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Giants vs. Falcons: Atlanta ground attack key to limiting New York offense

The Falcons are hoping to get their inconsistent ground game going this weekend in order to keep the Giants' explosive offense off the field.


The New York Giants have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, with Eli Manning, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks carving up defenses to the tune of 28.7 points per game. So when the Atlanta Falcons face the Giants this Sunday at the Superdome, they know they must do whatever they can to limit the opportunities for those playmakers (via the Falcons' official site):

"You've got to keep those guys off the field," Falcons running back Michael Turner said. "Eli (Manning), Victor Cruz, (Ahmad) Bradshaw and all those guys, you've got to keep them off the field. They've got playmakers on the other side of the ball so we've got to keep them off the field. Keep them off the field, mash the clock and score touchdowns as much as possible and we'll be fine."

A key way to keep that offense off the field is to establish a strong running game, but that's something Turner and the Falcons' offense has struggled with this season. Turner only has 689 yards rushing on the season, and as a team, Atlanta is only managing 86 yards per game on the ground. On a positive note, New York is surrendering 123.3 rushing yards per game, so there could be some chances for Turner and fellow running back Jacquizz Rodgers to make plays.

In addition to keeping the Giants' offense off the field, a prolific ground attack would also help keep New York's vaunted pass rush somewhat at bay. If that pass rush does not have to worry about the run, they can pin their ears back and tee off on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.