Giants Q&A: Jerrel Jernigan makes most of his chance

Jerrel Jernigan (12) scores a touchdown, defended by

Jerrel Jernigan (12) scores a touchdown, defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Bill Bentley (28) and free safety Louis Delmas (26), during the second quarter. (Dec. 22, 2013) (Credit: AP)

With Victor Cruz on the shelf, how did Jerrel Jernigan spend the night before his big opportunity?

Well, it wasn't pretty. The third-year wide receiver had a stomach bug Saturday night that put his availability for Sunday's game in jeopardy. It wasn't until he woke up feeling better Sunday morning that he knew he'd be able to play.

Did Tom Coughlin consider a 59-yard field-goal attempt on that fourth-and-7 in overtime?

No. He decided between a punt and going for it. "The one that Josh [Brown] hit during the game [from 52], he could have kicked a 60-yarder with that kick,'' Coughlin said. "But I didn't consider it . . . I was thinking that we would probably have to kick a 56-yarder or something like that.''

Is there a new Giants running back?

Hardly. After Jernigan's big fourth-down conversion, Eli Manning wasn't sure if the low pass actually had been completed, so he wanted to run a play quickly and avoid a review. The only person he could hand the ball to was the tight end-turned fullback-turned tailback Bear Pascoe, who ran for 2 yards.

It sure was thoughtful of Manning to center the ball for Brown's winning 45-yard field-goal attempt, huh?

Not quite. "It's funny, because they were like, 'Where do you want the ball?' and I said, 'On the right hash,' '' Brown said. "Then he moved it in the middle. I was like, 'OK, I guess we'll kick from the middle.' ''

How was Calvin Johnson defended?

For one of the first times this season, the Giants shadowed a receiver with a cornerback, moving Prince Amukamara from side to side with the dangerous Johnson when he was on the outside (Antrel Rolle covered him when he was in the slot).

Amukamara held Johnson to three catches for 43 yards and nearly had an interception when he jumped a slant route. It helped that Johnson hardly practiced all week and was visibly limited by a knee injury.

Any other injuries?

Justin Tuck seemed to have an issue with his neck and was icing his right knee after the game. Nicks dislocated a finger for the third time this season. And on his overtime fumble, Andre Brown suffered a concussion. Michael Cox could be the only healthy running back available in Week 17. Besides Pascoe, obviously.

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