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Top Five Plays vs. Falcons


1) **Manning's longest postseason run

**Keeping with Tom Coughlin's theme of "stick with it," Eli Manning![](/team/roster/eli-manning/076f2201-496c-4eb7-83e2-18a01a412059/ "Eli Manning") sparked the offense with his own run after the Giants running backs got off to a rough start, totalling just eight yards on the first five rushes (two for no gain). On third-and-two at the New York 23, Manning scrambled off the left end for 14 yards early in the second quarter. It was his longest run in eight postseason games, his previous being a five-yarder in Super Bowl XLII.

"You have to give Atlanta credit," Manning said after the game. "They had a good plan all day.  They did a good job stopping the run and getting some pressure and we didn't have a whole lot to go on in the first quarter, but the second quarter we had a good drive."

Brandon Jacobs, who would later set his own personal best, graded the run.

"How would I rate my quarterback as a rusher?" Jacobs asked himself. "Me, myself, I would give him a 10 because he got a first down and he keeps the chains moving and that's the number one quality out of a running back that you want to see, to keep the chains moving, and [No.] 10 did a good job of it…You know he did look a little awkward with the slow strides but he got it done. He got the first down and he kept moving. But Eli, I can't say enough good things about E. I think E is a beast."

2) **Brandon Jacobs rumbles for 34

**Along with Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw and Jacobs all posted their longest career postseason runs against the Falcons on Sunday. Before Bradshaw broke one for 30 yards (his previous best was 13 yards in Super Bowl XLII), Jacobs rattled off a 34-yarder on the same drive as Manning’s scramble. It was also the longest run of the season for Jacobs, bringing the Giants deep in Falcons territory as Hakeem Nicks caught the first touchdown of the day a few plays later. Jacobs finished with 92 yards while the team rushed for 172 yards overall.

3) **Giants stop Falcons on fourth-and-inches, again

**On fourth-and-one, with the Giants up by eight points, Falcons coach Mike Smith called for another quarterback sneak with 4:21 remaining in the third quarter. The Falcons line couldn’t get a push, and Matt Ryan was met by Jason Pierre-Paul and Chase Blackburn, making Atlanta 0-for-2 on the day.

"They tried to sneak the ball, I saw the quarterback try to hit the B gap, and I just smashed him and drove him back," Pierre-Paul said. "That was the stop…It was a big play. It was a game-changer knowing they could have got down and scored. It basically was a game changer stopping them, and everybody was excited.  The offense was getting ready to go back out there and fire up."

4) **Hakeem Nicks makes franchise history

**On the ensuing drive, the Giants made the Falcons regret not taking the field goal attempt. On third down, Hakeem Nicks caught a pass over the middle, breaking free and taking it 72 yards for a touchdown. His second touchdown of the day put the Giants up 17-2 late in the third quarter and tied Earnest Gray's franchise record of the same distance set on Jan. 3, 1982. It was also Manning's longest of the postseason, his previous coming on a 52-yard touchdown to Amani Toomer in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Dallas in 2008.

"It was zone coverage and I was actually about to sit but when I saw all the linebackers' zone drop out of there, I just tried to get in Eli's vision," Nicks said. "Once I caught the ball, it was just 'make a play.'"

5) **Mario Manningham works the sideline

**Manningham, battling a knee injury, missed half of the last six games of the season, but made his presence felt again against the Falcons. Held without a catch since Week 15, Manningham caught four passes for 68 yards on Sunday, including a 27-yarder in the end zone from Manning. But aside from the touchdown, Manningham showcased his body control as well as his hands, hauling in a 13-yard pass as he fell out of bounds.

"How about Mario," Coughlin said. "Mario had a big day and he played well. He really worked the sideline and he caught that really nice over the top pass from Eli. I thought he played well today as well."

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