Giants reach the end zone late in a half of defensive football


This year’s first NFC playoff game featured an offensive explosion. This year’s second NFC playoff game is on pace to be slightly lower scoring.

On Sunday in New Jersey, the key plays early on were offensive failures: An intentional grounding penalty in the end zone on Giants quarterback Eli Manning gave the Falcons the first two points of the game, and the key offensive play for the Falcons was a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 that got stuffed for no gain.

Falcons coach Mike Smith, who was ripped during the regular season for going for it on fourth-and-1 and getting stuffed against the Saints, may have finally decided that going for it on fourth-and-1 isn’t worth it: The Falcons faced another fourth-and-1 after that Matt Ryan sneak came up empty, and on that occasion they punted.

Speaking of punts, there were six of them in the first 20 minutes of the game. Saturday’s Lions-Saints game featured only three punts in 60 minutes.

Only late in the second half did we finally see a sustained offensive drive, with the Giants marching 85 yards on 13 plays (helped by a successful fourth-and-inches conversion) and culminating with a four-yard pass from Manning to Hakeem Nicks to give New York a 7-2 lead. On that drive the Giants ran the ball effectively, with Brandon Jacobs rumbling for 34 yards for the biggest offensive play of the game, and Manning adding a 14-yard run of his own.

It says something about the kind of game this has been that Manning’s run gained more yards than any of the passes he’s thrown today. Fans clamoring for a return to old-school playoff football, this is the game for you.

42 responses to “Giants reach the end zone late in a half of defensive football

  1. If the players won’t show respect during the National Anthem, they shouldn’t be in the league, this is disgraceful!!!!

  2. boring game so far. fast forward to streelers broncos and see tebow choke and bens fake injury get better.

  3. It’s funny how coach smith is questioned for going for it when other coaches get a pass like last night when the Saints went for it on their on 40 with a three point lead.

  4. If the Giants do nothing else this offseason, get rid of Gilbride. I could pull plays out of a hat and call a better offense. You got a 1500 yard reciever and you want to call a run 3/10 times, with the only throws being these dinky checkdowns? You want to know how the offense has been relatively successful this year? Its been raw talent coming together. Nothing to do with Gilbride.

  5. Mike Smith deserves everything he gets for this one. Not kicking the FG? Giving the QB authority to audible when they were just trying to draw them offsides. Horrible clock management at the end of the half.

  6. dblr0910 says:
    Jan 8, 2012 2:15 PM
    It’s funny how coach smith is questioned for going for it when other coaches get a pass like last night when the Saints went for it on their on 40 with a three point lead


    The Saints coach has a superbowl ring and Drew Brees at QB. The Falcons Smith has gotten burned repeatly throughout the year when he has went for it on 4th down and still has not learned his lesson. They also have a QB in Ryan who has not yet proven that he has the skills to excute in the clutch during the playoffs.

  7. Where are all the boneheads complaining about how the game has changed? This is old-skool NFL football – how’s them apples?

  8. I hope this stops the talk of Matt Ryan being “elite”. (talking to Mike Smith, and others). In order to be considered elite, you need to be a top 5 QB in the entire NFL, and “matty ice” clearly isn’t there. He’s a pretty good QB, but there’s quite a few of those in the league.

  9. These 4th and 1’s and deciding this game.

    And as I type this Hakeem Nicks is doin’ the Dirty Bird! Game over, gentlemen!

  10. Hey Falconfan, does your offense ever score?

    Ryan is pathetic. He makes Sanchez look like he’s in control…

  11. Well Mike Smith, welcome to the 2012 hot seat. Andy Reid and Norv Turner have saved a seat for you.

  12. sterilizecromartie says:
    Jan 8, 2012 2:55 PM
    Well, who do you guys think will play GB in the NFC Championship?
    All Harbaugh SB…

  13. The falcons did not play like they wanted to win the game on offense. So they go and and add jones to boost offensive firepower after the Pack thumped them in the playoffs last year and now they can’t be bothered to use him deep? What is going on with their play calling? Ryan is looking like a poor mans Kyle Orton.

  14. It’s funny how coach smith is questioned for going for it when other coaches get a pass like last night when the Saints went for it on their on 40 with a three point lead.

    uh…let it go freak boy. WE get it already. You have a hard on for the Saints. Get over it.

  15. Please stop the Matty Ice garbage. He is a decent young QB but that is all. He is not a game changer, is not yet elite, and thus far has not been good in pressure situations…at least not on the road. His first NFL pass was a TD and he helped restore some dignity to the falcons after the Vick and “pig soohey” coach fiascos. Since his first year he has shown promise but has not been as good as the media makes him out to be.

  16. i think you are seeing mike smiths last game for the falcons.i would be stunned if they keep him after this.

    despite the winning record year after year they end up getting stomped in the’re the owner you have to make that decision.i say hes gone .

  17. I’m definitely worried about next week. This Giants team can hang with GB. Like 2007, they don’t care about the cold. It’s going to be an interesting game.

  18. OK. This is what drives me crazy about the game announcers, PFT and the NFL rules regime in general.

    1-10 at the Atlanta 28 with 9:48 left in the 4th. Grant (34) lays a monster helmet-to-helmet hit on White (84) while in the classic “defenseless receiver” situation. No Flag.

    And Joe Buck cheerfully says “led with the shoulder, no helmet-to-helmet”. I defy ANYONE to look at the replay and tell me there was not a major helmet-to-helmet collision on that play. Grant ducked his head and the first contact was clearly helmet-to-helmet.

    I can say with total confidence that if it was Ryan Clark the field would have been littered with yellow, announcers would have been outraged, and PFT would be splashing the story on the front page.

    I challenge the NFL to make this an issue. If not, then we all know where they stand on player safety.

  19. Again, why did you people (PFT) pick Atlanta to win against the Giants? The Giants can be beaten, but the Falcons are definitely not the team to do that. Worse QB, worse performing defense, much worse pass-rush, etc, etc. You should create an award, “Team that mathematically makes the playoffs but really doesn’t deserve to be there”. The Falcons would win that award easily every year they make the playoffs.

  20. As a Chargers fan I have to sympathize with Falcons fans in that Mike Smith (much like Norv Turner does with the Chargers) has Atlanta play not to lose. When will these coaches learn this approach does not win championships! What was with that brainless two-minute “let’s not use our timeouts” drill at the end of the fist half? The score was 10-2 at the time and when I saw Atlanta trying NOT to score I knew the game was over.

  21. sorry falcons fans but your coach celebrated when the lions lost to the pack last week. supposedly for a better seed but now your paying for it. Your qb is softer than a pillow and is puss bag flopper. dirty o-line winey babies suck to haha. “suh called my qb soft” cry cry cry….. what an embarasment in the ATL

  22. ZERO points allowed by the Giants defense today! I’m not going to say the Giants will beat the Packers, but I think it will be a good game.

  23. NakedCowboy! says:
    Jan 8, 2012 3:38 PM
    why was matt ryan nick named matty ice by the media?

    Matt started “matty ice” not the media

    Personal life
    Ryan comes from an Irish Catholic family on both sides, and is the third of Bernice and Michael Ryan’s four children.[3] Ryan’s uncle, John Loughery, played quarterback at Boston College from 1979-82.[4] Ryan launched a website during his senior year at BC called

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