Sometimes you say “NO” to a second helping

Posted: October 7, 2013 in NFL
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

By W.G. Ramirez

Tonight is like a second helping the night of Thanksgiving.Line1_PROOF

You’ve had your fill of turkey, stuffing, candied yams and the NFL. But then you go back and feel compelled at a second helping, cause, well, it’s Thanksgiving.

After watching yesterday’s marathon between the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos, whose 51 points matched what Jacksonville has scored all season, well, you could call tonight’s contest between the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets the second helping.

It’ll be that painful when it’s all said and done, especially for how good the main course was yesterday.

Looking at the laundry list of injuries with these two teams, I’m not sure how much offense we’re going to see, a hint that the Under may be a good play.

Atlanta’s left tackle Sam Baker (knee) was the latest casualty, joining running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) and cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh), who have both missed two straight games. Defensive end Kroy Biermann and fullback Bradie Ewing are out for the season, while linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot) will miss at least six more weeks. Receiver Roddy White has played through an ankle injury but has vividly been limited by his bad wheel.

The Jets are so limited by injuries at wide receiver, I’m not sure what quarterback Geno Smith plans on doing with this offense, especially knowing he shares the league lead with 11 turnovers, including eight interceptions. Wideouts Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill probably won’t play, as Holmes is still out with foot and hamstring problems and Hill has been grounded by concussion issues.

Is it scary to say the best part of this game might be the Jets’ defense?

That would be like saying the turkey and stuffing were dry, the yams were soggy and the best part of dinner was the green bean almondine.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather hit the gym instead of bothering with seconds. But, here’s the key matchup…

KEY SHOWDOWN: Atlanta’s receiving corps vs. New York’s second-ranked defense

Jets defensive back Antonio Cromarite will likely line up against the NFL’s leading receiver, Julio Jones, who has racked up 481 yards receiving and has topped 100 yards in three straight games.

As mentioned, White has been limited by a high ankle sprain and that means the Matt Ryan will turn to age-defying tight end Tony Gonzalez, who is in after 12 catches for career-best 149 yards and two touchdowns against the New England Patriots.

The Jets’ defense is a big reason they’re 2-2 this year, as its No. 2 in the league overall, ranking fifth against the rush and eighth against the pass. Tonight they take on the league’s third-best passing offense.

The winner of this battle could very well win this game.

BY THE NUMBERS: N.Y. Jets at Atlanta (-10, 44)

New York is 3-1 against the number this season, while Atlanta is 1-3 ATS.

New York is also on a 3-0 straight-up run against NFC teams, including its season-opening win over Tampa Bay.

The Jets are on a 5-1 spread streak in the month of October.

The Falcons are 1-3 for the first time since 2007 and come in mired in a 0-2 skid, the first time in six years under coach Mike Smith they’ve lost back-to-back regular season games.

Ryan is 34-6 in home starts and has won 12 of his last 14 at the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons are 33-1 when Ryan starts and has rating of at least 100.

Atlanta has failed to cover 4 of its last 5 in the Georgia Dome and 6 of their last 7 overall.

The Falcons have covered the game 7 of the last 9 seasons preceding a bye week.

Five of past six meetings between these two teams have played Under the total.

ON DECK: While the Falcons get a bye after this game, the Jets return home to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

At most books with a line on the game, the Steelers are a road favorite laying 2.5 to the Fly Boys next week.

  1. wilram says:

    Very clever article. Like the Thanksgiving touch..

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