New York Giants focused on improving their and stopping Atlanta Falcons’ running game – NFL News
At this stage of the season when a defeat will send any team packing, New York Giants are slightly bothered by running game as they prepare to host Atlanta Falcons in a do-or-die game on Sunday.
The cause of concern for the offense and the defence is the same. The offense is in a desperate need to improve its rushing game whereas the defence is keeping its focus on preventing the Falcons from rushing on the field.
The Giants secured a spot into the playoffs after registering a remarkable comeback at the end of the just-concluded regular season. They won nine games to lead the National Football Conference East division.
Throughout the season, their passing game remained one of the best in the league, thanks to the Pro Bowler quarterback Eli Manning, who is the league’s seventh top passer with 4,933 yards under his belt.
However, in terms of rushing, the Giants finished last in the league ranking with an average of 89.2 yards per game. The task of improving this record might become more daunting considering the bad weather.
Despite the record, Coach Tom Coughlin is optimistic that his team will improve on its rushing game in a must-win encounter against the Falcons.
“Hopefully, we will run the ball better than we did last weekend, for example. Consistency is the word. I’m not trying to say good, bad or indifferent. But we’ve had four or five games in a row where we’ve rushed the ball for over 100 yards. I’ll look for
that to happen again,” he said.
When it comes to the defence, the players want to support their offensive line by blocking the opponent’s rushing game to mount pressure.
With an average of 114.6 yards per game, Falcons’ rushing game ranks 17th in the league ranking.
Giants’ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has said that the defence will keep its focus on preventing the Falcons from playing the rushing game. Blocking the quarterback will be the next assignment, he added.
The same sentiments were echoed by defensive end Dave Tollefson, who cautioned his teammates to stay alert and read Falcons’ plays.
“This is a game of inches,” he said. “If you’re lined up a little wrong here or there, they can kind of scheme you out of the gap. So first off, we’ve got to make sure we’re lined up right and then get off blocks. We’re not blocking dummies.”
The Giants and the Falcons are going to play each other for the first time in the playoffs.