The Falcons have been full of surprises in 2021, most of them unpleasant. Even dour fans probably didn’t see the team getting absolutely hammered in Week 1, and while the final score of the Buccaneers game was not eyebrow-raising on its own, the twists and turns it took to get there were. Score predictions are usually doomed to look funny in hindsight, but that’s even more true thus far for these Falcons.
The show must go on, though, and we’re hoping Atlanta starts resemble a competent, consistent football team as soon as this week. As we’ve written and talked about throughout the week, the Giants are not going to be a pushover, but they are a team the best version of this year’s Falcons can probably beat. That feels like a recipe for a close game, good or bad, and you’ll see that reflected in our predictions.
Unwarranted and dangerous optimism found below...sort of. Read ours and share yours!
Falcons 27 - Giants 24
I am not having fun with these predictions this year. I’ve had this penciled in as a win since the early summer, but then the Eagles game happened and the Giants have looked reasonably competitive. Now it sort of feels like tempting fate.
I’m going to stick with a predicted win even if I’m nervous about it with A.J. Terrell out in particular. At some point, the Falcons will put together a more complete effort and actually win a game off the back of it, and with two weeks of getting kicked up and down the field in their back pocket it seems like as good of a time as any for them to dig deep and show us something. It helps that the Giants secondary, as loaded with talent as it is on paper, has not been a difference maker in the early going, and that the pass rush isn’t quite as ferocious as Philly and Tampa Bay’s. If they don’t win here they’re as good as toast for 2021, considering the number of road games and looming matchups with quality teams still on the schedule, so let’s be a little sad and call this a must-win for a team that doesn’t want to be out of it in late September. - Dave Choate
Falcons 23 - Giants 20
The Falcons are at Week 3 and amazingly looking at the most important game of the season. While the Falcons would not technically be out of the playoffs, an 0-3 start makes a playoff berth statistically unlikely, almost certainly needing a collapse of other teams while Atlanta suddenly becomes nearly unbeatable. The Giants also provide a very beatable team. I don’t think the Falcons will be able to have a decisive win against any team, but they should be able to outperform a very uneven New York team. If not, expect to see a lot of draft coverage here at the site. - Matt Chambers
Falcons 28 - Giants 24
Call me a fool, but I think the Falcons offense is going to hit its stride against the Giants. Their defensive line is nowhere near as talented as the two units Atlanta has faced so far. They do have some quality at corner, so the Atlanta offense will probably rely more on their running backs and tight ends - especially if Russell Gage is out. Daniel Jones does make me nervous with his ability to make plays with his legs, but this is a prime game for Dean Pees to disrupt the pocket with an offensive line that is in bad shape. I think Jones makes a few plays, but Atlanta ultimately pulls out their first win of the season. - David Walker
Giants 24 - Falcons 17
I really wish I could feel optimistic like my colleagues, but if top corner A.J. Terrell and second receiver Russell Gage are indeed out Sunday, it makes it harder to feel good about the team’s chances on the road. I don’t like the team’s odds against a Giants defense that will present plenty of challenges up front for this fledgling offensive line. I think Atlanta’s defense can get stops if they can contain Saquon Barkley just enough, but I think the G-Men will do just enough at home to eek out a messy victory against a Falcons team that still doesn’t look fully cooked yet. I’d love to be wrong and see the Falcons get that first, elusive win, but I’m not bullish as of now. I still like the team’s upward swing showed last week, and I think they’ll play as complete a game this time out as they have all season. Since they’re a bit clipped, though, I’ll predict a close-ish, low-scoring loss. 0-3 would be crummy, but this team is still figuring itself out, and growth is the goal. - Cory Woodroof
Giants 28 - Falcons 26
I’m with my buddy Cory on this one, I’m taking the Giants to win on Sunday. I want the Falcons to obviously win, but I have no faith or confidence in them doing so. It’s easy to hear “Giants” and think the team is awful, but in reality, they’ve been hit hard by the injury bug. Unfortunately for the Falcons, it seems they’re getting healthy just in time for Sunday’s matchup. Evan Engram is set to make his season debut, Kenny Golladay although questionable, should play. Also, the Falcons will be without their best secondary player in A.J. Terrell. Sterling Shepard is a name to remember in this matchup, as he’s been giving the opposition fits over the last two games recording at least 94+ yards per game. And then there’s Saquon Barkley who had no injury designation in Friday’s practice report and Daniel Jones who already has two rushing touchdowns this season. I challenge the Falcons to prove me wrong, because an 0-3 start would be ugly for the new regime. - Evan Birchfield
Giants 28 - Falcons 24
This is going to be bad football. These are two sketchy teams trying to avoid the dreaded 0-3 hole.
I just hope it’s wildly entertaining bad football.
The Falcons will be missing two key contributors in cornerback A.J. Terrell and wide receiver Russell Gage, with the Giants also potentially missing some offensive firepower in tight end Evan Engram and wideout Kenny Golladay. While Daniel Jones is no Jalen Hurts where mobility is concerned, the Falcons had no answer for the aforementioned dual-threat quarterback in Week 1.
Daniel Jones moving out of the pocket confusing a ramshackle secondary proves the difference. It’ll be close, it’ll be sloppy, Giants by four.
Giants 30 - Falcons 28
I want to pick the Falcons to nab their first victory of the season. I really really do. But the absence of cornerback AJ Terrell concerns me. Even against a Giants offense that is middle of the pack in passing yards per game and a quarterback in Daniel Jones that can run hot or cold at any given time. If the Falcons are unable to pester Jones enough to force a number of turnovers, this may be contest in which the Giants offense will look the best they have all season. Hopefully, the Falcons find their footing while they are on offense and avoid a slow start. But, I get the feeling that they are in need of more time to find that necessary rhythm. - Eric Robinson