When the New York Giants roll into the Georgia Dome on Sunday to face the Atlanta Falcons, they'll do so with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys nipping at their heels. Both teams are just one game back in a tight NFC East division race and the Falcons have a game and a half of room between them and the second-seed San Francisco 49ers for the top spot in the NFC.
Plenty of football pundits from around the league have given widely different views on how good the Falcons actually are. But this Sunday's opposing quarterback, Eli Manning, has plenty of respect for the Falcons and their team.
I think they are a very talented team and a good team and the record shows that. Offensively, they move the ball and make plays. The defense gets turnovers. As an opponent coming in know, both sides of ball have to play very smart and play at our highest level to go in there give ourselves a chance to win.
Manning noted the Falcons' defense is somewhat similar to the defense they saw last year, in that they still have four lineman but they change it up to just three down linemen from time to time.
The Falcons and Giants kick off at 1 p.m. on FOX this Sunday.