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End of Regulation: Falcons Show Character


Regardless of what happens in overtime, this game will be a character builder for the Falcons -- even if it is true, as they say, that there are no moral victories in the NFL. Down by 14 points in the second half, the Falcons rallied with a virtually flawless offensive performance in the second half -- 24 points -- to pull even at 31-31 at the end of regulation.

At one point, Matt Ryan had thrown seven straight incompletions. How did he respond? He went on a streak of 10 straight completions. That is the kind of revealing performance that ought to give the Falcons confidence going forward, even though a loss would be costly in the NFC playoff race.

The Falcons made their comeback in large part by keeping the Giants' defense off the field. Their second half drives -- they did not punt in the half -- were of 8, 18, 12 and 12 plays. Without Michael Turner, they have won time of possession in regulation (31:48 to 28:12) against the team that leads the league in that category.

The Giants have won the toss, but they have to be second-guessing themselves after blowing that lead -- which they also did in their most recent game at home, a 21-20 loss to San Diego.

As they say, buckle in.

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