New York Jets (-2, 45.5 o/u) at New York Giants
New York. The Big Apple. The Center of the Universe. And now, home of the most mediocre football teams in the league. A combined 11-11, both the New York Jets (6-5, 2-3 Road) and New York Giants (5-6, 3-2 Home) need a win to aid their playoff hunt, as well as secure city-wide bragging rights for the next four years. The Jets will make the very short road trip to “visit” the Giants at MetLife Stadium this Sunday (1:00 PM Eastern).
These streaky teams enter this game on the heels of drastically different results last week. The Jets opened the game against the Dolphins hot, racing out to a 35-7 lead before taking their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter in a 38-20 win. The Giants couldn’t do anything to start their game against Washington, and their first two drives ended in interceptions. Their offense finally got on track in the fourth, but not in time, as Washington pulled out a 20-14 win.
That loss took the Giants playoff fate out of their own hands. As unlikely as it sounds, if Washington wins out, they’ll snag the NFC East title. The Giants could pass them if they falter, but they’ll need to put an end to this two-game losing skid and string together some Ws.
The G-Men were hurt last week by three Eli Manning interceptions, but the only reason Manning was forced to the air 51 times was their complete lack of a run game. Against the Jets’ top-rated run defense this week, that’s unlikely to change.
But there’s good news for Manning: not only will Darrelle Revis not be in the lineup, but his backup, Marcus Williams, is also unlikely to play, meaning Odell Beckham is going to draw a favorable matchup all day, not that he needs it.
The Jets offense has also been known to disappear for stretches, but last weekend wasn’t one of them. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four touchdowns, two of which went to Brandon Marshall. It was also just the second game of the year the Jets offense didn’t record a turnover.
And the turnover battle is exactly what will decide this game. Despite the differences in perception surrounding these defenses, both are ranked second in the NFL in takeaways with 22. Thanks to a secondary that flies to the ball and is getting healthy at the right time the Giants have managed to do this despite being the league’s worst team at pressuring opposing QBs.
Manning is 2-0 in his career against the Jets, despite posting some very unimpressive numbers: 411 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions on 42-percent passing. But he was able to hit on some big plays against an aggressive D, like a 99-yarder to Victor Cruz.
The Giants and Jets are both inconsistent squads that can be difficult to pinpoint week to week. But one thing they have both done well over the last few months is pound the OVER. The Jets have exceeded the total in six of their last seven games, while the Giants have done it in five of their last seven.
Rather than trying to determine which one of these QBs will have the better day, just trust that the defenses will surrender a few big plays when trying to make one of their own.
Pick: OVER 45.5.
(Photo Credit: Jason Poulton (Originally uploaded to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/].)
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