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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants defeated the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 24-2 on Sunday afternoon. It was the Giants first appearance in the postseason in three years and they made it a good one. It was also the first home win in 11 years for the Giants. The first half wasn’t very pretty and it took a while for the offense to get going but the story of the game was their defense. The defense controlled the game right from the beginning. The Giants defense has been maligned just about all year but they have seemed to peak at the right time and are very dangerous right now.
Eli Manning was 23-32 for 277 yards and three touchdowns. The rushing attack which has been a problem all year did a good job in this game. Brandon Jacobs had 14 rushes for 92 yards and Ahmad Bradshaw had 14 rushes for 63 yards. Manning rushed twice for 13 yards and D.J. Ware rushed once for four yards. Hakeem Nicks had six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He had a long catch and run of 72 yards. Mario Manningham had four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Victor Cruz had two catches for 28 yards, Bradshaw had five catches for 22 yards and Jake Ballard had two catches for 16 yards. Ware had one catch for 13 yards, Jacobs had two for eight and Travis Beckum had one for seven yards. Lawrence Tynes was 1-2 in field goal attempts. He made a 22 yarder and had three extra points.
Matt Ryan was 24-41 for 199 yards. Michael Turner had 15 rushes for 41 yards. Julio Jones had one rush for 13 yards, Jason Snelling had two rushes for seven yards and Ryan had three rushes for three yards. Julio Jones had seven receptions for 64 yards. Roddy White had five catches for 52 yards, Tony Gonzalez had four catches for 44 yards and Jacquizz Rodgers had four catches for 18 yards. Snelling had two catches for nine yards, Harry Douglas had one for seven yards and Turner had one for five yards.
The Giants had two sacks on the day but they consistently put the pressure on Ryan and the Falcons. The Falcons had a lot of yards at the end of the game when it didn’t matter. Antrel Rolle and Jason Pierre-Paul led the defense with six tackles each. The Falcons defense had one sack and their leading tackler was Curtis Lofton who had nine tackles.
Steve Weatherford had four punts for the Giants and he averaged 45.8 yards. He had one inside the 20 and a long punt of 54 yards. Matt Bosher had seven punts for 46 yards for the Falcons. He had one inside the 20 and a long of 59 yards. The Giants had 19 first downs to the Falcons 14. The Giants had a 7-2 lead at the half and then took over the game in the second half with 17 points to the Falcons zero. The two points the Falcons got were because Manning got called for an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone for a safety. The Giants will now head to Lambeau Field to take on the defending Super Bowl Champions the Green Bay Packers. The Giants played them at home a few weeks back and lost 38-35 but it was a great game. The Giants last visit to Lambeau resulted in them winning the NFC and advancing to the Super Bowl in 2007.