Prior to kickoff on Sunday afternoon, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said the team was "salty" over last year's 24-2 divisional playoff beatdown. He said their plan was to come out fast and not let off the gas … and that's exactly what they did as they humiliated the New York Giants 34-0. And, to be quite honest, the game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates.
Not only did the Giants lose the game, they also lost control of the NFC East as both the Dallas Cowboys and the RGIII-less Washington Redskins won.
With two games remaining, the Giants remain in control of their own playoff destiny, albeit t not the destiny they wanted. If they win out, they will earn a wildcard spot, but they'd need help to regain control of the NFC East.
“We should be better than them, both sides of the ball, flat out,” Osi Umenyiora said. “But we didn’t look that way today.”
The Giants have been Jekyll and Hyde all season. One moment they look like the best team in the NFL, and then they look like the worst. Rarely has there been any in between. But just how bad was it on Sunday? It was the worst loss in NFL history by any defending Super Bowl champion.
“We have two games left to play,” head coach Tom Coughlin said. “There is a lot of fire and a lot of character in that locker room, and we have to come back from a devastating loss and shake it off somehow, some way.”
The question is: can the Giants shake off such a terrible loss? Sure, they've overcome bad ones before, but perhaps none as demoralizing as this. And the task ahead of them is only compounded by the fact that they're now headed into Baltimore where the Ravens expect to see the return of their emotional leader, Ray Lewis, after losing three consecutive games of their own.
This team likes to believe they thrive with their backs against the wall, so they've certainly got their wish. There is now no margin for error at all.
Also…Atlanta, Atlanta Falcons, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Tom Coughlin