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Giants vs. Falcons: 4th down stops key in victory

Three fourth down stops were crucial for the Atlanta Falcons in their 34-0 victory over the New York Giants. Atlanta improved to 12-2 with the victory.

Kevin C. Cox

The Atlanta Falcons' defense held Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants scoreless on Sunday, winning 34-0 at the Georgia Dome. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Cunningham reported, three fourth down stops helped set the tone for the strong defensive performance.

"That's like they are saying, ‘We are better than you,'" Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said about the Giants going for it one fourth down when in field goal range. "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."

The first two stops came in the second quarter and the final stop came in the third quarter.

New York head coach Tom Coughlin said that the decision to go for it was based on the fact that the trailing Giants "needed to do something to generate a lift for our sidelines, as it was all going one way."

Coming into the game, the Giants had been one of the best in the NFL on fourth down, converting five of seven opportunities before being stopped on all three in the shutout.

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