Matty Ice Cold, New York Makes Giant Statement

Posted: January 10, 2012 by Kodi in NFL

Falcons get ousted in their first game yet again

While New York wins their first playoff game at home in over 10 years

Thought Jones/White would control the game but it was Nicks who took over

The game between the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons seemed as if it was going to be an offensive explosion with some of the top WR’s in the game and two admirable QB’s behind Center. One teams offense did play incredibly well while another simply forgot to get on the teams plane back in Atlanta. The Giants hadn’t won a playoff game since beating the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLI and this was their first playoff victory at home since drubbing the Minnesota Vikings 41-0 in 2000. Atlanta has made the postseason 3 out of the last 4 years but for the second season in a row they were bounced in their first game.

Atlanta was playing extremely good football coming into their matchup with the Giants but the wheels absolutely fell off and Matty Ice played more like Matty Ice Cold. The Falcons organization made a risky move trading away almost their entire future to select WR Julio Jones with the 6th overall pick but realistically the team played worse this season then they did last. In 2010 the Falcons offense scored 414 points, allowed 288 and won 13 games on the way to the NFC’s number 1 seed. In 2011 the Falcons scored 402 poins, allowed 350 and won just 10 games forcing them to travel to New York for their playoff game. There were a lot of expectations out of Jones and his play being beneficial to the improvement of franchise QB Matt Ryan.

It may just have been a bad year or Ryan doesn’t have the experience versus elite talent as he played college ball at BC playing in the ACC and Big East. There is debate whether a WR makes a QB or vice versa but what I know is that the Falcons didn’t call plays like they trusted their QB and didn’t utilize some of the biggest playmaking WRs in the game. Matt Ryan was 24-41 for 199 yards no touchdowns and no interceptions. It is his 3rd career postseason start and his numbers are not impressive completing just 70 of 110 attempts for 584 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while his team has been outscored 47-92. It didn’t help that the Falcons only points came off of a intentional grounding penalty on Eli Manning in his own end-zone and the Falcons lost the game 24-2.

It was difficult to watch but the Falcons clearly didn’t trust their passing game and kept making extremely conservative play calls, especially on a few extremely important 4th down calls. Those unconverted 4th downs may have completely changed the momentum of the game but can anyone blame Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith his dangerous duo didn’t look to worry the Giants pass defense. Julio Jones was the teams leading receiver with 7 catches for 64 yards but Roddy White was targeted 12 times to Jones 8 but pulled down just 5 catches for 52 yards. The two combined for 116 yards just a single yard more than Giants WR Hakeem Nicks. I was surprised to see that TE Tony Gonzalez had 4 catches for 44 yards at the end of the game because I never saw his impact on the game throughout the television broadcast.

It is true that Mr. Gonzalez is still searching for his first career playoff victory and after signing a contract extension during the middle of the year he is clearly banking on Matt Ice Cold. “I’m never going to get down on myself for not winning a football game. It’s just the luck of the draw. I’ve still got one more season. I;m coming back for a reason because it’s about winning the Super Bowl and I think we’ve got a shot here. That’s why I signed back” Gonzalez told reporters. But I have a problem with his statements. Luck of the draw? I think not!

It is about preparation and dedication and if you aren’t furious as a competitor and NFL football player than maybe you don’t deserve to win a playoff game. Get some fucking heart Tony Gonzalez you are likely going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame until another player with some fucking gumption comes and rains on your parade. Do Falcons fans a favor and shut your damn mouth because you would do your team a favor by not pulling them all down with this there’s always next year. You are going to be 36 years old next season I’m not too sure how many more times you will be able to say that. Just ride off into the sunset and go sell some protein shakes we all know that your washed up.

The Giants passing game has relied on undrafted WR Victor Cruz who set a Giants franchise record having over 1500 receiving yards during the regular season. The Falcons focused on shutting down Cruz which they were quite successful at holding him to just 2 catches for 28 yards but they forgot about WR’s Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. As I said earlier Nicks had just 1 less yard than Jones and White combined catching 6 balls for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns including a game high 72 yard reception. Nicks had two beautiful catches in the end-zone but his 2nd, the 4 yarder, was an impressive showing of his athleticism, agility and great hands. Mario Mannigham caught a touchdown pass of his own along with 3 other catches for 68 total yards.

Eli Manning had the best passing game by a Giant since Kerry Collins threw for 342 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 pick in the Giants 2002 Wild Card loss. Manning finished the day 23-32 for 277 yards, 3 touchdowns no interceptions and scrambled twice for 13 yards. Before todays game Eli Manning had a completed 113 of his 193 attempts for a pass completion percentage just above 58 throwing for 1297 yards, 8 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. It seems that Eli may have finally turned the corner after an atrocious 25 interception season of 2010. He had his best year by far during 2011 and just had his best playoff game of his career, which is impressive considering he was the SB XLI MVP.

I thought that the Falcons may have had the advantage because of their ability to rely on the running game but it seems that the tables were completely turned on Sunday. The Falcons RB Michael Turner ran for less than 45 yards just twice during the regular season but against the Giants he had 15 carries for just 41 yards averaging 2.7 yards per attempt, a whopping 1.8 ypc less than his season average. As a team the Falcons ran the ball 21 times for 64 yards and their longest run of the game was a 13 yard end around by Julio Jones. The Giants ran for 172 team rushing yards which was 50 yards more than their regular season high. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw both had 14 carries while Jacobs finished with 92 yards and a long rush of 34 yards Bradshaw totaled 63 yards with a long of 30. Bradshaw did however also pull in 5 catches for another 22 yards while Jacobs just had 2 for 8. The Giants will go on to face the Green Bay Packers while the Falcons are going home looking forward to next season.

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