Falcons Give Reeves Happy Return


Not only did Dan Reeves come back to haunt the New York Giants, so did a couple of their teammates on the revived and playoff hopeful Atlanta Falcons.

Chris

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  • Chandler threw two touchdowns and ran for another and former Giant Antonio Edwards scored on a 2-yard fumble return as the Falcons defeated New York 34-20 in Reeves' first game against the team that fired him in 1996.

    The Falcons (4-1) are off to their best start since 1995, when they last made the playoffs, and tied for first place with San Francisco in the NFC West.

    The loss was the second straight for the defending NFC East champion Giants (2-4). It dropped them two games behind first-place Dallas in the division and raised doubts about their playoff chances with the tougher part of the schedule still on tap.

    This win could not have been sweeter for Reeves, who led the Giants to the playoffs in his first season, 1993. He was run out of town three years later after arguing with management over the way the organization did things.

    The Falconws hired Reeves immediately and he has done a remarkable job in turning around Atlanta, winner of 10 of its last 13 games.

    Leading 14-13 at halftime, the Falcons scored on four of their first five second-half possessions to empty out Giants Stadium.

    Things got so out of hand, Reeves sent in Steve DeBerg, an assistant coach on his staff here, to mop up for Chandler, who went 14-of-27 for 266 yards.

    Chandler hit Terance Mathis with a 24-yard pass to set up Morten Anderson's 26-yard field goal for a 17-13 lead in the tird quarter.

    After the Giants went three-and-out, Chandler moved the Falcons 79 yards in five plays. The score came on a 55-yard pass play to Mathis for a 24-13 lead. Chandler also threw a 36-yard TD pass to Tony Martin in the first quarter on a drive kept alive by a pass interference call.

    Chandler iced the game with an 87-yard drive that he capped with a 1-yard rollout. That score was set up by a 25-yard pass for another former Giant, tight end Brian Kozlowski.

    Edwards' big play came early in the second quarter with Atlanta leading 7-6. The defensive end beat two blockers from the New York 15, chased Kanell near the goal line and tipped the ball out of his hands, caught it and scoring.

    A 39-yard touchdown pass from Danny Kanell to David Patten got the Giants within 14-13 late in the first half and New York had a chance to grab the lead when Tim Dwight fumbled the kickoff return. However, former Giants linebacker Ben Talley recovered.

    Kanell, who threw three interceptions in last week's 20-3 loss to Tampa Bay, finished 11 of 21 for 100 yards and two lost fumbles. He was also sacked five times before being relieved in the fourth quarter by Kent Graham, who scored on a 5-yard run. Brad Daluiso accounted for the Giants' other points with field goals of 46 and 45 yards.

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