New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons: Preview & Prediction

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants talks with Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons after their game on November 22, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Falcons 34-31 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

This is where the New York Giants shine, right? I mean, not every year, but more often than anyone else in the league over the last half-decade, the Giants have traditionally been at their best after first frost, on the road, and with their backs against the wall. 

Now, in order to continue that trend, the Giants will have to hand one of the league's best home teams their first two-game losing streak since 2009. Slaying the Atlanta Falcons won't be easy, but you'd be crazy to bet against Tom Coughlin's team.

Here's my final preview of the matchup, along with a prediction.

RELATED: Giants game plan vs. Falcons


What New York must do to win, offensive edition: Let David Wilson run wild against a weak run defense, giving Eli Manning a chance to take shots as the game progresses. 


What New York must do to win, defensive edition: Support the banged-up secondary by providing lots of safety help and get pressure on Matt Ryan without selling out. 


How New York can lose: By letting Julio Jones and Roddy White get behind the defensive backfield to make game-changing plays. 


Five most important non-quarterbacks: Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, David Wilson, Victor Cruz, Jayron Hosley

JPP has to get some help from Umenyiora, who said this week that the pass rush must get better. Wilson will make his first career start in place of Ahmad Bradshaw after running for 100 yards in relief last week, while Cruz will have to step up with Hakeem Nicks in bad shape. The entire secondary has to play well, but Hosley might have to play a massive role with Corey Webster struggling and Prince Amukamara hurting.


Injury analysis, Giants edition: Amukamara has a hamstring injury, which means Webster and Hosley will have to step up regardless of if he plays. Bradshaw is out, which means Wilson will carry the load. That shouldn't hurt the Giants a lot in terms of production on the ground, but he's not a very strong blocker and struggles picking up blitzes. Kenny Phillips is also out, so the secondary's a mess.


Injury analysis, Falcons edition: Roddy White is questionable, but the nine-year veteran wideout has never missed a game so expect him to suit up and play a major role. Still, the Giants aren't complaining about the fact White and Harry Douglas are both short of 100 percent. In the secondary, they're getting Asante Samuel back but William Moore is questionable. Just another reason the Giants should have lots of success on the ground.


B/R NFC East Blog prediction: I don't envision the Falcons suddenly losing back-to-back games in December, so I think they take care of business at home against an inconsistent Giants team. I have a feeling we might see Bad Eli a lot at the Georgia Dome.

Falcons 27, Giants 23