Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle pleaded with the New York Giants to bring a "dog" mentality and nastier disposition to the field. The veteran safety got what he wished for in Sunday's blowout victory over the New Orleans Saints.

"Oh yeah, I saw a lot of dog," Rolle said with a smile. "No pit bulls. I didn't see any pit bulls today. We are saving that for the long haul."

Perhaps that will come out when the Giants' defense really starts playing the way it knows it can. On Sunday, when they face the Falcons in Atlanta, the Giants will be reminded of just how dominant they can be.

It was against the Falcons that the Giants started their playoff march to the Super Bowl by suffocating Atlanta 24-2 in a wild-card game at MetLife Stadium last January.

The Giants smothered Matt Ryan, sacking him twice and holding him to 199 yards passing and no touchdowns.Michael Turner rushed for just 41 yards as Atlanta managed only 64 yards total on the ground.

This season, the Giants' defense has had some shining moments, dominating Carolina and San Francisco on the road and holding Aaron Rodgersand the Packers to 10 points at home.

But the defense has also given up big passing plays with breakdowns. Sacks have been hard to come by at times and some teams have gained chunks of rushing yards against Perry Fewell's defense. In five of their last seven games, the Giants have allowed 116 yards rushing or more to their opponent.

While the defense forced four turnovers against the Saints and finally conquered Drew Brees, the Giants still allowed New Orleans to gain 487 yards of total offense.

"We did the things we had to do basically when we had to do them," Tom Coughlin said of his defense." Read more...