Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/17/12
ATLANTA -- Frauds, pretenders: The Atlanta Falcons have been called both, and worse, this season. They undoubtedly changed some of those perceptions on Sunday, with a convincing beatdown of the defending Super Bowl champions that had show something to even their biggest doubters out there. Matt Ryan passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns, and the Falcons' defense dominated from the opening kickoff in a 34-0 rout of the New York Giants at the Georgia Dome. The win keeps the Falcons (12-2) atop the race for the No. 1 seed out of the NFC and avenges last year's ugly 24-2 playoff loss to the Giants in New York. A loss by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night at New England would clinch a first-round bye for the Falcons, who finish at Detroit on Thursday and at home against Tampa Bay. The Giants (8-6) have lost four of six and remain locked in a tight battle for the NFC East with games against Baltimore and Philadelphia remaining. New York was shut out for the first time si...
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