The final game of week 12 has the New York Giants (6-4) heading to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints (7-3).
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The Giants have lost their momentum and could be on the verge of another late season collapse having lost their last two games and fallen to second place behind Dallas in the NFC East. They are in a brutal stretch of schedule with no room for error with games against the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys following tonight’s matchup with the Saints.
The Giants come in behind QB Eli Manning who is fifth in the league with 298.7 yards per game and a rating of 97.0. WR receiver Victor Cruz has been Eli’s main target averaging 17.4 yards per reception. The Giants will have to pick up their run game with Ahmad Bradshaw still sidelined by a foot injury. Brandon Jacobs has been averaging only 3.2 yards per carry and the Giants are dead last in the league with 82.2 yards per game. They may have an opportunity tonight against the Saints' run defense, which is ranked 19th giving up 121.5 yards per game and giving up a second-worst 5.2 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Giants are 22nd overall allowing 362.1 yards per game. One of the strengths of the team is its defensive line led by DE Jason Pierre-Paul who is third in the league with 10.5 sacks, DE Osi Umenyiora, ninth with seven sacks, Justin Tuck and lineman Chris Canty. This line is able to get pressure without blitzing, leaving the secondary open for coverage but will have to pick up their rush defense which is allowing 123 yards per game to slow down the Saints.
The Saints are coming off their bye week and have been perfect at home this season behind their league leading offense which is putting up 436.9 yards per game.
QB Drew Brees is second in the league averaging 332.6 yards per game with a passer rating of 101.3 and 23 touchdowns. Leading receiver Jimmy Graham is second in the league with 62 receptions averaging 14.1 yards per reception. The multi-headed rushing attack is ranked 14th with 117.5 yards per game led by RB Darren Sproles who is having a strong year averaging 6.8 yards per carry and is third in the league with 60 receptions. RB Pierre Thomas who is averaging 4.7 yards per carry as well.
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On the defensive side the Saints are 21st giving up 361.4 yards per game but the secondary behind Safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Roman Harper is one of the better units in the league allowing only 21 pass plays of more than 20 yards this season. Combined with strong corner play by Roman Harper and Tracy Porter, this let the Saints blitz more than any other team which could lead to a long night for Eli Manning.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets (MNM) score for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.
The major indexes ended the week down sharply with the Dow Industrials closing out the week down 4.78% and the S&P 500 losing 4.69%. Both indexes have now fallen two weeks in a row and three of the last four. The markets were pressured by the failure of a bipartisan deficit committee to reach an agreement on budget cuts and by ongoing concerns about the euro zone debt crisis.
Weak economic data including a bond sale in Germany, Chinese factory data, and a third quarter downward revision of economic growth contributed to the markets’ decline.
Over the past 20 years, the Giants have played 27 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .300 when the Dow closes the prior week down and .332 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them a MNM rank for this week of .332.
During the same 20 year period, the Saints have played 18 Monday night games and have a rank of .500 when the Dow is down and .333 when the S&P 500 is down, giving them an MNM rank this week of .417.
Monday Night Markets picks the New Orleans Saints at home.
FBN STAFF PICKS - WEEK 12
Chris Cotter (8-4)
No signs point to the Giants turning this around tonight which is why it is likely they might lose, other than the fact that they are playing the Saints in New Orleans. Saints win.
Sandra Smith (9-3)
Robert Gray (7-4)
The Saints go marching on with a win towards a playoff berth.
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