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Grading the Giants

Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants

Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants instructs his teammates before a snap against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac



Other than Odell Beckham Jr., it was a rather lackluster performance. Of course that's like saying other than Bogart and Bergman, "Casablanca" is a dull film. But the Giants really had very little to offer other than their star receiver. He accounted for 143 of their 250 passing yards and was targeted on nearly half of their passes (15 of 34). Meanwhile, the running game was sluggish (49 yards on 22 carries) and failed to convert a pair of short-yardage attempts. The Giants converted just 4 of 13 third downs. They allowed only one sack, though, and no turnovers.




They're still giving up chunk plays -- seven of 20 or more yards Sunday -- plus a 9-yard TD reception to a wide-open Chris Thompson in the first half, but they allowed just the one touchdown and did not allow a touchdown on three other red-zone possessions that included two goal-to-goes. Seventy of the 144 rushing yards they allowed were to the quarterbacks, which has been a bugaboo all season. It took a bit for them to adjust to Robert Griffin III, but they eventually did and sacked him seven times.




Steve Weatherford had a banner day with five of his six punts downed inside the 20, two of them caught on the fly by gunner Zack Bowman. The Giants benefited from yet another perfectly executed onside kick by Josh Brown, this one recovered by Chandler Fenner at the start of the second half. Preston Parker had a 45-yard kickoff return.




While preparing for two quarterbacks was a hardship during the week when Washington's situation was up in the air, it paid off by having the Giants ready for both Colt McCoy and Griffin.

Curiously, Tom Coughlin tried to convert a fourth-and-1 late in the game rather than kick what might have been a 45-yard field goal attempt that could have made the score 20-13. Instead the Giants turned it over on downs.

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