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10 Keys to Victory vs. Falcons


1) Get bodies on Michael Turner. Don't leave it up to the third level to tackle the No. 3 rusher in the league. If one defender can't bring him down alone near the line, at least get a piece of him until reinforcements arrive.

2) Test Atlanta's corners early. The Falcons, giving up 237 yards per game through the air, are banged with Brent Grimes (knee). The 2010 Pro Bowler missed two days of practices but is listed as questionable.

3) Rattle Matt Ryan. Let the defensive line do what it does best by first stopping the run and holding the Falcons on first and second downs. Only then, can the pass rush pin its ears back.

4) Learn from the season. One underlying storyline this week has been the "battle tested" Giants. After a grueling second half slate of opponents and all the highs and lows, players have a full bank of lessons to draw from as they try to make a playoff run.

5) Stay with it. Tom Coughlin still believes the Giants need to have balance. The run game hasn't always been pretty or successful, but by staying with it, the team has rushed for 100 yards in three of the last four games.

6) Returners need to be special. Special teams coverage has been great, but the return has not. It has, however, improved somewhat over the last few weeks, but not to where it needs to be. Meanwhile, the Falcons are first in the NFL, giving up a miniscule 4.8 yards per punt return. So there goes that idea.

7) Coverage needs to remain special. On the flipside, the Falcons' utility man Eric Weems returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in the divisional round of the playoffs last season against the Packers (he returns both punts and kicks).

8) Third time is a trend. The Giants defense, most notably against the pass, has put the clamps down in the past two weeks. They need to prove it's not a blip against playmakers like Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.

9) Eliminate the negative plays on offense. No penalties and no plays for minus yardage will help keep the defensive line honest and control the pass rush.

10) All in.You've come this far.

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