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Giants grades: Coaching gets highest mark; special teams gets F-plus

Tom Coughlin applauds his team after a touchdown

Tom Coughlin applauds his team after a touchdown during a game against the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. (Nov. 10, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac



Andre Brown's 115-yard rushing performance was impressive and inspiring, but his workload was probably swollen because of Peyton Hillis' fumble in the first quarter. The Giants offense, after two clean games, reverted to its turnover ways, including an interception off Eli Manning that was returned for a touchdown. The Giants had two meaty drives -- 90 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown and 70 yards in 13 plays for a field goal -- but had three three-and-outs.



The Giants allowed an offensive touchdown for the first time in over 10 quarters of play, and it came on a 5-yard drive after the Raiders recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. Other than that they kept the Oakland offense out of the end zone. The Raiders converted only 2 of 12 third downs and were limited to 213 offensive yards. Terrell Thomas had a timely interception and Antrel Rolle and Trumaine McBride had important tackles. Keith Rivers had eight tackles and while he whiffed on a sack (as several Giants did) he was as active as he's been all season.



Imagine blocking a punt for a touchdown for the first time since 1988, and still flunking on special teams? Welcome to the 2013 Giants' season. Steve Weatherford had a late punt blocked for the first time in his career (not to mention a pair of kicks off the side of his foot), Rueben Randle made several silly decisions returning punts including fielding one over his head at his own 2, and of course Jerrel Jernigan fumbled the opening kickoff. They also allowed a 41-yard kickoff return.



Tom Coughlin gave his team a pep talk at halftime and it worked. "He really got us fired up," Jon Beason said. "I think he's 67 years old, but he's still got it. He lights that fire. It starts with him." The Giants probably gave Brown a few more carries than they intended to, but it was effective. Defensively, they had a good plan to contain Terrelle Pryor on the run and limited him to a season-low 19 yards. Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn has some 'splaining to do.

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