The New York Giants enter Week 2 of the 2015 NFL regular season looking to bury the memory of last Sunday’s embarrassing 4th quarter breakdown against the Dallas Cowboys. They will look to do that in the comfort of their own building in front of some of the most passionate fans in the NFL. Their opponents are the Atlanta Falcons, a talented team looking to finally put all the pieces together in hopes of becoming serious championship contenders.
The Giants are 5-2 against the Falcons since 2004 including a 30-20 victory last season in what was the NFL debut of Odell Beckham Jr. This time around is a little different despite the similar setting. The Falcons seem to be an improved defensive team that still carries plenty of firepower on offense with quaterback Matt Ryan and stud wide receiver Julio Jones. The Giants on the other hand, are entering this game with it’s defense trying to adjust to a new scheme while trying to piece together a pass rush without Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Giants defense was gashed for over 450 yards against the Cowboys but did force several big turnovers that almost won the game for Big Blue. One positive is that one of the Falcons’ weaknesses is their offensive line so there is a much better opportunity for the Giants to be aggressive and turn up the heat on Ryan. They will have to do so in order to try to limit the number of big plays that Julio Jones seems to make effortlessly. Failure to do so will result in another beating at the hands of a high powered offense.
Back to the improved Falcons defense lead by star defensive back Desmond Trufant, defensive end Vic Beasley and defensive tackle Johnathan Babineaux. On Monday night they got off to a hot start by attacking the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line and effectively shutting down their high tempo offense. In the second half however, they made a few miscues and the Eagles took advantage. If the Falcons can assert themselves early on and sustain that tempo for four quarters, they will have a great chance to come out of MetLife Stadium with a 2-0 record.
That makes the plan clear for the Giants’ offense. They know they can match the Falcons’ offense so then the plan moves to dominating the line of scrimmage. The Giants’ offensive line played surprisingly well against Dallas and will need to carry that momentum over to this Sunday’s game in order to control the game and keep Matt Ryan and Julio Jones on the bench. If the Giants can do just that then it is their golden opportunity to finally put last Sunday behind them and show everyone that they are a team to be taken seriously in the NFC.
So it all basically comes down to whether or not the Giants’ defense can exploit the Falcons’ offensive line and force turnovers. For the Giants’ offense its a matter of winning the battles in the trenches and controlling the tempo in order to keep the Falcon’s offense off the field. If not then the Falcons are too good of a team to not take advantage and wear out the G-Men much like Dallas did. The Giants are motivated and capable of executing their gameplan it’s just a matter of whether or not they will once again get in their own way and allow the Falcons to steal a game on the road which is ironically what the Giants almost did to the Cowboys last Sunday.