Teams with some offensive firepower duke it out in the Meadowlands on Sunday to start a double dip of games on the NFL playoffs schedule when the NFC East winning New York Giants host the Atlanta Falcons.
Year To Date Record: 59-61 ATS
Upset Record: 18-35, -$930
Wild Card NFL Matchup: Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants
Date: Sunday, January 7th, 1:00 ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
NFL Wild Card Lines: New York -3
Wild Card NFL TV Schedule: FOX
Falcons Notes: It’s hard to believe that the Falcons didn’t have an offense ranked in the Top 5 in any major offensive category in the league this year outside of field goal kicking. QB Matt Ryan threw for over 4,000 yards, and his top three receivers, WR Roddy White, WR Julio Jones, and TE Tony Gonzalez combined for 234 receptions and at least 875 yards apiece. Jones averaged almost 18 yards per catch, and White had a second straight 100+ catch season and a fifth straight 80+ catch season. Gonzalez had the third most touchdowns that he has had in a season, which is really saying something for a man that has 95 career TDs and over 13,000 receiving yards. RB Michael Turner carried the ball a whopping 301 times, and he had 1,340 yards and 11 scores. Yet the Falcons still seem like a relatively average offensive squad by playoff standards, and no one thinks that they can stick with the best offenses in the league. Many don’t even think that they can stay with the offense on the other side of the field.
Giants Notes: New York had itself an interesting season this year. In a different year in which there weren’t three quarterbacks that threw for over 5,000 yards and four that threw for at least 39 TDs, QB Eli Manning might have been the league’s MVP. He threw for 4,933 yards and 29 TDs. Sure, he threw 16 picks, and sure he was amongst the league leaders in turnovers, but he took every single snap this year for his team, won the games that had to be won, and he even went on the road and beat the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys with late, game-winning drives. Yes, it was a fine year for Manning, especially when you consider the fact that both RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs missed time this year, and the G-Men ranked dead last in the league in rushing. The Giants also got nothing this year out of WR Mario Manningham, who only had 523 yards on 39 receptions. WR Hakeem Nicks had 1,192 yards and seven trips to the end zone, but the two surprises were TE Jake Ballard and WR Victor Cruz. Ballard had 604 yards and four TDs this year, which isn’t shabby for a man who wasn’t known as a pass catching tight end before this season. Cruz, who started the year as the fourth best receiver on his team, ended the season with the third most receiving yards in the league with 1,536, and he had a team high in receptions with 82 and TDs with nine. In the end this year, only he and RB Danny Ware playing with Manning in all 16 games this season in terms of the skill players.
The Final Word: We’ve done a lot of promoting these two offenses, and for good reasons. Both defenses have had some games this year that just make us scratch our heads. Heck, the Giants allowed more points per game (25.0) than they scored (24.6). That being said, we do think that this one will get into the 50s, which will push the game past the ‘total’. We could see either team winning, though.
Wild Card NFL Pick: Atlanta/New York Over 47.5
NFL Football Prediction: Atlanta 31 – New York 27