By Abraham Gutierrez
A pair of 5-7 teams will collide under the bright lights of Monday Night Football as the Miami Dolphins welcome the New York Giants to the Sunshine State. This Week 14 showdown will take place at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, and has a scheduled kickoff time of 8:25 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Monday’s clash will mark only the eighth time that these franchises have met on the gridiron. The Giants, not only come in leading the way in the overall series 5-2, but also come in riding a two-game win streak.
The last time they met dates back to the 2011 season when these interconference foes collided at MetLife Stadium. Thanks to a heroic performance from quarterback Eli Manning, the G-Men escaped with a slim 20-17 win over the winless Fins.
New York Giants 2015 NFL Season
As stated above, Tom Coughlin’s Giants come into this primetime game with a 5-7 record on the season. Nevertheless, considering how weak the NFC East division is, the G-Men find themselves very much alive in the race for a divisional crown (tied for second place).
Through 12 games, New York is 3-3 at home and 2-4 on the road. The G-Men are also 2-3 versus divisional opponents, 4-5 versus intraconference foes, come in losers of three straight ballgames, and are just 1-4 in their last five games played.
Giants On Offense
Ben McAdoo is the Giants offensive coordinator and he enters his second season at the helm of this offense. Under his tutelage, the G-Men feature one of the highest scoring attacks in the league, mostly via the passing game.
Entering Week 14, Eli Manning’s offense rank seventh in passing yards (266.6) and in scoring, averaging 25.6 points per game. The rest of the offense ranks 15th in total yards per game (354.7), but have struggled running the football with 88.1 rushing yards per contest.
Giants On Defense
Under first-year defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, the Giants resistance has proven to be the most vulnerable part of this team. As a result, this season has gotten off to a rough start. In fact, if it weren’t because New York resides in one of the weakest divisions in football (NFC East), this team wouldn’t even be anywhere near a playoff berth.
Prior to kicking off Week 14, the Giants defense ranks dead last in passing yards per game (314.5), penultimate in total yards allowed (423.2), 21st in points per game (24.7), and 19th against the rush, surrendering a whopping 108.8 rushing yards per contest.
Giants Players To Watch
Offensively, it’s impossible to talk about players to watch without giving quarterback Eli Manning his props. In his 12th season out of Ole Miss, the 34-year-old from New Orleans, Louisiana, is eighth in the NFL in both, passing yards per game and touchdowns. Manning comes in having completed 62 percent of his passes, going 292-for-469 for 3318 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 91.6.
On the opposite side of the rock, there are two Giants players to watch, as cornerbacks Trumaine McBride and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie come in leading the team in interceptions and pick-sixes. Starting in their eighth season in the pros, McBride and Rodgers-Cromartie lead the Giants with three picks apiece, and are both overachievers each with a touchdown scored.
Giants vs. Dolphins Outlook
There’s no question that these teams matchup extremely close on paper. Miami comes in struggling offensively, while the Giants defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone this season. Either way, it’s likely going to be a very close game.
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.