In what was a statement game for both teams, the Atlanta Falcons imposed their will on the defending Super Bowl champions, shutting out the New York Giants 34-0.
It was the first time the Giants (8-6) had been shutout since 1996.
Matt Ryan threw three touchdowns in the Falcons’ win. Julio Jones caught two of those touchdowns, marking the first time this season the receiver has notched a touchdown reception at home.
After Atlanta (12-2) lost badly to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, many doubted the team as a contender. It’s safe to say the Falcons answered the call, and then some.
The Falcons jumped on the Giants early. Asante Samuel intercepted Eli Manning’s first pass, and Michael Turner scored a one-yard touchdown four plays later.
From there, the rout was on.
Lawrence Tynes missed a 30-yard field goal on the next Giants possession. Atlanta then marched 80 yards, capping off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown reception by Tony Gonzalez.
Atlanta went up 14-0 and never looked back.
Much has been made about the Falcons’ seemingly inability to dominate teams or play a complete game. The Falcons held the Giants to 256 total yards (159 passing, 97 rushing) and of course, zero points. The Giants went for it on fourth down three times and failed on each attempt.
It was payback for the 24-2 beating the Giants gave in the Falcons in last season’s playoffs.
Thomas DeCoud secured his career-high sixth interception of the season.
Ryan finished 23/28 for 278 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. The quarterback has largely struggled at home, but this was easily his best game at home this season.
Jones collected a couple of touchdowns on six receptions for 74 yards. The second-year receiver now has his first 1,000-yard season.
Manning had a forgettable day. He had 161 yards and two interceptions on 13 of 25 passing.
David Wilson, the rookie running back who rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns last week, was held to 55 yards on 12 carries by the Falcons defense.
Next up: Detroit Lions in Ford Field on Saturday night.