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Grading the Giants

Andre Williams #44 of the Giants runs in

Andre Williams #44 of the Giants runs in a touchdown past Paul Worrilow #55 of the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of a game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac



The Giants have traded in explosiveness for efficiency. They gained a mere 317 yards on offense, had one pass play for more than 20 yards and two runs for more than 10, and yet scored 30 points without benefiting from a takeaway. Eli Manning completed 19 of 30 passes for 200 yards. Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams totaled 120 rushing yards on 30 carries. Seven different receivers caught passes. The Giants converted 9 of 15 third downs and had just one three-and-out.




Julio Jones caught eight passes for 88 yards in the first half and the Giants had very little pressure on Matt Ryan. Things changed dramatically in the second half when, with the exception of one 74-yard touchdown, they clamped down on the Falcons. The Giants' one takeaway was a Quintin Demps interception that he fumbled back to Atlanta. Johnathan Hankins' sack on fourth down with 4:40 left sealed the win. The Falcons converted just 2 of 13 third downs.




They did an OK job of bottling up dangerous Devin Hester, who had a 25-yard punt return early and a 22-yard kickoff return. The problems came when they had the ball in their own hands. Preston Parker fumbled a kickoff return that could have been very costly and Demps keeps taking kickoffs out of the end zone with little success. Josh Brown kicked three key field goals, two of them from impressive distances of 49 and 50 yards.




The Giants' defense adjusted well in the second half, calling more stunts and putting linebackers on the short underneath routes, but that should have been in the game plan from the start given the Falcons' crippling injuries on the offensive line. The Giants did a nice job of easing Odell Beckham Jr. into the offense, starting him slowly and then, by the end of the game, making him a key cog. And they didn't call a pass play on fourth-and-1 late in the game. So there's that.


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