Giants Expect Improved Offense from Falcons
Last time the Giants and Falcons squared off, Atlanta's offense failed to generate a single point, as New York eliminated Atlanta from the 2011 playoffs by the score of 24-2.
Since that game, however, the Falcons offense has risen to a new level under the tutelage of one Dirk Koetter. Sure, the running game has deteriorated, but with the maturation of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, the air attack has certainly improved. The Giants, namely Justin Tuck, know this.
“On offense, they want to keep the chains moving, and they’re kind of a check-with-me offense,” Tuck said. “It’s going to be a chess match a little more than it was last year.”
The Giants have the 22nd ranked rush defense in the NFL, so Jacquizz Rodgers and Michael Turner will have a chance to do some damage. That said, the Falcons' chances will likely rest on Matt Ryans arm, as per usual.
Roddy White Injured, Should Play on Sunday
Falcons Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White sustained a minor knee injury in Charlotte last weekend, and his status for the Giants game remains somewhat up in the air. The UAB grad missed practice on Wednesday and will probably be limited the rest of the week.
Jonathan Babineaux (rib) and William Moore (hamstring) also missed practice on Wednesday.
Falcons Need Strong Showing From O-Line
After holding the Panthers to just two sacks last week, the Falcons offensive line is going to have to be on top of its game once more against the vaunted Giants pass rush.
New York's starting front four, comprised of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Linval Joseph and Chris Canty will surely be bringing the heat come Sunday, and if Matt Ryan can't stay upright in the pocket, Atlanta will have a very hard time winning the football game. In addition to the aforementioned four, two-time Pro Bowler Osi Umenyora—who has six sacks thus far in 2012—will get his fair share of snaps as well.
Bosher Named Payton NFL Man of the Year
Punter Matt Bosher, who has improved considerably since turning pro, has been named the Falcons 2012 Payton Man of the Year. The award is given to one player on each team in recognition of off-the-field community service.
“Receiving an award like this is truly humbling,” Bosher said. “I am very lucky and appreciate all the Atlanta Falcons organization has done to provide me with opportunities to give back to the community. Since my first day as an NFL player I have learned that I have the ability to make a difference.”
Roddy White, who has been with the Falcons through their last three playoff losses, took to the airwaves on Wednesday and explained why this year's team is better than those of the recent past:
“It’s just more focused and I think we have better players," White said on WCNN in Atlanta. "Not to make any excuses, I don’t think we had all our guys, all our guns out there on Sunday so I’m hoping we can get all our guys healthy and back playing again right before the playoffs start so we can make a playoff run.”