The Miami Dolphins (5-7) host the New York Giants (5-7) on Monday Night Football in a Week 14 clash.
Both the Dolphins and the Giants have the same record, yet Miami sits in the basement of the AFC East while the Giants share a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East with the team's playoff hopes still intact.
Here's a short breakdown of what to expect, as well as a prediction:
Game: Week 14 vs. New England
Last season: Did not play
Last meeting: Giants won, 20-17, on Oct. 30, 2011
All-time series: Giants lead the series 5-2
How the Giants will win: Can the Giants put forth a full 60-minute performance? If this entire season is any indication, then the answer is flat-out no. The Giants have coughed up fourth-quarter leads four times this season, including last week at home to the Jets. What this proves is the Giants are capable of going toe-to-toe with most teams in the league. However, it also proves that this defense is unable to bend without breaking late in the game. They'll need to figure it out, and quickly, if they want to escape the NFC East with a playoff spot.
How the Dolphins will win: It's an easy formula really - hand it off to RB Lamar Miller. The Dolphins are 10-0 when handing the ball off to Miller 24 times or more over the past two seasons. Last week, Miller received a season-high 20 carries under interim offensive coordinator Zac Taylor. Having a solid-enough running game helps to alleviate the pressure on QB Ryan Tannehill. It worked last week against the Ravens, so you can expect it to be the formula they follow this week in primetime against the Giants.
How the Giants will lose: There's an obvious answer that belongs in this spot week after week - if the Giants cannot produce some sort of running game, they are going to lose…again. The Giants have rushed for 100 yards or more twice this season in 12 games. Here's the funny thing: they have won both of those contests. The Giants rushed for 80 yards against the Patriots, 33 against Washington and 74 last week against the Jets. Not surprisingly, with the pressure then on QB Eli Manning, the offense has turned it over five times in those games. They have four running backs; it's time to use them.
How the Dolphins will lose: Can the Dolphins improve their third-down offense? They are going up against the NFL's second-worst third-down defense in the Giants, but they enter this game as the second-worst third-down offense. The Miami offense has struggled to sustain drives all season long, and if that continues at home against New York, they are going to put themselves in a precarious position.
Prediction: Giants 24, Dolphins 23
Why: At 5-7, it's remarkable that Miami is in the discussion for a high first-round pick in the spring while the Giants remain in the hunt for a divisional crown. However, those records indicate that both of these teams have plenty of weaknesses. If not for a shockingly high number of late-game breakdowns, the Giants could have upwards of 10 wins at this point. But you cannot forget those follies. Having lost three in a row and sitting in a three-way tie atop the NFC East, expect coach Tom Coughlin to fire up this team like he has in year's past. They are not ready to pack up their lockers and hit the links just yet. With Manning, WR Odell Beckham Jr. and an opponent that is beatable on the schedule, this has all the makings of a classic Giants triumph.