Updated 01/08/2012 06:09 PM
Giants Crush Falcons In Their First Post-Season Game
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The New York Giants defeated their fellow wildcard rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, by 24-2 in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium on Sunday, and now Big Blue is gearing up to face the Green Bay Packers, the defending Super Bowl champions, next week.
After a low-scoring first half defined by defense, New York broke the game wide open with a pair of explosive touchdowns.
Late in the third quarter, Eli Manning connected with Hakeem Niks for a 72-yard reception.
Then in the fourth quarter, Manning hit Mario Manningham in the end zone to let Big Blue win its first home playoff game in 10 years.
The Giants clinched a playoff berth last week with a win over the Dallas Cowboys, securing the National Football Conference East title.
"It's amazing to see how this team can play when I cried loud like that, and we probably won better games," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. "We got a shutout on defense."
"We're going to go out that and give all our effort and we will win," said said Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Fans of Big Blue leaving the stadium said they were thrilled with the team's strong performance, and some said they had never heard louder crowds at the Meadowlands.
"The crowd was loud, proud and out of control," said one Giants fan. "It was a great time had be all.
"It was loud," said another. "I have season tickets, I'm there all the time and it was the loudest I've ever seen. It was unbelievable."
They also foresaw a victory in next week's game against the Cheeseheads of Green Bay.
"We're going to boycott cheese for the whole week, in reference to the Giants beating Green Bay," said a third. "Nobody in the tri-state area will eat cheese for one week!"
Madame Tussaud's statue of Eli Manning
Meanwhile, Madame Tussaud's wax museum in Midtown got into the Giants' playoffs spirt by featuring its replica of Eli Manning in the lobby.
The statue stands over a pile of scattered feathers, next to a sign reading "Pluck the Falcons! Go New York Giants!"
"I think the statue's fabulous. Very life-like," said one viewer. "It looks real from here. I haven't actually met him in person, but it does look real, yes."
"It's very realistic. Especially the eyes. They did a good job with the eyes," said another viewer.
Manning actively participated in the creation of his wax figure and donated the uniform and helmet.
Before Sunday, the Giants had not won a playoff game since winning Super Bowl XLII in 2007.
The Giants face the Packers in Wisconsin on January 15.