Matt Ryan didn't struggle one bit and the defense shut down Eli Manning and the Giants offense as the Atlanta Falcons proved to the rest of the league exactly how good they are, defeating the Super Bowl Champions by the score of 34-0 on Sunday.
Ryan completed 23 of 28 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns while the defense, collectively, all did their job, making it a long afternoon for the Giants.
The game tilted towards the Falcons from the start as the team intercepted Eli Manning's first pass attempt of the game, giving the Falcons great field position. Michael Turner pounded the ball several consecutive times, just bullying the Giants defense, and the last one was a touchdown for the veteran running back.
It was a sign of things to come as the Giants couldn't contain Atlanta's explosive offense while the team failed to convert on several fourth downs in Atlanta's territory.
The Falcons sent a message with their opening drive and then one to the rest of the league with the win.
The Atlanta Falcons. With talking heads around the country wondering exactly how good they are, they sent a statement that was heard loud and clear. Individually, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones gets the nod, burning defensive backs regularly on Sunday for two touchdowns.
New York's offense is the biggest loser of the game and quarterback Eli Manning will receive most of the blame. Manning completed just 14 passes and threw two interceptions while failing to convert several fourth downs.
Tom Coughlin: "Atlanta was very very good, we were very very bad." #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) December 16, 2012
What giants lost Eli manning didn't win a "big game" how is that possible he's so "clutch"— anthony ceja (@AnthonyCeja13) December 16, 2012
MATT RYAN IS A ELITE QB!!! #FALCONS— Sam Lokner (@SamLokner) December 16, 2012
Fantasy Studs and Duds
Just about everyone on the Falcons had a notable fantasy performance. Tony Gonzalez caught a touchdown while Julio Jones caught two, both courtesy of Matt Ryan.
As aforementioned, Eli Manning really struggled today to move the ball and threw a pair of interceptions. The only Giants player that played well at all was Domenik Hixon, catching five passes for 80 yards.
Did they cover the spread?
The Atlanta Falcons covered the spread as just one point favorites, via SB Nation's odds.
Giants' defensive tackle Chris Canty hobbled his way to the locker room late in the game after suffering an apparent shoulder injury, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
Next team on the schedule:
The Giants' schedule doesn't get much easier as the team will now be asked to hit the road and play the Baltimore Ravens. The Falcons can relax a bit with the win, but have to take on the Detroit Lions on the road.