ATLANTA (AP) – Tiki Barber showed the Atlanta Falcons a thing or two about running the football.

Barber outplayed the NFL’s best ground team by running for 185 yards, Jeremy Shockey caught a couple of touchdown passes and the New York Giants rallied past the Falcons in the second half for a 27-14 victory Sunday.

The Giants (3-2) fell behind 14-3 when Warrick Dunn broke off a 90-yard touchdown on Atlanta’s first offensive play of the second half – the longest run in team history. But New York dominated the Falcons (3-2) the rest of the way, going ahead with touchdown drives of 84 and 91 yards.

Barber did much of the damage, breaking off nine runs of at least 12 yards against a defense that was allowing just 69.3 yards per game, the second-best figure in the league. New York scored the final 24 points of the game, shredding an injury-plagued defense that had given up only one touchdown all season.

The Giants’ defense pounded Michael Vick, who was slow to get up from several huge licks, threw an interception and fumbled four times (though he lost only one). The quarterback did break off a spectacular, 22-yard touchdown run, but completed only 12 of 23 passes for 181 yards.

New York, which had only five sacks in its first four games, took down Vick seven times. Osi Umenyiora and Brandon Short each had two sacks, and Vick even took a brutal hit from Antonio Pierce after running out of bounds in the final minute, the late hit nearly sparking a skirmish along the Falcons’ bench.

John Abraham returned to the Falcons’ defensive line after missing three games with a groin injury. He dominated early, but wasn’t on the field in the fourth quarter. Two other linemen, Patrick Kerney and Rod Coleman, also went out with injuries late in the game.

The Giants sure took advantage of Atlanta’s backups, piling up 259 yards on the ground. The Falcons, by far the NFL’s best running team, had another big game with 223 yards on the ground – the fourth time they’ve eclipsed 200 yards this season – but wound up playing second fiddle to Barber and Co.

Dunn, who rushed for 146 yards, stunned the Giants when he broke through a huge hole up the middle for the longest run in Falcons history, eclipsing rookie Jerious Norwood’s 78-yard run against Arizona two weeks ago.

New York closed to 14-10 on Brandon Jacobs’ 2-yard run and appeared to go ahead when Barber dived into the end zone on an apparent 15-yard run around left end. The play was overturned after the replay showed Barber’s left foot stepped out of bounds at the 2, but that merely delayed the inevitable.

On the next play, Eli Manning threw to Shockey in the left corner of the end zone to put the Giants ahead for good in the final minute of the third quarter.

New York poured it on in the fourth period. Former Falcons kicker Jay Feely booted his second field goal of the game from 39 yards, and Manning hooked up with Shockey on a 4-yard touchdown that sealed the victory with 3:45 to go.

Manning overcame a shaky start. After throwing two interceptions in the first quarter, he rebounded to go 17-of-30 for 180 yards – more than enough production with the way the Giants were running.

AP-ES-10-15-06 1636EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.