Eli Manning completed 27-of-38 passes for 399 yards and a touchdown. Odell Beckham caught 8 passes for 143 yards, his first touchdown of the season, and surpassed 5,000 receiving yards for his career, the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach that mark. Sterling Shepard caught 5 passes for 167 yards.
Saquon Barkley — 43 yards rushing, 51 receiving for 94 total yards — fell 6 yards shy of tying Kareem Hunt’s NFL record of seven straight games of at least 100 yards from scrimmage to begin a career.
Despite the nice numbers for Manning, Beckham and Shepard, the Giants’ offense really wasn’t good enough. They got two touchdowns in the final 4:52, but did not take advantage of opportunities prior to that.
The Falcons entered the game giving up 32.0 point per game, but the Giants didn’t get a touchdown until the game’s final five minutes.
Moments that mattered
Two milestones for Beckham. A 51-yard catch in the third quarter made him the fast player to reach 5,000 receiving yards and gave him his 23rd 100-yard receiving game, breaking a tie with Amani Toomer for the franchise record.
Congrats on 5,000 career receiving yards, OBJ! pic.twitter.com/joaqisd1rI— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 23, 2018
Two big misses: Late in the first half, the Giants missed a touchdown opportunity when Manning missed Beckham in the corner of the end zone. The Giants settled for a field goal. On a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the third quarter, Manning bypassed Beckham and threw incomplete to Scott Simonson.
The game really hinged on these two opportunities. Out of a possible 14 points the Giants came away with only 3.
The clincher: Giorgio Tavecchio nailed a 56-yard field goal at the two-minute warning to give the Falcons a two-score lead, 23-12. Tavecchio was signed to replace injured placekicker Matt Bryant.
Clock management question: Trailing 23-12 the desperate Giants got to the Atlanta 1-yard line with 1:11 to play. The Giants had no timeouts remaining. Rather than clock the ball, they ran two unsuccessful quarterback sneaks before finally scoring on a 1-yard pass to Beckham with just :05 remaining. The curious clock management meant they really wouldn’t have had time for a Hail Mary even if they had recovered the ensuing onside kick.
The Giants face the division-leading Washington Redskins (4-2) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m. ET