The Giants are not exactly killing the spread this year. Add the wind in the forecast for today and we drop our prediction for a Giants win/cover and make NO CALL. The Giants can and should win this game, but Eli+Wind is not for my money.
Why? Let's look at the season so far, and our predictions.
|Team||Prediction||Giants Result||Giants Cover||UltimateNYG Record|
|CAR||W & Cover||W||Cover||1-0, 1-0|
|IND||L & No C||L||No Cover||2-0, 2-0|
|CHI||W & Cover||W||Cover||3-0,3-0|
|HOU||W & Cover||W||Cover||4-0,4-0|
|DET||W & No C||W||No Cover||5-0,5-0|
|DAL||L & No C||W||Cover||5-1,5-1|
|SEA||W & Cover||W||Cover||6-1,6-1|
1) PIT-BAL. Watch Roethlisberger early to see if his movement is impaired. Steeler OL very average. BAL not great pass rushers but they will be able to push the pocket. BAL is capable of spreading the field on offense, have seen how the Pats did this in their win vs the Steelers. BAL can go for the sideline routes, PIT will give that up. BAL is a bend-don't-break defense. Simms likes BAL tonight. The thing that Simms does not like about either team is that both teams can play well and not be up big in the score. (Think fatal flaw!)
2) TEN-JAC. Britt and Collins back. Not a believer in the Jaguars. "They had the (win vs the) Giants last week, but the Giants played so much better in the second half." Who calls the plays today for the Titans? Have not seen the explosion in Chris Johnson this year. Simms likes Tennessee.
3) IND-DAL. IND has lost 2 and 3 of the last 4. Dallas Clark (IR) and Austin Collie (assuming out, doubtful) are not there. Your TE and Slot WR are going against the weaker cover guys, so IND uses those two as their bread and butter... but with them out, it makes it so much harder on the Colts. IND will struggle. DAL had a predictable blitz, and everyone hurt them with that. If DAL can block the two edge rushers (Freeney and Mathis), then they have a shot to beat the Colts.
4) NE-NYJ. Hernandez and Gronkowski will present matchup problems for the Jets. People have adjusted to Rex Ryan. Ryan will have his hands full with the matchup problems on defense. The Jets are not great inside the 20. They are winning with the explosive play. NE's offense is different than in Week 2. Brady is under center now. Terrific offense. They are a route-running team again w/o Moss. Takes the Jets in a close game.
5) NYG-WAS. The wind will be a big factor. Donovan McNabb throws that tight spiral through the wind and Eli throws the floater.
6) NFL Trend: Teams are running more of the conventional 2 RBs/1 TE offense to pick up the blitz. The trend in the NFL is going back to the TE, because he helps you pick up the blitz and you can still use him as a route running receiver in the pass-happy NFL. As a reminder, Wonder loved the TE draft class this year. (He had 10 of 14 TEs projected as starters or solid starters in the NFL.) Guys like Gronkowski are making an impact.
Final thoughts: On Friday I predicted a Giants 10 point win. Today, I take that off the board because of the wind. My confidence in Eli to handle the wind is never high. Add the fact that he does not have his safety valve in Smith. Add the fact that this is the first big wind game in the new stadium. Add the fact that McNabb has a good spiral. NO CALL.