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Giants/Falcons preview. Giants Roundtable Week 11

Welcome back to another edition of Giants Roundtable and welcome back to another edition of the Giants Must win this week in order to have a shot at making the playoffs.

And welcome back to “ouch: it hurts in here” as Antonio Pierce has been ruled out indefinitely.

First let me mention that these questions were prepared and answered before the late-breaking news todays.

Let me introduce the panel. We have Fuchs, Mark, and Andrew.

The most importnat player this weekend might be Tony Gonazlez. Let’s see what the panel has to say.

More dangerous weapon: Tony Gonzalez or Roddy White?
  Tough one. Give me Gonzalez. I think White can be neutralized by Corey Webster, but I’m not sure if Gonzalez can. The middle of the field, as evidenced by the Chargers game, could be open, and Gonzalez would take advantage of it. 

 If Antonio Pierce is the middle linebacker I am going with Gonzalez. 

Statistically Roddy White has the edge. But Tony Gonzalez has been around for a long, long time — and he always manages to produce for his team. Even if the Giants are able to make the deep ball a non issue this week though, mid-length passes over the middle to Tight Ends are always a soft spot for this defense. It could very well be a cold and windy afternoon at the Meadowlands, so for this game I’m going with Gonzalez as the bigger threat who can eat up yardage on shallower passes over 60 minutes.

Chase Blackburn is not much more athletic than Antonio Pierce, hoepfully we’ll see a lot of Jonathan Goff at middle linebacker this week.

The next biggest story line might be the two young franchise quarterbacks participating in the game this week.

Who would you rather have if you were starting a franchise today: Matt Ryan or Eli Manning?
I like Eli Manning. He’s a classy guy that has found away to win in the most challenging market there is amid the most heated criticism of a young NY quarterback that I can remember.



  Manning. I’m a huge fan of Ryan, but he hasn’t proven it on the big stage yet. I think Ryan will be a Pro Bowler for years to come, but he hasn’t done enough yet. 

 will still take Eli, Ryan had a great rookie year but seems to be having a bit of a sophmore slump.  Manning has the name and the ring. 

I have nothing against Matty Ice, but I certianley hope that he has at least one more week in his slump before he figures everything out. But nothing gets a QB over a slump like a poor pass defense like the Giants have been at times this year.

The Giants will be without Pierce and the Falcons wil likely be without Michael Turner.

If Michael Turner misses the game Sunday (which appears likely) can the Falcons run on the Giants with a combination of Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood?  



  No. Snelling and Norwood are no where near Michael Turner. You hate to see someone get hurt, but this is a good time for Turner to get injured. 

Very true. And what’s more is that Jerrious Norwood also might not play. This all bodes well for the G-men.

The Falcons rank 28th against the rush and 26th against the pass, yet they are 16th against points. The Giants meanwhile on the other hand on defense rank 1st in yards (2nd in pass and 6th vs the rush). Thoughts?

Well considering the Giants defense was responsible for a few of those loses when it mattered — I would’t feel confident in the stats when the game was on the line. But overall yeah, the Giants have done well to minimize the impact of some explosive offenses they have faced, San Diego and Arizona especially. They still lost, but I would say the Giants held those teams to uncharacteristically low offensive production. If the Giants can play cohesive football and have a good outing on both offense and defense, exploit the apparent weakness on the ground and play Giants football — it should be a good matchup for the Gmen.

Well said. The defense needs to play like the number one overall rated defense, which they are in yards per game.  This is truly an example of how stats lie.

A big problem with the defense has been the terrible field position created by the senior citizen Jeff Feagles.

Do you think Jeff Feagles will have cured what ails him?
He thinks so.  I was reading that he has worked on his angles and that he usually punts better after he takes a break.  Hopefully the bye allowed him to reset his mechanics and return to pro-bowl form.  Speaking of pro-bowl after the first round of voting Feagles is the only Giant on the squad.

Let’s hope so I can’t take many more 25 yard punts from the Giants own end zone.

THE Key cog to the Falcons defense is John Abraham. The Falcons can’t stop anyone on the ground so they must get a pass rush. Containing Abraham could be the key to the game on Sunday.

Will Jon Abraham have a big day on Sunday?
  Possible, although the Giants have done a good job this year of controlling good pass rushers, mostly by stacking that side with a tight end.

 Let’s hope not. He’s not much more than a pass rusher, but he is a mighty fine pass rusher.

It appears Clint Sintim will be getting more playing time in the second half of the season.
There is talk about Clint Sintim starting soon. Do you think that is a good move?

Yes, the guy is a flat out beast. I live in VA now, and Sintim is basically a local celebrity. The sports radio stations all still follow his production, so I kind of pull for him when he goes in and makes a play. Camp was fun — for sure. But now it’s time to get these young guys more steadily into the rotation. We’re heading into a tough part of the season where everyone wears down and gets tired, you want your whole team firing on all cylinders.  To do that, you have to involve the rookies where you can as soon as possible, and obviously Sintim can be a force on the line and at linebacker. If you need extra pressure, give him the nod and see what he can do. Get him working with Pierce and pick up some of the mental aspects at game time… there’s only so much you can do in practice. It usually comes down to game time experience.

I wonder if the Giants will consider moving him inside. I think, though the Giants are pretty set on keeping him at the SAM position

What one single player needs to step up on defense for the Giants the most the second half of the season?
I would have to say Antonio Pierce (man I am all over him lately).  He is such a liability in my eyes right now and he needs to step up and play better for this defense to have a chance.  I know he makes the calls but right now he can’t make the plays.

Obviously now that Antonio Pierce has been ruled out it will need to be Pierce’s replacement. I would say as a whole the defensive line needs to pick up their game. Hopefully the week off helped heal Justin Tuck who hasnt’ been dominating like he had been the past two years at times.

 Everyone loves to talk about how great Matt Ryan is and how “stat unfriendly” Eli Manning is, but despite Matt playing half his games in a dome he has a 59 completion percentage, 14 touchdowns and 12 INT, Eli Manning on the other hand has 15 touchdowns and 8 Interceptions and averaging nearly a whole yard more per attempt…care to explain?
  Maybe it’s just that Eli is a better QB. He has better weapons. He also got to play 4 games against inferior teams.

One big question I had on my mind was about hte young wide receiver corps.
Poised to have a bigger second half Mario Manningham or Hakeem Nicks?

Nicks. He is the standout I think because he is bigger, heavier, and incredibly fast. He’s an impact player in the making and I think it’s a testament to his skill that he’s had so many opportunities his rookie year. Like Bradshaw’s impact in 2007, sometimes those are the guys that become the unsung hero of your year and you would never have expected that going into the season. We expect Manningham to produce at this point because he’s been around leading the scout team, getting to know the offense more, working with coaches to get better… we expect results I think. Nicks is a pure player that has come in and just makes things happen… I think we have to expect even more at this point.

Agreed. He seem sto be a more intelligent football player than Manningham already. Ic an’t wait to see what this guy can do when he truly grasps the N.F.L. game. One thing is for sure. If Steve Smith does not get heavy pro-bowl consideration something has gone terribly awry.

What’s gone wrong with the return game?
When it rains it pours I guess.  The offense and defense have been struggling so maybe it also has affected the special teams.  It seems like Hixon is just running right into the opposite team and the blocking unit is just plain unaffective right now.  Maybe it is time to shake up the blocking unit or try something sneaky.

What is the X-Factor in this game?

Who can run / stop the run the best. IF Michael Turner plays, this is a huge test for the Giants who have shown they can either clamp down on the run or totally blow their gap pressure and let a team run all over them. If the Giants have success running the ball and are able to stop the run — Eli needs not do any more than manage this game and minimize mistakes to lead his team to victory.
 The Falcons are 1-4 on the road this year and 4 and 4 on the road last year: What don’t they play well on the road?
  I think it’s the dome. When you’re in a dome, it’s hard to adjust, both because of the surface, and the sheer loudness. 

Can the Giants defense finally obliterate an offensive line this weekend?
I think this is going to be a good week for the Giants D.  I don’t like to see anyone get hurt but I am glad to see Michael Turner out this game.  I feel with Turner out the Giants can focus on Ryan and the passing game.  Hopefully the Giants can get up early, pin their ears back and go after Ryan and Co all game long.  Ryan is struggling in the second half of games this year so hopefully the Giants can take advantage and create some turnovers.

Anything else to add….?
A fast start will be key, especially to build up confidence. I’m sounding like a broken record, but this is another must-win game. Not only to get back on the winning track, but also to stay in the playoff race. 
see Eli build off the last game and have an efficient day, 200+ yards and 2 touchdowns. I see the running game for the Giants finally mature into a legit threat, Jacobs and Bradshaw end up with some big numbers and 2 more scores. Offensively and Defensively, the Giants show up and look impressive at home, while the dirty birds have a long ride home.



Final Prediction of the Falcons/Giants game?   I like the Falcons, but I think this is the game the Giants break out. Final Score: Giants 24, Falcons 17

34 – 23 Giants

Injuries to Turner and Matt Ryan struggles in the second half of games Giants get the W 20-10



I think the Giants need to win this game. I think the Giants have a perfect matchup. This is a team without it’s top running back (their identity) and a team that can not stop the rush. The Giants should be able to run all day on the Falcons and should be able to control enough of the defense to beat on the Falcons. The Falcons don’t play well on the road, the Giants are the healthiest they have been all season, the Giants are coming off a bye.
If the Giants can’t win this game, there might be much more work in the off-seaosn than we all originally thoughts.
Hopefully the Giants can win this game pretty handedly 28-13.

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One Response to “Giants/Falcons preview. Giants Roundtable Week 11”

  1. Mike says:

    Great post! I agree, the Giants wil win, even without AP. Also, I think it is laughable that people would suggest Ryan is better then Eli; you have it right, he may be some Day but not yet!

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