After a big Thursday night winner, it’s time to look for more as the meat of the Week 2 line-up gets underway on Sunday. We’ll begin with what should be an offensive showdown if Week 1 was any indication as the 1-0 Atlanta Falcons head to New York to do battle with a bitter Giants squad coming fresh off a crushing Week 1 loss.
The Giants did far better than many expected in Week 1 at Dallas, and they likely should’ve emerged victorious had it not been for some questionable play-calling in the latter stages of the fourth quarter. Now, they need to focus on quickly getting over it and focus on hosting a pretty dangerous Falcons team that specializes in putting up big offensive numbers.
While the Giants should’ve won their Week 1 contest, you can make the case that Atlanta should have lost. In the second half against the Eagles, they were awful and barely resembled the team that took the field in the opening half. Their offense stalled and their defense simply had no answer for Sam Bradford and Chip Kelly’s offense. That said, they held on for dear life and head to New York undefeated. In an always volatile NFC South division, every win can be hugely important. Follow along in what should be a very offensive affair, and read below for the official selection and a full game breakdown.
Falcons vs. Giants Betting Odds:
Atlanta Falcons +2.5 (-105)
@ New York Giants -2.5 (-115)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Giants Pick:
It was a tale of two halves in Week 1 for the Falcons, and specifically their star quarterback in Matt Ryan. Ryan was definitely not as good in the second half, and a lot of that has to do with Philadelphia stepping up their pass rush. They were disruptive, and the offensive line of Atlanta simply couldn’t deal with the pressure. This week however, that will not be a factor against a Giants pass-rush that is virtually non-existent without Jason Pierre-Paul. New York barely got to Tony Romo last week and if they’re going to give Ryan and all of his weapons time and space, it could be a long afternoon for the G-Men.
Even when you don’t account for a weak pass rush, it goes without saying that the Falcons offense is so deep and talented that they’re going to find a way to move the chains on Sunday. Julio Jones is in a league of his own right now, and there really isn’t a player who can effectively cover him. Jones dominated Byron Maxwell last week, and should be able to throttle whomever New York decides to stick on him.
On the other side of the football, it’s no secret that the Falcons defense struggled dealing with the speed and tempo of the Eagles in last week’s second half. Fortunately, the Giants don’t play like that and that should be to Atlanta’s benefit. Like Atlanta, New York’s main weapon is a talented receiver, theirs being Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham is a beast, but the Falcons do have some personnel that likely can limit his effectiveness on Sunday. Top-ranked cornerback Desmond Trufant is a legitimate talent at that position and should be revved up to limit a player like Beckham. If the Falcons can have any success against the pass, their run defense can be counted upon, and it should make matters tough for Eli and the Giants.
Ultimately, look for the Falcons offense to produce at a higher rate than New York’s. The Falcons defense showed in the first half of Week 1 that it has made some improvements under Dan Quinn, and it’s no secret how dominant their offense should be against a porous Giants’ stop unit. It’s going to be tough for New York to bounceback after such a devastating loss in Week 1, and when you really consider the fact they’re essentially a poor-man’s Philadelphia Eagles, the Falcons are familiar with the blueprint to win and should be able to secure a key road victory on Sunday.
PICK = Falcons +2.5 (-105)