Falcons-Giants final score, highlights: Defense sparks Atlanta in win on 'Monday Night Football'

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ATLANTA – The Falcons (3-4) earned back-to-back wins for the first time this season after defeating the New York Giants (1-6), 23-20, on "Monday Night Football."

Atlanta needed the victory to keep pace in the NFC South as each of its division rivals won on Sunday afternoon. Unlike in some of their shootouts that have occurred inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season, the Falcons made several plays in each facet of the game to come away with the win. The defense, especially, made some big plays in pivotal moments down near the goal line.

Tavecchio's solid debut

Given how long Matt Bryant has been a safety blanket for the Falcons, it's safe to say Giorgio Tavecchio had a high standard to live up to in his first game as Atlanta's kicker. He answered the challenge.

Tavecchio hit all three of his field-goal attempts in the game, including a pair of 50-plus-yard kicks in the fourth quarter. His biggest kick was a 56-yarder with two minutes left in the game that gave Atlanta a 23-12 lead.

Not a bad debut.

Coleman's crucial late-game touchdown run

Atlanta had an opportunity in the fourth quarter to turn it's one-score lead into a two-score lead, and it's one the Falcons didn't waste. The Falcons started on their own 35-yard line and meticulously moved the ball down the field, converting three third downs and eating up over five minutes of time.

After being bottled up for most of the night, Tevin Coleman found a nice hole and never looked back, outrunning the Giants' defense and scoring the second touchdown of the game on a 30-yard run. The score gave the Falcons a 20-6 lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the game.

Ryan hits Hall deep for first touchdown

The Falcons didn't cross midfield until just over five minutes remained in the second quarter, but one play later they scored their first touchdown of the game. Matt Ryan connected with Marvin Hall on a 47-yard home-run play to give Atlanta a 7-0 lead.

Falcons make goal-line stand to start second half

After giving up a 53-yard pass to Sterling Shepard, the Falcons were in danger of giving up their 7-point lead on the Giants' first possession of the second half. The Giants eventually set up a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but they were twice denied by the Falcons defense before eventually turning the ball over on downs.

Julio's fumble leads to Giants' field goal

Atlanta seemed poised to turn its defensive goal-line stand into points, but a turnover deep in New York territory ended that chance. After making a contested catch around the 20-yard line, Julio Jones had the ball jarred loose by Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Originally ruled an incomplete pass, the referees overturned the call after a Giants challenge. New York converted that turnover into a field goal set up in part by a 51-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. The field goal cut the Falcons' lead to 10-6 late in the third quarter. 

Below, you can find even more analysis from the game from our in-game live blog:

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