Here is a look at how the Falcons’ pass offense matches against the Giants’ pass defense.
Falcons starters: Quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and tight end Tony Gonzalez.
Falcons key reserves: Wide receivers Harry Douglas and Eric Weems and tight end Reggie Kelly. Chris Redman is the backup quarterback.
Giants starters: Left cornerback Corey Webster, right cornerback Aaron Ross, free safety Antrel Rolle and strong safety Kenny Phillips.
Giants reserves: Safeties Deon Grant, Tyler Sash and Derrick Martin and cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Will Blackmon.
Matchup to watch: White vs. Webster.
Ryan has been less than spectacular in his two playoff starts.
Last season against Green Bay, Ryan completed 20 of 29 for 186 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and had a passer rating of 69. He was sacked three times. The longest pass play went for 22 yards.
Against Arizona after the 2008 regular season, Ryan completed 26 of 40 passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and had a passer rating of 72.8. He was sacked three times. The longest pass play went for 28 yards.
The Falcons should have opportunities in the passing game if they can slow the Giants’ potent pass rush. The Giants finished the season with 48 sacks, which ranked third in the NFL.
In the previous meeting between the two teams, in 2009, the Giants tried to take away White and left Michael Jenkins open. They’ll have to make a different election with the electrifying Jones on the field.
Also, Gonzalez had a strong game with eight catches for 82 yards.
“Tony, regardless of who we’re going against, is a tough matchup for a defense,” Ryan said. “He gets matched up on linebackers; he gets matched up on safeties. Some weeks he gets matched up on corners, and he brings kind of a different advantage against each of those three different positions.”
The Falcons will pick their spots to set tempo against the Giants’ pass rush with their no-huddle offense.
“Mike Smith and Mike Mularkey have a good feel for when to use it, when not to,” Ryan said. “When they tell us we’re going to do it, I just try to go out there and execute.”