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

Falcons tight end TonyGonzalez dunks the ball over the goalpost after scoring against the Giants for a 14-0 lead during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons tight end TonyGonzalez dunks the ball over the goalpost after scoring against the Giants for a 14-0 lead during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

The Falcons may be the most ridiculed double-digit win team in recent NFL history. Unimpressive. Easy schedule. Lucky.

For now, the Falcons just want to be called ‘Super,’ as in Super Bowl champions, if not at least legitimate contenders. They were nothing but dominant in routing the defending NFL champion New York Giants 34-0 on Sunday at a raucous Georgia Dome.

“We love the haters,” said cornerback Asante Samuel, who started the party with an interception on the second play of the game. “The haters keep us going. So keep the hate coming. It makes us play with a chip on our shoulders. We love that.”

The Falcons improved to 12-2 and inched closer to wrapping up home-field advantage in the playoffs while recording their 11th straight victory at home.

“When you come to the Georgia Dome, this is our house,” Samuel said. “That’s how we have to look at it. We ain’t taking no prisoners in our house. That’s how we are going to take the field. We are going to take the field as champs and you can’t do nothing in our house.”

Those waiting for the Falcons to produce a statement game were presented plenty of evidence. They harassed the Giants into three turnovers, stopped them three times on fourth-down conversions and beat them in Atlanta for the first time since 1978.

“We showed that we can play with the big boys,” said wide receiver Roddy White.

If some of the pundits are still be skeptical, the Falcons appear to have won over the Giants.

“They came out and beat us fair and square,” Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. “They put a pounding and (butt)-whipping on us.”

The Falcons needed a Green Bay loss or tie and a San Francisco loss on Sunday to clinch the home-field advantage for the postseason. But Green Bay improved to 10-4 with a win over Chicago. The 49ers played at New England in the late Sunday game.

Quarterback Matt Ryan outperformed the Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, completing 23-of-28 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. But it was Atlanta’s 129 yards on the ground — Michael Turner had 52 of them on 16 carries — that helped sway the day.

“I think the run game was really crucial for us,” Ryan said. “Getting that going early and making their defensive line have to defend both, having to rush the passer and defend the run and the draw was crucial.”

The Falcons won all the battles, including a third-quarter skirmish between White and Giants cornerback Corey Webster.

While getting great interior pressure, the defense attacked Manning, intercepting two passes which led to a 17-0 halftime lead.

Ryan then tossed a 40-yard bomb to Julio Jones on the first possession of the third quarter to take firm control at 24-0.

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant added a 19-yard field with 10 seconds left in third quarter and Ryan later tossed a 3-yard touchdown to Jones for the game’s final touchdown with 4:57 to play.

The defense, led by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon’s nine tackles, had three key stops on fourth down to throttle New York. The Giants had converted 5-of 7-times (71 percent) on fourth down this season, which ranked fourth in the league.

“I think that was a little disrespectful,” Weatherspoon said. “We did it between the lines. There’s no need to talk about it.”

Last week in the Falcons’ loss to 30-20 to Carolina, they came out in a near sleep-walk and fell behind 23-0 while the Panthers scored on their first five possessions. Against the Giants, the Falcons arrived alive and alert.

On New York’s second snap, Samuel intercepted Manning and returned the ball to the Giant’s 16-yard line.

“That was huge for us,” Ryan said. “It gave us great field position offensively.”

After four straight runs by a hard-charging Turner, the Falcons scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and the day’s pattern was set.

“We had a fast start, not only on defense, but I think in all three phases,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

The Falcons, who were knocked out of the playoffs by the Giants 24-2 in last year’s wild-card round, hope to clinch the No. 1 seed when they face the Detroit Lions on Saturday at Ford Field.

“I thought we rebounded very well from our performance from last week,” Smith said.




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179 comments Add your comment

Esquire "THE GREAT"

December 16th, 2012
3:53 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!!!! Way to go my Mike’s Cox…Luv you guy.

Esquire "THE GREAT"

December 16th, 2012
3:59 pm

OH FIRST!!! And you’re first in my book Mike….thanks for last night babe.

12-2!!!!!!!!!

December 16th, 2012
4:01 pm

Great win Falcons!!!!

Big Ray

December 16th, 2012
4:02 pm

Hell yeah, Rise UP.

Giants put up 50+ points on the Aints. We shut them out.

Eat it, Haters. S@ck it!

12-2!!!!!!!!!

December 16th, 2012
4:05 pm

Amazing how much difference from one week to the next. They need this kind of focus the rest of the way!

Mora less Petrino

December 16th, 2012
4:05 pm

First time Coughlin has been shutout in the regular season as Giants coach!
Hope the Birds get Barrett Jones and big back in the draft. Short yardage still an issue!

NFC South Champs

December 16th, 2012
4:06 pm

SUPER FALCONS !

tallulahfallsfalcon

December 16th, 2012
4:07 pm

Esquire that is so gay. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

tallulahfallsfalcon

December 16th, 2012
4:08 pm

I think Smitty gave them a stern talking to, LMAO

NFC South Champs

December 16th, 2012
4:08 pm

A PLUS
“““““ SUPER FALCONS

randydlee

December 16th, 2012
4:10 pm

Revenge is a dish best served southern style!

Ray

December 16th, 2012
4:10 pm

@ BIG RAY

THAT WAS A TOTAL GAME AND A DESTRUCTION ON PART BY THE GNATS!!1

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! GO FALCONS!

All I can take away is that FALCONS ARE COMING THAT THEY ARE!

5150 UOAD

December 16th, 2012
4:13 pm

F…………U……………….Yankees

LET-THE-NERDS-H8

December 16th, 2012
4:14 pm

This is what will be said:

Falcons didnt do anything great the Giants just werent prepared for the game, or so what yall shut us out we won the super bowl last year!

stop hatin on them Dirty Birds n respect a great thing when u see it

RISE UP!!!!!!!

NFC South Champs

December 16th, 2012
4:16 pm

All I remember is that 34-0 victory formation.

UGA ECONOMICS MAJOR

December 16th, 2012
4:20 pm

IMPRESSIVE ATLANTA FALCON WIN…VERRRRRY PROUD !!!KILLER INSTINCT ALL THRU THE GAME….

UPGRAYEDD

December 16th, 2012
4:20 pm

I think we finally have us a “signature win”.

We certainly shut up the east coast pundits today.

NFC South Champs

December 16th, 2012
4:20 pm

……….. and the goofy giants go home 8-6.

Kramer

December 16th, 2012
4:21 pm

Haters will continue to hate. Falcons will continue to win. It really does not matter what the haters say.

Big Ray

December 16th, 2012
4:21 pm

I did want to see one more TD…we had it. We should have done it.

But Smitty….meh.

We won. We DOMINATED. I need to not complain.

Elvis is Alive

December 16th, 2012
4:22 pm

The Falcons proved me wrong and I am thrilled! To quote MS, “Outstanding”!.
The starters get a couple of days off. In fact, let the starters have an extra day.off.
You played tough! Played with passion! Took it to the Giants!
Smacked them in the face and they didn’t know what to do.
Should we have to play them again, they’ll have blood in their eyes.
Kudos to the entire team. When you had them by 27 in the fourth you stepped on the gas.
Impressive win. 34-0 is proof that when you want it..you can have it!
Detroit this week and Stafford will also pass before he will run.
Pin this on the bulletin board.
Rise Up..Angry Birds..Rise up..

Remarkable

December 16th, 2012
4:24 pm

Play this way through the playoffs and they will call this team Super.

TomDawg

December 16th, 2012
4:24 pm

Now, will all the critics PLEASE STHU? At least for the rest of the regular season. Then we will see about the playoffs.

dan

December 16th, 2012
4:25 pm

Good teams win games. Championship teams make statements. The Falcons made a statement vs. the defending Super Bowl Champions at a time of year when it is important to make one. This was a 1st round TKO over a team who almost a year earlier caved their face in. That noise you hear? That’s the glass ceiling shattering.That 12-2 record? It’s no fluke folks. This is an organization that from top to bottom is built to win; for the long haul. Try this one on for size and see if it fits: The Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl XVII Champions. Why not?

Falcon Flap

December 16th, 2012
4:26 pm

Thats the nfl for you…lose to the panthers and sacrifice the giants.

Meyeken

December 16th, 2012
4:27 pm

Harpie

December 16th, 2012
4:29 pm

That was awesome!!!!

Michael M.

December 16th, 2012
4:32 pm

@ D- LED……………… You must have pissed the Falcons off with all those ” F”’s you graded them with last week……………………………..piece of advice,…………..” KEEP DOING IT “………..

Getaway

December 16th, 2012
4:33 pm

How bout that commercial after the game? “The Giants are back in Championship form”

Alphare

December 16th, 2012
4:35 pm

UGA was in SEC Champ game, lost.
Tech was in ACC Champ game, lost.
Flacons will be in Super game, win.

Not bad, Georgia.

goFalcons

December 16th, 2012
4:36 pm

This was not a signature win…The Falcons are to good and don’t have a signature win. When teams beat the Falcons that is a signature win for that team. The Falcons set the bar for the NFL! Go Falcons

Robert

December 16th, 2012
4:36 pm

In four games against “Elite QBs” the Falcons D has 11 interceptions. Ryan has only thrown one in those four games. Does this mean he has in fact been stepping up? Doubt we will hear that from anyone nationally.

BravesFan79

December 16th, 2012
4:37 pm

I knew last week was a fraud…. THIS is the Real Falcons!

Philip

December 16th, 2012
4:37 pm

Great win! Lets roll into Detroit and play those Dirty lions!

DM

December 16th, 2012
4:39 pm

The Falcons can play with anyone when everything clicks! Today everything clicked!
Now let’s get home field and do something with it this time.

There has never been a NFC Championship game held in Atlanta. This is our time!

Getaway

December 16th, 2012
4:39 pm

I think it’s safe to say the Falcons absolutely overlooked the Panthers last week.

Lewis Grizzard

December 16th, 2012
4:41 pm

Morgan Freeman said it was much closer than the final score…

Gary

December 16th, 2012
4:43 pm

Awesome win falcons. And BTW our last home field shutout wasn’t in 1992 but in 2002 against the panthers. We won 30 – 0 at home and 41 -0 at their house. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Atlanta_Falcons_season

UGA ECONOMICS MAJOR

December 16th, 2012
4:43 pm

VERY ,VERY IMPRESSIVE WIN….14-2 SOUNDS SWEET!…

goFalcons

December 16th, 2012
4:45 pm

Atlanta Falcons,,,,,Simply the best

Mike

December 16th, 2012
4:46 pm

This is to all the pundints out there saying the Falcons are not a quality team. F U. GO BIRDS GO.

BigTimeBirdFan

December 16th, 2012
4:50 pm

Huge win for the boys…Great win in every way….Way to dominate the defending champs!

Buddy Landel

December 16th, 2012
4:52 pm

JSS? Rodney Harrison…..where y’all at?

gcs

December 16th, 2012
4:54 pm

Justin Tuck was shut down.

SirReal

December 16th, 2012
4:56 pm

Well done. On to DET and Dome field advantage. If they play this way the rest of the year…..we might just make some real noise. Cautiously optiimistically yours,
SirReal

oldmike

December 16th, 2012
4:57 pm

Absolutely impressive win against the Gints. Great touch on bomb to Julio by #2. Maybe his performance will shut up his critics. I never saw this coming. Stunned and excited going forward. Way to show up dirty Birds!!

Big Daddy

December 16th, 2012
4:57 pm

Let this be the game that people look back on and say this was the point that we became an elite team with the Patriots, 49ers, Broncos and yes, the Giants.

What a great win and a statement of things to come. GO FALCONS!!!

Rod

December 16th, 2012
5:03 pm

It’s sad to see the same people last week say, same ole Falcons. This week they were great. I told u all not to worry about that game. We didn’t have Samuel, nor Moore. Also, how can u get up for a game against a lesser opponent. This is a special team, that’s going to do special things. I said this last week and weeks before that. I have three Qb’s we owe paybacks. First, Drew Brees, done. Second, Eli Manning, done. Third one, who we will play against for the NFC championship game, Aaron Rodgers. After that, we will see a former teammate in the Super Bowl, and win it, Matt Schaub!!! Relax everyone, we will beat Detroit for home field advantage, and give some of our players some rest. Great game, better one next week. So we are not worrying about all the so call experts, remember, they are all getting paid to do a job. So take it all with a grain of salt. GO FALCONS!!!!

R OReilly

December 16th, 2012
5:07 pm

Falcons showed a CLASS ACT by not scoring on the Giants the last minute of the ballgame. You know you are good when you can do that. Wow, what a ballgame. Falcons are real.

Professer Waldo E. Culpecker

December 16th, 2012
5:11 pm

Did falcons play today………oh yes, excuse me, they was flyin all over the field and I thought they was birds and them big mean, nasty Giants weren’t doing nothin but standing on the sidelines most of the day besides when they was playing musical chairs on offense to see whehter the D or the O would get off the field the fastest.

After careful examination, I think the Giants are kapult now for this year after the smackdown from the Dirty Birds in the Georgia Dome.