This turned out to be the perfect statement game for the Atlanta Falcons. They proved that they could pose a problem for an NFC powerhouse team, and if you think about it they have some big wins this season. For example, they took it to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at home during Week 2 this year (who are now 11-3). They were also able to beat a trio of 8-6 teams from the NFC East (the Giants being one of them). Plus they have big division wins over the Saints and Bucs, as well as a nice comeback win against Carolina. They have yet to lose a game at home this year, and if they can win next week in Detroit they will clinch the #1 seed in the NFC (which means that the road to the Super Bowl will go through Atlanta). This bodes well for the Falcons.
As for the Giants, this is a serious blow not only to their reputation, but also to their playoff chances. They are now positioned in third place in their division and still have to go to Baltimore and play a Philly team that is always tough for them to beat. The possibility of this team finishing 8-8 is very high. Eli Manning struggled to put up big numbers in this one and his team was handled by a defense that a lot of people would consider to be so-so. The fact that Big Blue can be bullied around by other teams like this is a cause for concern. A lot of Giants fans will claim that “it doesn’t really matter how we perform in the regular season; we just need to make the playoffs and then we can go off”. This may be true, but for this plan to come to fruition, New York must first make the playoffs. Their chances are quickly fading with the emergence of the Redskins, plus the sudden continuity of the Cowboys. The G-Men are going to need to play well over their final two games if they want a shot at the playoffs.