When the Atlanta Falcons signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio last week, they probably had no idea the important role he would play.
The second-year player, signed when Matt Bryant suffered a hamstring injury on his final kick last week, kicked three field goals on the Monday Night Football stage. The last one, a career-long 56-yarder, was the difference maker and gave the Falcons a 23-20 win over the visiting New York Giants at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta won its second straight game and improved to 3-4, while New York dropped to 1-6.
"It was unbelievable," quarterback Matt Ryan said. "I mean it was still going. He did a great job for us coming in on short notice and playing really well. The confidence that Dan Quinn has in that situation to let it rip, great kick by him, great execution. I'm happy for him. That was fun to see."
Tavecchio was 3-for-3 on field goal, making them from 40, 50 and 56 yards. The final kick came with 2:00 on the clock and gave Atlanta at 23-12 lead, requiring the Giants to score twice.
"It's Monday Night Football at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I just got here," Tavecchio said. "Things are kind of new. Maybe it makes it easier to be more detached. I just want to continue to focus on my routine and give my best to this team."
The Falcons got another stellar effort from quarterback Matt Ryan. He completed 31 of 39 passes, including his final 18, for 379 yards and one touchdown. Ryan was sacked three times, but did not throw an interception and was able to connect with 10 different receivers.
Giants linebacker Kareem Martin was impressed by Ryan's performance. "He is one of the elite quarterbacks," Martin said. "We've got to keep constant pressure and be great in coverage because he can make all the throws and he likes to spread the ball around."
Most of the passes went to Julio Jones, who caught nine of 12 targets for 104 yards. Rookie Calvin Ridley had five catches for 43 yards. The touchdown went to Marvin Hall, a 47-yarder in the second quarter that helped the Falcons build a 10-3 halftime lead.
"All the receivers came in and played," Jones said. "We have some great talented wide receivers. Whenever their number is called, they're going to go out and execute and make plays. Marvin did a great job for us today on that deep ball."
Atlanta had trouble running the ball, particularly after starting guard Brandon Fusco left the game with a lower-body injury in the first half. The Falcons rushed 20 times for 67 yards, but 30 of those came from Tevin Coleman to complete a fourth-quarter touchdown drive.