Game Story: Giants @ Falcons

Lots of notes and tidbits from the Falcons and Giants game.

Fast Facts

Giants record: 3-2

This time last year: 3-2

Time of game: 3:07

Attendance: 70,840

Stat worth noting: The Giants sacked the elusive Michael Vick an amazing seven times for 48 yards in losses.

Stat worth noting II: The two teams combined for four turnovers in the opening quarter. Eli Manning had two tipped passes picked off and Michael Vick was intercepted and also lost a fumble. None of the offensive mistakes led to opposing points.

Turning point: The Falcons had just seemingly grabbed hold of the game after Warrick Dunn's 90-yard TD run gave them a 14-3 lead early in the third quarter. An incompletion and a penalty left the Giants with a second-and-15 from their own 11. That's when Tiki Barber totally swung the game in New York's favor. He took off around left end on a 29-yard run that kick-started New York's impressive comeback.

Play to remember: Late in the third quarter the Giants still trailed 14-10 when the much maligned Jeremy Shockey ran a beautiful route in the back corner of the end zone and caught a two-yard TD pass to give New York the lead for good.

Play to forget: On New York's very first offensive play, Eli Manning's pass to Visanthe Shiancoe was tipped by Rod Coleman and intercepted by Demorrio Williams, who returned it to the Giants 20. Fortunately for Big Blue, Michael Vick gave the ball right back three plays later.


7.1 – Yards per carry for Tiki Barber, who had a 185-yard afternoon. Barber ran for 115 yards in the second half alone.

11 – Consecutive times the road team has won in the Giants/Falcons series.

24 – Unanswered points the Giants scored to end the game.


"We didn't get down on ourselves. We continued to fight despite the circumstances. Today it paid off in a big win." – Giants RB Tiki Barber

"In the second half we got run out of the stadium. They ran it down our throats. They dominated us on offense." – Falcons RB Warrick Dunn

What went right

The defense did a great job of containing Michael Vick, who was really only able to get free and make one huge play – a 22-yard TD run. The Giants surrounded Vick and were able to sack him seven times. They also forced him to put the ball on the carpet four times and picked him off once.

The Giants were obviously very effectively able to establish the run against the Falcons, one of the league's toughest teams to run on. New York rolled up 259 yards and averaged 6.8 yards per rush. The Giants actually used the speed of Atlanta's defense against them, often cutting back on runs.

At the last minute, Jason Bell stepped in at strong safety for Gibril Wilson and performed well, making three solo stops and missing only one obvious tackle.

Jay Feely was unaffected by the hostile environment. The former Falcon booted two field goals while being booed rather loudly.

New York even kept its penalty epidemic in check. The Giants were ‘only' flagged five times for 45 yards in losses.

What went wrong

Warrick Dunn, who was basically contained all afternoon, was able to knife through New York's defense for a 90-yard TD run. The Giants were blitzing hard and got caught with too many men in the box. Dunn shot through the middle and got into the open field, where he eluded a couple final tackle attempts en route to the longest run in Falcons history.

New York's other major defensive breakdown came in the second quarter when Michael Vick took the snap and immediately headed upfield. He had no problem reaching paydirt 22 yards later.

Eli Manning and the offense had a very slow start. At halftime the Giants offense only had three points, 152 yards and Manning had been picked off twice. Both of his INTs came on deflections – one by a Falcons defender and one by his own receiver (Tim Carter).

The Giants special teams return games continued to struggle. Chad Morton averaged 20 yards on two kickoff returns and gained only one yard on the only punt he attempted to return.

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