Each week, The Falcoholic's staff predicts the final score of the game ahead. This week, we were largely homers.
I'm predicting a win here because I'm biased, but don't expect the Giants to lay down. I've seen too many people suggesting the Giants are about to roll over, but they did essentially snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against the Cowboys in Dallas. While the Cowboys may take a small step back this year, I expect them (and the Eagles) to contend for their division, which by extension means the Giants should contend for the division as well. The Giants are not what they once were and lack some key pieces on both sides of the ball, but Atlanta's historically poor record of play in New York means this game is a toss up.
Score: Falcons 28, Giants 21
Reasoning: I'm hesitant to put too much weight on one game, but the Falcons defense looked transformed against the Eagles. The Giants will also present better opportunities to get to the QB, as their offensive line is a big question mark for them. I expect the Falcons to generate more pressure on Manning, hopefully resulting in some key turnovers. As for the offense, I believe Ryan and Shanahan will clean up the mistakes from game 1 while the Giants don't have anyone that can stop Julio. When you factor in a revived running game with Coleman/Freeman and a properly used Roddy, I think the offense will play much better - even if it is on the road.
Score: Giants 27, Falcons 21
I think this is exactly the kind of game the Falcons are in danger of losing. As with the Eagles, if the defense can clamp down and the offensive line holds up enough to keep things close, they can get the win. I'm just wary of the Giants, who can be so bad one week and so good the next, and the Falcons once again getting gassed at the wrong time.
Score: Falcons a lot, Giants a little
Editor's note: No, seriously, that's all he wrote.
Score: Falcons 31, Giants 20
With Victor Cruz and Jon Beason not playing, the Giants are lacking playmakers on both sides of the ball. Both lines are filled with liabilities that have either notoriously struggled or simply inexperienced. Atlanta struggled to build off the glimpses of momentum last season. With a new coaching staff, the narrative of Atlanta being due for a letdown shouldn't exist with this coaching staff yet. The entire team looked reinvigorated against Philadelphia on both sides of the ball. Kyle Shanahan appears to have made Julio Jones into an unstoppable machine. If they can contain Odell Beckham and Matt Ryan doesn't replicate his mediocre performance against Philadelphia, there is no reason why Atlanta shouldn't win this game.
Score: Falcons 27, Giants 20
Atlanta's win over the Eagles on Monday night wasn't perfect, but we did see improvement in the run game, adequate play from the offensive line despite major shakeups the week before the season started, and solid defensive play, particularly in the first half. The Giants don't have the speed of Philadelphia's offense, particularly with Victor Cruz out, and the defense should be able to play more consistently throughout today's game without getting gassed. Based on what we've seen from Matt Ryan over the past seven seasons, it's safe to say that last week's shaky performance was an anomaly. It'll be a hard-fought game, but I think the Falcons will be 2-0 at the end of the day.
Score: Falcons 32, Giants 24
Optimism sure is high with Falcons fans. Giants have been able to handle the Falcons pretty consistently in the last decade, and at the beginning of the season I usually consider the New York game to be a loss. Not this year. If game one is any indication, the Falcons have finally provided Matt Ryan with the basic help on defense, along the offensive line, and in the run game that will allow the offense to put up points.