Keys to Victory for the Falcons and Giants on Monday Night Football
ATLANTA– The New York football Giants will visit the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night for a primetime matchup against the Falcons who will have a blackout in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Both teams are looking to galvanize their seasons with a much-needed win, but it won’t be an easy task for either team. The Giants are riding a three-game losing streak and have yet to figure out the solution to their offensive line issues. Not to mention, their quarterback Eli Manning has been anything but efficient for first-year head coach Pat Shurmur who has been adamant about the organization still believing that Manning can get the job done.
As for the Falcons, their season is in jeopardy as well as the health of every remaining player on the roster. Their defense has suffered significant blows to vital players such as Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen. Fortunately for the Dirty Birds, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett will be in uniform for head coach Dan Quinn.
The Giants are 1-5, 0-2, and desperately need a win to keep pace with the Redskins (4-2, 1-0) who have hit their stride as of lately. The Falcons are in slightly better shape than the Giants, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints both secured wins Sunday making it that much tougher for Atlanta to better position themselves for a chance at the divisional title — and a wild-card spot for that matter.
Here are the keys to victory for both teams heading into their Monday night showdown:
For the Falcons to fly away with a win:
Tevin Coleman will once again be the starting running back for the Falcons with Devonta Freeman being put on injury reserved this past week. For Atlanta’s offense to hit its pinnacle, Coleman must be an effective runner. Much like the Falcons’ defensive line, the Giants have a stout run defense. Coleman will need to get active and not have the offense rely too much on Ryan because Janoris Jenkins is a ballhawk ready to make a big play.
Julio Jones has perhaps the most favorable matchup of the season against a pedestrian Giants secondary. Jones leads the league in receiving yards but has yet to reach the end zone. Nonetheless, the Falcons can win this game his scoreless drought continues. He will, however, need to eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark for his team to have a legit chance to win this ball game.
Moreover, lastly, with Matt Bryant out due to a hamstring injury, Italian-born kicker Giorgio Tavecchio will have a significant role to play. This game could come down to a field goal, and if that’s the case, Tavecchio needs to be prepared. Last week, Bryant nailed a 57-yard field goal to defeat the Bucs and save their season. Tavecchio isn’t Bryant, but the Falcons may need him to duplicate the success of Bryant for one game.
For a Giant win
The Giants’ offensive line is perhaps the weakest area on this football team, and things just got worst being that starting right guard Patrick Omameh (knee) did not travel with the team to Atlanta. Starting in his place is Jon Greco. Greco and company will have their hands full keeping Manning upright with Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley and Jarrett applying pressure. If the Giants’ big heavies can win the battle in the trenches, they will give themselves a great chance to score touchdowns against a banged-up Falcons secondary.
Evan Engram will make his return to the starting lineup, and he will have a favorable matchup against this Falcons’ linebacker corp. Engram poses a threat to any linebacker given his speed and excellent route running ability, so I expect him to benefit from being covered by Duke Riley, Brooks Reed or De’Vondre Campbell.
Lastly, the Giants defense needs to generate turnovers. Matt Ryan has had a stellar season thus far. He also has taken care of the ball, throwing just two interceptions. I look for Oliver Vernon and B.J. Hill to generate pressure from the edge and the interior. They must make it uncomfortable for Ryan and accumulate plenty of hits and pressures on the quarterback who has tossed 14 touchdowns in six games.