NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Yep, wild-card week is here — and the trash talk is underway.
Giants defensive end Justin Tuck got it started Monday by calling out the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line, who have a growing reputation for dirty play.
“Yeah we’ve seen it. We know they have that quote-unquote ‘reputation,’” said Tuck. “But in a way it is kind of exciting. Most people, you would call them dirtbags.
“But it is what it is. We got to make sure we do our job. And if we are doing our job well, then they will be upset and they will be trying to do things to get us off our game, and we got to take that as a compliment.”
Tuck spoke as the Giants started preparations for their wild-card game against Atlanta (10-6) on Sunday.
The Packers and Lions have complained this season about the Falcons’ blocking techniques — and shots after the whistle.
“In the same sense you got to protect yourself,” said Tuck. “And hopefully the referees have 20-20 vision this week.”
Listen: Tuck with WFAN’s Mike Francesa
After watching Eli Manning and the offense carry the team most of the season, the defense has contributed big time, especially the defensive line which has helped record 11 sacks and limited the opponents rushing game the past two games.
“The season was up and down and this isn’t the way we wanted to go in, but in terms of how we finished the season, we needed to get those wins and got them,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. “We have to draw from that. Right now everyone’s confidence is high and we’re ready to go.”
The Falcons have the weapons to test the defense with quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner, receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White and veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez.
Still, the Giants like the idea of playing a dome team in the cold at MetLife Stadium.
“Atlanta is a great team,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “They are a hard-working team and they are a fighting team. The coaches do a great job as far as their play-calling goes. They do a good job of playing together as a team. We are definitely going to have our hands full but nothing that we’re not up to.”
Do you agree with Tuck? Sound off below…
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