PFF Preview: Falcons @ Giants, Week 5

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Falcons @ Giants, Week 5

2014-Prev-WK05-ATL@NYGThis clash of 2-2 teams pits Mike Smith’s Atlanta Falcons against Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants at MetLife Stadium; teams that carry contrasting momentum into the game.

To stop the Giants’ offense, the Falcons must generate pressure on Eli Manning; the Redskins pressured Manning on just 14.6% of passing downs and paid the price with an embarrassing defeat. The Giants’ offensive line has been strongest on the perimeter, but more vulnerable inside, which suits Falcons defensive end Corey Peters. One sack, two QB hits and five total pressures, gives Peters an 8.5 Pass Rushing Productivity grade, eighth-best amongst qualifying 3-4 defensive ends.

After a sluggish 0-2 start to the season, the Giants have swiftly found form and no player embodies their improvement more than Manning, who passed for 300 yards and four touchdowns (while adding a fifth on the ground) against the Redskins in Week 4. In Week 1 he appeared to be out of sync with his receivers, completing a lowly 54.5% of his passes and throwing two interceptions. That certainly wasn’t all on Manning — his receivers dropped four catchable passes and his 71.0 Accuracy Percentage was better than nine other starting quarterbacks that week — and he and his receivers have clearly gelled since, with Manning recording Accuracy Percentages of 76.3, 81.5 and 79.5 in the past three weeks. That spells trouble for the Falcons’ defense, which has allowed 276 passing yards per game, third-worst in the NFL through the opening four weeks.

Here are three more notable numbers for each side:

Atlanta Falcons

Prince Shembo – With 10 tackles (seven of them stops) and no missed tackles, the rookie out of Notre Dame is one of only five qualifying inside linebackers to have a perfect Tackling Efficiency through the opening quarter of the season.

Antone Smith  – Despite only having 13 touches in the first four games, Smith has forced an impressive eight missed tackles on his way to a 326.2 Elusive Rating and a 72.3 Breakaway Percentage.

Julio Jones – As well as grading as the ninth-ranked (+3.5) wide receiver after the first quarter of the season, Jones  leads the league with seven receptions on passes of more than 20 yards.

New York Giants

Larry Donnell – With a +6.1 grade in the passing game, Larry Donnell leads all tight ends after four games.

William Beatty – Beatty has allowed no sacks and conceded just four total pressures for a 98.0 Pass Blocking Efficiency score, and is currently our top-ranked offensive tackle (+10.1).

Robert Ayers – Robert Ayers has notched three sacks (all when rushing from the left) and 13 total pressures on his way to a 13.8 Pass Rushing Productivity grade, joint-best among 4-3 defensive ends with more than 50 pass rush snaps.

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| Analyst

Kevin has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, with a particular focus on college football.

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