowns, 10-interceptions.
All-in-all, looking at those stats, aside from the six game season in ’10, he’s been anywhere from elite (last year) to a few steps above serviceable, and the Cowboys only made the playoffs once. This is supposed to be America’s team. Now they’ve dwindled to obscurity in one of the more stand-out divisions in football.
The Cowboys true problem is their defense. In the last four years their defense has averaged a rank of 17.25 out of a possible 32 teams in points allowed and 13.5 out of 32 in total yards allowed. Basically they’re on the outside, looking in. For a team with a supposed defensive wizard in Rob Ryan, they surely don’t know how to stop teams from scoring.
This year though could be a turning point for the Cowboys as they moved up in the draft to pick LSU lock-down corner Morris Claiborne to help with their swiss-cheese-of-a-secondary and Dez Bryant and Miles Austin both seem to be at 100%. Even if Bryant has a problem with slapping his mamma. Either way look for the Cowboys to, maybe, make the leap this year.
New York Giants – Their coach is the same, they still have the most terrifying front four in the NFL led by Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck, they drafted Rueben Randle out of LSU to fill the void left by Manningham left for San Francisco, and they also drafted David Wilson out of Virginia Tech to fill the hole that Brandon Jacobs left when he also went to San Francisco.
Real quick tangent about Manningham and Jacobs – Both left the defending Super Bowl champions for the team they beat in the NFC championship. Looking at that sentence, it doesn’t make much sense, right? Right. Why would you leave your winning team for the team that you beat. One simple reason, they knew they were beat in that game and that the Niners were a better team. The only reason why we didn’t see Jim Harbaugh win a Super Bowl in his first year as a head coach, in the NFL, was because of a few botched kick returns on special teams. This is the way of football though and that is why I think the Niners stacked up their wide receiver core in free agency. If their punt returners screw anything up this year, on offense, they’ll have a few more weapons than they did last year that they hopefully can make up the points with. Everyone is downplaying the Niners and all I’m saying is don’t be surprised when Jimmy Harbaugh is hoisting the Lombardi trophy and muttering under his breath for Jim Kelly to eat his ass.
Basically the Super Bowl champions haven’t changed much aside from the fact that they may be overconfident coming into this season because they’ve now dethroned what is widely considered the greatest team of our generation, the New England Patriots, twice in the Super Bowl. Once, when they were on their way to a perfect season, and again last year when they strolled to a 13-3 record.
That is why I’m going Cowboys all the way with this pick. I think the Giants will come out ready to play but just a little flaccid in terms of getting the ball down-field on offense or getting important stops on defense. The high of winning the Super Bowl again, against the New England Patriots is enough to satiate even the most hungry of teams.
I’m saying final, Dallas – 31, New York – 17. Look for Dallas to be hungry all season. I mean for being one of the most prolific franchises of all time they have to pick their balls off the floor at some point right?
Check back with hefferbrew.com on Friday or Saturday for our predictions on the rest of the week.
Cameron Heffernan is an editor at HefferBrew. He is so jacked up for football he feels like Lance Armstrong mainlining testosterone into his balls on the hardest section of the Tour-de-France. contact him at @karateparty1 on Twitter.