The Giants (1-5) at the Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Monday, Oct. 22 at 8:15 p.m.
It will be a cool night in Georgia, with temperatures probably around 60 at kickoff and falling from there. But the new stadium has a retractable roof, so bet on it being closed.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Giants desperately need to change the conversation from what Odell Beckham Jr. thinks (or doesn't think) about Eli Manning, what's wrong with the offense, whether Manning is done, who their next quarterback will be, and whether Pat Shurmur is in over his head. A win will help.
Not completely because they're still on their way to a lost season barring a miracle run. But at least they'll be a little happier with a win, fans and media will have something else to talk about, and maybe there'll be some positive stories for a change. Otherwise, the forecast calls for more doom and gloom.
PLAYER TO WATCH - WR Odell Beckham Jr.
John Mara asked for more playing, less talking. Beckham said he respects Mara's opinion, but we'll see how much. He still failed to offer support for his embattled quarterback again this week. And it hasn't gone unnoticed that even though Beckham is on his way to a season filled with his usual gaudy numbers, he's hardly having the impact he had in the past.
He complains about the attention defenses pay to him, but even when he gets the ball, he hasn't been able to do anything with it. He hasn't broken the big one this season. He's been a non-factor in the red zone (and not because he's been open in the end zone, by the way).
Maybe he's still not fully back from his ankle surgery. Maybe he's still a great player, but just doesn't quite have the same explosion anymore. Who knows? But if he's going to keep talking (and he will, don't kid yourself), then he ought to prove he's still the kind of player who can take over a game, not matter how much help he gets from anyone else.
I started to look at the Falcons' defense and saw a big opportunity for the Giants to score points. Then, I thought "Why should this game be any different?" The Giants' offense has been frustrating to watch for a wide variety of reasons (Manning included, but not exclusively), and it's hard to see them suddenly putting it together on the road, in a dome (or dome-like stadium) in a game that might be a shootout. They are still a team with overrated weapons outside of Beckham and Saquon Barkley, and as terrific as Barkley has been, the Giants still can't sustain a rushing attack or protect the quarterback enough for him to get the ball downfield.
The Falcons can get the ball downfield, and with the emergence of rookie receiver Calvin Ridley, they have multiple receivers that can do that. He and Julio Jones will be enough to stretch the Giants' thin secondary, especially since there's no real sign of the Giants' developing a pass rush.
Can the Giants keep up? Sure, if this is finally the week that Manning gets time in the pocket, or that Beckham takes a pass in coverage and breaks through for a long touchdown. But again, why should this game be any different? … Falcons 37, Giants 24.
MY RECORD: 3-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO WIN: 0-2
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO LOSE: 3-1.