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RE-FOCUSED: FALCONS AT GIANTS, WILD CARD ROUND

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  • RE-FOCUSED: FALCONS AT GIANTS, WILD CARD ROUND

    RE-FOCUSED: FALCONS AT GIANTS, WILD CARD ROUND

    Excerpt: "An eerie sense of déjà vu descended on MetLife Stadium as another playoff
    victory and another chance to prove their doubters wrong slipped through the
    fingers of the Atlanta Falcons. After a solid start where the Falcons spurned
    their chances to make early inroads on the New York Giants, they simply fell
    away and were comfortably picked off. The Giants got off to a very lethargic
    start on offense, but once they got into some sort of forward gear they never
    looked back and cruised to a rematch with the Green Bay Packers, harking back to
    memories of their last Superbowl run.


    For the Falcons this was yet another crushingly disappointing playoffs loss
    in the Mike Smith/ Matt Ryan era where once again the promise they showed in the
    regular season failed to materialize in the postseason. Their offense looked
    slow and ponderous, making poor use of the offensive upgrades they acquired,
    while the defense (though solid for much of the game) wasn’t good enough to keep
    the Falcons in a slug fest. Do the
    Falcons need to go back to the drawing board now? This is fundamentally a solid
    football team that in its current state you would back to make the playoffs more
    often than not. But at the same time this continued failure has to raise
    questions about whether something fundamentally within the team is causing these
    playoff letdowns. Their most recent failure was brought into even sharper focus
    by a loss to a Giants team that once again is timing its run and elevating
    itself above the form it showed for most of the regular season.

    New York – Three
    Performances of Note



    Pressure … What
    Pressure?




    It could be argued, with plenty of supporting evidence, that the single most
    important factor in the Giants’ success this season has been Eli
    Manning
    ’s ability to work under pressure. As the second season starts,
    Manning didn’t leave his touch under pressure behind in 2011 coming up with yet
    another vital display (+4.3) in the crunch. His offensive line
    made a slow start this week and he was pressured on 10 of his 34 dropbacks this
    week. However, on these 10 snaps, Manning completed four of eight passes for 101
    yards and a touchdown. He may not be a running or a scrambling quarterback, but
    he has become the model for what a “mobile” quarterback is (a shared trait with
    his older brother). Eli’s ability to anticipate and dodge the rush before
    delivering a pass downfield will be crucial if the Giants are to continue their
    postseason success.




    Defensive Line Peaking at the Right
    Time




    The greatest parallel being drawn between the current Giants and their last
    Superbowl victory is the form of their defensive line at a crucial moment. The
    similarities are striking and that they were able to get contributions from as
    far down the depth chart as Rocky Bernard (+1.5) shows how dangerous this unit is.
    Jason Pierre-Paul (+1.5) was kept relatively quiet in the
    passing game, registering only two pressures on 35 pass rushes, but his work in
    the running game along with Justin Tuck (+2.1 run defense) proved crucial in
    shutting down the Falcons’ power running game behind Michael
    Turner
    . Three of the Giants’ starters graded positively in run defense
    this week and the fourth, Linval Joseph
    (-0.1), while quiet for long stretches, came up with one of the
    Giants’ fourth down stops. The Giants now face a very different test this week
    against Green Bay and against an ailing Packer offensive line the likes of
    Pierre-Paul, Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora will need to be at their
    best rushing the passer if the Giants are to take a second playoff victory at
    Lambeau Field in the Eli Era.




    Backfield Awakes




    The Giants’ running game has been non-existent for most of the season thanks
    in large part to the failing of their offensive line, but just at the right time
    the Giants two headed monster is awaking from its slumber. Both Ahmad
    Bradshaw
    (+2.0)
    and Brandon Jacobs (+1.7) made key contributions with Jacobs
    in particular, as head coach Tom Coughlin noted after the game, setting a
    physical tone for the Giants when they finally got on track. The Giants were at
    last able to create some clear creases for Jacobs in particular to build steam
    and Falcons defensive backs will be nursing some bruises as they awake this
    morning. If the running game can up their game another level then the balance in
    this Giants offense would make them a threat to any team remaining in the
    playoffs.




    Game
    Notes

    - David Diehl graded positively for pass protection this
    week (+0.1) for the first time since he moved back to left
    tackle in Week 13.


    Game
    Ball


    After a shaky start with the rest of his offense Eli Manning
    was peerless. His ability to evade pressure and still make plays has been
    crucial to the Giants’ season and will continue to be for the rest of the
    playoffs." Read more...
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2
    Re: RE-FOCUSED: FALCONS AT GIANTS, WILD CARD ROUND

    Pressure … What Pressure?


    So absolutely awesome, when Eli was asked in that interview if he felt a heavy pass rush or more than normal pressure in the skins game.

    Eli's Reply: "I don't really ever feel pressure in the game of football." LMAOOOOOOOO!! That's who I want as my QB.

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