Sunday’s game between the Giants and the Cardinals is meaningless in regards to the playoffs, but it does have some significance overall. We could be witnessing the last few games of Eli Manning’s long career with the Giants as his tenure with the team after this season is uncertain. Additionally, we’re winding down on a legendary career with Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Sentimentality aside, this game is a clunker and only for the diehard faithful. Kickoff inside University of Phoenix Stadium is at 4:25 PM ET.
This will be the 126th meeting between the Giants and Cardinals. New York has the advantage with an all-time record of 80-43-2. The Giants also hold the advantage for road wins over Arizona with a record of 33-22-2. These two teams last played in 2014 and Arizona won that contest 25-14. The Giants are 4-2 at Arizona this millennium.
The Giants (2-12) are 1-6 on the road and come into this matchup having lost 4 straight games. 3 of those 4 games were to NFC teams and 2 of them were on the road. New York played a spirited contest against the Eagles last weekend and fell short of the victory 34-29. This weekend, the Giants will go out there and try to win one for Eli.
Arizona (6-8) is 4-3 at home and has lost 3 of their last 5 games. Last weekend’s loss to Washington eliminated the Cardinals from any playoff chances. This week, the Cardinals will put QB Drew Stanton back into the starting lineup after Gabbert replaced him for the last 5 weeks. Arizona hopes to break their streak of not scoring a touchdown over the last 10 quarters.
The spread opened with Arizona favored by 5 points and it has come down to 3. The Over/Under opened at 40.5 total points and it remains unchanged at many books.
If you can get the total point line at 40.5 or higher then do it. I actually think the combined point total will come in right at 40 points and hit the Under. For Arizona, the Under has hit in 9 of their last 13 games, 13 of their last 19 home games, and 8 of the last 11 games against the Giants. For New York, the Under has hit in 4 of their last 5 games and 11 of their last 16 road games.
The Giants average 16.3 ppg on the season and the Cardinals average 17.6 ppg. That’s a combined total of 33.9 ppg. Over the last 5 games, Arizona has averaged 18.2 ppg. The Giants have done even worse by averaging just 15.6 ppg during their last 5 games. On the flip side, Arizona has led the NFL in yards allowed on defense, is 1st in pass defense and 3rd against the run over the last 5 weeks.
What this all boils down to: we have two poor offenses, one defense that has been playing great and two teams that have nothing really to play for.
So, I see this game landing in the 26-14 range with the Cardinals kicking 4 more field goals this week. Last weekend, they were only able to score 5 field goals against Washington. However, with Stanton back in the lineup, the Cardinals should be able to find the endzone and I believe one of those touchdowns will be to Larry Fitzgerald. The Giants give up 272.2 passing yards per game and 400 total ypg. Additionally, the allow 25.4 ppg on the season and have seen their opponents score 30 points or more in the last 2 weeks. Since neither team can run the ball, as both average 89 ypg or less, I expect this to be a pass happy game.
Eli will have a nice outing, but it won’t be enough as the Giants have no balance on offense and the Cardinals will take away New York’s only good receiver in Sheppard. Arizona will win their home finale of 2017 and give their fans a little something to be happy about at Christmas.