With the taste of the regular season in NFL fans’ mouths, the final week of preseason play kicks off. The action packed Thursday night brings 15 games to the table—we have the Patriots and Giants looking to get back on track after showing less than stellar performances last week. Week 3 of preseason ended sourly for the Brady and the Pats after an embarrassing beat down from the Lions. Detroit’s defense pressured Brady into bad passes, and lots of work on the run, (maybe a key to how to beat the Pats?) forcing him to find a seat on the bench prematurely. Lions picked apart the Pats defense as both Stafford and Hill managed to have very solid games against a defense that reportedly made drastic improvements during the offseason…that remains to be seen and time will tell. As for the Giants, they were granted 5 extra days to bring the roster down to 80 due to their game against the Jets was pushed back to Monday. As for Eli, he looked like the Eli we know, passing at 50% with 2 INTS. While the Jets were far from their A-game, they seemed to maintain control of the pace just fine.
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The final week of preseason gives teams an opportunity to shine, and reinforce their attitude and position in the league, before it really starts to count. So far this preseason, the Giants have looked more like pretenders, than contenders. Supposedly playing in the NFL’s toughest division, (that’s if you believe that the giants and cowboys are actually top tier teams) the Giants have not made the sort of impact a top of the pack tem should be. Manning’s stat line for the preseason thus far is 27 for 55 for 314 yards with 2 INTS and a quarterback rating just over 50—a stat line not many would have faith in. As their defense looks to fill some holes, look for the Giants to struggle keeping the Pats offense in check this week. Brady will look to take advantage of every second on the field this week, as he is one of the best bounce back quarterbacks in the game today and coming off a mediocre week, look for lots of Pats offense on the field and first down after first down. Boston is one of the toughest places to play in sports, so look for Ochocinco to be a passing option a lot, so the city gets off his back for not showing anything impressive as of yet. Tom will be looking to take it to the Giants and there depleted defense.
This is the least attractive spread of the week at -7.5 in favor of the Pats. Although it is a gambler’s nightmare seeing a spread like this, I wouldn’t be afraid to jump on it. The Giants have not shown enough to make this a real contest for the Patriots and their high power offense. The way Eli has been playing as of late, look for more closed eye passes to receivers in heavy coverage, and most likely a Pick 6. New England should just roll through this one, and show us why they are a 2011-12 Super Bowl favorite.
Look to the books closer to game time for a more attractive spread.