Neither the New York Giants nor the Atlanta Falcons have gotten off to the starts that they have wanted. For the Giants, they are 1-5 with their sole victory being a 27-22 win over the Houston Texans back in week 3. One of the biggest problems has been the inconsistency of the offense. Despite having some major weapons, they have only scored over 20 points twice this season.
For the Falcons, they currently sit at 2-4, with wins over the Carolina Panthers and last weeks 34-29 win over the Buccaneers. While they have been able to score, their problem has been the inability to stop opposing offenses. They have allowed 24 points or more in 5 of their six games, including 29 or more in 4 of those 5. For Monday Night Football, it will be a battle of the bad as the Giants travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on the Falcons with a 8:15 pm ET kickoff.
The point spread comes in with the Falcons as 4-point favorites at home. The over/under on total points scored is 54.
Giants Aim For Some Consistency On Offense
This is not the start to the season that many in the New York organization anticipated when the season started. The offense especially has had turmoil given Odell Beckham Jr.’s candid comments about quarterback Eli Manning and the bad look of him walking off to the locker room prior to the end of the first half a couple weeks ago. Still, the Giants do have some weapons on offense, it is just finding the consistency.
Eli Manning has started off the season 158 for 230 with 1,662 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He has also taken a whopping 20 sacks to date. One of the criticisms of Manning is his inability to go downfield. While his completion percentage (68.7%) isn’t bad, he is only averaging 7.23 yards per attempt.
Despite his frustrations, Odell Beckham still remains the goto receiver in the Giants offense. On the season, he has 45 receptions for 506 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Saquon Barkley (40 receptions, 373 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Sterling Shepard (31 receptions, 341 yards, 2 touchdowns) also remain active in the passing game.
Speaking of Saquon Barkley, he has been phenomenal in his first season with the Giants. In addition to the receiving skills out of the backfield, he has 438 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns on 84 carries. Against a Falcons defense that is giving up an average of 417.2 yards per game (30th in the NFL), it will be interesting to see if Barkley can have a big game.
Defensively, the Giants are tied for 14th in yards given up at 358 per game but it will be interesting to see if they can contain the dynamic offense of the Falcons. Leading the Giants on defense is Landon Collins (33 tackles), B.J. Hill (2 sacks) and Janoris Jenkins (2 interceptions).
Falcons Have Opportunity To Contain Giants Struggling Offense
Under quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons offense has been dynamic this season. They rank 8th in yards per game at 397.3 yards. Thus far, Ryan is 156 for 224 with 1,956 yards, 14 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. His leading receivers are Julio Jones (44 catches, 708 yards), Calvin Ridley (22 catches, 349 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Mohamed Sanu (22 catches, 303 yards, 3 touchdowns).
At running back, they did take a small hit in the rushing game as Devonta Freeman was put on the injured reserve. Still, they have a solid tandem in Tevin Coleman (71 rushes for 26o yards, 1 touchdown) and Ito Smith (32 rushes for 102 yards and 3 touchdowns).
As mentioned earlier, the reason that the Falcons are 2-4 lies mostly on their defense. Despite their struggles, their stat leaders are Brian Poole (32 tackles), Takkarist McKinley (4.5 sacks) and Demontae Kazee (3 interceptions).
Falcons Win In A Blowout
I am somewhat shocked that the spread on this one is only 4 points. While the Falcons have been brutal on offense, the Giants have not been that good in any facet of the game. Throw on top of that dissension on the team and it has been a recipe for disaster this season. Especially playing at home, I think the Falcons put up a big game on offense and the ineptitude of the Giants makes the Falcons defense seem competent, if only for one game. For my money, I am taking the Falcons even giving up 4 points.