The New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins have identical 5-7 records heading into Monday Night Football, but the Giants find themselves just a half game out of first place in an NFC East that is very much up for grabs, while the Dolphins currently sit in last place in the AFC East. Despite playing at home, the point spread has Miami at +1 against the Giants, who are currently on a three game losing streak.
Monday Night Football: New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins
Point Spread: Giants -1 Over/under: 47 Date: Monday, December 14, 8:30pm ET Location:SunLife Stadium, Miami, FL
New York Giants
The Giants are facing the Dolphins at a bad time, as New York’s offense has appeared to regress over the last few weeks, while Miami’s defensive line has recently caught fire. Eli Manning will need to make quick, good decisions with the football to avoid the blitz heavy Dolphins pass rushers and get the ball to his receivers. If New York can devise a game plan to get the ball out quickly and get into a rhythm, they could put up big yardage against Miami defense that ranks at the bottom of the league in defending the pass.
Defensively, the -1 favored Giants are having trouble getting to the opposing team’s quarterback, totaling just 15 sacks on the year – tied for lowest in the league. Their inability to close games has seen them lose four games this season, allowing 38.2 percent of their opponent’s points in the fourth quarter of games. A reliable pass rush against Miami is vital if they hope to keep pace with the rest of the up-and-down NFC East as the playoffs draw near.
The largest issue Miami faces on defense is containing Odell Beckham, Jr. While Brent Grimes is one of the better defensive backs in the league, he’s struggled against top tier receivers this season. Head coach Dan Campbell would be wise to allocate more resources in the secondary to taking away the big play. Of course, OBJ might not even be a factor if the defensive line that was projected to be one of the best in the league before the season is able to get good pressure on Manning all night.
Inconsistency has been an issue on offense for the Dolphins. On a big prime time game like Monday Night Football, the stars need to come out to play. Ryan Tannehill needs to play efficient football, which means completing more than nine passes as he did last week against the Ravens. Receiver Jarvis Landry needs to become a consistent threat for this offense to thrive. There’s no better time than tonight on national television.
Monday Night Football Prediction
The odds are favoring the Giants, but New York has found some pretty bizarre ways to lose games this season. It only seems fitting that a team with a losing record would go on the road, favored, with a losing record and their playoff hopes still hanging in the balance, only to lose in some utterly preventable circumstances.