Week 9 Free NFL Picks: New York Giants @ New England Patriots NFL Week 9 Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on FOX 11/6/11: For the first time since XLII, the New York Giants and New England Patriots will meet in a game that counts for something. In many ways, little has changed since the Giants’ stunning upset of the then-undefeated Patriots. Both franchises continue to be contenders in their respective divisions on a regular basis, and both teams currently sit atop their divisions with identical 5-2 records. Despite being equal in the win-loss column, New England is a nine-point favorite in Foxboro.
Two of the best passing attacks in the NFL will face off in this one. The Patriots rank second in passing yards per game, averaging almost 325 yards. The Giants rank fourth, putting up nearly 290 yards per game through the air. While it is no surprise that defending MVP Tom Brady has been putting up incredible numbers, the consistent play of Giants’ QB Eli Manning has been a stark contrast from his usual rollercoaster play. The last time Manning played at a high level on a weekly basis, New York won the Super Bowl, and his play is the main reason the Giants currently lead the NFC East. Brady is still the more proven option, but Manning can keep pace with just about anybody when he is dialed in.
He should have plenty of opportunities to stay hot this weekend. New England’s secondary has been gashed all year, and the Patriots rank dead last in terms of passing yards allowed. Even with his top target Hakeem Nicks expected miss a game with an injury, Manning could still have a big day. Receivers Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham have been deep threat options all season, and big plays have burned the Patriots all year. Last weekend, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ receivers torched New England’s corners. It could be déjà vu this weekend.
Of course, Brady and the New England offense have more than enough firepower to keep pace. The Giants have been good but not great against the pass, and the Patriots will be the defense’s toughest test to date. With star receiver Wes Welker doing damage out of the slot and tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski creating mismatches, Brady has been able to pick apart opposing defenses all year. The Giants’ secondary is a little banged up, and Brady and company should be in for a bounceback game after struggling in Pittsburgh.
The X-factor will likely be the play of the Giants’ defensive line. New York is one of the few teams in the NFL that can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks by rushing just four defenders. New York used this ability to their advantage in its Super Bowl victory and will likely try to do the same Sunday. If the Giants can pressure Brady with just four pass rushers, the secondary has a much better chance of containing the Patriots’ passing attack.
New York is banged up entering the game, with running back Ahmad Bradshaw joining Nicks on the list of players not likely to suit up. Brandon Jacobs will replace Bradshaw in the backfield just a few weeks removed from a knee injury that had sidelined him. He won’t be asked to do a lot, but Jacobs has to at least keep the New England defense honest in order to keep the heat of Manning.
In the end, Brady and Manning could end up leading a back-and-forth affair. Both offenses on the field are far superior than the defenses they will be facing. While New York’s pass rush could give Brady some trouble, the Giants’ defense as a whole isn’t stout enough to contain the New England offense. Not to mention the fact that the injuries on New York’s offense will have some impact. Brady is approaching 40 straight regular season home wins, and that streak probably won’t end Sunday. That being said, New England’s pass defense is just too porous to cover such a large spread.
Prediction: New York Giants (+9) Cover the Spread
Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions: New York Giants +9
|Week 9 NFL Football: New York Giants @ New England Patriots
Time: 4:15 PM EST on FOX
Vegas Odds – Favorite: New England -9 | Total: Over/Under 51
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