Last week the Giants figured out something that they do really well. Not playing. While Dallas was getting smoked at Lambeau Field and the Eagles were getting crushed in San Diego, the Giants were at home raising tankards of beer, celebrating the ground they gained on their NFC East rivals.
This week they face an Atlanta Falcons squad that's in almost as big a tailspin as Big Blue, having lost three of their last four. The Falcons will be without their workhorse tailback, Michael Turner, out with a high ankle sprain. That shifts the attention to Matt Ryan throwing the ball, which has not been a successful endeavor over the last few contests. (10 sacks and 10 INTs over the last four games).
Ryan's attempt to recapture his passing prowess vs. the struggling Giants secondary trying to keep him quiet. That's the key to Sunday's outcome.
Corner Aaron Ross should be back in the mix Sunday and could provide a valuable lift to the Giants anemic pass defense. Judging by his commanding lead in the “who will have the biggest second half influence” fan poll on Giants.com, there is a lot of hope being pinned on Ross.
More than any factor I think the rest for the Giants is key, especially after they, along with Houston, had to wait until week 10 for a bye, longer than any other team. And yes, a mental break was probably key too, even though (or perhaps because) they have been taking mental breaks through the last several games.
Giants 24-Falcons 20
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Written by Mark Reichman