Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns and 277 yards, taking advantage of a Falcons secondary that was without CB Brent Grimes. With Victor Cruz having a quiet day, Hakeem Nicks flashed his big-play ability with six receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yard catch-and-run score. Mario Manningham had four receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown.
The Giants had a tough time early getting the running game going. But Brandon Jacobs rushed for 92 yards and Ahmad Bradshaw added 63 yards on the ground as the Giants nearly gained 100 yards rushing in the second half alone. Their total of 172 yards rushing was easily a season-best. Even Eli Manning had a 14-yard scramble for a first-down that was huge in the first half.
The Giants held Matt Ryan to 199 yards passing and sacked him twice while hitting him seven times. Deep threat Julio Jones' longest catch was for 20 yards and Roddy White was held to five receptions for 52 yards on 12 targets. Tight end Tony Gonzalez managed four catches for 44 yards. The Giants' secondary played well even after losing CB Aaron Ross in the third quarter to a concussion.
The Giants' goal was to shut down Michael Turner, who gained 41 yards on 15 carries. The Falcons rushed for 64 yards total and the Giants' defense came up big with two fourth-and-1 stops inside their 25-yard-line in the second and third quarters. The Giants utilized three defensive tackles at times to stuff the run, with Chris Canty, Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard together. Chase Blackburn had nine tackles.
The Giants kept Atlanta from doing anything on special teams, especially on kickoff returns. And the Giants brought the heat on punts, nearly blocking a punt a few times as well. Steve Weatherford continues to be steady. Lawrence Tynes made a 22-yard field goal but did miss a 32-yarder wide right. Jerrel Jernigan had a 27-yard return in his only kickoff return.
The Giants saved their best game of the season for the playoffs, smothering Atlanta on defense before the offense kicked in with 24 unanswered points. Perry Fewell's defense keeps getting better with each game. For the third straight week, Tom Coughlin has pushed all the right buttons and this team is responding to him. The confidence is swelling as the Giants head to Green Bay for a rematch.