1. What do you think is the most important area the Falcons need to improve against New York?
Jay Adams: You expect to see improvement in all areas of the game from Week 1 to Week 2. That said, I think it's safe to assume that the Falcons will be focused on how they come out of the locker room after halftime. Third quarters have shown in past years to be a tough 15 minutes for the Falcons, so coming out with the same intensity they generally display in the first half will likely be a priority.
Kelsey Conway: Tackling. Dan Quinn said that the Falcons had nine missed tackles against the Eagles. In order to stop the Giants passing attack it will imperative to tackle well. The Giants offense is predicated on catching short pases and gaining yards after, and that is what they will try do on Sunday. Strong tackling efforts will help prevent big plays from happening.
Andrew Hirsh: The third quarter in general. This has been an issue for a number of years, and on Monday, the Falcons quickly squandered a 17-point lead after a tremendous first half. They can't continue to do that and hope big defensive plays will save them week in and week out. I want to see Atlanta come out of intermission with a sense of purpose, and if they build a sizable lead, I want to see them hold it.
2. Other than Odell Beckham Jr., which Giant do you think presents the biggest challenge?
JA: The Giants have two very big running backs in Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. They tip the scales at 231 and 230 pounds, respectively, so sound tackling and technique will be important against them. The Giants have a relatively young offensive line at some prime positions so getting penetration and shutting those two down before they get rumbling could go a lot way toward helping the Falcons defensively.
KC: Linebacker Uani 'Unga scares me the most on the Giants. Unga led his defense with 12 tackles and picked off Cowboys QB Tony Romo in the loss on Sunday. He has proven that he has the ability to create turnovers, and it will be necessary to keep him from momentum-creating big plays. The key to the game will be who wins the turnover battle, and 'Unga proves to be a force to be reckoned with.
AH: I'll go with DE Robert Ayers. He looked fantastic last week, when he earned five QB hurries, two tackles and a strong run defense grade against the stout Cowboys O-line. His performance in Week 9 of last year—which included six QB hits, three stops and a sack—was one of the best individual efforts from a defensive player in 2014. He's one of the most disruptive edge rushers Atlanta will face this season and will surely test LT Jake Matthews.
3. Name three Falcons you think could have big games against the Giants on Sunday.
JA: The Falcons will need a big game out of cornerback Desmond Trufant. The matchup between him and Odell Beckham isn't getting nearly as much ink nationally as it should. Trufant was avoided heavily in Week 1, but Eli Manning will have to test him if he wants his biggest weapon to have the ball. Secondly, I think Vic Beasley Jr. could be in a solid position to have a big game, namely because of the young offensive line in front of Manning. Lastly, on offense, I think Julio Jones could put together a career-type of game the likes we saw against Green Bay last year. I'm looking for him to go nuts.
KC: RB Tevin Coleman, CB Desmond Trufant and LB Paul Worrilow to all have big games. I expect Coleman to have a big game because the Falcons saw the result of having a balanced attack on Monday, and I would expect this to continue on Sunday. Coleman's physicality as a back is one of the many reasons he thrives in this offense, and I believe Sunday's game will be a physical game, with a lot of emphasis on the ground. Trufant will have a big day against Odell Beckham Jr. Lastly, I believe Paul Worrilow will play a big role in the Falcons ability to stop New York's running attack, that features three strong backs. Worrilow has shown that he knows how to lead his team when it matters most, and I would expect anything less from that on Sunday.
AH: Matt Ryan is due for a big game. He, along with everyone else, is still learning the new offense, and the experience he gained from Week 1 might give him the information needs to take the next step. New York's linebackers aren't particularly intimidating, so tight end Jacob Tamme should be able to get open—especially on third down, when so much attention will be placed on Julio Jones and Roddy White. On the other side of the ball, I think Adrian Clayborn will wreak havoc as Atlanta's nickel DT. He got some nice pressure on Sam Bradford last week and appears due for a sack.