By Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com
Approach to the Game: The Falcons are not a good football team. They are struggling on offense and defense. This is a team the Giants should pummel.
I think most Giants’ fans are more focused on the re-match against Dallas in November than they are about the Falcons, 49ers, and Dolphins. The hope and expectation is that the Giants will be 6-2 heading into that game. That’s a realistic assumption. It would be very disappointing if the Giants drop one of these next three games. Worse, it would make it even more difficult to catch the Cowboys in the chase for the NFC East crown.
All of the Giants’ wins have been tight games. Let’s put a game away early for once.
Giants on Special Teams: If the Giants lose the game, it will probably be because of their special teams. Not only are the Giants’ special teams units struggling, but Atlanta has very good special teams. The scariest match-up is kickoff returner Jerious Norwood, the NFC’s leading kickoff returner, against the Giants’ kickoff coverage unit that has been simply dreadful. Ole’ reliable Morten Andersen is kicking for the Falcons while the Giants’ place-kicking situation, exacerbated by DT Jay Alford’s subpar long snaps, is shaky at best.
Giants on Offense: Run, run, run. The Falcons are 21st in run defense. Pound the football. Pro Bowl MLB Keith Brooking has an ankle injury.
The toughest match-up for the Giants is RDE John Abraham against LT David Diehl. DT Rod Coleman, a super-quick tackle, is expected to play his first game this season on Monday night. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a big coming out party. The other tackle is mammoth Grady Jackson. He can be tough to move, but you can also wear him down – again arguing for a heavy dose of the running game.
When the Giants do put the ball up, Plaxico Burress – as long as his ankle stays well on the turf – should perform well. The right corner situation on the Falcons is unsettled with two players sharing time, including a rookie. I would also like to see the Giants feature Jeremy Shockey some more in the passing game. The safeties of the Falcons can be exploited.
Giants on Defense: There has been a lot of focus this week on the fact that both of the starting tackles for the Falcons are out. Regardless of what they are saying publicly, the Giants’ defensive ends have to be licking their chops. But the entire line has to focus on the far less glamorous chore of stopping the run first. Atlanta has some good running backs who can break a big run. Stop the run, then get after the passer.
Joey Harrington stinks. But the Giants have made him look good in the past. That crap has to stop now. Abuse him. Force him to make mistakes.
The biggest worry defensively is TE Alge Crumpler, who is one of the very best in the business. The Giants still have to prove they can defend a quality tight end. As well as the defense did last week against the Jets, the tight end made plays against the Giants’ defense again.