Monday Night Football: Week 9 Preview

Are you ready for Monday Night Football? We have the Cowboys traveling to the Giants in a battle in the NFC East. Will Week 9 be the turning point for the Giants or the “get right” game for the Cowboys? Let’s find out!

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

MetLife Stadium

East Rutherford, NJ

Betting

Looks like we have a fairly one-sided game on our hands tonight for Monday Night Football. The Cowboys (-330) are -7.0 favorites (-105) and appear to be getting most of the public bets, according to ActionNetwork. Usually when the majority of people are betting one side of the game and the book hasn’t adjusted means that they have some insight that the public is overlooking. The Cowboys looked like the team we all expected them to be this season after beating down the Eagles last week. But, they’re 1-2 on the road this season with both losses being a result of stagnant offensive play. On the other hand, the Giants are on a 4-game losing streak. However, the last 2 weeks we’ve seen the Giants nearly pull out victories against the Lions and Cardinals. Make no mistake, the Giants aren’t a good team! But, the Cowboys haven’t looked the part either this season. These teams faced off in Week 1 with the Cowboys winning 35-17. I can see a similar game taking place tonight, which means I like the OVER of 48.5 (-110). 

Injuries

It’s a miracle! The Giants are entering a game at nearly full health! The only player on the injury report is starting receiver Sterling Shepard and he is listed as OUT. With Shepard out, the Giants will rely on Golden Tate and Evan Engram even more in the passing game.  

Sterling Shepard via Jeffrey Beall for Monday Night Football Week 9 Preview
Sterling Shepard via Jeffrey Beall

The Cowboys enter tonight relatively unscathed as well as only Cameron Fleming, Anthony Brown, and Leighton Vander Esch are on the injury report. Fleming is already ruled out so the Cowboys will keep their fingers crossed that the starting O-line remains healthy tonight. With Brown, the Cowboys might be thinner at an already lacking position: the secondary. But, the biggest piece in question is Vander Esch. ESPN’s Todd Archer believes that Vander Esch will NOT play tonight, according to his sources. As Archer states, Sean Lee will step in as the starter for Vander Esch. Personally, I believe this is huge news as Lee is not the player he once was and his side of the field will be susceptible to the Giants attack. If Lee is forced to cover Engram, look for a big game from the Giants TE. 

Giants Offense vs. Cowboys Defense

The Giants offense is middle of the pack in terms of yardage, which matches up nicely with the equally average Cowboys defense. Unfortunately for the Giants, Daniel Jones is quite sporadic with his effectiveness so far this season. He’s flashed signs of living up to his draft capital but he’s also thrown 7 INT’s in his 6 starts this year. Without Shepard, Jones has forced the ball to Golden Tate and Evan Engram which makes it easy for defenses to key on what the Giants offense is going to attempt to execute. Obviously, Saquon Barkley is going to be featured in all aspects of this offense. Which, without Vander Esch, is a problem for this Cowboys defense. Barkley is a generational talent that will feast no matter the defense he faces. The Cowboys will need to force Jones to throw into traffic and create turnovers, something they have not done well this season (only 3 INT’s forced). 

Janoris Jenkins via Jeffrey Beall for Monday Night Football Week 9 Preview
Janoris Jenkins via Jeffery Beall

Cowboys Offense vs. Giants Defense

As previously mentioned, the Cowboys returned to expectations last week and will look to build on that victory this week. The Cowboys offense is better than the league average and the duality of Dak Prescott is the reason why. With Prescott’s ability to sell the play-action fake with superstar Ezekiel Elliott, the passing game has seen immense improvements from last season. Amari Cooper is the reliable safety net that Prescott needs in a #1 receiver while Michael Gallop is a breakout player of the year candidate with his big-play ability. With so many playmakers on the field opposite them, the Giants defense will remain mediocre tonight. Janoris Jenkins and his 4 interceptions will have his hands full with the Cowboys wideouts. Even if the Giants can take away the pass, they’ll still have to deal with Elliott and the impressive running game.

Dak Prescott and Travis Frederick via Keith Allison for Monday Night Football Week 9 Preview
Dak Prescott and Travis Frederick via Keith Allison

Prediction

Cowboys: 35

Giants: 21

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Ezekiel Elliott / Saquon Barkley

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Jason Witten / Wayne Gallman

Conclusion

Who do you think wins this NFC East battle on Monday Night Football? Who’s scoring a touchdown tonight? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here.

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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