New York Giants @ Atlanta Falcons, 8:20p, ESPN (Falcons -4.5, O/U: 52.5)
The Giants come into this road contest with the 23rd best offense and the 15th best defense. One of the reasons their defense is ranked so high is because of their defensive secondary. They come in ranked 12th only allowing 236 yards through the air. Points wise, they are abysmal. The Giants have allowed on average 27 points each game but in the last 3 of those games (2 of which were at home), the Giants have averaged just over 33 points/game and against some potent offenses. Eli Manning hasn’t been the greatest, the offensive line has been choppy at best but when OBJ has gotten the ball, he’s been effective but only has 1 touchdown. Barkley has been the only consistent shinning light, rushing for 438 yards, averaging over 5 yards per carry with 4 touchdowns and catching 40 balls for 373 yards and another 2 scores.
The Falcons have been out to prove everyone that they can score in the red zone and they’ve been much improved compared to last year but poor Julio Jones has all of the catches and yards and has yet to catch a single touchdown pass. Instead rookie wideout Calvin Ridley, has been second on the team in catches along with Mohamed Sanu. Ridley barely leads Sanu in yards but leads the whole team in touchdowns, with 6. The Falcons however have had the same troubles on defense as previous years and one of the eye sores is the rush defense (121 yards allowed) and also allowing a ton of points (averaging 32 points allowed per game), which is part of the reason they’re 2-4.
They may give up some big chunk plays to Barkley and a couple of scores but look for the Falcons to cover the spread in a closer than it should be win, in the over, Falcons 31-24.