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Giants allow precious seconds to tick away at end of first half

Josh Brown of the New York Giants converts

Josh Brown of the New York Giants converts a field goal at the end of the first half of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 3, 2016 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Adam Bettcher

MINNEAPOLIS — In their 24-10 loss to the Vikings on Monday night, the Giants kicked a field goal at the end of the first half to make the score 14-3. It could have been more. It probably should have been more.

After Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz on a 10-yard completion to the 17 with about 17 seconds remaining, the Giants did not call timeout to afford themselves what could have been two more shots at the end zone. Instead, they ran a hurry-up play that went incomplete on a pass to Cruz, stopping the clock with six seconds left, and after a delay-of-game penalty, they had to settle for a 40-yard field goal by Josh Brown.

“We wanted to beat them in transition,” Ben McAdoo said of the decision to end the half with a timeout in their pocket. “We wanted to beat them in transition and get a completion on it as opposed to giving them time to get their D-line fresh and huddle up.”

Stopping the clock after the Cruz completion might have allowed the Giants two quick-pass chances to score. The danger, of course, is that Manning is sacked or takes too long in the pocket, but those should be avoided by coaching.

“If you have to hold on to the ball at all, there is a chance the clock will run out,” McAdoo said.

In a game in which scoring was at a premium for both teams, those four points at halftime might have been worth the risk.


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