Giants QB Eli Manning after his team's Superbowl XLVI win. Image courtesy of abc.net.au/Photo: Streeter Lecka: Getty Images
The Giants claimed the NFC East last season with just a 9-7 record, but they won the matches that counted storming through the playoffs on the way to a 21-17 victory in Superbowl XLVI over the Patriots. Injuries played a part in New York’s regular season record, but it remains to be seen whether they are worthy Superbowl champions, or just a team which got hot at the right time of the season.
They’ll get an early test of their credentials against the Cowboys , a team the Giants twice got the better of in the run home last season. In Week 14, the Giants prevailed 37-34 in Dallas after rallying from 12 points down with three minutes left on the clock. With the division title on the line in the final week of the regular season, Eli Manning starred throwing for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns, while the Giants sacked Tony Romo six times in a 31-14 romp.
Romo has a less than flattering record against the Giants having gone down in his last five starts, but he should get some extra help on the offensive end this year with second-year running back DeMarco Murray fit again. Last year’s rookie surprise packet injured his ankle in the Week 14 clash with the Giants, as the Cowboys stumbled in four of their last five outings. Whether the Cowboys’ young offensive line can give Romo and Murray the time and space against the Giants' experienced defence is another matter.
Despite their geographical separation, these two teams have a rivalry which goes back to the 1960s, and their final match-up last season was the 100th tussle between the sides. The Giants have won seven of the past nine contests.
The Giants ruined the start of the start of the day for punters in their Superbowl win with Patriots QB Tom Brady called for intentional grounding, which resulted in the first scoring play of the match being a safety. If you think it’s unlikely to happen again; strangely enough a safety was also the first scoring play in the Week 14 match between New York and Dallas last season. Both the Giants and Cowboys scored a touchdown for the game’s first scoring play six times last season. In comparison, Dallas posted a field goal just once to open the scoring, and the Giants twice.
Click here to bet on all NFL Week 1 matches