As the New York Giants get set to take on the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday all of the talk seems to surround the Falcons passing attack against the Giants pass defense. However, not to be overlooked is the Giants run defense against the Falcons ground game.
The Falcons do rank fourth in the NFL in passing yards per game with an average of 289.2 yards per game. The Giants pass defense is 27th in the NFL, allowing 252.8 yards per game. However, the Giants run defense is probably their weakest link on defense. They rank 22nd in the NFL, allowing an average of 123.3 yards per game.
It cannot be overlooked that the Giants allowed 158 yards on the ground to a Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attack spearheaded by Isaac Redman who ran for 147 yards. To put it in perspective, Redman has not rushed for more than 43 yards in any other contest.
The Falcons offense does feature a couple of talented running backs in Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers. Turner is not the same running back he was even a year ago but he still has two 100-yard games under his belt this season.
Rodgers doesn’t have any games on the ground that stand out but he is averaging 4.1 yards per carry but is averaging 5.3 yards per carry over his last five games and is a threat in the passing game. Rodgers received the lion’s share of playing time last week as Turner was nursing an injured elbow.
The Giants run defense has been a bit of an enigma this season. Their season average is helped out by a couple of dominating performances especially against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 when Dallas only rushed for 19 yards.
The Giants pass defense could be without Prince Amukamara and rookie Jayron Hosley could get the start in his place. I expect the Falcons to take to the air to exploit a potential weakness. However, the Giants have gone up against Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees since coming off of their bye and have won both games. The Giants only loss since the bye came against the Washington Redskins who ran for 209 yards against the Giants.
The potential is there for the Falcons to run all over the Giants. Or pass all over them. No matter which way you slice it, the Giants defense will be under attack in this game and if they want to return to the Super Bowl they will have to parry Atlanta’s attacks and win this game.