Despite locking up the NFC South, the Falcons are still trying to assure themselves a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Having lost to the Carolina Panthers in Week 14, Atlanta will be looking to prove its worth against one of the NFC's best on Sunday afternoon.
Here's the rundown for this matchup.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
When: Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Game Rewind
Spread: Falcons (-1) via Bet Online
Who ya got?
This is the time of year when Big Blue really ramps it up, so I'm going with New York.
The Giants have shown no ill effects of winning on the road, and with their offense getting back on track in Week 14, I don't think Atlanta has what it takes to overcome this Giants team.
I have the Falcons losing two in a row for the first time this season.
Over/Under: 51 (Bet Online)
Typically, the Giants don't score a lot of points in back-to-back games, and coming off a 52-point effort against the Saints, I just don't see New York scoring that many points against Atlanta in the Georgia Dome.
According to Bovada, seven of the Giants' last eight games have gone under, while five of Atlanta's last six games at home have also gone under the projected total.
I'm going with the under.
Key Injuries (via USA Today)
RB Ahmad Bradshaw—Knee—QST
DE Jason Pierre-Paul—Back—QST
LB Michael Boley—Back—QST
S Kenny Phillips—Knee—QST
New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano gives us an update on some Giants players via Twitter:
No sign of RB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee) at practice. Also, S Kenny Phillips (knee), CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) are on the bikes. #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) December 13, 2012
DT Jonathan Babineaux—Ribs—QST
WR Roddy White—Knee—QST
T Sam Baker—Hand—QST
CB Asante Samuel—Shoulder—QST
The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter account gives us an update on White's status:
Coach Smith says Roddy felt better today, but they are being cautious. Says it is hard to keep Roddy out of a football game. #atlnyg12— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) December 13, 2012
Fantasy Big Plays
Giants: Victor Cruz
If Cruz's back-to-back games of at least 100 yards receiving and nine touchdowns on the season aren't good enough for you, I don't know what is.
Cruz has now eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in consecutive seasons and has five games with 100 or more receiving yards in 2012.
His touchdown mark is tied for third-best in the NFL, and against an average Atlanta pass defense, Cruz is the No. 1 fantasy option for the G-Men.
Falcons: Roddy White
Rowdy Roddy is at it again in 2012.
White ranks No. 8 in the NFL with 1,140 yards—his sixth straight season of 1,000 yards receiving.
He's been targeted more than teammate Julio Jones and has the superior stats to make him the man to start on Sunday.
Against a Giants defense that has surrendered 20 touchdowns through the air, White is your best bet in Week 15, as long as he's healthy enough to go.
Obviously if he can't, Julio Jones is your guy.
Key to Giants Win: Pressure Matt Ryan
New York had great pressure on Matt Ryan in the postseason last year, as Ryan was sacked twice, hit seven times and completed just 24-of-41 passes, as the Falcons lost 24-2.
Getting pressure doesn't necessarily mean sacking Ryan, but just getting in his face and getting hits on him should be enough for the Giants defense to shut down Atlanta's passing attack.
The Giants only got one sack on Drew Brees last week, yet they dominated that matchup, as Brees was just 26-of-43 with two interceptions.
Getting pressure on Ryan will translate into a win for New York.
Key to Falcons Win: Shut Down David Wilson
Even if Ahmad Bradshaw plays, David Wilson will still play a big factor in this game.
Atlanta will have to shut down Wilson in the return game, which is something it hasn't been great at this season—its special teams ranks No. 21 in the NFL in terms of kick return yardage allowed.
Wilson can be utilized in a few different aspects by the G-Men—as I highlighted earlier this week—meaning the Falcons will have their hands full with the rookie.
If Atlanta can take away the big play of Wilson, it has a great chance of winning this one.
Prediction: Giants 24, Falcons 21
I can't go against New York in December, especially when they're in line for a shot at the playoffs.
I think the Giants defense gets enough pressure on Ryan to force a turnover or two, and Manning does his thing with the offense, leading to a big win on the road for the G-Men.
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