Coming off an impressive win over the Saints, the Giants now travel to Atlanta to face another NFC South power.
The Giants remain just one game up on Washington and Dallas in the NFC East with three games to play, so each game is vitally important. Head coach Tom Coughlin has already stated the goal is to win out and guarantee a playoff spot.
3 things to watch for …
1. Will David Wilson flip out?
Rookie running back David Wilson has thrust himself into the national landscape following his record-setting performance last Sunday against the Saints. And just as thrilling as it was that he set the Giants’ record with 327 total yards, it’s been the way Wilson celebrates his scores that have now entered the consciousness of sports fans. Wilson, who was just named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, caps off each score with a standing backflip — to the chagrin of general manager Jerry Reese, Coughlin and a handful of his teammates.
But, as quarterback Eli Manning said, when Wilson does a backflip, it means he just scored. So, if the face of the franchise is fine with it, Wilson said that’s good enough for him, meaning it looks like the rookie will continue to flip off the opposition.
2. Which running backs suit up?
Starter Ahmad Bradshaw has a sprained knee and didn’t practice the first half of this week. Coughlin took the mystery out of a game-time decision by ruling Bradshaw out after practice on Friday.
“It would have been a reach for him to be ready. With someone like that, his constitution, you have to give him every benefit of the doubt,” Coughlin said. “I’m sure he’d be disappointed right now. He thinks come game day it’s all going to straighten out for him. In this case, it’s medically really the only wise move.”
So with Bradshaw not playing, Kregg Lumpkin, signed two weeks ago, will presumably be the No. 2 back behind Wilson. And Ryan Torain, who also signed on the same day as Lumpkin, is the only other running back on the roster.
3. Road warriors?
Coughlin likes to coin phrases every season, especially as the Giants head into the all-important home stretch, when they seemingly flip the switch and refocus. One of his favorite go-to sayings is the team has to become “road warriors” late in the season. And while the Giants have their troubles inside the Saints’ comfy confines of the Superdome, they have no such problems beating up on fellow NFC South participant, the Falcons, at the Georgia Dome. The series is tied, 10-10, but New York has won the previous four contests, including last season’s wild-card round playoffs at MetLife Stadium, with two of three regular season games in Atlanta. As talented as the Falcons (11-2) are, they just can’t seem to beat the Giants (8-5) — including losing the last seven in Atlanta dating back to 1981 — no matter what the team’s marks are heading into the game.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.