Too much of this week’s talk is based on January’s New York Giants’ home playoff win against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife. It shouldn’t be. Stop with the “two points” talk. It’s nearing the end of the 2012 NFL season and while the Giants are the reigning World Champions, that game was technically a part of 2011.
While Atlanta did score two points on a safety, the Giants had issues with penalties (one holding that actually led to said safety) and had a slow start on offense that sunny day. Had Atlanta Falcons head coach not gone for three fourth-down attempts, it may have been a different ball game. Maybe, but probably not, as the second half told a different story. QB Matt Ryan threw 24 of 41 for 199 yards and their run game was abysmal. That won’t happen again eleven months and two new coordinators (offensive and defensive) later.
The big stat in that game was no turnovers. That will change on Sunday. The Giants fly down to the Georgia Dome with a defense that is second in the NFL in interceptions with 20 as well as forcing turnovers with 34. While most quarterbacks fear the Big Blue pass rush and have that on their minds (they’re 12th in the NFL with 31 sacks), the turnovers shouldn’t be ignored.
"The Giants are probably the best in the league," Ryan said. "They've got three top-tier pass rushers, and we know that from playing them last year. They'll present us with a difficult challenge. Their front four is very solid. For four quarters, they rush the passer as well as anybody in the league."
The Giants play the NFC South this season and remain the only NFC East team Ryan has yet to beat. The G-Men as well as Tom Coughlin know this.
"We just have to make sure Ryan doesn't get too comfortable back there," Tuck said. "Otherwise, it's going to be a long day for us."
Coughlin brings up the home field “advantage” and the changes in Atlanta’s offense.
"It’s very loud. It’ll be louder now because of the success that they’ve had, but it has to be done. The communication process is something that’s not easy. The focus, the concentration has got to stay imminent at every second, because right now what I really do preach is the fact that the intensity level of every snap now. Every snap is critical and when you look at some of the things that Atlanta has done in late game-type heroics you understand that. They’ve also had 49 points this year off of drives that were four plays or less. They are a quick strike outfit and so there are a lot of things that you do have to understand when you talk about the intensity of every snap right now," Coughlin said.
Exactly: Playing each snap as if it’s the last game-riding one that can help you advance or not is the mentality that needs to be brought down south. Every pass, catch, run, tackle, kick and penalty matters.
Antrel Rolle would co-sign:
“Let’s go out there like a bunch of crazed dogs and have some fun!” -Lawrence Taylor
Also…Antrel Rolle, Atlanta, Atlanta Falcons, Football, Lawrence Taylor, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin