It’s time for Atlanta Falcons football! Today, Dan Quinn’s team hit the road to take on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. If last week is anything to go by, the Falcons can put their feet up until the final two minutes because the Giants will simply hand them the game at that stage. In all seriousness, this will be a tough test for Quinn’s Falcons. Here are my final thoughts.
Who finishes better?
Quinn often talks about Atlanta being a finishing team. Last week they were exactly that, coming through on defense in the clutch to hang onto a narrow lead. New York did quite the opposite, seemingly doing all they could to hand the victory to Dallas.
The Giants will still be frustrated by this and you can bet they won’t make the same mistake in a similar position today. If this game comes down to the fourth quarter, and it will probably will, the Falcons will need to step up and finish. If it’s down to the defense, a big play like Ricardo Allen‘s interception last week will be crucial. If the offense needs a score, Matty Ice will need to do what he’s got a reputation for doing.
Run the ball, stop the run
It’s a simple rule in football but the Falcons must adhere to it. Testing the Giants’ defense with the run is absolutely crucial today, after the unit ranked 30th against the rush last year. Test them early and test them often. Controlling the clock, wearing down the defense and opening up the play-action pass would tilt the field favorably in the Falcons’ direction.
On the other side, forcing Eli Manning to beat the Giants in the air is what needs to happen. Bottle up any rush attempt by Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen and make this offense one dimensional. Like the Eagles, making some early stops and getting ahead in the game will make them a passing team.
Ramp up the pressure
And that brings me perfectly onto my final point. Pressure the quarterback. Manning is prone to throwing picks when pressure is in his face, and the Falcons have the pass rushers to cause him problems. Vic Beasley and O’Brien Schofield are two players to watch out for.