Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/17/12
The Atlanta Falcons have a great record, but they have won a lot of games against average to weak opponents by slim margins. The Falcons needed a coming out game to boost their relevance in the NFL. Well, they got it by playing a complete game against one of the most feared opponents in the playoffs- The New York Giants. Atlanta had to come out and punch the Giants in the face to get it done. Confidence was seen in the Falcon players from the very beginning of the game. If the Atlanta fans had any doubt that their team could beat the upper tier in the NFL, that was squashed by the play of their defense and QB Matt Ryan. Ryan threw for 270 yards with three touchdown passes and zero INTs.The receivers were taking advantage of the weak pass defense of the Giants. Julio Jones had two TD catches with 74 yards receiving. The running game was strong with 129 total yards rushing by the Falcons. Asante Samuel and Thomas DeCoud both had INTs against Eli and the Giants, while linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had 9 tackles with six solos. As far as the Giants go, Eli Manning had two picks and zero TDs. The New York Giants rushed under 100 yards for the game.If there was anything positive to take away from this game for the Giants, it would be their new running back Kregg Lumpkin. Lumpkin averaged 5.3 yards a carry with the eight times he carried the football. Tom Coughlin, New York's head coach, needs to develop that running game. Eli Manning can't do it on his own. The New York Giants can't run the football consistently, while the pressure mounts on Manning to bail their offense out.To the Giant fans where I live in Raleigh,N.C.-" In Your Face" Atlanta Falcons 24, New York Giants 0. 
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