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Falcons vs. Giants final score: Dirty Birds shut down the G-Men, 34-0

The last time these two teams met - last year's wild card round - the Falcons had massive problems scoring and converting fourth downs.

This time it was the Giants who couldn't score or convert: they were shut out for four quarters, and failed all three of their fourth-down conversion attempts.

Following a poor performance against the Panthers, several analysts picked the Falcons to lose at home because "they didn't scare anybody." The Falcons didn't "run over teams," they lacked a "killer instinct," or whatever other psuedo-analytical nonsense you might have heard this week.

But this game was decided from the start when Asante Samuel intercepted Eli Manning on his first pass attempt of the ball game. The Falcons took a 17-0 lead into halftime. Instead of softening up as they did against the Broncos, the Falcons kept their feet on the gas pedal and drove home a "scary" 34-0 win.

Matt Ryan was stellar, completing 23 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Julio Jones caught six of those for 74 yards and two scores.

The offensive line gave Ryan some phenomenal protection against a Giants defensive line that everyone knows can get to the quarterback, and they even created decent running room for Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers.

The defense, down William Moore and Chris Hope, was just as impressive if not more than they were against the Broncos. The younger, just-as-goofy Manning was lost from the start, completing just 12 passes for 150 yards and throwing two interceptions.

Kroy Biermann and the defensive line created good pressure, and the secondary - charged with the tall task of defending the likes of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz - did more than their fair share in stopping New York's passing attack.

It was perhaps the most complete Falcons game we've seen since defeating the Chargers back in week three. Now they are one step closer to locking up home field advantage, and approach the playoffs with momentum and confidence on their side.

ESPN better find some new talking points.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.