New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons: Instant Grades and Analysis for Atlanta
Matt Ryan and the offense was clicking on all cylinders scoring four touchdowns and two field goals on their eight drives.
On defense, the Falcons didn't allow a single point scored for the first time this season and had two interceptions to bring their Manning interception total on the season to five. They also forced a fumble and won the game with all three phases clicking for the first time in the same game all season.
Michael Turner rumbled into the end zone from one yard out. New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 7 with 12:14 left in the 1st quarter.
Matt Ryan connected with Tony Gonzalez for another touchdown today to go up 14. New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 14 with 1:50 left in the 1st quarter.
Matt Bryant hit the 38-yard field goal to extend the lead another three points. New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 17 with 10:26 left in the 2nd quarter.
Matt Ryan connected with Julio Jones deep left for another touchdown for 40 yards. New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 24 with 11:39 left in the 3rd quarter.
Matt Bryant hit the 19-yard field goal to bring the Falcons up 27. New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 27 with 0:14 left in the 3rd quarter.
Matt Ryan connected with Julio Jones again for another touchdown. New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 34 with 5:04 left in the game.
QB Matt Ryan: A+
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Outside of a mediocre 2nd quarter, Matt Ryan showed why he should be in the conversation for the MVP award. He's a true leader and star. This game was a statement game for him as well as this will stop the talk of 2 points from the playoffs last year.
McCown came in late in the game because of how good Ryan was. He threw three touchdown passes and led the Falcons to multiple scoring drives. He went 23-for-28 (82.1 percent) for 270 yards to go with his touchdowns.
Ryan went 3-for-5 for 60 yards and a touchdown on the first drive with a deep pass to Julio Jones. Ryan led another drive that ate a ton of clock and got another three points.
He went 2-for-3 on the first drive and almost got intercepted, but the ball fell short and the Falcons had to punt. Ryan was efficient and effective in the quarter, but the offense didn't move the ball well and only scored three points.
Matt Ryan led two touchdown drives. He went 6-for-6 for 66 yards and a touchdown early on and the offense was clicking on all cylinders.
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Scoring 34 points on a defense that hadn't allowed more than 31 all season is a good job. The Falcons winning by that margin, moving the ball effectively and eating the clock just makes it better. This was the best the Falcons offense has looked all season.
Taking over at their own 31-yard line, Jacquizz Rodgers brought the ball another two yards down the field. Then Tony Gonzalez got another eight yards for the first down. Rodgers then got stood up in the backfield for a two yard loss.
Michael Turner then took the screen another nine-yards to set up a short third down. Then, Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez again for another first down. A run for a loss by Turner was followed by a Jason Snelling run for eight yards.
On 3rd-and-3 from the Giants 40, Ryan hit Roddy White for a first down and brought it to the 29. They followed that with a Rodgers run for three yards. Antone Smith got his first carry of his career, but it was brought back by a holding call on Gonzalez.
On 2nd-and-17 from the Giants 36, Rodgers got a screen for 13 yards. For 3rd down, Ryan hit Julio Jones for another screen that brought it within the 5-yard line. For 1st-and-goal from the Giants 3, Turner got stuffed for no gain.
The 2nd-and-goal play was a Julio Jones touchdown for three yards. Atlanta just demolished the Giants today, and this drive ate a ton of clock while also scoring another touchdown.
Luke McCown came in on the final drive, and the ball was handed to Jason Snelling right away for seven yards. Then Snelling gained another 11 on another run. Snelling then got stuffed at the line and gained another four yards on the next two rushes.
On 3rd-and-6 from the Giants 13, Snelling gained another 8 yards to ice the game. Chris Redman downed the ball to end the game.
Atlanta opened the first drive with a 3-yard run to Michael Turner. Then on 2nd down, Ryan missed Roddy White wide right. On 3rd-and-7 from their own 23, Ryan hit Harry Douglas for a 10-yard gain to get the first down.
On 1st down, Ryan took his first shot deep and the Giants made a good defensive play on the ball. Then, Michael Turner gained 13 yards on the next play to bring it to the 47. Another short run by Rodgers was followed by a 10-yard quick hitter to Julio Jones.
Then on first down after the short pass to Jones, Ryan hit him deep for a 40-yard touchdown to bring the Falcons up 24 points.
Taking over at their own 26, Michael Turner dropped the ball on first down. Then Jacquizz Rodgers got a 2-yard gain on a play he should have been stopped for a 3-yard loss. Then Ryan hit Harry Douglas on 3rd-and-9 for a 36-yard gain.
Offsetting penalties left the ball at the Giants 37. Turner gained four yards on first down to set up a shorter second down. On 2nd-and-6 from the Giants 33, Julio Jones lost two yards on a screen. On third down, Ryan hit Gonzalez for another 10-yards.
A short Turner run was followed by a Julio Jones 18-yard end around run to bring it to the Giants 7-yard line. A pair of runs by Rodgers brought the ball to the Giants 1-yard line. On third-and-goal, Michael Turner was stuffed at the goalline.
Starting off with a short run to Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez got a pair of catches to continually move the ball. On 3rd-and-4 from their own 41, Matt Ryan missed Gonzalez and were forced to punt for the first time of the game.
On the second drive, Turner opened it up with a run for nine yards. Then on second down, he wasn't able to pick up the first. On 3rd-and-1 from the Giants 18, Harry Douglas was stopped on an end around to set up the field goal.
Jason Snelling got a first down catch for 14 yards. On first down, Ryan had a goofy looking incompletion. Then on 2nd down, Ryan got sacked by Chris Canty for a 5-yard loss.
On 3rd-and-20 from their own 35 after a false start by Justin Blalock, Ryan hit Snelling for a short gain and punted it away again. Jacquizz Rodgers ran the ball for a short gain and then Ryan downed the ball to end the half.
The first drive was great. Four quick runs by Michael Turner for 16 yards and a touchdown showed that Turner could still be the guy this year.
After a short pass to Julio Jones and a run left by Turner, Roddy White caught the 3rd-and-4 pass for the first down. A short run by Jacquizz Rodgers was followed by a Mike Cox catch for first down. Then another Rodger run on a draw was followed by a deep strike to Harry Douglas to bring it within the 15.
On first-and-10 from the 11, Turner gained another 3 yards. For second down, Ryan hit Jason Snelling for a loss on the screen. Then on 3rd-and-11 from the 12, Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for a touchdown pass to go up 14-0.
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The entire defensive effort was amazing. They didn't allow a single point and turned in one of the strongest performances of the year getting a ton of pressure and creating three turnovers. This showing by the defense was what Falcons fans expected when Mike Nolan got hired to coach it.
Martellus Bennett looked to have gotten a catch, but it was challenged and overturned to give the Giants a third down. On 3rd-and-10 from their own 16, Victor Cruz got stopped after a seven-yard gain to give the Falcons another three-and-out.
David Wilson gained a first down after the kickoff. Then on a screen pass, John Abraham knocked the ball out for forced fumble throw that was recovered by Chris Hope.
A short run by David Wilson for two yards opened the Giants half. Another short run by Lumpkin forced another third down. On 3rd-and-4 from their own 26-yard line, Manning missed the ball deep, but Chris Hope had a stupid move by hitting Victor Cruz helmet-to-helmet.
After taking the 15-yard penalty,Manning hit Martellus Bennett for another first down. A Hakeem Nicks 8-yard catch and a Wilson 3-yard run later, and the Giants have it 1st-and-10 at the Falcons 33.
Stephen Nicholas got another tackle for loss on first down. Then, Manning missed Nicks on the left side of the field. On 3rd-and-10 from the Falcons 33, Manning hit Hixon for just eight yards. On 4th-and-2 from the Falcons 25, Jonathan Babineaux knocked the ball down to give the offense the ball back again.
The final play of the quarter was a Lumpkin run for no gain.
John Abraham held David Wilson to a tackle for loss to open the first drive of the quarter. And Thomas DeCoud got his sixth interception of the year and the Falcons fifth of a guy named Manning.
After Peria Jerry created some great pressure, Eli Manning missed David Wilson on a screen. Kregg Lumpkin got a 9-yard gain on the following play. On 3rd-and-1 from their own 29, Lumpkin gained another 8. Atlanta needs to stuff the run better, or they could end up throwing this game away.
On first down after the run, Dominique Franks knocked the ball away. Lumpkin got a huge run on the 2nd down play to the Falcons 41. A Manning completion to Nicks brought it to the Falcons 33. Then, Stephen Nicholas tackled Lumpkin for no gain.
On 3rd-and-2 from the Falcons 33, the Falcons stuffed Lumpkin in the backfield to force another field goal attempt. Then on a 4th-and-1, Atlanta stuffed David Wilson for no gain to get the ball back for the offense the ball at their own 32.
Manning hit Hixon for a 9-yard gain on first down after a punt. Then he completely missed David Wilson to set up another third down. On 3rd-and-1 from the Falcons 19, Manning hit Hakeem Nicks for a 23-yard gain.
After the big play by Nicks, Manning evaded pressure and hit Hixon for another big gain. After a 2-yard gain by Lumpkin set up 2nd-and-8 from the Falcons 18, Manning hit Hixon to bring it to the Falcons 11.
On 3rd-and-1, Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas stuffed the run to the left. On 4th-and-1, Asante Samuel knocked the ball away to give the Falcons the ball back.
Asante Samuel came out on the first drive and created a turnover that led to points. After that the Falcons were able to force the Giants into a field goal attempt that was missed. They allowed the Giants to drive to the redzone but being able to lock down and not allow anything earns a good grade here.
Atlanta forced a three-and-out on the third drive of the quarter. It was punctuated on 3rd-and-7 with a Kroy Biermann sack.
Special Teams: A
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They didn't make any huge plays to earn the plus. But they held Wilson within his own 25-yard line on every return and didn't make any mistakes.
Dominique Franks had a six yard return and dodged a bullet with the ref signalling it down. Then there was another deep kick by Bosher to force another 20-yard starting field position by the Giants.
Atlanta stuffed David Wilson at the Giants own 20-yard line to open the quarter. Matt Bryant hit an easy 19-yard field goal, and then Wilson was stuffed on the ensuing kickoff at the Giants 16.
Matt Bosher's first punt of the game left the Giants at their own 20-yard line to start the quarter off. Matt Bryant hit the easy field goal to give Atlanta 10 points off of turnovers. A good punt by Bosher pinned the Giants at their own 10-yard line with under four minutes left.
Simple and flawless. The Falcons were able to hold field position for the Giants to just the 20-yard line on both kickoffs and even saw the Giants miss a field goal. They also were flawless on the extra point attempts.
Dominique Franks had a nice return on his first punt return of the game to give the Falcons offense the ball at their own 25-yard line.
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Atlanta kept the foot on the throats of the Giants and turned it into a true victory. Every side of the ball was clicking, and the Falcons crushed the Giants with a true all around effort. When you win 34-0, coaching has something to do with it.
On his first challenge of the game, Smith got the call overturned to create a 3rd-and-10 situation. Then, the team as a whole never took their foot off of the pedal to build a 34-0 lead so that he could start playing his backups.
They came out hitting hard at the beginning of the half. The biggest criticism of Atlanta was the inability to keep their foot on the other teams throat. The deep pass to Julio Jones for a touchdown shows that Smith wants this one to be a blowout.
The second quarter was a bit different than the first. Atlanta was playing well, but were unable to score. They were still trying to score and keep their foot on the pedal though. The defense looked good until the end of the half though.
Atlanta is up 14-0 at the end of the first. The team is clicking and came out hard and looks prepared. Three good defensive drives looked great and scoring on the only 2 offensive drives shows that Mike Smith wants to have his team make a statement.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL draft website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.