We are only two weeks away from the end of the NFL season, and games with playoff implications are plentiful around the NFL. Albeit small, the Giants still have an outside shot of making the playoffs if the chips fall in all the right spots. For this to occur, the Giants will need to beat the Jets this week, and then defeat the Cowboys the following week. According to oddsmakers in Vegas, they give the Giants about a 28% chance at pulling it off. The Jets on the other hand, have an opportunity to sneak in the playoffs as well with a wildcard berth. However, a loss against the Giants would make it mathematically impossible for them to squeak in. The Jets and Giants are both coming off tough losses that put them in this do-or-die scenario. The Giants lost at home to the Redskins 23-10, and the Jets got walloped in Philadelphia, 45-19. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that this is essentially a home game for both squads at MetLife Stadium in New York (1:00EST, Saturday).
Head coach Rex Ryan of the Jets, used the time leading up to this game to proclaim how they are superior to the Giants. Eli Manning quickly downplayed the comments, and asserted that this is about Giants football, not the Jets. So, let’s take a look at how good the Jets have really been this season. At 8-6, this is certainly a down season for the Jets. The Jets appeared primed to make it to the Super Bowl the last two seasons, but faltered in the AFC Championship game on each occasion. Perhaps this is what the Jets need, flying under the radar going into the playoffs, but they’ll have to get their first. The Jets pride themselves on their stout defense, led by perennial pro-bowler Darrelle Revis at corner back. However, the defense has failed to have a significant impact in games this season. Look no further than last week’s shellacking, 45 points allowed should never happen with the caliber of players in the defensive unit. Nevertheless, the Jets are getting gashed this year. In the last three games, the Jets have surrendered an average of 315 yards per game, and 24 points. Overall, the Jets have been getting exposed mainly on the ground. The once stingy run stop has dissipated this season which has resulted in a 16th NFL ranking. But, for several of the first weeks, the Jets were dead last in this spot, so they have certainly improved in this regard. The Jets rank 7th in the NFL against the pass, so expect a heavy dose of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw in this one.
Offensively the Jets have been hot-and-cold all season long. You truly never know what Mark Sanchez is going to bring to the table. One week he looks like a guy that can be the long term starter, and the next he looks like he should be on the practice squad. Sanchez on the year has 23 TD passes, but has turned the ball over 20 times. Perhaps his biggest lowlight was last week against the Eagles, where he only passed for 150 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, sacked four times, and lost a fumble. Sanchez usually bounces back from miserable performances, so he’ll get a glorious chance to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive. The Giants have failed to stop no one on defense recently, allowing 31.7 points in the last three outings. To go along with that 31.7 points, is 397.7 yards surrendered. The target will definitely be on Sanchez even more so from Jets fans if he fails to perform against the Giants. His counterpart, Eli Manning, has been torching defenses this season, an average of 385 yards a game. But if the Giants stray away from their ground and pound, Manning will be open to mistakes against a great secondary. The most difficult test Manning has faced was against the 49ers, where he made 2 critical interceptions to doom their chance at a victory. If the Giants want to attempt to pass the ball 40 times, I see no reason why mistakes won’t occur again.
Giants vs. Jets Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
New York Giants +3
@New York Jets -3
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
Bet this game at www.5Dimes.com and get a $520 sign up bonus!
Giants vs. Jets Pick:
Both teams are undoubtedly to be hungry for wins here. What it comes down to for me is coaching. Rex Ryan and the Jets live for games like this, in the spot light and the pressure on. Ryan and the Jets coaching staff should dial up some schemes to throw Eli Manning’s way. And if one thing is true with Eli, if you rattle him early, he will get frustrated and throw errant passes. I expect the Jets defense to come up big in this game after the debacle from last week. The 16th ranking against the run looks awful, and it is for this unit, but at home they’re only giving up 85.9 yards on the ground. Conversely, Mark Sanchez should be able to complete plays downfield with the state of the Giants porous secondary.
If linesmakers truly believed this was a coin-toss game, I think we would have seen a -1 line, but the Giants looks appealing to many betters in this spot as a dog. I’m going to go against the betting public here, and take the Jets to cover the 2.5. Expect about a 7-10 point victory.