giants falcons
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants face the 0-2 Falcons in Week 3. They must notch a victory; Big Blue cannot ruin Eli Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony.

This is a big game for a number of reasons.

For one, the Giants absolutely need a victory after starting the season 0-2. If they can’t notch one against a struggling Falcons squad, then they have some real issues in and around the organization.

But also, the team will finally be retiring Eli Manning‘s No. 10 jersey. The ceremony will occur at halftime at MetLife Stadium — Manning will also earn induction into the Giants Ring of Honor.

The Giants cannot spoil this memorable day with a loss to one of the league’s worst teams. Big Blue must come to play on either side of the ball.

Game Info

Atlanta Falcons (0-2) @ New York Giants (0-2)
Sunday, September 26, 2021 — 1:00 PM EDT
Radio: WFAN660


Notable Game Props
(Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Giants Total Points: Over-25.5 (-110), Under-25.5. (-120)
  • Falcons Total Points: Over-22.5 (-115), Under-22.5 (-115)
  • First Team to Score: Giants (-125), Falcons (-105)
  • Last Team to Score: Giants (-125), Falcons (-105)
  • Giants Total TDs: Over-2.5 (-175), Under-2.5 (+135)
  • Falcons Total TDs: Over-2.5 (-120), Under-2.5 (-120)

Player Prop Picks (Courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

Daniel Jones over-255.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Daniel Jones put together one of the better performances of his career last week, throwing for 249 yards on 68.8% passing against what’s supposed to be a strong Washington defense.

Now, think about what he could potentially do against a Falcons defense that’s allowing 40.0 points and 260.0 passing yards per game.

If the Giants offensive line, which played better than usual against the Football Team, can provide Jones with time to operate, the third-year quarterback should be able to dial it up against one of the current worst defenses in the league.

A talented slate of targets that includes Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and potentially Evan Engram should also help Jones hit this over.

Sterling Shepard over-5.5 Receptions (+105)

Are the oddsmakers serious with this one?

Sterling Shepard to rack up at least six receptions is at +105?

The sixth-year wideout is having a tremendous season so far and is the Giants’ leading receiver. Opposing defenses may focus too much attention on guys like Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley to the point where they overlook Shepard, who’s averaging eight receptions per game through two weeks.

Against a below-average Falcons defense, Shepard should find space and at least come close to the over by halftime.

Sterling Shepard over-61.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

Again with the disrespect?

Shepard is averaging 103.5 receiving yards per game up to this point, so the fact the DraftKings Sportsbook total is at over-under 61.5 is beyond me.

This is a surefire over, just like his reception total is.

Odds and prop bets courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Get a bonus of up to $1,050 when you click here.

Players to Watch

kadarius toney giants
Syndication: The Record

Kadarius Toney

Could this finally be the game in which the Giants look to maximize Kadarius Toney‘s skill set?

The first-round wide receiver sports the tools to be that dynamic target the Giants drafted him to be. However, through two games, he’s been on the field for just 24 offensive snaps and has been targeted only twice (two catches, negative-two yards).

The Giants are facing a weak Falcons defense that’s allowed 80 combined points through its first pair of games. Thus, there’s a chance offensive coordinator Jason Garrett could finally find the opportunity to utilize Toney in a number of ways.

Get him out in space, run sweep or touch pass-type plays with him, and overall, just get the ball in his hands. His combination of speed, elusiveness, and athleticism is legitimate — the Giants must put it to use.

Azeez Ojulari

One of the reasons the Giants defense struggled against both Denver and Washington was the lack of a true pass rush. New York failed to consistently get to quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Taylor Heinicke, which cost the Giants a number of times.

On Sunday, expect defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to bring the heat in this area of the game — if the Giants don’t pressure Matt Ryan, the veteran signal-caller could have his way with them.

The team will likely look to right the wrongs by getting in the backfield, and rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari should be a big part of that.

The second-round draft pick notched a sack in each of his first two games and should further impress on the stat sheet if the Giants let the dogs loose on Sunday.

Interior Offensive Line

For the second consecutive week, we’re making the offensive line a “player to watch” despite the fact it’s a group of individuals.

At least this time around it’s the interior of the offensive line, not the entirety of the unit.

The Giants have lost left guard Shane Lemieux to a knee injury and center Nick Gates to a lower leg fracture. The former may be out the entire season while the latter definitely is.

Thus, we’ll likely see Ben Bredeson and Billy Price fill in at the left guard and center spots while reserve interior lineman Matt Skura possibly rotates in.

The performances of these individuals will be crucial to the performances of Daniel Jones and the offense as a whole. The offensive line has been a weak spot of this Giants team and these injuries don’t help — Bredeson, Price, and potentially Skura stepping up could really assist this team in Week 3.

Wide Right Podcast Preview

On episode 83 of ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast, we preview the Giants-Falcons matchup. You can locate the episode below, on Apple here, or on Spotify here.

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.