New York Giants vs Atlanta Falcons
When: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Georgia Dome
The Giants are coming off of a blowout win over the Saints last week. Now they turn their attention to another NFC South foe, Atlanta. The ramifications from this game will loom large in the playoff picture, as well as bragging rights. With three games left, the Giants (8-5) are one game ahead of Dallas and Washington. It’s likely that only one of the NFC East teams will make the playoffs, so the race has heated up for the division crown.
Atlanta (11-2) is one win away from clinching a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Falcons have been the number one team in the NFC all season, but their challenge doesn’t start until the postseason. Every win has been met with a nonchalant attitude, while their losses are heavily held against them. Atlanta wants to prove they can beat a good team late in the season. They’ll have their chance when the Giants come to town.
Matt Ryan has forged himself into the MVP discussion, yet he’ll have to win out to garner heavy consideration. He’s thrown 14 interceptions and 24 touchdowns this season. Ryan has been clutch late in games. The Falcons will go as far as the passing game will take them.
Eli Manning has had his ups and downs this season, but this is the time when he usually shines best. Manning has thrown 13 interceptions and only 20 touchdowns this season. Many of his miscues have come in bunches, yet he was composed enough to overcome the turnovers.
The running game will play a huge factor during Sunday’s game. David Wilson will be making his first career start for the Giants. Wilson, the rookie out of Virginia Tech has breakaway speed, and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. Ahmad Bradshaw has been ruled out for the game, so Wilson has to be durable against the Falcons defense.
The Falcons will use both of their talents in the backfield. Michael Turner leads Atlanta with nine touchdowns, while Jacquizz Rodgers will use his all purpose skills to be a threat out of the backfield.
Both teams display one of the best receiving corps in the league. Whichever team that can get the ball downfield better will have a great chance of pulling off the win.
Victor Cruz has to have a big game for the Giants. The more Salsa dancing he’s doing, the better it is for New York. Cruz has the uncanny ability to make people miss once he catches the ball. As Hakeem Nicks gets more acclimated into the offense again, the Giants will get back into their high scoring ways.
Roddy White and Julio Jones are big play receivers with huge hands. They have a size advantage over most defensive backs, and both of them will be over 1000 yards receiving by the end of the day.
Neither defense has been overly tough, but they have their moments. The Giants have to create pressure with their front four. They’ll have a rough time in the passing game if they can’t crowd Matt Ryan in the pocket.
The Atlanta Falcons have to deal with a newly found explosive running game. If the Falcons aren’t able to control Wilson in the backfield, they might be chasing him to the end zone. Wilson has had trouble fumbling the ball, so Atlanta will attack his arms, and try to rip the ball out.
Even though Atlanta needs to prove that they belong as the best team, this game is bigger for the Giants. It should be a high scoring game barring any major turnovers in the red zone.
New York Giants 31
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