Week 14 saw Eli Manning toss four touchdown passes and rookie RB David Wilson gain a franchise record 327 all-purpose yards and score three touchdowns as the Giants handed New Orleans a 52-27 loss.
For only the second time this season, the Falcons lost on the road. This time it was to the division rival Carolina Panthers, as Cam Newton combined for 403 yards and three scores.
Atlanta already has the NFC South locked up, but the G-Men need a win to extend their one-game lead over the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, making for a thrilling matchup from Atlanta on Sunday.
Here's your guide to Sunday's action.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Game Rewind
Betting Line: Falcons (-1) (via Bet Online) Over/Under: 51 (Bet Online)
It's December, which means it's time for the Giants to make their usual late-season playoff push.
Atlanta just lost to a subpar Panthers team last week as the Giants routed the Saints and the G-Men don't have a problem going on the road and winning.
I like the Giants on the road.
I also like the under in this game.
New York rarely puts up back-to-back high-scoring games and seven of its last eight games have gone under, according to Bovada.
Bovada also tells us that the spread has gone under in five of Atlanta's last six games at home.
I'm rolling with the under.
What's at Stake?
The Falcons already have the NFC South locked in, but they're still fighting for a No. 1 seed and first round bye in the playoffs.
The Giants lead the NFC East by just one game and need a win to maintain that lead.
A Giants loss and a Cowboys and/or Redskins win would tie the division.
Giants Injury Report (via USA Today)
RB Ahmad Bradshaw—Knee—QST
S Kenny Phillips—Knee—QST
Falcons Injury Report (via USA Today)
CB Asante Samuel—Shoulder—QST
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit 'Em and Sleeper
Start 'Em: Victor Cruz
With back-to-back games of at least 100 yards receiving, Cruz is your man this Sunday.
Manning has been looking his way often and fantasy owners appreciate that, as Cruz has reached the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season.
Cruz will have his hands full with a solid Falcons pass defense, but plenty of other defenses have proven they can't stop the slot machine.
Don't be surprised to see the salsa in the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
Sit 'Em: Michael Turner
Turner has seen his share of carries decline because of his lack of production and due to teammate Jacquizz Rodgers' emergence.
Turner rushed for a mere 14 yards and a TD on just seven carries against the Panthers last weekend and you have to go all the way back to Week 9 to find a game where Turner had at least 20 carries in a game.
The Giants rushing defense isn't going to jump off the page at you, but they have allowed just seven rushing TDs this season, which ranks tied for sixth in the NFL.
Sleeper: Martellus Bennett
Bennett continues to produce for the Giants offense and fantasy owners, as he added a fifth touchdown to his total against New Orleans in Week 14.
That's now back-to-back games with TDs for Bennett, who's putting up career numbers across the board in a starter's role.
With so many offensive weapons—including the emergence of Wilson—Bennett often gets lost in the shuffle and Manning has taken advantage of it.
What They're Saying
The buzz surrounds rookie RB David Wilson this week, after his record-setting day against the Saints in Week 14, as ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk tweets:
David Wilson's 1301 kickoff return yards now a franchise record— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 9, 2012
Even New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira took notice of the rookie:
We are all witnesses!David Wilson does it again!— Mark Teixeira (@teixeiramark25) December 10, 2012
Giants Player to Watch: David Wilson
Following a breakout game, how can Wilson not be the guy to watch?
He was the most electrifying player on the field in Week 14 and given his versatile skill set, he can make things happen for New York on offense and on special teams.
Atlanta's special teams ranks 21st in the NFL in kick return yardage allowed, meaning Wilson will be looking to ignite the G-Men in the return game.
It'll be interesting to see how much Coughlin utilizes the rookie on Sunday.
Falcons Player to Watch: Roddy White
Having eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth consecutive season, White appears to be a matchup nightmare for the G-Men.
He's coming off a big day against the Panthers (nine receptions, 117 yards and one touchdown) and gets a Giants defense that has surrendered 20 touchdowns through the air.
With Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez also lining up, Atlanta has a lot of able bodies on offense with White leading the charge.
White ranks No. 8 in receiving yards and should be able to increase his total against the Giants' 27th-ranked pass defense.
Key Matchup: Atlanta WRs and TE vs. New York Secondary
Atlanta boasts arguably the deadliest two wide receivers and tight end combo in the NFL, with the likes of White, Jones and Gonzalez.
The Falcons aren't going to beat New York on the ground, but where they can find success is through the air.
As mentioned earlier, the Giants are no strangers to giving up big plays through the air and the Falcons certainly know how to get behind the defense.
Ryan has thrown for at least 300 yards in five of his six last games and I wouldn't be surprised if he did it again at home on Sunday.
Prediction: Giants 24, Falcons 21
New York makes it too difficult to go against them in the last few weeks of the season, especially after a convincing drubbing of the Saints.
I think the Giants defense pressures Ryan into a turnover or two and Manning has another solid week in the dome on Sunday.
G-Men by three.
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