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3 things we learned about the Giants

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Julio Jones finished with 13 receptions for 135 yards, including a 37-yarder that set up the game-winning touchdown run by Davonta Freeman to give the Atlanta Falcons a 24-20 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Wide receiver Jones, last week’s NFC Offensive Player of the Week, fought through a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice two days this week.

Jones, who connected with quarterback Matt Ryan for six receptions for 44 yards in the first quarter alone, recorded 25 of those first-quarter yards on the Falcons’ second drive of the game. That drive culminated in a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to running back Tevin Coleman.

“Every opportunity that I get when a ball is thrown at me, I feel like it’s my job to catch it,” Jones said. “I had 15 targets today and I caught 13. I think I did OK today. I wish I could have caught all 15, but it happens.”

The Falcons sliced the Giants’ lead to 20-17 when Ryan connected with receiver Leonard Hankerson early in the fourth quarter for a 10-yard touchdown toss.

The Falcons snatched the victory on Freeman’s 2-yard score with 1:58 left, a drive set up by a 37-yard reception by Jones.

Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finished with 146 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown. His 67-yard second-quarter touchdown reception, his 101st career catch, tied the game at 10 with 3:34 left in the second quarter.

What we learned about the Giants:

–1. For the second week in a row, a strong argument could be made that the Giants beat themselves with sloppy play. There were dropped passes, untimely penalties, missed opportunities by the defense and turnovers by the offense — all of which resulted in self-inflected wounds that have the Giants off to yet another poor start to the regular-season. “I feel as though we beat ourselves,” receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said. “This game, last game I don’t compare them so I’m never going to believe that we didn’t beat ourselves and there (are) things that we need to correct — dropped balls, fumbles, whatever the case may be, we just need to clean it up and find a way to get it done.”

–2. Because of the short workweek, the Giants coaches won’t be showing the film to the players. Instead, head coach Tom Coughlin wants the Giants to look ahead to Thursday night’s game against Washington. “We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves,” he said. “There was frustration but there wasn’t anybody feeling sorry for themselves. It’s our own doing, there’s nobody to blame but us. Maybe it’s better for us to jump right back in. We’re not going to get to look at this tape with the players, we’ll look at it as coaches but we’ve got to jump right on to the next opponent.”

–3. A week ago, the Giants made a huge financial commitment to quarterback Eli Manning, whom they signed to a four-year contract extension worth $85 million. Since signing that deal, however, Manning’s play has been far from the picture of consistency. That doesn’t mean that head coach Tom Coughlin is ready to give up on his starting quarterback. “He’ll get better, he’ll improve,” Coughlin said. “There are times when it’s tremendous and other times when it’s not. I’m frustrated like you are in terms of, at that point in time all the engines have to be going full speed not the other way around.”

Etc.:

–LT Ereck Flowers suffered a sprained left ankle in the second half and was ruled out of the game. Coughlin said the hope is that Flowers’ injury won’t be an on-going affair the rest of the season.

–CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suffered a concussion and will enter the league’s concussion protocol. With a short work week on tap, Rodgers-Cromartie would appear to be a long shot to be ready for Thursday night.

–Return specialist Dwayne Harris, who returned four punts for 66 yards this week, passed the 1,000-yard mark and has 1,034 career punt return yards.

–RB Shane Vereen, who finished with 19 yards on six carries, needs just 60 more rushing yards to reach 1,000 in his career.


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