Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/7/13
New York Giants faithful, the time has arrived! The New York Giants begin their quest for Super Bowl XLVIII in Dallas against their arch-rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff is at 8:30pm on your local NBC channel and as the Giants regular season begins in T-minus 24 hours, let’s take a look at some key matchups and key questions. Dez Bryant vs. Giants secondary With Stevie Brown out for the entire 2013 season, the Giants defensive backs desperately need to step up in a big way and what better way to test their depth than against one of the best receivers in the game, Dez Bryant? Bryant caught nine passed for 195 yards in 2012 but none of those catches resulted in touchdowns meaning the Giants have the prowess to keep him out of the endzone. The main difference, however, is Brown won’t be there, meaning the Cowboys will look to take advantage with Bryant. Aside from the Cowboys offense, this is especially good for Prince Amukamara. Amukamara is coming off a strong offseason and will most likely be guarding Bryant the entire game. If Amukamara can keep Bryant a bay for the entire game, it is a great boost of confidence for the Giants secondary entering the 2013 season. Eli Manning vs. Cowboys Defensive line With the change in defense for the Cowboys, Manning will have DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer breathing down his neck the entire game. Manning had a passer rating of 77.6 passer rating against the Cowboys in 2012 and with Ware and Spencer rushing him on every snap, it will be interesting to see how Manning will respond to the extra pressure. That being said…. What Eli Manning will we see in 2013? This topic could be an entire article in it of itself, but to be fair to Manning, we will give him Sunday’s game against the Cowboys as data to project how he will fair this season. Manning has struggled against the Cowboys as mentioned previously with his 77.6 passer rating and with a running game and a receiving game that has taken their hits during preseason, unfortunately for Manning, he will be getting the most pressure to deliver in this game. Add to the fact that his offensive line has been plagued by injuries and it is shaping up to be Manning’s toughest opening game to date. Nevertheless, Manning has two Super Bowls to his name, but with not enough credibility coming off those two victories, Manning needs to come out off the gate in a big way if the Giants expect to return to the Super Bowl given their mishaps in the offseason. Let’s hope big brother’s performance on Thursday sparks something in little brother, Eli. Prediction I want to be optimistic, but the Giants are looking at a very daunting opponent. Nevermind Tony Romo’s inconsistencies and the subpar Cowboys’ secondary because the Giants have many question marks heading into Sunday. To the Giants credit, they still have Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Rueben Randle ready to go for them on offense. Regardless, this will be a very good game and a very close one. Nevertheless. Giants 31 Cowboys 28  

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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