Monday Night Football Preview

MONDAY NIGHT PREVIEW - DALLAS (1-1) at ARIZONA (1-1) – 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

It didn’t take long for the Cowboys to get to their first “gotta-have-it” game of the year following last weekend’s horrid 42-17 in Denver – true, the ‘Boys let that one slip away faster than you can say Roger Staubach as RB Ezekiel Elliott rushed the ball just nine times for eight yards (so we don’t want to hear all the chatter that Zeke didn’t get enough totes – Dallas had to chuck it to get back into that game) and QB Dak Prescott put up some pretty hollow stats with 30 completions but here the Cowboys need that balance and must not challenge CB Patrick Peterson too much here or they’ll live to regret it.

On the flip side, the Cardinals also face a crossroads game too – and if Dallas thought its ground game has to get aa jump-start while averaging just 84.5 yards per game here’s the Redbirds averaging a meager 64 yards rushing and that’s gotta change or else QB Carson Palmer will be under the gun with 40-plus pass attempts here – we believe Palmer will go right after a banged-up Dallas secondary here with some downfield chucks where veteran WR Larry Fitzgerald (9 catches for 95 yards so far in 2017) could be a bigger-than-you-think factor.

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In Sunday’s NFL Week 3 play …

If the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons wind up with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, then they might point to the Week 3 finish in Motown: The final play – you’ve all seen Lions’ WR Golden Tate not get across the goal line before getting tackled as NFL rules took center stage – saved the Falcons’ bacon on a day where Atlanta QB/2016 league MVP Matt Ryan air-mailed three interceptions and WR Mohamed Sanu showed butter fingers. Hey, the Falcons have dodged bullets now in Chicago and Detroit and they are standing there at 3-and-oh (you could say Atlanta’s king of the NFC North considering it also bested the Green Bay Packers in convincing fashion in Week 2) …

The New York Giants, on the other hand, have real reason now to click the proverbial panic button following’s Sunday’s last-second 27-24 loss-but-cover at 5.5-point favorite Philadelphia as Eagles’ PK Jake Elliott boomed a 61-yard FG that just snuck inside the upright. Hey, first things first and both the Eagles’ play calls that swung ‘em into “field goal range” and Fox commentator Troy Aikman deserves credit. Aikman “first-guessed” the audience by saying he’d try a 61-yard kick as opposed to going with a “Hail Mary” pass from QB Carson Wentz. Good call, Troy!

The Giants – now 0-3 and headed off to play an angry Tampa Bay team this Sunday – stormed back into the lead a game they once trailed 14-0 but silly play-calling inside Philly’s five-yard line on a couple of occasions wound up dooming Ben McAdoo’s team and you better believe the second-year head coach will be hearing all sorts of catcalls this week. Maybe he can get his overzealous WR Odell Beckham, Jr. under control first – his antics following both TDs here (a penalty after the first one) are putting McAdoo’s authority in question and that’s a problem along with that winless record.