ATLANTA – Don't look now but the Falcons have won back-to-back games for the first time all season and improved to 3-4 with a 23-20 win over the Giants on Monday night.
- Takeaways: Defense sparks Falcons in win
Here are 10 more things we learned from the Falcons win over the Giants, who fell to 1-6 and have now lost four straight games under first-year head coach Pat Shurmur.
10. Saquon held in check. The Giants' rookie sensation entered Monday night with 438 rushing yards and also had 40 catches for 373 yards – the latter tops among all running backs heading into Week 7. Against the much-maligned Falcons defense, Barkley had 14 runs for just 43 yards and a score. He also caught nine balls for 51 yards.
9. Falcons rediscover their running game, sort of. The Falcons have had one running back surpass the 100-yard mark one time all season long – Tevin Coleman's 107 yards on 16 carries during a 31-24 win over the Panthers back in Week 2. Against the Giants, Atlanta runners combined for 68 yards on 19 carries with Coleman leading the way with 50 yards on 11 carries, including a 30-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter.
8. Hello, Giorgio! When Falcons all-time leading scorer Matt Bryant injured his hamstring booting a 57-yard field goal during the 34-29 win over the Bucs, kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was signed. In his Falcons debut, Tavecchio was 3 for 3, including field goals from 50 and 56 – the latter proving to be the difference in the game. Not a bad first game.
7. Ryan continues to deal and spread the wealth. A total of 10 different Falcons hauled in catches from Matt Ryan with Julio Jones leading the way with nine catches for 104 yards. Ryan had another spectacular outing, completing 31 of 39 passes for 379 yards and a touchdown. Ryan now has 2,335 passing yards which is tops in the league. He's averaging 333.6 yards per game with a 15:2 TD-to-INT ratio.
6. The injury bug hits again. Starting right guard Brandon Fusco was hurt in the second quarter with what is being called an ankle injury. While we don't know the severity of Fusco's injury, he didn't return – and it didn't look good. The Falcons have been hit hard with injuries this season. Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) have been lost for the season while Deion Jones (foot) and Devonta Freeman (groin) are in the injured reserve list at the moment. A number of other players have missed games this season, too, including Grady Jarrett, Matt Bryant and Derrick Shelby.
5. Still no touchdowns for No. 11. Julio Jones is having a fantastic season so far, catching 53 passes for 812 yards – a whopping 15.3 yards per catch. But the Falcons' all-world receiver still has yet to taste the end zone in 2018.
4. The defense bent but didn't break. The Falcons surrendered 433 yards of total offense to the Giants but came up big when it mattered most – and kept the Giants out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter, when they punched in two scores (the latter with just nine seconds left and the game in hand). Eli Manning completed 27 of 38 passes for 399 yards and a touchdown. Sterling Shepard (five catches for 167) and Odell Beckham (eight for 143 yards, one touchdown) put up big yards but not a lot of points. The Giants were 5 of 12 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and 2 of 5 in the red zone against the Falcons defense.
3. Hall makes the most of his chances. Falcons receiver Marvin Hall had seven career catches for 124 yards and a touchdown coming into Monday night. But against the Giants, Hall finished with just three receptions for 63 yards and hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Not a bad night at all for the backup receiver.
2. The pass rush is alive and well. The Falcons, who entered the game with 10 sacks on the year, registered four against the Giants – all coming in the first half. Grady Jarrett led the way with two while Jack Crawford and Takk McKinley each added one. McKinley leads the Falcons with six sacks on the year.
1. Falcons pick up win No. 3, and that's all that matters. Atlanta continues to dig itself out of an early hole, picking up its third win of the season. Even better, the Falcons improved to 3-2 against NFC opponents. After their bye week, the Falcons will have back-to-back road games at Washington and Cleveland before taking on the Cowboys at home in Week 10.