For the first time in over a year, the Miami Dolphins will appear on "Monday Night Football," as they will take on the New York Giants. Both teams enter this contest at 5-7, but while the Dolphins' playoff hopes are on life support, the Giants could tie the Redskins and Eagles atop the NFC East with a victory tonight.
Last weekend at MetLife Stadium, the New York Jets defeated the Giants 23-20 in overtime after trailing by 10 late in the game. Jets kicker Randy Bullock connected on a 31-yard field goal in overtime to give the Jets their seventh win of the season.
Miami was more successful than the Giants were last week, as they squeaked out a 15-13 victory at Sun Life Stadium.
Monday will mark the eighth all-time meeting between the Giants and Dolphins. In their last meeting in 2011, the Giants defeated the Dolphins 20-13 at MetLife Stadium.
New York at Miami
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. (Monday)
Spread: New York -1.5
Three Things to Watch
1. Will the Dolphins continue to be balanced?
For one of the few times all season, the Dolphins were balanced on offense last week against the Ravens. Running back Lamar Miller carried the ball 20 times for 113 yards.
Miami is passing the ball two-thirds of the time, which is the second most in the league. Last week, the Dolphins only passed the ball 44 percent of the time.
With the lack of success last week (offense only accounted for one touchdown), it will be interesting to see if the team will continue to be balanced or revert to its pass-happy ways.
2. Can the Dolphins slow down Odell Beckham Jr.?
No matter if it has been Brandon Marshall, Rob Gronkowski or Sammy Watkins, the Dolphins have had trouble covering the opposition's No. 1 weapon all season. Miami will face its toughest challenge of the season and that's trying to slow down the dynamic and explosive Beckham.
In 12 games this season, Beckham has caught 78 passes for 1,154 yards and 10 touchdowns. The second-year receiver out of LSU has caught a TD in eight of 12 games.
Dolphins defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo knows his defense will have to pay extra attention to Beckham.
"The guy is an explosive athlete first-and-foremost," Anarumo said. "If you press him, he has a knack of getting on top of you now. He is at the point of attack when the ball is in the air, obviously, he’s got great hands, we all know that, but he goes up and plays it as well as anybody too, whether it be two hands or one hand. When the ball is up in the air, in his mind it’s his. You’ve got to be strong at the point of attack when the ball is up in the air with this guy or else, as good as anybody in the league he’ll go take it from you. He’s impressive.”
Beckham is averaging 126 yards per game and has six touchdowns in his last five games, so the Dolphins will have their hands full.
3. Ryan Tannehill
To say the Dolphins defeated the Ravens last week in spite of Tannehill's play would be an understatement. The fourth-year quarterback struggled against Baltimore, as he was just 9-of-19 for 86 yards.
Unlike his first three seasons, Tannehill's play has regressed with 11 interceptions in 12 games (had 12 in 16 games in 2014), while his completion percentage is down from 66 last season to 61 in 2015.
Despite his numbers, Giants head coach Tom Coughlin believes Tannehill can be dangerous.
"I see the quarterback taking charge of a team," said Coughlin. I see him make all the throws, he’s very athletic, he’s utilized in the run game, as well, whether he scrambles, whether he runs a zone read."
Miami is 31st in the NFL in third-down efficiency at 28 percent. Expect the Giants to try to contain the Dolphins' rushing attack to force Tannehill to beat them on third-and-long situations.
Miami has scored more than 20 points in a game just twice the entire season. That's bad news considering they are going up one of the best offenses in the NFL tonight.
New York is seventh in scoring offense, averaging 25.6 points per game. Despite cornerback Brent Grimes being a Pro Bowler the last two seasons, he has struggled at times this season. Beckham should be able to post yet another 100-yard receiving game.
The Giants have the edge at on offense and at head coach and that should be enough to seal up the victory.
Prediction: Giants 31, Dolphins 24
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.