Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019

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Week 1 staff picks and predictions

4 min read
Week 1 staff picks and predictions


The New York Giants opened the week as 7.5-point road underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys and that’s where the spread remains entering Saturday.

Almost fittingly, the vast majority of experts are also picking the Cowboys over the Giants — many expecting it to be a breeze for Dallas — with only a small handful picking an upset.

How does the Giants Wire staff see this Week 11 battle shaking out? Here’s a look at our picks and score predictions:

Dan Benton: Cowboys 28, Giants 27

I think the game is going to be much closer than many anticipate. After all, the Giants lost eight games a season ago by seven points or less, and this team is a better all-around squad than that. Still, a young defense and an inexperienced secondary will ultimately do the Giants in as the Cowboys walk off with a late fourth quarter touchdown.

John Fennelly: Giants 20, Cowboys 17

The Giants led the NFL in total yards and points in the preseason. That means nothing to most but to do it without your top three playmakers (Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram) it’s impressive. Where the Giants need to hunker down is on defense, where they have six new starters. If they can limit the Boys and keep Dak Prescott from beating them with big plays, they can eke this one out.

Doug Rush: Cowboys 21, Giants 13

The Cowboys have won the last four games against the Giants and the last two games at AT&T Stadium.

Part of the Giants’ problem against Dallas has been a lacking pass rush against Dak Prescott, who has always found ways to extend plays and get first downs. Without a pass rush that can strike fear, Prescott won’t have to fear getting hit and can look for other options down the field, which includes his own two legs.

Having Ezekiel Elliott back from a summer long contract dispute will only help the Dallas offense, as they like to run the football and have Elliott run behind their offensive line.

This is the first official game in the post-Odell Beckham Jr. era for the Giants. The Giants will also be without Golden Tate, who’s serving a suspension. Can Eli Manning get a rhythm going on offense? And will he feel the pressure of possibly having Daniel Jones there waiting in the wings?

Tyler Henry: Cowboys 29, Giants 24

The Giants offense should be better overall this season and I expect them to hang around around against the Cowboys in the opener. I feel most uneasy about the Big Blue defense in this one. If the Giants are able to get a pass rush going against the Dallas strong offensive line, I think they might be able to sneak this one out. However, if they aren’t able to get pressure on Dak Prescott, I think the Dallas offense is going to have their way with the Giants defense. I think the Giants keep it close but end up losing the opener in Dallas.

Pat Ragazzo: Giants 27, Cowboys 22

If Week 17 last season holds any indication of the 2019 Giants (35 points), then you can expect their offense to put up points against the Dallas Cowboys defense. Big Blue has a much improved offensive line and that will only enhance the play of reigning rookie of the year Saquon Barkley, along with aging quarterback Eli Manning.

The Giants offense averaged over 20 points per game in the second half of the 2018 season due in part because of the addition of right guard Jamon Brown, who ultimately elevated the boys up front. Look for the additions of Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers to help stabilize the right side of elevate this unit overall.

On the other side of the ball, if James Bettcher’s game plan is good enough to stop Zeke, then I believe the Giants will have enough to keep Dak Prescott under wraps. The run defense will surely be tested in this matchup.

As long as the defense is able to get off the field on third downs, while generating a timely pass rush, this should prevent an inexperienced secondary from giving up too many big plays.

Kevin Hickey: Cowboys 27, Giants 17

The Giants and Cowboys again open up the season with a matchup and again are doing so at AT&T Stadium. While there were some promising storylines present throughout the preseason, this is likely to be the beginning of a rough season for Big Blue fans. The Cowboys are reloading after winning the NFC East and even if Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t see a full workload, the Cowboys offense should be too much to handle for a Giants defense that has several question marks. Big Blue’s offense has some intriguing talent, but it might be difficult to find consistency against Rod Marinelli’s defense — a unit that has turned into one of the best in the league.

Mike Moraitis: Cowboys 27, Giants 20

Expecting a young and inexperienced Giants defense to go into Dallas and do enough to get a win is a tall order, especially with Ezekiel Elliot now playing.

The Giants offense will do enough to keep this game competitive, but I have to see what this Giants run defense and secondary is before I can be confident in both to hold off the defending NFC East champs.

Serena Burks: Cowboys 24, Giants 20

Zeke has a lot to prove after his holdout and Jason Garrett is fighting for his job this season. The Giants are young on defense and have a lot of new faces, so it’s hard to say what kind of chemistry they will have. Plus Dallas will have the home field advantage.

Giants vs. Cowboys: Week 1 staff picks and predictions