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ATLANTA 27, NEW YORK GIANTS 7

Falcons Put Reeves in 200 Club

November 10, 2003|From Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Atlanta Falcons got Dan Reeves his 200th victory on a day the New York Giants may have put Coach Jim Fassel's job in jeopardy.

Warrick Dunn ran for 178 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown, and the Falcons ended a losing streak at seven by defeating the mistake-prone Giants, 27-7, on Sunday.

"It's great," Reeves said after becoming the sixth NFL coach to reach the 200-win plateau (200-171-2). "But when you've lost seven in a row, it was all about trying to get them win No. 2.

"I'm toward the end of my career," Reeves said after the Falcons (2-7) won for the first time since the opening weekend. "A lot of these guys are just starting. They need to win."

The Falcons issued a release after the game saying Reeves was the seventh NFL coach to get 200 wins. Former Cleveland and Cincinnati coach Paul Brown was included on their list with 222 wins. Later, the NFL said it did not recognize 52 wins he had coaching in the All-American Football Conference before the Browns joined the NFL.

The Giants (4-5) desperately needed the win to stay in the playoff hunt, but they didn't play as though they did. They turned the ball over four times while ending a two-game winning streak and enraging their fans.

A chant of "Fire Fassel" echoed through Giants Stadium in the waning seconds of the third quarter with New York down, 20-7.

"I can understand the fans being upset," Fassel said. "I am upset. I knew that was what I was going to get when I came here if I didn't do well."

The Falcons won because they ran for 216 yards and won the turnover battle.

"Everybody is happy for Coach Reeves," Dunn said. "He's been through a lot."

In Atlanta, there also have been calls for Reeves to be fired with the team on its longest losing streak since 1996. Falcon owner Arthur Blank issued a public apology after a loss to St. Louis on national television less than a month ago.

Dunn scored on a 45-yard run on the Falcons' first possession and had five carries for 38 yards in setting up Kurt Kitt- ner's go-ahead four-yard touchdown pass to Justin Griffith on Atlanta's opening possession in the second half.

T.J. Duckett scored on runs of one and 12 yards for the Falcons, who are still at least two weeks away from getting injured quarterback Michael Vick back.

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