New York Giants v Atlanta Falcons
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

The New York Giants held tough with the Atlanta Falcons in a defensive struggle early on, but big plays allowed the home team to pull away.

Geoff Magliocchetti

  • New York Giants 20 (1-6)
  • Atlanta Falcons 23 (3-4)
  • NFL, NFC, Week 7, Final, Box Score
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Odell Beckham Jr. earned 143 yards on eight receptions, eclipsing the 5,000 plateau in just his 54th career game, but the New York Giants nonetheless fell to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Monday night, dropping a 23-20 decision.

The first half was a comedy of errors for each team’s offensive line, the two teams combining for seven sacks over the first half hour of play.

The Giants had three of those tallies, with Kerry Wynn, BW Webb, and Lorenzo Carter being the lucky recipients.

In turn, however, the Falcons brought the stereotypes about the Giants’ offensive to life once again, getting to Eli Manning four different times to prevent any momentum. Grady Jarrett wounded up with two sacks on the evening.

The Giants’ defense finally bent in the latter stages of the half, with Matt Ryan finding Marvin Hall for a 47-yard score, as Hall beat Janoris Jenkins to give Atlanta the lead they’d never relinquish.

The Giants were able to respond just before halftime, embarking on an 11-play, 77-yard drive that, in an all-too-common Giants occurrence, fell short of the goal line. An Aldrick Rosas field goal cut the Atlanta lead to 7-3.

Unfortunately, the Giants defense failed to keep the Falcons in check for one more drive, allowing Atlanta to earn a 40-yard Giorgio Tavecchio field goal, giving Atlanta a 10-3 lead at the half.

The second half was a perfect chance for the Giants to tie, getting to the cusp of the Atlanta goal line on the first possession.

However, Manning’s attempted touchdown pass, tight end Scott Simonson being the intended recipient, was knocked away, and the Giants came up empty-handed.

After forcing an Atlanta punt, the Giants were able to trim the lead to 10-6, courtesy of another Rosas field goal.

They held the Falcons to a field goal when Atlanta reentered their territory in the fourth, but the Falcons were able to capitalize the next time around, as Tevin Coleman’s run to the right was good for a 30-yard score.

The Giants were able to get back to the end zone, going on a nine-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a Saquon Barkley punch-in from two yards away.

Despite being guaranteed a one-possession game either way, the Giants inexplicably went for two points. The strategy nearly worked, but Odell Beckham Jr. dropped the potential double

On the ensuing Falcons possession, the Giants forced them into a fourth down situation, but Tavechio’s third field goal of the night sealed the deal, a deep 56-yard triple putting them back up two possessions.

On one last possession, the Giants got back to the Atlanta red zone, but two failed quarterback sneaks killed a majority of the clock.

The Giants did manage to score on a one-yard Manning pass to Beckham and also scored on the two-point conversion. However, the ensuing onside kick, which more resembled a squib, went for naught, ending the game.

The Giants returns home next weekend, taking on the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins at home on Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX).