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Giants grades: Defense, coaching fail solid offense

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin talks

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin talks to officials in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Butch Dill


B+They certainly put up a lot of yards and a lot of points. But at the most inopportune time they had a three-and-out in the final half minute to help set up the Saints' deciding field goal. Eli Manning had one of his best games ever with six touchdowns. The running game had two good gains of 17 yards, but on the rest of their 19 carries they managed only 53 yards and were stuffed badly on short-yardage situations.


FCan the grade go any lower? A 'G,' perhaps? One of the worst exhibitions of Giants defense in years, and that's in a game in which they scored on an interception! Drew Brees ate them up for 511 passing yards and a record-tying seven TDs. "We just had a breakdown in the defense all day," safety Landon Collins said, "and he picked us apart." The Saints had 36 first downs and punted just twice.


CLike the offense, a what-have-you-done-lately grade. The late punt, long return and facemask penalty after the forced fumble put the Saints in position to win. Other than that, the unit performed pretty well. Brad Wing had a punt downed inside the 5-yard line and another that could have been. Josh Brown connected on all of the extra points, including a 38-yard attempt after a flag. And Brown's kickoffs, which had been sagging lately, were back to form.


FSteve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator for one year in New Orleans and they had the worst defense in NFL history. His return did little to erase those memories. The Giants took some offensive risks, including when they scored the opening TD on fourth-and-goal rather than settle for a field goal. In the third quarter they faced fourth-and-3 near midfield and perhaps could have gone for it. Give this to Tom Coughlin: He didn't allow the team to get down on itself after facing a pair of 14-point deficits.

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