Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Miami Dolphins
- QuarterbackIt’s difficult to see the Giants executing well enough to win the horrible NFC East, because they have played poorly in the fourth quarter all season. Most of the blame for their strategic issues falls on head coach Tom Coughlin’s shoulders, but Eli Manning has made his share of mistakes as well. Manning has thrown for 3,318 yards and has 24 TD passes.The Dolphins have been an up-and-down team in terms of effort since Dan Campbell took over for Joe Philbin early in the season, and that has not been good enough to help this team get out of the AFC East cellar. There is little doubt about Ryan Tannehill’s physical talent, but you have to wonder why he continues to stagnate as the leader of this team.
- OffenseThe Giants have perhaps the game’s most exciting weapon in Odell Beckham Jr., and his ability to make spectacular plays gives his team the opportunity to score from anywhere on the field. Beckham has speed, hands, athleticism and incredible skill. Rueben Randle is an impressive No. 2 receiver who can make the tough catch in traffic. The running game is a disappointment.The Dolphins have plenty of talent on offense, but they rank 28th in yards allowed and that’s not enough for this unit to provide a credible threat most weeks. Lamar Miller is a strong runner who has gained 680 yards and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Jarvis Landry and Rishard Matthews are both talented receivers, but neither one is consistent enough to help the Dolphins win consistently.
- DefenseThe Giants have made plenty of strategic mistakes, but they have also had problems with their defense all season. The Giants rank 29th in total yards allowed and they are an atrocious 30th against the pass, and that’s why they have given so many games away. The Giants’ have been plagued by inconsistency as they follow one good play with two poor ones.The defense was supposed to be the strength of this team at the start of the season, but the Dolphins rank 25th in yards allowed, and that’s completely unacceptable considering the talent level. Former Detroit Lion Ndamukong Suh is supposed to be a star, but he has just 4.0 sacks this year. Strong safety Reshad Jones has 107 tackles and four interceptions.
- Special TeamsThe Giants should have a huge edge most weeks in special teams play, and they regularly outgain opponents on punt and kickoff returns. Dwayne Harris is an explosive return man who has brought back a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. Josh Brown has made 25-of-26 FG attempts.The Dolphins won their season opener when Landry returned a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Washington, but they have been ordinary since then. Andrew Franks is an ordinary kicker who has made 8-of-10 FG attempts this year.
The Giants have often been the better team for three quarters of each game, but they have found ways to blow the game in the fourth quarter. It would not be a surprise to see that here. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports