Giants vs. Falcons: 3 things to watch for

Michael Turner.

The Giants host the Falcons as the playoffs get underway for Big Blue. Metro breaks down what to pay attention to in the wild-card opener.

What to watch for …

1. Run and done?

The Giants have struggled to stop the run at key times this season, allowing an average of 121 yards per game, and Sunday’s matchup might be their most difficult assignment. Falcons running back Michael Turner has churned out 1,340 yards and 11 touchdowns this season and Atlanta head coach Mike Smith has said all season that Turner — and that nasty offensive line — is what makes the Falcons go. If Big Blue is left black and blue via Atlanta’s run game, it could be a one-and-done playoffs for the home team. 

2. Not in a rush

The Giants, conversely, have the worst rushing attack in the league, netting only 89.2 yards per game. They were led by Ahmad Bradshaw, who only tallied 659 yards and a 3.9 yards per carry mark in 12 games. For a better comparison of how weak Big Blue’s rushing attack has been, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (660 yards and 5.4 per carry) had a better statistical season. That type of futility can’t happen Sunday if the Giants want to advance to the divisional round.     

3. Maintain your balance

Quarterback Eli Manning (4,933 yards, 61 percent completion, 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions) had a career regular season despite the lack of a running game, but it’s still imperative he gets some offensive balance. While head coach Tom Coughlin has full confidence that Manning can single-handedly carry the offensive burden, he’d rather not leave it in his hands fully. Not counting Manning’s incredible 2007 playoffs run, he’s had a history of coming up short in big moments in the past, especially at home. How well the Giants can balance the offense and allow Manning to work his play-action magic, will go a long way in determining whether Manning and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan need to engage in a shootout.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…