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Giants suffer first shutout loss in 16 years

Posted Dec 16, 2012

Notes, anecdotes and milestones from the Giants’ 34-0 loss to the Atlanta Falcons

*The Giants fell to 8-6 and are no longer alone atop the NFC East. Dallas and Washington won Sunday and are tied with the Giants. But because the Giants have the worst division record of the three (2-3), they are technically in third place.

*The Giants were shutout in the regular season for the first time since a 24-0 loss at Philadelphia on Dec. 1, 1996. They had scored points in 256 consecutive regular-season games, which was the NFL’s third-longest streak behind Denver (322) and Indianapolis (302). The Giants did suffer a shutout postseason loss during that period, falling to Carolina, 23-0, in a 2005 NFC Wild Card Game.

*The loss to the Falcons was the first game in which the Giants did not score an offensive touchdown since a 26-6 defeat at Denver on Nov. 26, 2009. The Giants scored on two Lawrence Tynes field goals that day.

*The Giants had zero points one week after scoring 52 in a victory over New Orleans. The last team to have such a steep decline in points from one week to the next was the 2005 Washington Redskins, who beat San Francisco, 52-17 on October 23 and lost a week later to the Giants, 36-0.

*The 34-point loss was the Giants’ second-worst in Tom Coughlin’s nine seasons as head coach. The Giants lost by 37 points at Minnesota, 44-7, on Jan. 3, 2010.

*This was the Giants’ worst shutout loss since a 35-0 defeat to Dallas in Giants Stadium on Sept. 4, 1995 and the sixth-worst shutout loss in their history, including the playoffs.

*The 34-0 loss was the worst shutout defeat ever suffered by a defending Super Bowl champion. The previous standard was a 27-loss by the 1981 Los Angeles Raiders to Kansas City.

*It was the fourth-worst loss of Coughlin’s 17-year NFL head coaching career. His Jacksonville Jaguars lost 44-0 in Detroit on Dec. 17, 1995 and 50-10 in Minnesota on Dec. 20, 1998. The loss to the Lions was the only other time a Coughlin-coached team was shutout in 270 regular-season games.

*The Giants’ 256 total yards was their second-lowest total of the season; they gained 182 yards in a loss to Pittsburgh on November 4.

*The Giants rushed for 97 yards, breaking their streak of consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards at four.

*The Giants had 10 first downs, their lowest total since they had only six in a loss to New Orleans on Dec. 24, 2006.

*The Giants owned the ball for only 21:03, their lowest time of possession since that loss to the Saints six years ago, when they had the ball for 19:26.

*The Giants and Falcons, the two least-penalized in the NFL, combined for five penalties for 55 yards, including three for 30 yards by the Giants.

*The Giants trailed at halftime, 17-0. The deficit after two quarters was their largest since they trailed, 21-3, at halftime in New Orleans on Nov. 28, 2011.

*It was the Giants’ first scoreless half since Nov. 6, 2011 at New England (where a 0-0 tie became a 24-20 Giants victory) and the first time they were shutout in the first half and trailed since Sept. 19, 2010 at Indianapolis, where they were down 24-0 and lost, 38-14.

*The Giants failed to score a touchdown for the fourth time this season (also vs. Dallas, at Philadelphia and Cincinnati). The Giants lost all four games.

*The Falcons scored just 2:48 into the game on Michael Turner’s one-yard run. The touchdown was set up by Asante Samuel’s interception of Eli Manning’s first pass of the game. It was the second time this season an opponent turned a first-possession Giants turnover into an early score. On October 7, Ahmad Bradshaw’s fumble on the game’s first play led to Trent Richardson’s 15-yard touchdown run 37 seconds later.

*It was the first time Manning’s initial pass of the game was picked off since Nov. 1, 2009 at Philadelphia, where the interceptor was…Asante Samuel.

*Atlanta was the fourth Giants opponent to score a first-possession touchdown this season (also Cleveland, Cincinnati and Green Bay). The Giants are 2-2 this year and 16-16 under Coughlin when the opposing team scores a touchdown on its first offensive series.

*The Giants did not force a turnover for the second time this season (also at Philadelphia on September 30).

*The game was played in 2:46, the Giants’ fastest game since the loss to the Panthers in the 2005 playoffs (2:38) and the fastest in the regular season since a 31-7 loss at Washington on Dec. 5, 2004 (2:45).

*Manning completed 13 of 25 passes for 161 yards and two interceptions for a passer rating of 38.9. It was his lowest rating since Dec. 23, 2007, when it was 32.2 in a Giants victory played in inclement weather in Buffalo. The 13 completions were his second-lowest total of the season; Manning completed 10 passes vs. Pittsburgh on November 4.

*A nine-yard pass to Domenik Hixon with about 3½ minutes remaining in the second quarter was the 2,577th completion of Manning’s career, a Giants record. He finished the game with 2,585 completions. Phil Simms owned the former record of 2,576.

*Rookie David Wilson made his first career start at running back and rushed for 55 yards on 12 carries and had one reception for 11 yards. Wilson also returned three kickoffs for 66 yards.

*Kregg Lumpkin, playing his third game as a Giant, carried the ball for the first time and ran for 42 yards on nine attempts, both career highs. When he played for Tampa Bay in 2011, Lumpkin ran for 31 yards vs. Houston on November 13 and had eight carries against Chicago on October 23.

*Lawrence Tynes’ 30-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter was wide left. It was his shortest miss since a 21-yard miss at Tampa Bay on Sept. 27, 2009, which was also wide left.

*Tynes streak of consecutive games with at least one field goal ended at a career-high 26.

*Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 23 of 28 passes. Ryan hit his first eight passes, the first Giants opponent to do that since Chicago’s Rex Grossman on Dec. 2, 2007.

*The Giants sacked Ryan just once, the fourth time in five games they’ve had no more than one sack.

*Atlanta’s Julio Jones became the fourth receiver to catch two touchdown passes in a game vs. the Giants this season, joining Dallas’ Kevin Ogletree, Cleveland’s Josh Gordon and Washington’s Santana Moss.

*Two replay challenges went against the Giants in a span of 1:46 in the fourth quarter.

On the first play of the quarter, Manning threw a pass to Martellus Bennett that was originally ruled a nine-yard completion. Falcons coach Mike Smith challenged the ruling, claiming the ball hit the turf before Bennett could secure it. After review, referee Bill Leavy ruled the ball hit the ground and the pass was incomplete. Opposing coaches are 4-1 in replay challenges this season.

Two plays later, the Giants punted. Dominique Franks fielded Steve Weatherford’s kick and returned it six yards before losing the ball. The Giants recovered, but the officials ruled that Franks was down by contact, which Coughlin challenged, claiming the ball was out before Franks hit the ground. After review, Leavy upheld the call on the field. Coughlin is 1-2 in challenges this season, 34-41 with the Giants and 44-50 in his career.

*The Giants finished the season 3-1 vs. the NFC South. The Falcons were 4-0 vs. the NFC East, as well as the AFC West.

*The Giants fell to 28-17 in regular-season games played indoors (10-5 under Coughlin) and lost for the first time in four games in the Georgia Dome.

*The Falcons now lead the regular-season series, 11-10. The home team has won the last two games (plus the Giants victory in last year’s NFC Wild Card Game) after the visiting team had won an NFL-record 12 consecutive games in the series.

*Right guard Chris Snee missed time in the second quarter with a hip injury, but returned in the second half…Cornerback Jayron Hosley, who started for the injured Prince Amukamara, left the game briefly with an ankle injury.

*First-year safety Will Hill led the Giants with nine tackles (six solo).

*Rookie cornerback Terrence Frederick, signed off the practice squad on Saturday, made his NFL debut but had no statistics.

*The Giants wore the initials of Sandy Hook Elementary School on the back of their helmets to honor the memory of those killed in the tragic shooting on Friday in Newtown, Conn.

*Wide receiver Victor Cruz dedicated the game to six-year-old victim Jack Pinto, a big fan of both Cruz and the Giants.

"It was very emotional, obviously, during the game," said Cruz, who contacted the family from his Atlanta hotel room on Saturday night. He learned of the boy’s affection for him on Twitter. “With a family facing that much tragedy, you want to be someone that inspires them, someone that can put a smile on their face at a time where it's tough to do that.”

On this left shoe, Cruz wrote, “Jack Pinto, My Hero,” and on his right foot was written, “R.I.P. Jack Pinto.” He also wrote tributes on his gloves.

*The Giants’ inactive players were running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee), cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), safeties Kenny Phillips (knee) and Tyler Sash (hamstring), tight end Adrien Robinson, defensive end Adewale Ojomo and defensive tackle Marvin Austin.

*The game captains were Osi Umenyiora and David Baas.


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