1) Poise in the noise.
The Georgia Dome can get rocking, especially with a fan base holding onto the Giants’ 24-2 victory over Atlanta in last year’s playoffs. Now the Falcons get the defending champs on their home turf. For it’s worth, the Giants are 3-0 all-time at the venue. 2) Field position.
Splitting their last two games, the Giants had an average starting field position of minus-15 in one and plus-49 in the other. Guess which one they won.3) Time of possession.
It’s not talked about much, but it’s critical, as Tom Coughlin says. By controlling the clock, the Giants can control the crowd and keep Atlanta’s offense on the bench. READ COUGHLIN'S CORNER >>
4) Limit big plays.
The Giants’ banged up secondary will have its hands full against wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. Under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, the Falcons are fourth in the NFL averaging 289.2 passing yards per game. 5) Win the turnover battle.
The Giants have an NFC-best turnover differential of plus-16, while the Falcons are plus-6. They both have the same number of giveaways (18), but New York has 10 more takeaways. 6) Red zone defense.
Atlanta is tied for seventh in the league in the red zone, coming away with a touchdown 58.8 percent of the time. Meanwhile, the Giants boast the fifth-best red zone defense. Which will win out? 7) Green zone offense.
The Giants turned the corner against the Saints, scoring four touchdowns from inside the 20 instead of settling for field goals. The Giants hope it becomes a trend. 8) Fast start.
Whether they begin on offense or defense, the Giants – and any road team – need to set the tone early. Meanwhile, the Falcons have scored an NFL-high 44 points on opening possessions. 9) Limit penalties.
At first a rare issue against Washington, the penalties continued for the Giants last week against New Orleans. The win may have overshadowed them, but Coughlin surely won’t let his players forget. 10) Wrap up.
The Falcons are fifth in the NFL with 1,713 yards after catch. For reference, the Giants are 25th with 1,266.