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Falcons Earn Just a Little

Michael Turner touches the ball into the endzone for the first score of the game.
Michael Turner touches the ball into the endzone for the first score of the game.


Aretha Franklin asked for exactly what the Falcons have been seeking for the last fourteen weeks, respect. If winning enough close games to build a 12-2 record wasn’t enough, surely Sunday’s 34-0 dismantling of the defending Champion New York Giants meant something.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, Sunday’s game accomplished the difficult task of allowing fans to, if for just a moment, smile again.

Asante Samuel gave Falcons fans something to smile about early stepping in front of Hakeem Nicks for an interception. The pick gave the NFC South Division winners a short field to work with at the Giants 16. It was an advantage the offense didn’t waste time converting into points. Four consecutive handoffs to running back Michael Turner and Atlanta had the first points and a 7-0 lead.

The Giants attempted to answer on the ensuing drive. David Wilson’s 25 yard run and Domenik Hixon’s 19 yard catch put Manning and crew in striking distance. Once inside the redzone the Falcons defense stiffened. Pressure from the defensive line forced an errant pass from Manning on third and 3 to set up a 30 yard field goal attempt for Lawrence Tynes. The kick from Tynes kick missed wide left.

It was a scenario that would repeat itself for most of the game. “We had some opportunities in the first half to get ourselves in the game and make it competitive,” said Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We weren’t able to accomplish any of that.”

Each time the Giants threatened to score the Falcons returned the favor with an actual one.

Matt Ryan ended the day with a 142.6 passer’s rating having thrown for three scores and 270 yards. Across the field, Eli Manning had perhaps his worst showing ever in the Georgia Dome. Eli, like his older brother Peyton, was victimized by the Falcons secondary multiple times. “I was shipped from Philadelphia to make plays for this team,” said Falcons corner back Asante Samuel. “I’m accustomed to playing the Giants two times a year and that experience helped me make plays today.”

The veteran defensive back wasn’t the only defender making plays. Accolades could be spread across a defense that held the Giants to 40% on ten third down conversions and 0% on 3 fourth down conversions. “They were able to do some things up front that allowed their secondary to make plays and got a couple of interceptions out of it and it really took the wind out of our sails,” said Coughlin.

Atlanta’s mastering of New York is reminiscent of the 27-2 beat down the Falcons experienced in the playoffs last January. Returning the favor was 11 months in the making but a necessary one.

“They put a pounding and (butt) whipping on us,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Sounds like the Falcons earned a measure of respect from the Giants at least.






Atlanta Falcons 34 vs NY Giants 0
SLIDESHOW


  • The Giants take the field after introductions.

  • Asante Samuel intercepts Eli Manning's pass intended for Hakim Nicks.

  • Asante Samuel intercepts Eli Manning's pass intended for Hakim Nicks.

  • Domenik Hixon picks up 19 yards on the Giants second offensive series.

  • Roddy White holds on to the pass after getting hit by Corey Webster.

  • Giants defenders swarm to stop Roddy White.

  • Harry Douglas runs under the pass from Matt Ryan for a 37 yard gain.

  • Harry Douglas runs under the pass from Matt Ryan for a 37 yard gain.

  • Harry Douglas runs under the pass from Matt Ryan for a 37 yard gain.

  • Kroy Biermann sacks Eli Manning for a loss of 2 yards.

  • Michael Turner is grabbed from behind on a run up the middle.

  • Falcons coach Mike Smith looks up at the scoreboard.

  • Jayron Hosley bats away a pass intended for Roddy White.

  • Julio Jones looks in a 40 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan.

  • Julio Jones looks in a 40 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan..

  • Julio Jones looks in a 40 yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan..

  • Martellus Bennett turns upfield for a 15 yard gain before Asante Samuel and Akeem Dent can bring him down.

  • Martellus Bennett turns upfield for a 15 yard gain before Asante Samuel and Akeem Dent can bring him down.

  • Eli Manning sprints out and prepares to pass.

  • Robert McClain delivers a jarring tackle to Domenik Hixon after an 8 yard gain.

  • Kroy Biermann pressures Eli Manning in the pocket.

  • Harry Douglas catches a 36 yard pass from Matt Ryan.

  • Julio Jones catches a short out from Matt Ryan.

  • Giants Coach Tom Coughlin steps out onto the field during a break in action.

  • R&B singer Bobby Valentino watches as the Falcons defeat the Giants in the Georgia Dome.

  • The Falcons Cheerleaders perform stunts during a break in the action.

  • Victor Cruz catches the pass from Eli Manning for a 7 yard gain.

  • Tony Gonzalez looks in a pass from Matt Ryan.

  • Will Hill delivers a hit on Tony Gonzalez just as the pass from Matt Ryan arrives.

  • Jacquizz Rodgers picks up a block on the outside from guard Peter Konz.

  • Stevie Brown saves a touchdown pushing Julio Jones out of bounds at the 3 after a 19 yard gain.

  • Matt Ryan checks in with Coach Mike Smith during a time-out.

  • Julio Jones squeezes the 3 yard pass from Matt Ryan for a touchdown, his second of the game.

  • Falcons WR Roddy White celebrates with Julio Jones after the touchdown.

  • Former UGA and Stephenson HS star Kregg Lumpkin looks in the pass from Eli Manning.

  • John Abraham forces a fumble poking the ball out of the arms of former UGA and Stephenson HS star Kregg Lumpkin that was recovered by Chris Hope.

  • Falcons coach Mike Smith greets Giants coach Tom Coughlin after the game.

  • Giants fans send prayers of hope.





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