Dallas Cowboys (1-7) at New York Giants (6-2)
Can’t imagine the Dallas Cowboys are pleased with where they find themselves at the halfway mark of the regular season. Their lone victory was in September. Their star QB has a broken clavicle. They fired a coach during the season for the first time in the Jerry Jones regime and the idea of playing in the Super Bowl — a game which will be played at Cowboys Stadium, don’t forget — is now a national punchline.
This week, things don’t look to be getting any better for the ‘Boys. A November trip to the Meadowlands is a rough one at the best of times, but this year? It’s doubly tough.
The Giants are arguably the best team in the NFC right now and have been steamrolling opponents as of late. Currently on a five-game winning streak where they’ve outscored opponents 161-75, the Giants have found the perfect run-pass mix on offense and continue to assault QBs on defense. Last week in Seattle, New York limited the Seahawks to just 113 passing yards and twice picked off QB Charlie Whitehurst. While they failed to register a sack in the game, the Giants still remain tied for fourth in the NFL with 24 QB drops — bad news for Jon Kitna and the Cowboys offense this weekend.
Of course Kitna and company have a new man calling the shots — Jason Garrett. If we’re to believe what former Cowboys coaching legend Jimmy Jonhson had to say about Garrett earlier this week, this game might be closer than expected:
“He’s doing all the things they’ve needed to be doing for years,” Johnson said. “That is how you win games. The No. 1 thing Jason has to do is bring out the best in what they have there. Especially the veteran players — the old veterans — their habits will be hard to break and, unfortunately, they have some bad habits.”
Curious to see how this one plays out.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Denver Broncos (2-6)
This once-classic AFC West battle doesn’t have the luster of previous years, thanks in large part to a disappointing Broncos campaign. Denver is mired in a four-game losing streak and now facing gigantic catcalls about the Brady Quinn-for-Peyton Hillis trade that transpired this past summer — not exactly the kind of vibes they want heading into Sunday.
On the other side of the football, no similar negativity from the Kansas City Chiefs. Granted, they did lose in heartbreaking fashion to the Raiders last weekend, but that hasn’t dampened spirits in and around the team. Why? The Chiefs have managed to effectively run the ball all season long without any hiccups. RBs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones both have more yards rushing individually than the Broncos have as a team with 538 yards. Charles has run for 719 yards while Jones has put up 570 yards. Look for the tandem to carry the ball early and often against a Denver defense that is built for speed — not power — in the front seven.