At the half: Giants 7, Falcons 2

January, 8, 2012
1/08/12
2:23
PM ET
The Giants are 30 minutes away from a date with the Packers at Lambeau Field next week. They currently lead the Falcons, 7-2, in their NFC wild-card matchup at MetLife Stadium. Now it’s time to take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the first half.

THE GOOD: The Giants’ defense has been tenacious, holding the Falcons to just 127 total yards. Matt Ryan has thrown for just 98 yards, and Corey Webster has held dangerous playmaker Roddy White to just one catch for five yards. ... Michael Turner has rushed 10 times for only 27 yards. ... Ryan was stopped by Michael Boley and Linval Joseph on a quarterback sneak for no gain on a fourth-and-1 on the first play of the second quarter. ... Brandon Jacobs ripping off a 34-yard run and then picking up the fourth-and-1 with a spin after he was initially hit. ... Hakeem Nicks’ 4-yard touchdown snag in the end zone with 2:55 remaining in the second quarter was pretty. ... Jason Pierre-Paul has been stellar in stuffing the run.

THE BAD: Kareem McKenzie getting beat off the edge, which forced Eli Manning to scramble and throw the ball away before he was out of the pocket, which resulted in his 11th intentional grounding penalty and a safety which put the Falcons up 2-0. ... Deon Grant has a quad injury and his return is questionable. Grant has played well, and rookie Tyler Sash must now step up in his place.

THE UGLY: The Giants have committed three penalties for 28 yards, none more costly than the holding call on Chris Snee right before the safety. ... The Giants’ first four drives resulted in two points -- for the Falcons. ... That’s because their play-calling was awful early. Two plays come to mind: calling a run on 3rd-and-9 in the first quarter which led to a punt and then the screen to Ahmad Bradshaw which lost two yards following the Snee penalty.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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