ATLANTA — Matt Ryan threw three touchdowns passes and the Atlanta Falcons handed the New York Giants their first regular-season shutout since 1996, blowing out the defending Super Bowl champions 34-0 on Sunday.
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Julio Jones caught a couple of scoring throws from Ryan, who broke his own franchise records for completions and passing yards in a season. He completed 23 of 28 passes for 270 yards.
The Falcons (12-2), who have already clinched the NFC South, moved a step closer to locking up home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. One more win would lock it up.
Eli Manning threw two interceptions for New York (8-6), which came into the game with a one-game lead over Washington and Dallas in the NFC East. The Giants also went 0 for 3 on fourth down.
Now that we’ve had ample time to digest Sunday’s brutal loss in Charlotte, it’s become easier to put everything in perspective.
A Look Back On Recent Champions
A nice way to gain this perspective is to look back on the recent Super Bowl Champions and see how their regular seasons panned out. Yes, the Falcons loss to the 3-9 Panthers has raised some legitimate concerns, but you might be surprised how many bad losses the 2011 New York Giants and the 2010 Green Bay Packers had en route to winning the Lombardi Trophy.