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Few Highlights, but It's a Win

October 09, 2000|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — The New York Giants needed help from an unusual penalty to reach the end zone. The Atlanta Falcons are still trying to figure out how to get there.

Ron Dayne scored the only touchdown on a two-yard run less than five minutes into the game and the blitzing Giants made it stand for a lackluster 13-6 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

Neither team seemed eager to win. The Giants managed only 255 yards and 14 first downs, while the Falcons were held to 13 yards rushing--the lowest in team history--and 238 overall.

"We weren't that impressive," Dayne said. "But we got the win, and I'm happy about that."

New York scored the lone touchdown after Atlanta's Oliver Winslow fumbled a punt and Lyle West recovered at the Falcons' 34.

The Atlanta defense forced Jaret Holmes to kick a 32-yard field goal, but Falcon lineman Travis Hall was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The officials said he used illegal leverage to jump on an opposing lineman in an attempt to block the field goal. Hall was baffled by the ruling.

"He was really low and I just ran into him trying to push through," Hall said. "He was laying on the ground. What am I supposed to do?"

Two plays later, Dayne ran in from the two to give the Giants a 7-0 lead with 10:07 left in the first quarter.

New York (4-2) broke a two-game losing streak and handed the Falcons (2-4) their third consecutive defeat.

Jamal Anderson, held to only 12 yards in 12 carries, struggled for an explanation. "I'm speechless," he said. "We've got to figure out a way to get it in."

The Giants knocked out Atlanta quarterback Chris Chandler with a rib injury in the first half. Chandler watched the final two quarters in street clothes.

Chandler is questionable for Sunday's game at St. Louis.

Amazingly, the Falcons actually had a chance to tie New York in the closing minutes.

A pass interference penalty on Dave Thomas gave the Falcons first-and-goal at the 10. But Terance Mathis bobbled a pass over the middle and backup quarterback Danny Kanell was sacked at the 17 by Michael Strahan.

On fourth down, Kanell lofted a desperation pass into the end zone. It was batted down and the Giants ran out the clock.

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