Trying to diagnose what went wrong in Atlanta, Giants blame missed opportunities

A couple of numbers stick it out from yesterday’s 34-0 rout in Atlanta.

Offensively, the Giants turned the ball of three times, two of which were interceptions complements of Eli Manning. The two-time Super Bowl MVP completed all of 13 passes, no touchdowns, and finished the contest with a 40.7 quarterback rating.

But it’s zero — the number of points Big Blue scored — that’s glaring. It marked the team’s first shutout in 16 years.

“We didn’t come out today and play our best. Atlanta did a good job, but anytime you turn the ball over three times it’s a tough situation,” Manning said. “We wanted to go out and have the best performance and score points. When you have chances and don’t capitalize and you don’t make plays it’s tough.”

Former Eagles and Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel picked off Manning on the second offensive snap of the game. Safety Thomas DeCoud did the same deep in Giants territory, helping Atlanta increase their lead to 17 at the time.

Punting the football away was the Giants’ best offensive play, but they did so just twice. In addition to the two Manning interceptions, Kregg Lumpkin fumbled, Lawrence Tynes missed a field goal and on three consecutive possessions the offensive turned the ball over on downs.

In total, New York mustered all of 256 yards on 47 plays on what was — to be politically correct — an off-day for the offense.

“The effort (by the offense) was there. It just didn’t get executed,” wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said. “We moved the ball but have to come up with some points.”

On the other side of the ball, Big Blue’s defense allowed Matt Ryan to carve up the defense for three touchdowns and the arsenal of backs to gash them for 129 rushing yards.

Ranked last in the NFL in terms of sacking the quarterback, the Giants lived up to their billing, dirtying Ryan’s jersey just once.

After picking off Drew Brees twice last week, New York was unable to force a single turnover in Atlanta.

“We are not a team that plays on frustration. We are all professional here. We understand that there are going to be ups and downs in a football game. That’s what makes you a professional,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “You fight through those ups and downs. They were just a better team out there today, all around.”

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