Giants Defense Leads The Way
Big Blue defense returns in a big way as the Giants advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs after dismantling the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 in the wild card opener. The Giants defense suffocated Matt Ryan who is now 0-3 in his brief career in the playoffs. The Giant defensive line, erratic all season dominated for the 3rd straight week holding the high powered Falcs to only 64 yards rushing and 247 yards total. The thought from me going in was could the Giants stop Tony Gonzalez and stay with their running attack. Yes and yes were the answers. Michael Turner was held to a scant 41 yards while both Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw both topped that mark. Jacobs rumbled his way for 92 bruising yards while Bradshaw chipped in 63 yards.
Once again 4th and 1 came back to haunt the dirty birds.Twice on that down and distance Ryan tried to QB sneak for inches and twice he was denied. On another 4th and 1 for some reason Mike Smith the Falcons head coach decided to punt. Both times Ryan was stopped Atlanta had a makeable FG attempt they passed on. Atlanta's 4th down troubles started earlier this year against the Saints in a very controversial call Smith went for a 4th down deep in his own territory and was stopped. The Saints went on to kick a fg and win that game and since Smith has been haunted by 4th and less then a yard.
The Giants now move onto to Green Bay to take on the defending champion Packers next Sunday in the late afternoon kickoff. The last time the GMen met up with the Pack Green Bay won a thriller by 3. However the last time they met in the playoffs it was the Giants who ended Brett Favre's Green Bay career in OT with a win on their way to the Super Bowl championship.
Manning was clicking on Sunday and finished with an astonishing 129.3 QB rating. The falcs actually led the game 2-0 after Eli was called for grounding in the end zone early in the 2nd qtr. the big strike came from Manning to Hakeem Nicks for a 72 yard td catch and run. It's the 3rd straight game the Giants have hit a huge pass play for a TD, the previous 2 coming from Victor Cruz in the Jet and Cowboy games.