Two of the worst teams in the NFL will jockey for draft position in Week 15 as the Miami Dolphins head north to take on the New York Giants. Game time is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 15 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Only fans in local markets will be subject to watching the game on CBS.
The latest betting odds have the Giants favored by 3.5 points at home with an over/under of 46.5 points. Click here to get a full list of the Week 15 NFL odds.
The Giants came painfully close to winning a game on Monday night. They led the Eagles on the road 17-3 deep into the third quarter, only to let the lead slip away, ultimately losing 23-17 in overtime. It was the team’s ninth straight loss, dropping them to 2-11 in what has become yet another lost season.
At the moment, the Giants remain one of two teams with two or fewer wins on the season. They are currently in line for the no. 2 pick in next year’s draft and could potentially be passed by the Bengals late in the year and end up with the top pick. Of course, with games against the Dolphins and Redskins, as well as a home rematch with the Eagles the final week of the season, the Giants have a chance to win games late in the year and keep themselves out of the conversation for the worst team in football.
As for the Dolphins, they have gone from a team that looked like it could go winless this year to a team that has won three of their last six games. It was nearly four wins in six weeks, as Miami held a 2-point lead over the Jets last week with 93 seconds left, only to allow a last-second field goal and lose to their AFC East rivals 22-21.
The loss will all but assure the Dolphins of a last-place finish. However, it’s clear that the players haven’t given up on rookie head coach Brian Flores. With games left against the Giants and Bengals, the Fins will set their sights on at least one or two more wins before the end of the season in hopes of somehow staying out of the conversation for this year’s worst team.
I’m not sure I see the logic in the oddsmakers listing the Giants as 3.5-point favorites in this game. They couldn’t even hold onto a 14-point lead against the struggling Eagles last week. They were shut out in the second half and playing on a short week, and now they have to cover 3.5 points? That doesn’t make much sense to me, so I’ll take my chances with the Dolphins making this a close game and at least beating the spread.
After Eli Manning started on Monday with Daniel Jones nursing an injury, it looks like Manning is in line to get another start. For a guy who’s been on the bench for over two months, Manning wasn’t half bad against Philadelphia. He even threw two touchdown passes to rookie Darius Slayton. Of course, he only completed half of his passes and couldn’t get much going in the second half, even with the Giants playing with a lead.
The other issue the Giants have been having this year is getting running back Saquon Barkley going. He’s yet to rush for 100 yards in a game since returning from the injury that sidelined him in late September. Barkley doesn’t look fully healthy and isn’t always making an impact as a receiver, which is a big part of his game. Even against a porous Miami defense that’s giving up over 30 points per game, I’m not sure I trust the New York offense to get much going. If Barkley were going well, it’d be a different story, but the Giants have topped 20 points just once in their last five games.
On the other side of the ball, the Giants are nearly as bad as the Dolphins. The G-Men are conceding an average of nearly 28 points per game. Keep in mind that the Philadelphia offense they faced on Monday nearly used 40-year-old backup quarterback Josh McCown at wide receiver because of all of their injuries. The Giants couldn’t even clamp down on that offense with a two-touchdown lead at halftime.
Admittedly, the Miami offense is dealing with injury issues as well and is still relying on Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. But the Dolphins have scored at least 20 points in four straight games. Also, Fitzpatrick seems undeterred by having to work with a diminished set of receivers. Obviously, settling for seven field goals last week isn’t the greatest sign. But the Dolphins were at least able to move the ball consistently and get into the red zone. Against another lackluster defense, the Miami offense should create plenty of scoring chances this week as well.
In the end, the Dolphins still look like a motivated team that’s competing hard. Meanwhile, the Giants have to be even more frustrated and disheartened after blowing a lead last week. I just can’t reconcile having to trust a team that’s lost nine in a row as a 3.5-point favorite. Believe it or not, I’ll take my chances with the Dolphins in this game.