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Pundits Picks


It's playoff time and the pickings are aplenty in the NFL. The Falcons and Giants are pretty evenly matched, exactly what you'd expect in the playoffs. The Giants are at home and that makes them a favorite according to oddsmakers. The Falcons on the road and as an underdog are still given a puncher's chance to win the game. A quick look at those whose opinions matter to a great many of the football-viewing public agree that this game is a close call.

The Pick: Giants

The Skinny: ESPN thinks the Giants pass rush will be too much for the Falcons.

The Quote: "While Brandon Jacobs will have a prominent role in the Giants' rushing attack, Bradshaw is the superior all-around player and is more difficult to prepare for and play against. Bradshaw is an effective runner, inside or out, is an excellent receiver and is superb in pass protection. Lofton is a physical downhill 'Mike 'backer' who has played well this season and will often tangle with Bradshaw."

The Pick: Falcons

The Skinny: Shockingly, PFT's Rosenthal and Florio pick the Falcons, with the same score.

The Quote: "The Falcons traded up for Julio Jones to get more explosive on offense and they were more explosive down the stretch. The Giants defense is prone to giving up big plays. This just feels like a game the Falcons have been building towards for a few years. It's their time. At least for one week."

The Pick: Giants

The Skinny:'s Chris Burke thinks the home crowd will be a factor.

The Quote: "The difference defensively is that the Giants do have a potentially game-changing pass rush. Ryan and his plethora of offensive weapons will put up some points, just as Manning's loaded attack will. But the New York D-line and a charged-up Meadowlands crowd will be enough to move the G-men on to round two."

The Pick: Falcons

The Skinny: Pete Prisco thinks the Falcons and Giants will air it out.

The Quote: "Ryan played well in the second half of the season as he took on more of the offense. That will continue here. Ryan and Manning both threw 29 touchdown passes this season. I expect both to have success here. The Giants were 29th in pass defense, while the Falcons were 20th. Look for a shootout if the weather is decent. Falcons take it in an upset."

The Pick: Giants

The Skinny: Peter Schrager thinks the Giants have enough momentum to get past the Falcons.

The Quote: "The Falcons' receivers and Tony Gonzalez present giant problems for the Giants defensive backfield, but this team will find a way. They've done just that all season long."**


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