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Key plays from Giants vs. Falcons

1) Manning's first interception - Eli Manning ran into a familiar foe on Sunday, and it didn't take long for the two to get reacquainted. Veteran cornerback Asante Samuel picked off Manning's first pass of the game, and Atlanta quickly turned it into a seven-point advantage on Michael Turner's short touchdown run. It was the first time Manning's initial pass was intercepted since 2009 -- also at the hands of Samuel when he played for Philadelphia.

2) Tynes misses short FG - After finding themselves in a quick 7-0 hole, the Giants had a chance to post some points. Beginning at their own 20, Eli Manning and the offense drove to Atlanta's 12, setting up a 30-yard field goal attempt. But Lawrence Tynes, who led the NFL in scoring heading into Week 15, uncharacteristically missed wide left. It was his sixth miss in 39 attempts this season.

3) Manning's second turnover - Like any road team, Tom Coughlin and the Giants knew their success or failure would be defined by turnovers. The Giants were minus-3 in that department Sunday, and Manning was responsible for two of them in the first half alone. His second interception came early in the second quarter at the hands of safety Thomas DeCoud in Giants territory. The Falcons turned it into three points and a 17-0 lead on the ensuing drive.

4) Stopped on fourth downs - The Giants' postseason victory over the Falcons in January was largely defined by key fourth-down stands. Atlanta returned the favor this time around on its home turf and left New York empty-handed on three such attempts. On the first, David Wilson was stopped for no gain at Atlanta's 32 midway through the second quarter; the second was an incomplete pass to Victor Cruz from Atlanta's 11 with 1:14 left in the first half; and the third was a failed passing play to Kregg Lumpkin on fourth-and-2 from Atlanta's 25 when the Giants trailed 24-0.

5) Julio Jones' long touchdown - Entering halftime with a 17-0 lead, the Falcons wanted to put as much distance as possible between themselves and a Giants team with a knack for comebacks. A 40-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to wide receiver Julio Jones accomplished that goal on the opening drive of the second half. It was the longest play of the game for either team and gave the Falcons a 24-0 lead, which they extended to 34 before the final whistle blew.


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