Game Time: 1:00 EST, Sunday
Weather Forecast: Partly sunny with a high near 45
All Time Series Record: Tied 10-10
Spread: Giants by -3
This is a tricky game to analyze. The Giants snuck into the playoffs with a 9-7 record after a tumultuous year. However, they have home field advantage, which should be a major factor. Eli Manning is a very good QB bordering on the ranks of the elite after almost throwing for 5000 yards this year. Much of that forced from a lack of running game.
Despite wondering whether or not the Giants will show up, this game hinges completely on Matt Ryan. If he plays well, they win the game. If he doesn’t, they lose miserably. In wins this year, he has thrown for 2370 yards while completing 65.4 % of his passes with 23 TD and 5 INT. In losses, 1807 yards while completing 57 % with 6 TD and 7 INT. The Giants 29th ranked pass defense bodes well for him. Expect nothing less than a barnburner, being able to tell who will win this game after the first half by the tone of Ryan’s play.
Falcons – 38, Giants – 34
I know that the Giants barely survived an NFC East division that really wasn’t as good as it is most years. But I like the home team here.
Bottom line is that the Giants d-line is getting healthy, and when healthy is still one of the most disruptive d-lines in the game. I think that the Falcons will continue to disappoint and lose this game.
Giants – 26, Falcons – 19
The New York Giants won the NFC East. But after this regular season, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Teams in the NFC East just wasn’t the traditional powerhouse conference it usually is, or was supposed to be. Still, the Giants came out on top and host this intriguing match-up. Coming through the doors, Matt Ryan and the feisty Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have had an up-and-down year. They have had the firepower to beat teams, but just couldn’t seem to keep up with the Saints. With the postseason clinched for the second year in a row, the Falcons are coming into this game looking for their first postseason win with Ryan under center. The Julio Jones draft pick has finally been living up to the hype and Michael Turner is still the workhorse we know him to be.
The Giants have more experience on their side, even after a two-year hiatus from the playoffs. Eli Manning has had a great year thanks in part to the trio of Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, and last but certainly not least, the salsa-dancing Victor Cruz. At the end of day, I see Matt Ryan and head coach Mike Smith getting their first playoff victory together.
Falcons – 28, Giants – 24
Other Previews and Predictions