The Giants are back on Monday Night Football again already? Last time, they saw the Chiefs, losing the low-scoring affair in Kansas City, and they’re set to face the other team featured in Super Bowl LV — another group that happens to be sputtering.
In case you haven’t seen this plastered everywhere on the internet leading up to this game: Tom Brady has only lost three games in a row once in his career. That happened back in 2002 with New England, and the skid lasted four games. In those contests where Brady has had to avoid a third consecutive loss, he and his teammates have generally found a way to win by a large margin.
However, if you look in recent years at Brady’s performances in the game following back-to-back losses, he hasn’t exactly thrived. After losing to the Rams then Chiefs last season, he only threw for 196 yards vs. Minnesota. In 2019, he skirted a third loss in a row with only 128 passing yards. And the year before that, he avoided his first real losing streak since 2002 with a 126-yard effort.
As good as Brady looked until these last two weeks, the Giants are 11th in pass DVOA. He could very well hit the over on his passing touchdown prop (2.5) on DraftKings Sportsbook (+120), but he’s going to need help from Leonard Fournette and the defense if he’s going to do so.
The last couple games haven’t exactly gone well for Tampa’s lead rusher. After logging a measly 26 yards on eight carries vs. New Orleans, Fournette only saw a three-carry, 21-yard bump vs. Washington in Week 10. So after crushing the over on Monday’s rushing prop on DraftKings Sportsbook for five weeks in a row, he hasn’t even sniffed 50 yards in back-to-back games.
But New York presents a great bounce-back opportunity for him as much as anyone on the Bucs. The Giants are ranked 30th in rush DVOA, and they’re also much tougher against the pass (11th in pass DVOA). On the season, opposing backfields have accrued 65-plus yards in all but one game vs. the Giants. In six of those eight instances, single backs eclipsed the over on Fournette’s rushing yards prop on their own; of course, when Tampa is attacking on the ground often, Fournette is getting the majority of the carries.
As much as I’m fading Brady in some capacity, I can’t do it completely. Yes, it’d be fitting for the Giants of all teams to hand him his third loss in a row, which would only be his second losing streak of his career — his last one coming almost two decades ago. But there’s too much up in the air with New York.
Saquon Barkley may be good to go, but how much do the Giants want to push him given their standing at 3-6? Like Barkley, Devontae Booker is also officially listed as questionable. And once again, Sterling Shepard has been ruled out. Ultimately, though, I trust the trend surrounding Brady.
As for the total, I like the under on the 50-point game total (-110). Combined, these two offense average 50.9 points per game this season while the defenses have combined to give up 47.6 on average. The under has hit in five of New York’s games this season and in four of Tampa Bay’s, who’ve both played nine games so far. In the end, I prefer a little breathing room with the Bucs looking to right the ship.
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