Last Sunday's 52-27 mauling of the New Orleans Saints was the kind of win that can build a lot of confidence for both the Giants and their fans. Then again, the same could have been said after the Giants torched the Green Bay Packers 38-10 in Week 12, which came a week before a disappointing 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins. With the NFC's top team, the Falcons, scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX, the team can't afford to skip a beat in Atlanta. Here are some keys to the matchup of division leaders.
The Giants and Falcons have two of the top wide receiver tandems in football. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks average a combined 142 ypg, compared with 164 ypg from Roddy White and Julio Jones. Both teams' secondaries will have their work cut out for them. The Giants also will need to watch out for future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who leads Atlanta with 81 receptions.
The Falcons are coming off a lackluster performance against NFC South rival Carolina in which the Panthers shut Atlanta out in the first half en route to a 30-20 loss. After an 9-0 start, the Falcons are just 3-2 since against five sub-.500 teams. The 8-5 Giants are top competition with a mental edge - they flattened the Falcons in the playoffs just 11 months ago.
The Giants' embattled rookie running back emerged last week a star, with 13 totes for 100 yards and two scored on the ground, and another touchdown on a kick return. Ahmad Bradshaw may not be healthy enough to play much, if at all, so the speedy Wilson might see even more action on the Georgia Dome turf this week.