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Grading the Giants

Markus Kuhn #78 of the New York Giants

Markus Kuhn #78 of the New York Giants is congratulated by teammate Jason Pierre-Paul #90 after recovering a fumble and scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter in a game at LP Field on Dec. 7, 2014 in Nashville. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frederick Breedon



Three-win teams that become four-win teams generally should not pick nits. But in Sunday's effort, the Giants could have done better in some areas. They had to settle for field goals on two first-and-goal situations, were just 1-for-5 in red-zone efficiency, and Eli Manning threw a pick-six in the third quarter. Still, it was the Giants' most balanced performance of the season with 142 rushing yards on 30 carries and 260 passing yards on 43 attempts.




A virtual shutout for the defense, which did not allow any offensive points. They had eight sacks, two interceptions and scored a defensive touchdown, the team's first of the year. They also knocked Zach Mettenberger out of the game on a hard sack by Devon Kennard. The Titans converted just two third-down attempts and were 1-for-3 on fourth downs. Had Jason Pierre-Paul recovered his forced fumble on a sack at the end of the first half, an A-plus might be in order.




Josh Brown made a strong case for NFC special teams player of the week with five field goals, including a 52-yarder that helped cauterize the game after Manning's pick-six. He had enough leg to have been good from another 15 yards away. Odell Beckham Jr. averaged 12.3 yards on four punt returns and it feels as if he is going to break one soon. Coordinator Tom Quinn might not have been happy with Steve Weatherford's punt for a touchback, but his 40.5-yard net and a late punt fair caught at the 4-yard line probably soothed any hard feelings.




Ben McAdoo certainly found a way to get Beckham more involved, even allowing him to show off his arm with an option pass in which he chucked a perfect spiral 60 yards and overthrew his target. He had 11 catches on 15 targets, one rushing attempt and that incomplete pass. Defensively, the Giants have had success dialing up blitzes and getting home on them in the last two weeks. Four of their eight sacks were by non-defensive linemen.


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