Grading the Giants in win over Saints

Jed Collins fumbles in the first quarter and

Jed Collins fumbles in the first quarter and Linval Joseph of the Giants recovers. (Dec. 9, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

OFFENSE B+ The Giants scored 52 points, but it easily could have been more. They missed a field goal and had two drives halted by interceptions. The Giants wanted touchdowns and they were 4-for-5 in the red zone. Eli Manning wasn't particularly sharp, underthrowing a number of passes, but he completed 22 of 35 for 259 yards and four touchdowns. David Wilson rushed for 100 yards and the team totaled 135 for the game.

 

DEFENSE B Four turnovers were the key for the unit, but there were too many big plays and quick strikes to make the game comfortable until the end of the fourth quarter. They allowed 142 rushing yards and Drew Brees threw for 354. The Giants also had only one sack. But they did hold the Saints to no offensive touchdowns in the first half, including a pair of red-zone stops.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS A Lawrence Tynes missed a field goal for the second straight week, this time a 36-yarder, and that could be a concern down the stretch. But the remarkable play of Wilson and even Jerrel Jernigan on kickoff returns was enough to overshadow that error. The Giants averaged 47.8 yards per kickoff return and had an average starting field position on their own 48. Their kickoff coverage was great, too, allowing 18.6 per return including a thumping stop by Mark Herzlich.

 

COACHING B+ Tom Coughlin has been preaching urgency and the Giants, a team that always seems to respond best to dire situations, responded. Even without Kenny Phillips the Giants used a three-safety look with Will Hill and it paid off, allowing Antrel Rolle to be a playmaker. The Giants stuck with the running game even when it wasn't working well early and it paid off with Wilson's best game of his rookie season. It's not clear what Coughlin saw to make him challenge a 44-yard pass to Joseph Morgan in the fourth quarter, but it left him 1-1 in challenges.

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