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Punter Weatherford changes field position


In his last postseason appearance, Falcons return specialist Eric Weems returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, rounding out his All-Pro campaign last year.

Returning both punts and kicks, he would have no such performance against the Giants on Sunday.

Lawrence Tynes booted two touchbacks, and, when Weems had the opportunity to return, the kickoff team held him to a 20.8-yard average on four attempts.

Meanwhile, the punt team completely put Weems out of commission.

Called on three times in the first quarter of an early stalemate, Steve Weatherford directed his punts to the sideline and out of bounds. The third bounced out at the Atlanta 10-yard line while the first two fell just outside the money zone at the 21 both times.

"We were able to deal with a guy who is a game changer without having any yardage from him in terms of our own punt coverage team," Coughlin said on Monday. "It turned out to be good balance although it didn't start out that way. We were slow offensively right off the bat probably for a quarter or into the second quarter and then we started to roll a little bit with that."

Weatherford's fourth and final punt was a touchback, but the overall objective was achieved in terms of field position.

"As far as I'm concerned, that was a shutout," Weatherford said on Monday. "The defense has been playing fantastic. I think our kickoff team and our punt team have been putting the defense in advantageous field position. If you're able to punt the ball down to the 10-yard line or tackle a guy at the 15 on kickoff, there are not a lot of offenses that are going to be able to drive 85 yards on this defense."

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