On one end of the spectrum, you have the NFL's 29th ranked pass defense, the New York Giants, lead by a defensive coordinator who's been under fire for the majority of this season. On the other side of the line of scrimmage is the high-flying Atlanta Falcons, with two bona fide stars at receiver and a quarterback amidst a career year.
Some things you really just can't predict. The Falcons shockingly scored just two points on Sunday, and those came from an intentional grounding penalty-turned safety. The Giants came ready to play, completely eliminating WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White from the action. Matt Ryan was held out of the end-zone for the first time since Week 1 of the regular season, and the Falcons's dominant offense, which ranked seventh in points per game this year, disappeared entirely. Nobody could have predicted such a dramatic about-face for both units, especially with Giants CB Aaron Ross exiting the game in the third quarter.
What It Means For Next Week: Aaron Rodgers had a year for the record books in 2011, and at one point, he was on pace to break single-season records for passing yardage and passing touchdowns. Rodgers and the NFC's number-one seed, the Green Bay Packers, are a Super Bowl favorite solely because of their prominent aerial attack. However, the Giants did something they hadn't done for the first time all season: blanket a top-tier wide receiver. If Corey Webster can repeat his performance against Pro Bowler Greg Jennings, and if rookie corner Prince Amukamara can step up against dynamic Packer Jordy Nelson and his 15 receiving scores, Green Bay will be in serious trouble.