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Giants grades: Offense, coaching get an 'A'

Eli Manning of the New York Giants celebrates

Eli Manning of the New York Giants celebrates after throwing an 80-yard touchdown pass during the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on Dec. 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Mo. Credit: Getty Images / Dilip Vishwanat



The best performance of the season in what was supposed to be the Giants' biggest challenge of this final month of the season. They had 514 total yards, running for 128 and passing for 386. They controlled the line of scrimmage, allowing only one sack of Eli Manning and opening holes for the running backs. They converted 8 of 17 third downs and were 3-for-7 in the red zone (3-for-6 before taking a knee three times to end the game).




Kerry Wynn had a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery for a J.J. Watt-like stat line. The Rams had 387 total yards but converted only one third down in six opportunities. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had two interceptions that were negated by penalties. The Giants remain susceptible to big plays and the Rams had three passes of at least 20 yards, including a 47-yarder to Chris Givens for a touchdown.




A turnover on a first-quarter kickoff allowed the Giants to take an early 10-0 lead. Josh Brown kicked three field goals, including a 52-yarder in the fourth quarter that basically sealed the game. But he also had a later field goal blocked and picked up a penalty for unnecessary roughness. The Giants didn't get much action on their return games, although Odell Beckham Jr. made a nice play faking a fair catch. That created confusion on a punt that should have been downed by the Rams inside the 5 but wound up being a touchback.




A lot of penalties, yes, but Tom Coughlin and crew did a nice job of regaining the composure of the team in the second half and not allowing the fiery emotions of the brawl to interfere with the play. Coughlin won a challenge and probably should have challenged a long reception by Kenny Britt along the sideline (there was no timely replay on TV for the staff to see). A Wildcat snap to Beckham in the first quarter? Wow.

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