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NFL Week 14: Giants @ Dolphins

Sometimes, you have a season where things are up, and things are down. We head into Monday Night Football with two teams for whom that has b


Sometimes, you have a season where things are up, and things are down. We head into Monday Night Football with two teams for whom that has been very true this year, although in Miami’s case, it has probably been more of the latter than the former. The Giants are in a division where anything can happen this year. Everyone is under .500, and even the 4 – 9 Cowboys have a chance to win the division. With this in mind, Big Blue will be looking to get a share of the lead at 6 – 7, and hope that Eli Manning’s clutch year end play can come in again. Miami are a mess in 2015. They started poorly and fired head coach Joe Philbin. Dan Campbell was hailed as the saviour until the Patriots came and spoiled everyone’s party. Since then, the Dolphons have struggled, and have won only two games, against the inconsistent Eagles and the poor Ravens.   Keys To The Game Miami’s Front Seven – Big money free agent Ndamukong Suh is one of the players who has responded better to Dan Campbell’s player first coaching style. The Giants’ offensive line hasn’t been perfect this year. If Miami are to win this game, expect Suh to make a big impact. Cameron Wake was a big loss earlier this season and the pass rush has suffered because of his absence. When their front seven plays well, the Dolphins play well, and for this reason, look to the defense to make some big plays. The Giants’ Receivers – We all know that Odell Beckham Jr. is a total freak athlete. But Reuben Randle has been making plays as well, and has been putting together a decent enough season in the shadow of the second year phenomenon. In addition to this, Shane Vereen has connected really well with Eli Manning catching passes out of the backfield, and gives a great option on screen plays and wheel routes. The Dolphins’ Running Game – Where did that come from? Dan Campbell seems to have found something that Joe Philbin couldn’t in Miami – Running backs. Jay Ajayi is a British interest, and scored his first points on a two point conversion a couple of weeks ago. And Lamar Miller is finally being used to run down the throats of opposing defenses. The offensive line looks a lot better at run blocking than pass blocking too, so the only question is whether Miami will be brave enough to keep running the ball, even if they go behind.   Key Matchup Odell Beckham Jr. vs Brent Grimes – There aren’t many cornerbacks who can keep OBJ quiet. New England’s Super Bowl 49 hero Malcolm Butler gave it a good shot, and Grimes is objectively probably better than Butler. But Beckham seems unstoppable, especially with Eli Manning playing so much more consistently under second year Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo. If Grimes can restrict Beckham by playing with real physical aggression, then there’s every chance that Manning will be forced to look to other options in the passing game. Of course, even when Beckham is covered, he still makes seemingly impossible plays, so it will be exciting to see if Grimes can cause the Madden 16 cover athlete some headaches.   Prediction The Giants should win this game. It’s hard to see a Miami team who are underperforming standing up against a New York team who ran the Patriots down to the wire. Expect big plays from both sides, and a 23 – 17 win for the Giants.


Pete Hallifax

I'm a fan of all sports, but cover NFL here. Nobody was more shocked than I was that the Patriots won Super Bowl 51.

NFL Week 14: Giants @ Dolphins

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