(CBS Miami)- Sunday’s matchup between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins isn’t exactly a must-watch game. The teams have combined for a 5-21 record through 14 weeks and fans have long since past the point of beginning to look ahead to next season.
But, the game still needs to be played on Sunday and someone will come out with a victory. According to CBS Dallas sports anchor Keith Russell, that someone will be the Giants. Why? He believes that Eli’s teammates will step up to win the veteran quarterback what is likely to be his final home start.
“Surprisingly, I’m going with the Giants. The Dolphins, they’re making all these roster moves, guys are coming in and going out. Meantime, for the Giants, with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones missing another game, this could be Eli Manning’s last ever start at home,” said Russell. “The Eli Manning that led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles, beat Tom Brady twice, this could be the grand finale. I think his teammates are going to play hard for him. It’s going to be a big one for Eli and the Giants.”
To Russell’s point, the Giants did look energized with Eli back under center during Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, bursting out to a 17-3 halftime lead. But, after halftime they couldn’t muster much in the way of offense as the protection broke down and the Eagles came back to win. The good news for the Giants on that front is that the Dolphins defense ranks among the bottom of the league in every statistical category.
That said, the Giants defense is no great shakes either, failing to stop a Philadelphia offense that was down to just one healthy receiver in overtime. So, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick should have room to operate in this game. But, the big question is whether Fitzpatrick will have top wide receiver Davante Parker at his disposal on Sunday. As of this writing, Parker is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to a concussion. Further complicating matters, fellow receiver Albert Wilson also remains in concussion protocol.
Without a full complement of receivers, Fitzpatrick may have a harder time trying to keep up on the scoreboard with a Giants offense that’s likely to put up some points against his defense. The Giants have gotten healthier each week and tight end Evan Engram appears to be trending towards playing this Sunday.
For what it’s worth, the Vegas oddsmakers agree with Russell’s assessment, listing the Giants as 3.5 point favorites for Sunday’s contest. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. EST on CBS.