Five things to know as Falcons look ahead to Giants

The Atlanta Falcons are 2-4 heading into Monday's home game against the New York Giants. Here's a look back at the first six games and a look ahead to the remainder of the schedule.

For the second game in a row, the Falcons will face a well-rested team. The Falcons (2-4) defeated the Bucs after their bye week and will face the Giants (1-5) on Monday Night Football after they last played on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Shurmur off to bad start

The Giants, under first-year coach Pat Shurmur, have dropped three straight games and are mired in controversy after wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. derided quarterback Eli Manning’s energy and questioned why the team can’t or won’t throw him the ball deep in an interview with ESPN.

Shurmur was ticked by the comments and made Beckham apologize to the team. He also reportedly fined the enigmatic wide receiver for essentially speaking the truth.

The Giants can’t throw the ball deep because their offensive line is horrendous.

Barkley is a keeper

Rookie running back Saquon Barkley is special. The elusive back will be a problem for the Falcons, who are missing a lot of tackles.

“I didn't think (missing tackles) was a unit-wide issue, but man, we still have work to do,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “That kind of lights me up in a good way, especially as a teacher and a coach.”

Barkley has rushed 84 times for 438 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also caught 40 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns.

“I do know about Barkley's speed,” Quinn said. “It was his (identity) on tape coming out of Penn State. Even when a good player had an angle on him, (he’d make them miss.)”

Is Eli Manning washed up?

Folks are whispering, but nobody wants to be on record saying that a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback is washed up.

ExploreWell, actually former league MVP Rich Gannon did advise him to look at his retirement options. 

Manning has completed 158 of 230 passes (68.7 percent) for 1,662 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. He has a passer rating of 90.9.

Manning has been sacked 20 times, third most in the league. Only Houston’s Deshaun Watson (25 sacks) and Buffalo’s Josh Allen (21) have been sacked more.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (17 sacks) has been sacked the eighth-most times in the league.

Manning hasn’t had time to throw deep are get the ball to anyone but Barkley.

"I do know the speed with which they have," Quinn said when asked about Manning. "That part jumps out to me pretty clearly. A number of those guys we had liked coming out of college. We talked about the tight end from Ole Miss (Evan Engram from Hillgrove High). I think anybody who has watched Odell play knows how explosive he is and the running back as well."

Engram is set to return from a knee injury. He’s missed three games and has 10 catches for 104 yards and one touchdown.

The series 

The will be the 24th regular-season meeting. The Falcons lead the series 12-11 and have won two of the last three games.

The defense

The Giants ranked in the bottom half of the league in scoring defense (27 points per game, 24th of 32 teams) and rushing defense (121.7 yards per game, 25th).

The Giants are ranked in the top half of the league in total yards allowed (358 per game, 14th) and passing yards allowed (236.3 per game, 10th).