It's no secret Eli Manning is the key. The Giants have plenty of weapons on offense, not unlike the Falcons, but Manning is the head of the proverbial class. Stopping Manning is critical for the Falcons' chances Sunday to defeat the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. One of the keys in the chase to Manning will be defensive end John Abraham.
Abraham's 10 sacks this season is tied for eighth in the NFL and while he's having another strong season rushing the QB, he knows he's got to bring it on Sunday to get to Manning and help lead a defensive effort to shut down a team scoring the third-most points in the league.
"Everybody knows No. 10 (Manning) is going to be the one to get to," Abraham said. "I need my name to be called a lot. Everybody knows that because I've got to get to the quarterback and do what I've got to do. That's the big thing. They've got a heck of a receiving corps and a great quarterback to get it to them, so we kind of know their team. We're looking forward to it."
Abraham had one sack in the playoffs against Manning last season so he likely remembers a few tricks. The key will be for his mates along the D-line to help bring the pressure. Bringing pressure could ensure a win and a win over the Giants might change some of the perceptions the Falcons have recently, especially considering the loss last week. Perceptions of the Falcons have varied this season, but right now, Abraham said, there's no reason to even worry about any of that.
"The whole year we've dealt with what people are saying we're not this or we're not that so we are kind of on our own." Abraham said. "We know we didn't play well last week and we want to use this week to show ourselves. We don't care what everybody else is thinking."