After getting throttled last week in Pittsburgh by Big Ben and the Steelers, Tom Brady looks to lead his New England Patriots back on track with a Week 9 victory against an injury-riddled New York Giants squad. The Patriots looked bad in all facets of the game last week, and that once automatic offense is seemingly beginning to lose its magic if the past few weeks are any indication. If New England wants to retain its status as the class of the AFC East, it’s imperative they turn in an impressive performance against New York, as one of the Jets or Bills are assured to pick up a win in their respective Week 9 matchup.
The Giants have mildly surprised most this season, sitting atop the NFC East, ahead of pre-season Super Bowl favourite, the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ve played great football at times in 2011, although have also been wildly inconsistent in losing to Seattle at home, and even last week needed a miraculous comeback to outlast the lowly Miami Dolphins. Though the Giants are a capable foe for any team in the league, their injuries will undoubtedly make things very difficult for them in Foxboro come Sunday. The G-Men are slated to be without Pro-Bowl calibre talents in running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and number one receiver, Hakeem Nicks. Both are crushing losses to the Giants offense and will force Eli Manning to potentially play above his capabilities. Those two game breakers are officially listed as doubtful, as is starting center David Baas, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Without these four in the line-up, the Giants will surely have their hands full against a hungry Pats squad seeking revenge for last week’s dismal showing.
Giants vs. Patriots Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
New York Giants +9 (-110)
@ New England Patriots -9 (-110)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bodog.com <– Get $1000 FREE on your 1st deposit
Giants vs. Patriots Pick:
It’s no secret the Patriots struggle defending the pass. They were carved last week by the Steelers, and against a potent attack in the Giants, they’ll have to be on high alert throughout the game in order to avoid a repeat of last week. Not having Nicks in the line-up certainly bolsters New England’s cause, but both Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz are more than capable of getting open and wreaking havoc in the New England secondary.
Eli Manning is on pace to have his greatest statistical season yet and will likely have to continue that pace if his team wants to have a shot in this one. The Patriots will undoubtedly put up points against a solid Giants’ defense, but the task lies to Eli to keep pace with New England. The Giants do have a lethal pass rush that can attack and limit Brady from both sides with Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, but Brady will find a way to get protection and make plays. He rarely experiences two sub-par starts in a row, and with the home crowd behind him, should experience a great day statistically.
The nine-point spread is too tough to predict in this one, especially with all of the Giants injuries. If healthy, I’d consider the Giants to keep this game really close, but without Baas, a limited Bradshaw, and one of the game’s best receivers in Hakeem Nicks, it remains to be seen how the depleted Giants will react. Consider the over 51 points in this one instead. The Patriots pass-defense is simply atrocious and has shown no indication it plans on stopping anybody this season. This plays into Manning’s hands as he has thrown the ball exceptionally well and with the skilled Cruz and Manningham at his disposal, as well as the emerging tight-end Jake Ballard, he should be able to put points on the board against this defensive unit. Another point to note is Bradshaw’s replacement, Brandon Jacobs is raring to go and ready to prove he still remains a capable threat in the backfield after publicly expressing his frustration over a lack of playing time the past few games.
On the other side of the ball, Tom Brady will certainly rebound after last week’s performance. Though the Giants have a solid defense that is mostly healthy, they will have trouble stopping the Brady to Welker connection, as well as both beastly tight-ends in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
The total has been exceeded in an impressive 8 of New England’s last 9 games at home, while New York has gone over the number in 5 of their last 7 games overall. Count on a lot of touchdowns come Sunday, with both teams marching up the field and trading scores frequently in what promises to be a wild Week 9 match-up.