Found January 06, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
Falcons defensive end John Abraham can go all out in the wild-card playoff game against the New York Giants at 1 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
"We've had him on a play count all season long and now it's an opportunity for us to go and extend his snaps as we get into the postseason," Falcons coach Mike Smith said on Thursday.
During the season, the Falcons freely rotated in Kroy Biermann with Abraham and Ray Edwards. Abraham suffered a minor groin injury in the second game of the season, but continued to play. He has a history of groin injuries and with the low snap count he started in 15 of 16 games.
Without a play-count limitation, the Falcons plan to unleash Abraham, who leads the team with 9.5 sacks, for the entire game.
"They have a good line, but everything is pretty much controlled by (quarterback) Eli (Manning)," Abraham said. "He does a good job of getting the ball out. He recognizes rushes. He recognizes pressure. He does a good job of helping them out a lot."
Abraham, 33, was fine with the play count. By being held back, he recovered quicker from the groin injury and showed that he could still turn the corner against Jacksonville when had 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
The Giants' offensive line allowed 28 sacks during the regular-season, seventh lowest in the league. Abraham knows it will be a challenge to put pressure on Manning.
"He's a smart guy," Abraham said. "He does a great job with the play-action fakes. He does a good job of getting the ball out quick. In order for us to have a good day, we actually are going to have to get in his face and try to get him to move out of the pocket."
Abraham started his career in the Big Apple playing for the New York Jets. He has been with the Falcons since 2006. He's not looking at the game as any kind of homecoming.
"It's not the same, but it's going to be fun to go back to New York," Abraham said.
Abraham played in the old Giants Stadium. MetLife Stadium, the new stadium, is in the same area.
"The big thing is trying not to worry about the cold," Abraham said. "It's going to be cold. It's cold here now. Hopefully, the mental thing won't get to them. Once you start playing in all of the cold or heat, it really doesn't matter."
BEST OF MAXIM
The Atlanta Falcons take their high-flying offense to New York on Sunday to try to knock off the resurgent Giants in what should be one of the most entertaining games of the playoffs. Let’s break down this wild-card match-up, and look at which squad holds the advantage at each facet of the game.
Rushing Game – Advantage: Falcons
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There will be many young players this weekend who will get a taste of the postseason experience for the first time. There are even more veterans who have already won a ring or two, who may be making their last charge to add to their collection (Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers, for example). But there are also a handful of veterans, some of them perhaps bound for Canton...
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