Wilson struggles in first start

ATLANTA -- There was a notable difference between how David Wilson's first start began for him and how it went for his team in Sunday's 34-0 loss to the Falcons.

The rookie running back from Virginia Tech opened strong in replacing the injured Ahmad Bradshaw. He had 47 yards on six carries in the first quarter, but he finished the same way the Giants played overall.

Wilson's final six carries were good for just 8 yards, although he said he didn't notice the Falcons making any changes on defense.

"I didn't really notice a difference; we've just got to bring it, be more physical," he said. "They played harder than us today."

Wilson finished with 55 yards on 12 carries.

After New York forced a punt early in the second period, they started a drive at their own 20-yard-line while trailing 14-0.

Falcons defensive end John Abraham dropped Wilson for a 1-yard loss on first down, and Eli Manning threw his second interception on the next play.

Kregg Lumpkin replaced Wilson on the Giants' next possession, and had some success with three carries for 39 yards as Big Blue moved to the Atlanta 33.

That was about it for the Giants' running attack for the rest of the game. At that point Wilson and Lumpkin had combined to rush 10 times for 85 yards.

From then on, they rushed 11 times for 12 yards. Lumpkin's final six carries went for 3 total yards.

That downward slide began on second-and-2 from the 33, where Lumpkin was stopped for no gain behind right tackle. Then, he gained just a yard behind right guard.

Wilson re-entered as Giants coach Tom Coughlin opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the 32.

Wilson went left, the Falcons stretched it out, and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon led the way as Atlanta dropped the play for no gain.

Wilson caught one pass for 11 yards, and any hope that he might impact on the game by way of kickoff returns was wiped away by the strong leg of Falcons kicker Matt Bosher.

All seven of Bosher's boots went into the end zone, and on the three Wilson brought out he mustered an average of 22 yards to start drives at the 13-, 20- and 16-yard lines.

Field possession was an all-day disaster, as the Giants' average starting spot was their own 18 while the Falcons' average drive began at the Atlanta 39.

"They were kicking them deep, and some of them you try to make work and others you've got to take the knee," Wilson said.

There would be no more highlights for either back.

On the Giants' final play, though, Lumpkin took a backward pass from Manning and turned upfield for what looked like a sizable gain. Abraham tracked him from behind and swung his right arm like a hammer upper-cut to pop the ball out. The Falcons recovered, and ran out the final 4:06.

"When I threw [Abraham] by I knew he was behind me, but I didn't know how close he was," Lumpkin said after finished with nine carries for 42 yards and a reception for no gain. "I was trying to get down field, pick up the first down and maybe more. I just had the ball swinging.

"You're supposed to carry it high and tight all the time. He poked it out, and they got the ball back. We've just got to go back to the drawing board, and get it to work."