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Garden State Gridiron - Week 17, 2020

Week 17 Roundup of New Jersey NFL Football

GIANTS PREVIEW

The Giants opened this week as 2.5-point home underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys. This spread represents the momentum each team has coming into the game. New York has failed to find victory in each of their last three games, while Dallas is riding a three-game winning streak. Dallas has found a rhythm over the past few weeks and their offense is beginning to resemble the productivity they saw early in the season before Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury. The Giants defense will need to have one of their best performances of the year to contain this explosive offense.

The Dallas Cowboys feature one of the most dynamic groups of wide receivers in the NFL, and after some missed time due to injury, quarterback Andy Dalton is developing substantial chemistry with his pass-catchers. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallop, and CeeDee Lamb could all take it to the house at any time. Together, they combined for 326 yards from scrimmage and 4 touchdowns last week against Philadelphia. Unfortunately for the Giants, James Bradberry can’t cover all three of them at the same time. Philadelphia was able to contain the Cowboys’ offense early in the game thanks to a dominant performance by Fletcher Cox prior to him leaving the game with an injury. If the Giants can replicate that strength with their own defensive line, they will have a chance to limit Dallas’ production.

JETS PREVIEW

The Jets opened as 3.5-point road underdogs against their longtime rivals, the New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming off an embarrassing 38-9 Monday night loss to the Buffalo Bills. With that win, the Bills became the first AFC East team to sweep the Patriots since 2000. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was embarrassed and expressed his frustration on the sidelines and with the media after the game. The Jets should be prepared to be the target of Belichick’s frustration this week.

Nathan Shepherd, John Franklin-Myers, Henry Anderson, and Folorunso Fatukasi will have another tough test ahead of them without their leader, Quinnen Williams. The Patriots run one of the most rush-heavy offenses in the NFL and the mobile wildcard of Cam Newton makes their rushing attack even more dynamic. Newton has struggled passing the ball, which has resulted in multiple benching, including one on Monday night. If the Jets defense can repeat their performance from the Browns game, they have a chance to keep it close or maybe even end the year on a three-game winning streak.

EAGLES PREVIEW

The Eagles opened as 2.5-point home underdogs to the Washington Football Team in a game that has been flexed to Sunday night as the NFL regular season finale. It’s currently unclear how many of Philadelphia’s starters will play and how long they will remain in the game. The Eagles have been eliminated from playoff contention and have limited gains available to the, in this game. They may want to play spoiler and end the season on a positive note, but this may also be an opportunity to get some younger players some valuable game experience. With so many injuries on Philadelphia’s roster, their options may be limited in terms of playing time.

If the Eagles are going to contend in this game, they are going to need a great performance by their offensive line, which is coming off two of their worst performances of the season. Confidence in the Eagles' offensive line will be even lower if starting left tackle Jordan Mailata is unable to go. Mailata is currently in the concussion protocol following a dirty headbutt by Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith. Brett Toth is the top backup behind Mailata, but his greatest contribution to the team thus far has been his ability to replicate the Halo theme song during his rookie training camp. Washington boasts one of the most powerful defensive lines in the league, led by Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Young, who will be an extremely tough test for Philadelphia’s hampered group of blockers.

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