Enough exclamation points? Does it meet the level of excitment for this game? Like beatwriter Dickie Dunn in Slapshot, Johnny's just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
Weather, gorgeous, advantage Falcons. No, really. The Falcons rely heavily on the ground game. The Giants front four could have a much easier time bottling that up in the snow or sleet or a cold rain. Matt Ryan won't have to face those famous swirling Meadowlands-area winds. All in all this isn't bad for a dome team to have to play in.
As for Matt Ryan and Eli Manning (We notice those Mark Sanchez Toyota ads have gone missing), Advantage Giants. Eli is playing well, he's playing with confidence. Matt Ryan is still in search of a signature win. Sooner or later every one of these up and coming next great talent QB is going to need to win a playoff game on the road. Ryan still hasn't done that. Until he does we feel pretty safe to say unless Eli got some bad butter on his toast for breakfast he's the better quarterback.
Can the Giants stop Atlanta on the ground? That's the $64,000 question. The Giants have been playing better on defense and their third down defense has gotten much better lately. We don't think the Giants defense is going to have to win this game for them. They just need to play steady as she goes. Turnovers are frosting today. Tasty pigskin flavored frosting. Just keep Atlanta in check, say 17 points and around 100 yards rushing. Every yard less than 100 for the Falcons run for squeezes a little bit more life out of them.
Special teams. Every fan of every team at playoff time says the same prayer "Do NOT screw us oh special teams." Again, steady as she goes.
We'd also give the nod to coach Tom Coughlin in this one. No way he's ever going to go for a 4th and 1 from his own 30 in overtime in Madden football let alone a real game.
So, with a trip to scenic Green Bay in January on the line the fearless forecast says:
New Jersey Giants 30
Atlanta Falcons 20