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NFC Wild Card 2012: Giants Pass Rush Among Keys To The Game

The New York Giants are nothing if not a schizophrenic. Eli Manning has had moments of pure brilliance this season as well as struggles while carrying the Giants' offense with an extremely talented young corps of receivers. The defense has been similarly up-and-down, with a secondary that still needs help. The one area the G-men have excelled throughout the year is on the pass rush, where Jason Pierre-Paul and Co. have made life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.

Matt Ryan will do his best to stay upright when the Atlanta Falcons travel to New York for the opening round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs. The Giants are tied for third in the league with 48 sacks on the season, just two behind the league-leading Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. Of that total, 41.5 came from the front four, including 16.5 sacks from Pierre-Paul and 9.0 from Osi Umenyiora.

The Giants have plenty of matchup problems with the Falcons, otherwise they would not have found themselves needing a Week 17 win to make the playoffs. A killer pass rush could serve as the great equalizer against the more complete teams they face in the playoffs, however.

For more on the Giants, head over to the SB Nation blog Big Blue View. For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.