EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants are only four years removed from their last Super Bowl victory, and they have nothing on the Atlanta Falcons in terms of postseason experience.
The Giants (9-7) will be the novices today when they host the Falcons (10-6) in an NFC wild-card game at MetLife Stadium.
New York is returning to the postseason after a two-year absence that put coach Tom Coughlin’s job in jeopardy, while the Falcons will be appearing in the playoffs for the second straight year and third time in four seasons.
The Falcons’ experience may not mean much, considering quarterback Matt Ryan has failed to lead the team to a win. The Falcons were the conference’s No. 1 seed for the playoffs last year, and were blown out by the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers in the NFC semifinals.
“Yeah, it’s about time we won,” Falcons receiver Roddy White said. “This is our third time in the playoffs in four years. It’s about time we get a ‘W.’ We’ve been lacking in that case and everyone wants to win really, really bad. We want to get that first win out of the way and after that you just take them one by one.”
Eli Manning and the Giants enter the playoffs with momentum after an inconsistent season. They have won three of four, beating Dallas on the final weekend of the regular season to win the NFC East title.
The late run has many making comparisons to the 2007 title sprint. New York gained confidence late by pushing then-undefeated New England in the last game of the season and rode it to four straight playoff road wins, capped by the upset of Tom Brady and the Patriots in the championship game.