Diary of a Giants Fan: Giants-Dolphins Preview
Welcome back Giants faithful. Did you enjoy your bye week? I sure did. And hopefully the Giants did too. Hopefully they got healthy and got in some extra work for the challenges to come, and this week they’ve got a tough one – themselves. What? Did you expect me to say the Miami Dolphins? Come on. The giants have long been their own worst enemy and remain the only thing that can stand in the way of a win this week as they welcome the all but contracted (well, not really but based on their play it might not be a bad idea) Dolphins.
Let me take a minute, before I dive into the minutia of the game, to say that last week’s Dolphin game was some of the most fun I’ve had watching football this season, and I didn’t actually watch the game! Never have I been so riveted watching periodic text updates online. I said before the game that you had to take the Broncos. Who lays points to a team that clearly has God on it's side? Come on! Tell me the Holy Ghost wasn't behind that kick in overtime. It would have been good from 80! The Broncos were a sure bet, and just when all looked lost, Tebow delivered the miracle and the win. The Dolphins come off that gut-wrenching loss at 0-6, in desperate need of a rebound.
But they’ve got about the same shot at that rebound as I would at a rebound over Shaq in his prime. The Giants expect to have Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora on the field this week together for the first time all season. Brandon Jacobs should also be back, though his presence hasn’t been as sorely missed with Ahmad Bradshaw playing brilliantly in the Giants’ 27-24 win over the Bills in their last game before the bye. So, for the first time all season the Giants will resemble a team that is at…somewhere in the ball park of full strength, which doesn’t bode well for the Dolphins.
Then again, not much does bode well for the Dolphins these days except for the upcoming draft. Nothing has really gone right for them this year and I can’t expect it to be any different on Sunday. I expect the NFC East leading Giants to come in, shake off the rust that I’m sure they’ll show early, especially offensively, and dominate this game. The shell of what was the Miami Dolphins are bottom half in the league in both passing and rushing defense and despite the presence of should-be stud wide receiver Brandon Marshall their offense is also in the bottom half of the league. I think the Giants run game should control the game, though Gilbride will undoubtedly go to the air more than he should. Despite the presence of some quality talent on the Dolphins defense, a la Cameron Wake and Vontae Davis, I expect the Giants offense to be fine. Defensively I look for a good game from the G-Men. I simply refuse to believe that they’ll let a second horrifically poor quarterback beat them – Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson being the first…Yes, they're one QB. I only count both of them together as one, that’s how bad they are. I do expect the Dolphins to gain some yards, Brandon Marshall is a great WR and this secondary is still soft, but I look for Tuck, Umenyiora and JPP to assault Matt Moore all game. It’ll be a big day for the Dolphins kicker, if any offensive player, in this game.
As per my usual Giants fatalism I will say that teams coming off of a bye have played horribly this season. Additionally, despite the listless, basically flaccid play of the Dolphins so far this year there are a few talented players there, so don’t chalk up the win automatically. But look, the Giants have had their horrific, head-scratching loss to a woefully inferior team already this season. It can’t happen again. It just can’t happen again! Can it?
No. Try as they might the Giants won’t be that bad. They're simply a better team. They're a good team. I look for them to roll into Met Life stadium and get the win over the artists formerly known as the Miami Dolphins. The Giants know their schedule does them no favors going forward, they’ll be eager to get the win and move forward to begin the gauntlet. I look for a 27-13 win, which should be more, but the Giants will need to kick off some offensive rust coming off the bye. Check back here for a recap of the game at 1045theteam.com or follow me on Twitter @JoeBianchino