WTF Was That? – Photo by USA Today Sports Images
Falcons Humiliate Giants 34-0, Redskins and Cowboys Now in Driver’s Seat in NFC East: The New York Giants, defending NFL Champions, decided not to play competitive football on Sunday and lost 34-0 to the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. With the loss, the Giants fall to 8-6 overall. Worse for New York, the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys both won and improved their records to 8-6. Although the Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys currently have identical records, the Redskins and Cowboys have the inside track on the division title due to their superior divisional records. The Giants can still earn a Wild Card appearance if they win their last two games against the Ravens and Eagles.
The Giants were shut out for the first time since 1996. The 34-0 drubbing is also the worst loss ever suffered by a defending Super Bowl Champion.
Given the final score, as one would expect, the statistics were completely one-sided. The Falcons out-gained the Giants in total offensive plays (67 to 47), first downs (22 to 10), total net yards (394 to 256), net yards rushing (129 to 97), net yards passing (265 to 159), and time of possession (38:57 to 21:03). In addition, the Giants turned the football over three times while the Falcons did not turn the ball over once.
The Giants had six first-half possessions. QB Eli Manning was intercepted on the second play by CB Asante Samuel who returned the football to the Giants’ 16-yard line. Four plays later, HB Michael Turner scored from one yard out. Falcons 7 – Giants 0.
The Giants drove 68 yards in 10 plays on their second drive, but PK Lawrence Tynes missed a 30-yard field goal. The Falcons followed that up with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a 12-yard touchdown pass from QB Matt Ryan to TE Tony Gonzalez. Falcons 14 – Giants 0.
Both teams exchanged punts and the Giants’ fourth drive quickly ended with an other interception by Manning who was picked off by S Thomas DeCoud, setting up the Falcons at the Giants’ 27-yard line. The Giants’ defense held for once, but the Falcons still kicked the 38-yard field goal to go up 17-0.
The Giants turned the ball over on downs on their final two drives of the half. After reaching the Falcons’ 32-yard line, Head Coach Tom Coughlin decided to go for it on 4th-and-1, but HB David Wilson was stuffed for no gain. The Giants drove to the Falcons’ 11-yard line on their final possession of the half, but on 4th-and-1, Manning’s pass to WR Victor Cruz fell incomplete.
At the half, Atlanta led 17-0.
The Falcons received the football to start the second half and drove 80 yards in 8 plays for a touchdown as Ryan hit WR Julio Jones for a 40-yard score. Falcons 24 – Giants 0.
The now desperate Giants drove to the Atlanta 25-yard line on their first possession of the half, but Manning’s 4th-and-2 pass to HB Kregg Lumpkin fell incomplete. The Giants were 0-for-3 on 4th down conversion attempts.
The Falcons put together a long, clock-consuming drive on their second possession of the half. The 12-play, 73-yard drive resulted in a 19-yard field goal and the Falcons now led 27-0 at the end of the third quarter.
The Giants went three-and-out on their second possession of the second half. Atlanta then drove 69 yards in 13 plays with Ryan hitting Jones for a 3-yard score and an insurmountable 34-0 advantage with just under five minutes to play. The Giants turned the football over on their final drive when Lumpkin fumbled the ball away. The Falcons then ran out the clock to win the game.
Unbelievably, the Giants only had three possessions and 14 offensive plays in the entire second half of the game.
Offensively, Manning finished 13-of-25 for 161 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. His leading receiver was WR Domenik Hixon who had five catches for 80 yards. The only two Giants to carry the ball were David Wilson (12 carries for 55 yards) and Kregg Lumpkin (9 carries for 42 yards).
Defensively, the Giants forced no turnovers and only had one sack, the latter by DT Chris Canty. QB Matt Ryan only failed to complete five passes.
Lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Injury Report: DT Chris Canty suffered a burner in the game and had trouble moving his right arm after the contest. CB Jayron Hosley injured an ankle but returned to the game. OG Chris Snee injured his hip in the game and was in and out of the lineup.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.
Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of the following player media Q&As after the game are available at Giants.com:
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- HB David Wilson (Video)
- FB Henry Hynoski (Video)
- WR Hakeem Nicks (Video)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
- DE Osi Umenyiora (Video)
- LB Mathias Kiwanuka (Video)
- S Antrel Rolle (Video)
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were HB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), S Kenny Phillips (knee), S Tyler Sash (hamstring), TE Adrien Robinson, DE Adewale Ojomo, and DT Marvin Austin.