This seems like a great time to pick the 49ers to win a game. But the Giants’ offense is playing better than you think despite the defensive debacle. Orleans Darkwa will have plenty of running room, and Eli Manning will see his receivers get open, especially with no Jacquiski Tartt to slow Evan Engram. On the other side, C.J. Beathard is still C.J. Beathard.
It’s impossible to ask Hundley to scan the field the way Rodgers does when the Packers spread the field. Rodgers makes third and fourth wide receivers and second and third tight ends better than they really are by consistently finding them in matchups he likes. The process of Hundley going through his progressions will be slower, just like it is for any QB who isn’t Rodgers.
Luckily, the Packers have one of the best starting 1-2 punches with wideouts Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. Randall Cobb is also there in the slot, but he has lost his effectiveness as a No. 3. Nelson and Adams have enough route-running and lineup versatility to be moved around where one consistently is in a better position to produce.
We’re underway in Seattle. The Seahawks win the toss and defer. Atlanta will start the game’s opening drive near midfield following a 51-yard kickoff return by Andre Roberts.
Touchdown, Falcons. Ryan fakes a handoff, rolls to his right and throws across his body to a wide-open Levine Toilolo for a 25-yard touchdown. The Falcons now lead 31-20 with 7:24 to play in the third quarter.
Ryan can’t find anyone open, avoids the rush and scrambles for 14 yards on third down near midfield to keep Atlanta’s drive alive.
Seattle advances inside the Atlanta 25 but its drive stalls on a third-down pass that comes up well short of the marker. Blair Walsh enters and kicks a 37-yard field goal to make the score 24-20.