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Giants 24, Falcons 2, NFC Wild-Card Playoffs: Three Good Stats, Three Bad Stats

Let’s take a very quick statistical review of the New York Giants’ 24-2 annihilation of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in NFC Wild-Card Playoff action at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The following three good stats/three bad stats will be entirely from a Giants’ perspective.

Three Good Stats

1. 172 Yards Rushing — This was a season-best for the Giants, who entered the game last in the league in rushing yards per game. They averaged 5.5 yards per carry, and their dominant running game enabled them to win the time of possession battle as New York held the ball for 34:30 compared to 25:30 for the Falcons.

2. Four-For-17 — That was Atlanta combined total on third and fourth downs. The Falcons went 0-for-3 on fourth downs, including two questionable fourth and less than one decisions by head coach Mike Smith. The defensive stands by the Giants, especially the second one, changed the momentum of the game.

3. 247 Yards — That is the total number of yards the Giants defense held the Falcons to.

Three Bad Stats

1. Seven Penalties for 73 Yards — Among those were several special teams penalties that won’t make coach Tom Coughlin happy, and a couple of holding calls.

2. 5.6 Yards Per Punt Return — The best thing you can say for New York punt returner Will Blackmon is he held on to each of the five punts he fielded. He totalled just 28 yards in five returns, and on two or three occasions appeared to have room to run but could not take advantage of it.

3. Two Concussions — Third-down running back D.J. Ware and starting cornerback Aaron Ross went down with concussions. This is Ware’s second concussion of the season. We will have more on their status for next week’s game against Green Bay as the week progresses.