Atlanta Falcons: Defense rides fourth-down stops to shutout of Giants





The Giants weren’t yet so desperate that they had to go for it on a couple early fourth-down plays against the Falcons.

The way Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon saw it, the Giants tried to convert those fourth downs just because they figured they could do it.

“That’s like they are saying, ‘We are better than you,’” Weatherspoon said. “I would have probably took the points or try to take the points. But if you are going to challenge us, we’ve got to step up and that’s what guys did today.”

Nothing illustrated Atlanta’s domination of the Giants more than stopping them three times on fourth down during its 34-0 victory Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

The Giants trailed 17-0 and were in field-goal range when they twice tried to convert fourth downs in the first half. The Giants had converted five of seven fourth downs entering the game (71 percent), the fourth-best rate in the league.

“The thinking was that it was fourth down and we needed to do something to generate a lift for our sidelines, as it was all going one way,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “And that did not work out either. It was very, very disappointing.”

The Falcons kept it going their way and ended up shutting out one of the league’s best offensive teams. New York failed to score for the first time since a 23-0 loss to Carolina in a 2006 playoff game.

Atlanta’s defensive line continually rattled Giants quarterback Eli Manning. The Falcons were particularly effective pressuring Manning between the tackles.

Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted Manning’s first pass of the game after Weatherspoon hit Manning as he released the ball. New York’s second drive ended with a missed field goal after tackles Vance Walker and Peria Jerry harassed Manning to force an incompletion on second down. Kroy Biermann got to Manning to disrupt a third-down pass attempt.

“We felt like if we could get to him up the middle, move him off the spot, it makes him a different guy,” Weatherspoon said of Manning. “He got out to the left on us a few times and made some plays but, ultimately, we pretty much stopped him.”

Two of the Falcons’ fourth-down stops came in the second quarter.

Giants running back David Wilson tried to run off left tackle on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 32 but Weatherspoon wrapped him up for no gain. On their next possession, the Giants went for it again on fourth-and-1 at Atlanta’s 11-yard line and Manning had to rush a short pass intended for Victor Cruz. Samuel knocked it down to preserve the 17-0 lead at halftime.

Atlanta extinguished New York’s last real hope of a comeback with another fourth-down stop. On fourth-and-2 at Atlanta’s 25-yard line in the third quarter, the Falcons again forced Manning out of the pocket and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux batted down his pass.

“For our defense to be able to shut out a good offense and a really good quarterback was big,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said.

LATEST NEWS

Falcons look ‘Super’ in 34-0 rout of the Giants

Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants


QUOTES: What they said after the 34-0 Falcons victory

Diving intervention: Lord tells Roddy to play vs. Giants

Video: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s post-game comments


OTHER RECENT STORIES

Roddy White, William Moore are questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants

Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon takes over as leader of the defense

Giants at Falcons: 4 key matchups

Falcons rewind: Reeves reflects on march to the Super Bowl

Who’s the best receiving tandem? Roddy & Julio? Cruz & Nicks?

Atlanta Falcons: Quarterback Matt Ryan is not going over the physical cliff

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

26 comments Add your comment

Esquire "THE GREAT"

December 16th, 2012
6:41 pm

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

5-6-7-8 WHO DO WE APPRECIATE???? GOOOOO FALCONS!!!!!!

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!!!

Come on guys, let’s make this our official fight song. It is my dream to have the whole dome singing this in unison. As always you all are invited 24-7 to my place to practice! I promise I make good company! Go Falcons!!!

Esquire "THE GREAT"

December 16th, 2012
6:42 pm

AND FIRST!!!!! JUST LIKE MY BELOVED FALCONS….and Mike too….Thanks for last night babe….Call me.

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!! APPRECIATE THAT!!!!

Fair catch Franks

December 16th, 2012
7:15 pm

No way Esquire I like the who dat song much more. I think we should pay homage to an idiot that use to post on this site named seen this b four. I can’t imagine what happened to her/him/ hermaphrodite. Hey wait a second you’re not using a different name are you seen this? Two four six eight we like the aints.

Professer Waldo E. Culpecker

December 16th, 2012
8:23 pm

Falcons all the way babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyand thats straight from the Doc!

James

December 16th, 2012
8:50 pm

The Falcons were a combined 8-0 against the NFC East and AFC West this year.

Samuel

December 16th, 2012
8:53 pm

I saw a team who played well in all phases of the game. The only weakness I saw was in the punt return and it’s my opinion that the Falcons need to replace Franks and give somebody else a chance to field punts. I think Antone Smith could be up for the challenge. Running game did enough to keep the defense honest, if they could put the running game together around playoff time- the sky is the limit.

12-2

December 16th, 2012
9:19 pm

That’s not Esquire

FanSinceBartowski

December 16th, 2012
10:01 pm

This is the team I want to see in the playoffs and not that one that went to Carolina. The team that played today can win it all.

Rupe in DC

December 16th, 2012
10:37 pm

The interior line play on both sides of the ball was awesome today. If they can keep that up, we will be playing in the Superdome at the end of the season!!!

DR. FALCON

December 16th, 2012
11:16 pm

WE’RE “SOFT”? IS THAT WHAT THEY WERE SAYING? A 34-0 SHUTOUT, SUGGESTS OTHERWISE! 12-2 BABY! END OF DISCUSSION! TAKE THEIR ASSES BACK TO N.Y.!

Falcon James

December 17th, 2012
12:18 am

SUPER BOWL GOLD, BAYBEE!

Falcony

December 17th, 2012
2:30 am

Rise Up! Falcons Rise Up! Way to go Angry Birds!

MechGT03

December 17th, 2012
5:16 am

Great to see a GT boy, Vance Walker, making a name for himself here in ATL. He has been making big plays.

[...] Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants QUOTES: What they said after the 34-0 Falcons victory [...]

[...] look ‘Super’ in 34-0 rout of the Giants Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants QUOTES: What they said after the 34-0 Falcons victory Diving intervention: Lord tells Roddy to [...]

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 17th, 2012
7:49 am

HELLO SCENETHISB4, HATED CAINTS TROLL, LOOKS LIKE YOU AIN’T TRASHING US ANYMORE, JUST JOIN RIGHT IN THE CELEBRATION……………ROFLMAO………..

Boo!!!! who is on NOLA AS YOU!!! ……………you never should have f ‘d with us dude. Can’t wait for Goodell to be presenting us that Lombardi in the Merci Benz Dome at the Super Bowl…………ALL you Peeshwank crawfish head lickin bounty cheating cajuns gonna hate that.

Lol…………..haven’t seen SceneThisB4 in a long time, of course except as me. He’s got a thing for Mike Cox, damn good game son!!

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!!!

Tron5000

December 17th, 2012
9:06 am

Should the Falcons make it to the Super Bowl, I will very much delight in strolling around New Orleans repping my Dirty Birds. What a foul lot their fan base is. There’s nowhere (besides ATL, of course) I’d rather watch the Falcons win the Lombardi Trophy.

Joshua Brown

December 17th, 2012
12:32 pm

ATTENTION FALCONS FANS: For all of you going to the home playoff game(s) this January, YOU NEED TO BE LOUD. RISE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bullrusher1

December 17th, 2012
4:11 pm

Sunday’s team was an unstoppable force that trampled over everything in its path. Ryan was 82% with 3 TD, Julio w/ 2 TD, Gonzo with a huge leaping TD, the run game broke through the line, the O-line beat that Fearsome Front 7, and the coaching was agressive and effective. Great teams do great things, and the Falcons are looking to do that this year.

[...] look ‘Super’ in 34-0 rout of the Giants Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants QUOTES: What they said after the 34-0 Falcons victory Diving intervention: Lord tells Roddy to [...]

[...] look ‘Super’ in 34-0 rout of the Giants Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants QUOTES: What they said after the 34-0 Falcons victory Diving intervention: Lord tells Roddy to [...]

[...] Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants [...]

[...] Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants [...]

[...] Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants [...]

[...] Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants [...]

[...] Defense rides fourth down stops to shutout of Giants [...]