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Atlanta Playoff Preview

On Sunday afternoon, the Giants play their first playoff game in 3 years.  It is great to be back.  It is the tournament.  And this site can be critical of the coaches, but none of that matters.  The Giants are 9-7, they have a ticket to the dance, and now you just have to play your hand.

The ray of hope that this blogger has clung to this season has been the fact that there is no team that isn’t vulnerable to a loss.  It is possible to go all the way.  I don’t know that I’d bet on it, but I would not count the Giants out either.  Why?  Because of Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul.  You need playmakers, and these three have been making plays all year. 

What does make it interesting is that Tuck and Umenyiora are getting healthier.  And with the post-season here, we no longer have to worry about Osi’s contract.

Let’s go back to the teams the Giants will likely have to face in order to get to the Super Bowl.

1) Atlanta-  From Wonder:

“Do not worry about running the ball, get the lead, take the wind out of their sails.  Atlanta needs to run the ball throughout the game.  If you get up on Atlanta they are going to have much more trouble running it.  In a close game, White and Gonzalez can move the sticks.  Julio Jones is scary beyond belief.  Smack Atlanta in the mouth and take the spirit out them.”  

This is the Giants’ game to win.  If the Giants play their ‘A game’ and the Falcons play their ‘A game,’ the Giants win this.  The Giants have so many more intangibles than Atlanta.  Matt Ryan has progressed nicely this season but Eli Manning took a quantum leap to stardom.  That gives the advantage to the Giants.  So win this game and move on.

2) Green Bay- without looking out too far beyond Sunday, the Packers defense gives up a lot of yards.  Get the ball in the end zone and you have a shot.

3) New Orleans- in 2.5 weeks from now, Tuck and Osi could be totally healthy, in which case the Giants could be “live” to beat them or ANYBODY.

Summary- Attack on offense.  Pressure on defense.  Bring the game to the opponent.  The Giants have confidence.  Knock off Atlanta and get to the next round.  Come out like a house on fire and make Atlanta a disoriented team.  It’s happened to them before on the road before and it is a good pathway for a playoff win.