Atlanta Falcons Serve Notice On Who Is NFC Team to Beat

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the game with the New York Giants, doubters and detractors of the Atlanta Falcons didn’t give them much of a chance. ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said that the Giants would come in and “smash” the Falcons, and Rant Sports New York Giants columnist Patrick Creighton said that “crush” would be the more appropriate word.

The Falcons flipped the script on Jaws and Patrick.

The areas where the Giants were supposed to be the most dominant–offensive and defensive lines–were the very place that Atlanta took it to the defending World Champions and imposed their will, blanking the Giants 34-0 on a rainy Atlanta Sunday. The win gave Atlanta a season sweep of the NFC East.

This was undoubtedly the most physical the Falcons had played all season, and it was obvious that Atlanta took exception to being counted out of this game by many. Atlanta’s offensive line held the imposing Giants’ defensive front four in check, only allowing Matt Ryan to be sacked once and opened up holes for 129 yards on the ground for Falcons rushers.

The real story of this game was the Atlanta defense. Not only did this steadily improving defense shut out a pretty potent Giants offense, but they stopped New York cold on three different fourth down attempts on consecutive offensive series. Asante Samuel and Thomas DeCoud both came up with big interceptions in the first half, and John Abraham forced a fumble on the Giants’ final possession.

This was a statement game for the Falcons, and they served notice that they are indeed the team to beat in the NFC this season, and they showed that when this team executes in all phases of the game, they can stand toe-t0-toe with anyone.

Atlanta is now one step closer to securing a first round bye and home field advantage in the playoffs, with games remaining against the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Michael Collins is a Rant Sports NFL and MLB Network Manager, and Atlanta sports columnist. Follow him @GaSportsCraze on Twitter and here on Facebook


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