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Giants’ grades: Special teams gets F after Bobby Rainey’s mishap

Bobby Rainey #43 of the New York Giants

Bobby Rainey #43 of the New York Giants warms up before the NFC Wild Card game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Jan.  8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Credit: Getty Images / Jonathan Daniel


Scoring has been a struggle for this team all season, and it continued against the Packers. The Giants had opportunities early, but Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard each dropped a potential touchdown pass and Beckham dropped a pass that would have produced a first down in the first two possessions. Eli Manning seemed to be on point and completed 23 of 44 passes for 299 yards but was sabotaged by drops. The running game (59 yards on 16 running back carries) returned to stagnation.


The NYPD — New York Pass Defense — was out of its jurisdiction, especially when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left early. Aaron Rodgers’ 362 passing yards and four TD passes were season highs against the Giants, as were the 38 points allowed. There were flashes, such as the four first-half sacks and the fourth-and-1 stop early in the third period that allowed the Giants to close to 14-13, but the strength of the Giants all season was shredded in the final quarter and a half.


Bobby Rainey made the worst special-teams play of the season when he caught a kickoff going out of bounds at the 3-yard line and his momentum carried him out there as well. Robbie Gould kicked field goals of 26 and 40 yards, but beyond that, it was a pretty bad showing for a group that had been a strength. Brad Wing did not punt well and the coverage was off on his kicks; Green Bay’s Micah Hyde had five returns for 50 yards. Giants punt returner Dwayne Harris returned three punts a total of 4 yards and was pinned inside the 20 each time.


Ben McAdoo had to know Mike McCarthy was salivating for a TD right before the half, but he still tried to run Rainey on third-and-1 rather than use one of his better-suited running backs. The Rainey kickoff return also goes on the coaching staff as a mental error; he needs to know the rules better even if he is the backup returner behind Harris. It’s also tough not having your best athlete, Odell Beckham Jr., on the field playing safety to help knock down that Hail Mary. McAdoo said it was “a possibility,” and he had done it earlier in the season, but in this case, he kept Beckham on the sideline while his defensive backs got boxed out.

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