Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

December 12, 2012

Tuck, Giants ready for Falcons' new offense

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Giants defensive end Justin Tuck would have loved to use last year's 24-2 wildcard playoff victory as a blueprint for defending quarterback Matt Ryan and Falcons on Sunday.

But he warned Wednesday that Atlanta (11-2), which would hold the top seed if the NFC playoffs were to start this week, is different from the team that was held to a mere second-quarter safety last year in the Meadowlands.

New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has installed a more varied offense. The Giants (8-4) expect to see it.

"They're a little bit mixed up," Tuck said. "I thought at the end of last year, they were a little bit more leaning on the pass."

Ryan can still throw the ball, of course, and Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez do their fair share of getting open. But these Falcons also heavily rely on running backs Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, and the results show.

"On offense, they want to keep the chains moving, and they're kind of a check-with-me offense," Tuck said. "It's going to be a chess match a little more than it was last year."

Tuck and his teammates might better benefit from a look at what Carolina did to the Falcons in a 30-20 Panthers' win last Sunday. That defense sacked Ryan, the conference's fifth-leading passer, twice, hit him six times, and forced him into his 13th interception.

Ryan still managed to throw touchdown passes to White and Jones, but they didn't come until the second half, after the Panthers snared a 23-0 lead. The Falcons were held to 13 first-half snaps.

"Thirteen snaps in the first half, yeah, that would be nice," coach Tom Coughlin said. "A high-powered offense, with the other team having the ball is a pretty good way to go."

The loss to the Panthers aside, the Falcons have been able to move the ball this season quite well. Turner has 689 yards rushing, and Rodgers, the change of pace, has 295. Even Ryan has an 8.2-yard average when he runs the ball, to go along with his 24 touchdown passes.

Making this task more difficult for the Giants is the injury status of right cornerback Prince Amukamara, who sat out practice Wednesday with a strained hamstring. Reserve cornerback Jayron Hosley could move into that spot, but it is also possible that Antrel Rolle, who takes the slot receiver in passing situations, could also move into Amukamara's spot.

Whoever plays there will likely have to deal with White most of the game, while the safeties and middle linebacker Chase Blackburn try to handle Gonzalez. The 36-year-old tight end, with 81 catches and seven touchdowns, remains especially dangerous on third down, where he has averaged 9.7 yards.

"He's still got it," Blackburn said. "You can't say enough about the guy. I'd love to play as long and still be effective."

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • TCHS hosts Saturday’s track sectionals

    Step one is over for the Tift County Blue Devils. The region track meet took place last week and now it is time for sectionals and for the second week in a row, Tifton will be host to a big group of athletes.

    April 24, 2014

  • Soccer playoffs set for Devils

    Soccer playoffs have now been set for the Tift County Blue Devils.

    April 24, 2014

  • Needmore to host Southern Sprint Car Showdown

    This Saturday night, Needmore Speedway will host the second round of a Southern Sprint Car Showdown as sprint cars from the ASCS and Carolina Sprint Car Series will challenge drivers from the Florida Sprint Car Series.

    April 24, 2014

  • Bulloch Academy upsets Lady Panthers, 2-1

    The 2014 soccer season ended Wednesday afternoon for the Lady Panthers of Tiftarea Academy at the Panther Pit. A No. 2 seed going into the state playoffs, they were defeated 2-1 by the Bulloch Academy Lady Gators in the first round.

    April 23, 2014

  • Fillies ready for GCAA softball tourney

    "I'd rather be us than anyone else right now."
    That is the boast of Donna Campbell, head coach of the ABAC Fillies softball team. Looking at how the team has been doing going into the GCAA state playoffs, it is hard to disagree with her.

    April 23, 2014

  • Panthers will play six on the road in 2014

    For Ryan Branch and the Tiftarea Academy Panthers football team, it is one step closer to a regular football schedule. They have 10 games this year, down from the 11 of the past two.

    April 22, 2014

  • Horne named to MaxPreps freshman squad

    Chalk up one more for the Tift County boys basketball team. Another list of honors was released this week and not surprisingly, a local player was honored.

    April 22, 2014

  • ABAC golf team finishes eighth in district championship

    The golf team at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College wound up the year with an 8th place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association District 4 Championship in Albany at Stonebridge Country Club.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tiftarea headed for state track meet

    There will be lots at stake and lots at state for Tiftarea Academy Thursday. The state track meet is set to begin at Albany's Hugh Mills Stadium and the Panthers have qualified in 21 different events. Long distance, short distance, relays, jumping, there will be at least one individual in all of those and in a handful of events, there will be two Panthers.

    April 22, 2014

  • 20140421 Alex Abbott slides in.tif Blue Devils slide past ‘Cats on Senior Day

    Nine seniors started the day Monday for the Tift County Blue Devils against the Bainbridge Bearcats. Throughout the game, several different combinations were used. By the end of it, the combination of Alex Abbott and Will Reinhardt was the one that mattered most.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
House Ads
Weather Radar
Video
Poll

Do you plan to watch any of the Republican National Convention?

Yes
No
     View Results