Falcons vs Giants : The New York Giants go for their second win of the season on Monday night, when they travel to Atlanta to play the Falcons The Falcons beat the Buccaneers, 34-29, at home last week. Last season, Atlanta was 10-0 when scoring at least 20 points and 0-6 when scoring fewer than 20. This year, the Falcons’ two highest-scoring games (37 vs. New Orleans, 36 vs. Cincinnati) have been losses.
Between holding a ceremony for his retirement, recognizing him for his veteran status with the organization and other moments of attention, the Atlanta Falcons are firmly committed to honoring QB Michael Vick and his tenure with the team.
As they should, after all. He’s a Mount Rushmore figure in the franchise, one of the most exciting players to man the position in the league and the reason Atlanta had a good football team in the early aughts.
On Monday, the team will welcome Vick to sound the train horn before the team’s Monday Night Football matchup against the Giants.
It’s more than fitting to have Vick back for a jersey throwback night (y’know, the good jerseys), and there’s no doubt folks will be happy to see him in the new stadium, taking part in the pre-game festivities.
Though Vick’s exit with the team will always be a lightning rod of controversy, you have to love the guy for what he did on the field and how he’s turned his life around since his infamous departure from the organization.
Vick should be in the Ring of Honor and have his jersey retired, if we’re being honest. “7” was that important to the franchise’s history, and he deserves to be honored as such.
At least for Monday night, he’ll be back in the flock to sound off the team’s next home game, recognized for the franchise great he so obviously is.
Atlanta has a slew of defensive injuries. Pro Bowlers safety Keanu Neal and linebacker Deion Jones both on IR, as is cornerback Ricardo Allen. Cornerback Justin Bethel (ribs) and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are both banged up heading into Monday’s game. Defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin) has been limited in practice. They’ve been allowing 32 points per game this season and if the Giants can’t break the 30-point threshold in this game, they’re hopeless.
On offense, they are missing running back Devonta Freeman (IR, groin) who is one-half of their solid backfield combo along with Tevin Coleman, who has not been as effective teaming with rookie Ito Smith. Veteran guard Andy Levitre (triceps) is also on IR and their No. 2 and 3 wide receivers — Calvin Ridley (ankle) and Mohamed Sanu (hip) — have either not practiced or have been limited this week.
In addition, veteran kicker Matt Bryant injured his hamstring booting the game-winning 57-yard field goal against Tampa Bay. It may end up being the final kick of the 43 year-old Bryant’s 17-year career, which started with the Giants back in 2002. He is being replaced by Giogio Tavecchio.
The Falcons defense is a mess. They are only one of two teams in the National Football League that have allowed multiple opponents to gain more than 500 yards in a game. (The Chiefs are the other.) The Falcons are missing three key defensive players in linebacker Deion Jones, safety Keanu Neal and safety Ricardo Allen, who are all on injured reserve. Their secondary has struggled mightily in pass coverage this year, which means the Giants should be able to complete passes to their wide receivers and tight end Evan Engram down the field, eschewing dump-offs to Saquon Barkley. The Falcons defense also struggles with tackling, which should show up against someone like Barkley, who can get away from even the best tacklers. I think Barkley sets a new career high in rushing yards against the Falcons on Monday night. The only thing that can stop him is going down early in the game and the Giants being forced to play from behind.
He has mostly ping-ponged between weeks, having more yards rushing in Weeks 1, 3 and 6, and more receiving in Weeks 2, 4 and 5. This game has potential to turn into a track meet against the high-flying Falcons inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a primetime matchup. That means the passing game could open up with Barkley in store for another big night. Either way, just sit back and enjoy the rookie who is on pace for 2,000 yards from scrimmage, which would be just the fourth time it has happened in franchise history. Tiki Barber was responsible for the other three.
Due to several injuries to key players, the Falcons’ defense has struggled thus far this season across the board. Atlanta ranks 29th in the NFL against the pass and is tied for 24th in the league against the run, so this is an attractive matchup for Saquon Barkley for many reasons. The Falcons have already faced two sversatile backs similar to Barkley in the Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara of the Saints. McCaffrey collected 102 receiving yards compared to just 37 rushing yards, and Kamara piled up 129 receiving yards and 66 yards on the ground. Those two also combined for 29 receptions. If that’s any indication of how the Atlanta defense will look to defend Barkley, I’ll confidently say he’ll finish with more yards through the air than on the ground.
The Week 7 NFL schedule wraps up with Monday Night Football as the New York Giants visit the Atlanta Falcons at 8:15 p.m. ET in a matchup of teams desperate to turn their seasons around. Atlanta seeks its second straight home victory following three straight losses, while New York hopes to snap a three-game losing streak. The Falcons outlasted Tampa Bay 34-29 last week, while the Giants were drubbed 34-13 at home by the Super Bowl champion Eagles.
The Falcons are 4-point favorites and the over-under for total points scored is set at 53 in the latest Falcons vs. Giants odds. Before you make your Falcons vs. Giants picks, listen to what SportsLine expert R.J. White has to say.
White was SportsLine’s most profitable NFL analyst last season and returned $100 bettors a profit of nearly $2,000. The renowned prognosticator has cashed big in the prestigious Las Vegas SuperContest two of the last three years.
White has a strong history of success in handicapping these teams, which includes an impressive 27-13 mark on picks involving the Falcons. Anyone who has followed him is way, way up.
Just last week, White advised SportsLine members that Atlanta would have too much firepower for NFC South foe Tampa Bay and pull away in a shootout. The Falcons did just that, and anyone who followed White’s recommendation notched another winner.