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Week 15 Game Recap: New York Giants 0, Atlanta Falcons 34

New York Giants

QB Eli Manning, Pass: 13 - 25 - 161 - 0 TD / 2 INT

Eli Manning had an extremely subpar performance on Sunday against the Falcons. Manning did a poor job of taking charge of the offense. His performance was filled with inaccurate throws, bad mistakes and costly turnovers. The Giants looked lost on offense, failed to execute in big situations and could not stay on the field. Manning was picked off right at the start of the game as DB Samuel undercut the route for a big turnover. Manning was late with the football to the outside, Samuel took a gamble and was in the right position at the right time to pick it off deep in Giants territory. Manning struggled with his accuracy, missing a lot of receivers with passes that went too high. He also failed to put the ball on his receivers in stride and overthrew open Nicks deep on a streak pattern. Manning was picked again on a crossing route, as a Falcon DB undercut the route over the middle that was thrown in a poor location. Manning only looked competent on consecutive throws outside of the pocket, as he threw downfield and allowed his receivers to pick up chunks of yards but this was not nearly enough for NYG to stay in the game. Manning and the offense looked extremely out of rhythm and Eli was neither Elite nor clutch for this week at least.

RB David Wilson, Rush: 12 - 55 - 0, Rec: 1 - 11 - 0 (3 targets)

David Wilson would always find it hard to replicate his breakout performance from last week but did have some good moments in a blowout performance against the Giants. Wilson shared time in the backfield with teammate RB Lumpkin but got the majority of the workload. Wilson ran tough and was able to rip off some big gains. Wilson had good success running to the left side of his line early as he found some open space and blazed down the sideline for a decent chunk of yards. Wilson showed his natural explosion and burst when he gets to the open field and can have defenders pay when they take inappropriate tackling angles. The Giants and Wilson included failed multiple times on 4th down however, which is a bad sign for their goal line/4th and short offense. They tried outside runs with Wilson but the edge was never sealed in time. The Giants tried to stay with the running game despite the score but Wilson rarely got any touches in the Falcons half of the field and game was so lopsided in favour of Atlanta.

RB Kregg Lumpkin, Rush: 9 - 42 - 0 (1 targets)

Kregg Lumpkin made his debut for his new team, NYG but unfortunately it was anything but a good day for the Giants. Lumpkin was used often to spell teammate RB Wilson but the majority of the plays were given to Wilson. Lumpkin came in and provided a little more physical presence up front with slightly reduced quickness/speed for a RB his size. Lumpkin found success running up the middle against ATL but also showed great patience on outside runs. He was able to set up his blocks and scoot down the sideline for 22 impressive yards on the outside. Lumpkin and the entire Giant offense really struggled as a unit however, especially in the passing game. The passing attack was weak and failed to alleviate pressure on the running game, which did well considering the lack of threat of a legitimate passing attack. Lumpkin ran hard, did his job well but he is only a backup right now to a rookie RB and production moving forward is anything but guaranteed.

WR Domenik Hixon, Rec: 5 - 80 - 0 (6 targets)

Domenik Hixon was the leading receiver for the Giants on Sunday as the Falcons were focused on eliminating teammate WR's Nicks/Cruz. Hixon was left in one on one situations frequently and dominated the field at times when he had the ball come his way. Hixon has shown quickness and great hands throughout his career and Sunday was no different. Hixon is also a terrific well rounded receiver and he caught slants/comebacks/curls against the Falcons. Hixon showed great quickness on a comeback route to the outside, as he hauled in the pass short of the first down but then round around the defender and down the sideline for a big gain. Hixon has been a good redzone target for the Giants aswell but there were too few redzone opportunities on Sunday to take advantage of. The Giants turned the ball over many times, failed on 4th down and QB Manning had an "off" day as he could not reliably connect with his receivers.

WR Victor Cruz, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (5 targets)

Victor Cruz was almost shutout against the Falcons and most of the blame shoulders on the coaches and QB Manning for the execution of the offense. On numerous occasions, Cruz was open over the middle but Manning was inaccurate and the ball sailed over his head or hit the ground. Cruz' only catch was a short curl over the middle and he struggled to connect with Manning throughout the game. The Giants turned the ball at inopportune moments, failed to convert 4th downs and their defense couldn't help out as they gave up too many points to the Falcons. Cruz was not given much of a chance at creating plays as a result. The Falcons were also paying heavy attention to Cruz and Nicks and the Giants failed to adjust their defensive strategy.

WR Hakeem Nicks, Rec: 3 - 40 - 0 (7 targets)

Hakeem Nicks was given little opportunity to perform on Sunday as the Giants had an epic collapse on offense across the board. Nicks did not look in rhythm with QB Manning and the entire offense struggled to maintain possession of the ball. Nicks' production took a big hit as his QB struggled with his accuracy and ball placement. Early in the game, Nicks was open on a streak pattern down the field but QB Manning overthrew the pass by too much and it fell incomplete. Nicks made some plays for his team however. Nicks showed his athletic ability by hauling in a slant pattern and then exploding down the field for an excellent run after catch but this was the highlight of his day unfortunately for Nicks owners. Nicks caught some short passes on comebacks against soft zone coverage but could never come close to scoring a touchdown. The Giants kept making mistakes and never gave their playmakers, like Nicks, a chance to score against Atlanta.

TE Martellus Bennett, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (1 targets)

Martellus Bennett was lost in all the erratic offensive plays on Sunday and failed to make any impact on the game. Bennett is continuously underused in the NYG offense as a threat over the middle. Bennett is a big physical TE that can run well for his size but the NYG coaches/QB Manning do not get him the ball enough. The Falcons targeted coverage against Nicks/Cruz on the outside while leaving Bennett/Hixon in one on one situations for the most part. The Giants failed to take advantage of this and Bennett only managed one catch. He caught a short curl route which he turned into a first down against soft zone coverage. Bennett had some minor targets late but failed to come up with the catches. Bennett has also been a good redzone threat for NYG but the offense was rarely in the endzone on Sunday and always come up short of the goal line. The offense failed to adjust to Atlanta's defensive gameplan and any catches were hard to come by for players like Bennett.

Atlanta Falcons

QB Matt Ryan, Pass: 23 - 28 - 270 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0

Matt Ryan did a great job of punishing the Giants when he was awarded terrific field position and made several amazing throws that helped his team beat down the NYG on Sunday. Ryan managed to hit speedy WR Douglas on a sideline throw deep down the field as he got free from the defense, putting just enough air on it to provide an easy catch for Douglas. Ryan's first touchdown came on a post route to TE Gonzalez. Gonzalez got a soft release into his route and outfought his man for a well thrown ball from Ryan that was high and away from the defender. Ryan then took advantage of the rookie CB as he found WR Jones streaking alone down the sideline. Ryan threw a perfect pass to the corner of the endzone and Jones was able to catch it perfectly in stride. Ryan then showed perfect accuracy again as he fitted into a ball down the seam to Douglas. Ryan's day finished in the fourth quarter as he placed the ball well to the outside for WR Jones to easily haul in. Ryan was helped by his defense giving him the ball often and in great field position but he made the necessary throws to keep drives alive and punished the Giants by scoring touchdowns mostly and not kicking field goals in the redzone.

RB Michael Turner, Rush: 16 - 52 - 1, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)

Michael Turner got a productive stat line in this game but accomplished very little overall outside of the first drive that netted him a touchdown. The Falcons were given very good field position early in the game and Turner successfully powered his way up the middle of the defense for the necessary yards to score. Turner showed typical power and was able to push back NYG defenders. Turner is no longer a fast RB that will burn defenses consistently but the power and leverage remains as a RB. Turner did a good job of running forward and not getting pushed back for negative yards. There were not many holes to take advantage of after his touchdown but he provided a solid yet unspectacular performance on the ground.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Rush: 11 - 25 - 0, Rec: 1 - 14 - 0 (1 targets)

Jacquizz Rodgers got a lot of carries on the ground in an attempt to spell RB Turner but was not able to accomplish much on the ground. The Falcons did most of their damage through the air and the Giants somewhat stout against the smaller RB Rodgers. For most of the game, Rodgers struggled to get out of the backfield and was frequently met at the line of scrimmage if he did manage. Rodgers biggest play came on a screen pass, as he was able to use his quickness to burst down the sideline for a chunk of yards. Rodgers is quick but does not possess breakaway speed. Rodgers does not have the power that Turner once had but is a nice change of pace back that can run outside/catch screens out of the backfield but has many limitations as a RB overall.

WR Julio Jones, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 6 - 74 - 2 (6 targets)

With WR White slightly hobbled from injury, Julio Jones stepped up in a big way to help secure a relatively easy win over the Giants on Sunday. Jones was on fire from the start of the game and made plays throughout the game. Jones got several screen pass plays on the outside that allowed the WR to use his speed to pick up first downs in open space. Jones' biggest play came on a simple streak pattern as he was able to blow past the rookie CB easily down the sideline and haul in a perfect pass from QB Ryan in the endzone. Jones also showed terrific patience and speed again on a simple end around rush attempt, getting to the corner and making NYG pay. Jones' second touchdown came on a fade route to the endzone. Jones was covered well by a NYG DB but the pass was perfectly located and Jones used his size to box out the defender for the score. Jones dominated the field at times, looked explosive everytime he got the football and the Giants did not have a good answer for stopping the young speedy WR.

WR Harry Douglas, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0, Rec: 3 - 83 - 0 (3 targets)

Harry Douglas made many explosive plays on Sunday and the Giants paid for not paying him close enough attention in the passing game. Douglas' first catch came on the sideline as he broke free from coverage, hauled in a good ball from Ryan and exploded down the field for many yards after the catch. Douglas then got a big pass to the outside first a first down. He continued his hot streak by burning NYG DB's down the seam on another big gain through the air. Douglas is not big or physical on the field but has the quickness to run around defenders and the speed to run by defenders. He can be an excellent complement to Jones/White if defenses leave him isolated as they double cover his teammates instead. Douglas burned defenders who let him loose down the field and gave the Giants defensive coordinator another thing to worry about when calling plays.

WR Roddy White, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (5 targets)

Roddy White decided to play yesterday despite his injury that kept him out during the week. Lucky for him and Atlanta, WR White was not needed to beat the Giants and he was rarely involved on the field. QB Ryan looked to Jones/Gonzalez/Douglas instead of White on Sunday, especially when the game became so lopsided on the scoreboard. White was likely preserved somewhat as he was not 100% health wise and the Giants put forward a feeble effort. White was able to pick up a first down on a curl route to move the chains and again on a slant over the middle. White had a chance at a bomb down the field from Ryan but the Giants DB made an excellent pass break up at the last moment to deny the big play.

TE Tony Gonzalez, Rec: 6 - 49 - 1 (7 targets)

Tony Gonzalez played his part well on Sunday and looked as fresh/physical as ever against the Giants. Gonzalez was used in the typical role, working the middle of the field and being an excellent chain mover for QB Ryan. Gonzalez was given option routes, ran physical after the catch and was aware of the first down marker in order to ensure the Falcons stayed on the field. Gonzalez' touchdown came on a post route in the endzone. Gonzalez got a soft release into his route, beat his man inside and leapt up high to grab a perfectly placed pass from QB Ryan for the score. Gonzalez showed a little power as he stiff armed a defender on his over the first down line to move the chains on a curl route. Gonzalez can't burn defenders with his speed but he showed he has enough quickness and a physicality to rival anyone that tries to cover him, despite his age.

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