Giants vs. Falcons Odds, Picks, NFL Predictions: Could Week 3 Be Calvin Ridley’s 2021 Breakout Game?
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Calvin Ridley.
- Calvin Ridley has yet to really shine as the top option in the Falcons' passing attack. Could Week 3 be his 2021 breakout?
- Our analyst isn't betting on it -- he details why in his preview of Sunday's NFL matchup, featuring Giants vs. Falcons odds.
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
After a tough start to the 2021 season, the Atlanta Falcons will head into MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon in a battle of winless teams.
The Falcons (0-2) drew a tough hand last week against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game they lost 48-25, while the Giants (0-2) saw a late field goal by kicker Dustin Hopkins dash their hopes at earning a key divisional win last week on Thursday Night Football.
With a neutral 3-point spread in favor of the home Giants, we’ll be utilizing the player prop market for action in this NFC bout.
Falcons, Matt Ryan Floundering Early
Wide receiver Russell Gage (ankle) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Olamide Zaccheaus handled slot duties when Gage was injured during last week’s game, so expect him to man that role this week as well.
Quarterback Matt Ryan has struggled to start the 2021 season. Through two weeks, he’s thrown for 464 yards with three interceptions and just two touchdown passes.
He has been efficient, however, completing 69.1% of his passes. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley has also yet to thrive in the top receiver role after the departure of Julio Jones, compiling just 124 receiving yards over the first two weeks of the season.
Atlanta’s matchup this week, however, is not overly imposing.
The Giants are ranked near the bottom of the league thus far with a 4.8% Total DVOA (per Football Outsiders), the sixth-worst mark in the NFL.
New York has, however, been very successful in coverage, due in large part to a dynamic secondary made up of James Bradberry, Adoree Jackson and Logan Ryan. Per PFF, their 66.6 PFF Coverage rating is a top-10 mark.
Running back Mike Davis should also have plenty of opportunities to exploit the Giants defense, which ranks 30th in the league with a 7.7% Rush DVOA through two weeks.
Davis is averaging just 12 carries per game in 2021, but I expect that number to increase this week against a suspect Giants rush defense.
Giants, Daniel Jones Flash Potential
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) and tight end Evan Engram (calf) are both questionable to play Sunday. Both players were limited all week, but they are trending in the right direction.
Despite an 0-2 start, quarterback Daniel Jones has shown flashes of a potential Year 3 leap. Through two weeks, Jones has thrown for 569 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions.
He’s also been extremely effective on the ground, totaling 122 rushing yards and two touchdowns over the first two weeks. His 8.1 yards per carry average is second to only Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts (8.5).
He’ll get a favorable draw this week. The Falcons defense owns a 55.0 PFF defense rating, the fifth-worst in the league. They’ve struggled getting after the passer, ranking dead-last with a 57.5 PFF Pass Rush rating.
That bodes well for Jones and the Giants passing attack in this one.
Widely regarded as one of the top wide receivers in football throughout the preseason, Ridley has yet to break out as the top option in the Falcons’ passing attack.
While he will undoubtedly make that leap at some point this year, I don’t expect it to be Sunday against this secondary.
Not only will Ridley have to deal with tough matchups against some of the better defensive backs in the game in Bradberry and Jackson, he’ll also likely see double coverage most of the day with Gage already ruled out.
Additionally, given the dysfunction in the Giants’ rush defense, I expect the coaching staff will try and control the game via the run as long as possible.
Ridley’s yardage total currently sits at a robust 80.5 yards. His yardage totals so far this season? 63 and 53. The Giants secondary has more than enough talent to keep him in that range for a third straight week.
I’m taking the under in this one and would play it all the way down to the 75-yard mark if it drops.
Pick: Calvin Ridley Under 80.5 Receiving Yards (-113) at FanDuel