New York Giants: Report Card

Report Card: Grading the Giants' draft

April, 27, 2013
4/27/13
3:30
PM ET

Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
Round 1, 19th pick

Analysis: A lot of the players the Giants were eyeing had been picked. Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker, Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and LSU safety Eric Reid were all gone. In fact, the Niners traded with the Cowboys to take Reid right before the Giants picked. So the Giants opted to fill a big need with an offensive lineman they feel can play tackle, guard or center.

Jerry Reese said he could not pass on Pugh's versatility. While they did pass on a potential top-10 talent in DT Sharrif Floyd, the Giants got a guy who could potentially enter the mix to start at right tackle this season. At the very least, Pugh offers immediate and much-needed depth on the line that Reese knows isn't getting any younger. Pugh could be a starter in 2014 when Kevin Boothe and David Diehl are expected to be free agents.


Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Round 2, 17th pick (No. 49 overall)

Analysis: The Giants have made it clear that they are looking to solidify themselves in the trenches with their first two picks. In the second round, the Giants added more beef -- a lot of beef -- to the defensive line. Hankins gives the Giants 320-plus pounds to plug inside for a unit that finished 25th against the run last year. He should complement more agile defensive tackles like Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins with his wide body. But with the depth at defensive tackle for this season, Hankins might see limited snaps. His biggest impact may come in 2014. Joseph is entering the final year of his deal and Mike Patterson and Shaun Rogers are on one-year deals. Even though they could have gone cornerback or defensive end, the Giants clearly want to keep their defensive interior stocked with a young prospect. Hankins is the third defensive tackle drafted in the second round by the Giants in their last four drafts.


Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Round 3, 19th pick (No. 81 overall)

Analysis: The Giants may have gotten terrific value with Moore, who was considered to be a potential first-round talent. The defensive end also has the kind of production that excites the Giants with 26.5 sacks in three seasons. Moore has the tools to be a "joker" hybride type of player but Jerry Reese envisions him as an edge rusher. The Giants, who like Moore's effort on tape, needed to come out with a pass rusher in this draft with Osi Umenyiora gone and Justin Tuck entering the final year of his contract.

Moore, 20, may have dropped to the third round because of concerns over his maturity and a slow combine time (4.9). He was arrested for marijuana possession in 2011 and Tom Coughlin said Moore has to improve his practice habits. His biggest immediate impact may come on special teams but the Giants hope he can compete for snaps in the pass rusher rotation this season.


Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Round 4, 13th pick (No. 110 overall)

Analysis: It's hard to argue with the value the Giants got with this pick. Some thought Nassib could go as high as the first round, and the Giants had him rated as a guy with second-round value. They have been looking for a quarterback to groom behind Eli Manning for "a while" according to Jerry Reese. But they had to trade up to grab Nassib and gave up their sixth-round pick. And quarterback isn't a need, since Manning never misses a game. There were a lot of good players on the board for the Giants to take to fill other needs, like at CB, S, LB and TE. But the Giants went for a quarterback of the future, one that Reese likens to Cincinnati's Andy Dalton. The problem is, when will he play? That answer could be several years from now. Reese even admitted that if he never plays, that would be the ideal situation, since that would mean Manning is healthy and good. But I do commend the Giants for addressing an issue they've ignored to a certain degree, and they now have a future plan if Manning were ever to get seriously injured.


Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond
Round 5, 19th pick (No. 152 overall)

Analysis: The Giants might have helped themselves in two areas with this pick. Taylor is a 6-4, 228-pound safety who may be able to play outside linebacker as well. That means he could potentially play the Deon Grant third-safety role. The Giants like to use a three-safety look on passing downs, and Taylor appears to have the size and speed (clocked 4.49 at his pro day) to cover tight ends (and maybe even a slot receiver) and tackle. This coming season, he could factor in on special teams and perhaps push for the third safety spot with an impressive camp. Next season he could have a bigger impact with Stevie Brown playing on a one-year tender. The negative on Taylor is that he had surgery to correct a heart condition (Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome) and has dealt with a series of injuries the past two seasons.

Eric Herman, OG, Ohio
Round 7, 19th pick (No. 225 overall)

Analysis: The Giants passed on a chance to add a cornerback or linebacker and took another offensive lineman. Herman is a large guard (6-4, 320) who may not be athletic but has a nasty disposition and plays physical. In other words, he fits exactly what the Giants like in their offensive linemen. Herman may come from a small school but the Giants believe he will create competition for a roster spot and add to the depth of the offensive line. The Giants repeatedly used the words tough, physical and nasty with Herman.

Michael Cox, RB, UMass
Round 7, 47th pick (No. 253 overall)

Analysis: The Giants are hoping to strike it big again with a running back taken late in the seventh round. They used their compensatory pick on UMass' Michael Cox. Cox rushed for just 715 yards and five touchdowns as a graduate student transfer from Michigan, where he was a backup. He had just 19 carries while at UMass. But the Giants absolutely love his size (6-0, 214), speed and hands and think he could challenge Da'Rel Scott and Ryan Torain at the third running back spot. They did pass on a linebacker and cornerback in the draft but who are we to doubt the Giants, who found Ahmad Bradshaw once upon a time in the seventh round in 2007.


Report Card: High marks, disappointing end

December, 30, 2012
12/30/12
10:47
PM ET

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning threw for a career-high five touchdowns, four coming in the first half alone. Hakeem Nicks, hobbled by a knee injury, suited up but rookie Rueben Randle was featured in the game plan. And the second-round pick responded with his best day as a pro with two touchdown catches, including one over Nnamdi Asomugha.

RUSHING OFFENSE

The Giants started rookie David Wilson, who responded with 75 yards and a 15-yard touchdown catch. Despite his knee injury, Ahmad Bradshaw looked fresh and ran hard for 107 yards and a touchdown to crack 1,000 yards on the season. Bradshaw and Wilson split carries almost evenly and effectively, perhaps giving a glimpse of things to come next season?

PASSING DEFENSE

Michael Vick looked rusty after his six-game layoff and completed just 19-of-35 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown. The Giants only got one sack on Vick but they hit him seven times officially and Stevie Brown set the tone with an interception and 48-yard return on the first drive that helped set up the Giants' first touchdown.

RUSHING DEFENSE

LeSean McCoy was held to 45 yards rushing but he only saw 10 carries as Andy Reid went to airing it out in his Eagles' finale. It certainly looked like McCoy could have rushed for a lot more but the Giants didn't have to worry about that. Michael Vick scrambled for 25 yards and the Eagles still gained a total of 110 yards on the ground.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The game started off with the Eagles successfully recovering a surprise onside kick. But the Giants didn't have any other big mistakes on special teams after that. Steve Weatherford had two punts inside the 20 and the Giants kept the Eagles' returners in check. Philadelphia also missed a 28-yard field goal.

COACHING

Looking at just what the Giants could control and had to do on Sunday, Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff found a way to awaken their slumbering team even if it was too little, too late. The Giants dominated with a lot of help from the hapless Eagles. But they won and gave themselves a chance even though they were eliminated moments after their win. The coaches got creative with personnel, featuring rookies David Wilson and Rueben Randle. Eli set a career high with five touchdowns and the defense held the Eagles to just one touchdown.



Report Card: Baltimore chopped

December, 24, 2012
12/24/12
9:00
AM ET

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning was under pressure most of the day and was hit nine times and sacked three times. Manning was able to throw for only 150 yards but he did manage a late touchdown to Domenik Hixon. The hobbled Hakeem Nicks, though, finished with no catches for the first time and Victor Cruz had only three catches for 21 yards. The Giants' aerial attack has been grounded.

RUSHING OFFENSE

Ahmad Bradshaw played through a painful knee injury and ran for 39 yards. David Wilson was one of the very few lone bright spots for the Giants with a 14-yard touchdown run. The Giants rushed for 67 yards on just 14 carries but the running game was a non-factor overall.

PASSING DEFENSE

Joe Flacco looked way too comfortable and threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns. He went after Corey Webster, who struggled badly. Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin were open far too many times and Ray Rice also scored too easily on a 27-yard catch. The Giants got just one sack late in the game.

RUSHING DEFENSE

After talking all week about tackling better, the Giants let Baltimore flatten them for 224 yards on the ground. Rice had 107 yards and backup Bernard Pierce gained 123 -- 78 coming on one run. Flacco scored a touchdown on a QB sneak.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The special teams didn't do anything special but it also didn't do anything to lose this game. Steve Weatherford was busy with eight punts. David Wilson averaged 23.4 yards on kickoff returns and the Giants kept Baltimore's dangerous returner, Jacoby Jones, in check.

COACHING

For the second straight week, the Giants were completely outclassed with their playoff fate still within their grasp. They have gone from having control of the NFC East to now needing help to get into the playoffs. But most disturbing is the Giants' lack of fire and energy with so much on the line.



Report Card: Straight F's

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
9:30
AM ET
video

RUSHING OFFENSE

David Wilson's big debut as a starter saw him only get 12 carries. He still gained 55 yards and had a long gain of 25 yards but the big explosive runs were not there. Overall, he got 13 touches with his one reception for 11 yards.

Kregg Lumpkin had nine carries and gained 42 yards but he did lose a fumble. The Giants nearly rushed for 100 yards total but they failed to convert on two third-and-1 plays that led to the Giants going for it and failing on fourth down. On one of the fourth downs, Wilson was stuffed on the left side. The Giants did lose Chris Snee for portions of game with a hip injury.

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning threw two picks, one coming on the second play of the game and his first passing attempt. The Giants couldn't get much going at all through the air as Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks accounted for a total of six catches for 55 yards. The Giants simply are not going to win when those two are that quiet.

Manning was sacked only once but under pressure a few times. Martellus Bennett saw just two targets.

RUSHING DEFENSE

Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers only combined for 77 yards but the Falcons always seemed to be able to move the ball when needed.

Turner scored the first touchdown of the game and set the tone by breaking tackles. The Giants allowed a total of 129 yards on the ground and never really could get a momentum-turning stop.

PASSING DEFENSE

Matt Ryan looked too comfortable, completing 23-of-28 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants couldn't shut down Julio Jones, who had two touchdowns and Tony Gonzalez caught a touchdown as well.

The Giants did find a way to slow down Roddy White but it certainly felt like the Falcons could do whatever they wanted to when they needed to.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Steve Weatherford did have a net average of 50 yards on two punts but the normally sure Lawrence Tynes missed a 30-yard field goal attempt that kind of epitomizes the Giants' debacle.

David Wilson was unable to get past the 25 on kickoffs.

COACHING

The Giants were outclassed in almost every phase. The offense looked out of sync and inept when failing on three fourth-down attempts.

Defensively, the Giants couldn't make a big play to help turn the game and allowed Julio Jones to seal the game with a 40-yard touchdown early in the third.

Overall, the Giants just looked like they had very little life in them. Losing 34-0 in a game this late with so much on the line is unacceptable.



Report Card: Giants march past Saints

December, 9, 2012
12/09/12
11:58
PM ET

RUSHING OFFENSE

David Wilson finally broke out with his first 100-yard game and two touchdowns, including a 52-yarder at the end. This has to lead to more touches in the coming weeks.

A banged up Ahmad Bradshaw was able to gain only 33 yards on 11 carries. His health will remain a concern the remainder of the season.

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning threw four touchdowns but he had two interceptions, including a 73-yard pick-six early in the game.

Still, the offense looked better in the red zone and Eli got Victor Cruz (8 catches for 121 yards and one TD), Martellus Bennett (five catches, 32 yards, one TD), Hakeem Nicks (four catches, 67 yards, one TD) and Domenik Hixon (three catches, 30 yards, one TD) all involved. The offensive line also did not surrender a sack.

RUSHING DEFENSE

The Giants had to give up something when it comes to Drew Brees. And they managed to make sure the Saints didn't hurt them too much on the ground.

New Orleans rushed for 142 yards but had only one touchdown coming on a Darren Sproles score. Sproles had a 34-yard run against the Giants, who need to improve on run defense.

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants held Brees, who routinely drops 40-plus on them, to one touchdown and two interceptions. Stevie Brown had the two interceptions. Brown and Antrel Rolle both forced fumbles and Rolle recovered one.

Josh Morgan had two big receptions but the Giants kept big plays to a minimum against a team that usually burns them. Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Lance Moore were all held in check.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Wilson was spectacular, compiling 227 yards on kickoff returns and scoring his first return touchdown on a 97-yarder. The blocking was terrific.

The coverage team held Sproles in check on punt returns. The only negative was Lawrence Tynes missing a field goal. Hixon also took over punt return duties.

COACHING

With the Redskins and Cowboys breathing down their necks, the Giants answered with a monster win against a team that has tormented them. Even though they might not have had a choice due to injuries, the Giants finally turned to Wilson, and the rookie produced. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride got the team revving again.

Like he did against Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell came up with a game plan to slow down Brees. Special teams coach Tom Quinn deserves credit for exposing the Saints' special teams on kickoffs. Head coach Tom Coughlin got his team to rebound in a big way from the Redskins loss.



Report Card: Top of the class

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
11:11
AM ET


A

RUSHING OFFENSE

The Giants' rushing attack was back. They ran for 147 yards on 31 carries. Ahmad Bradshaw looked fresh and ran hard off the bye with 58 yards on 10 carries and had a touchdown. Andre Brown ran for 64 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown but unfortunately broke his fibula.

A-

PASSING OFFENSE

Tired arm? Eli Manning ended a three-game touchdown drought with three against Green Bay. He had no interceptions and the offensive line allowed just one sack despite losing David Diehl to a burner.

Hakeem Nicks looked closer to his old self after the bye break and had a touchdown and a 30-yard catch-and-run. He might've had another touchdown if Manning didn't miss him on a bomb with an underthrown pass. Victor Cruz scored on a short touchdown, Rueben Randle added another TD and the Giants even got something out of their screen-play offense with a 59-yard catch-and-run by Bradshaw.

A

RUSHING DEFENSE

The Packers rushed for 116 yards on 26 carries but really it felt like they ran that much in an effort to keep the Giants off Aaron Rodgers' back.

The Packers' longest run of the night was a 12-yard run by Randall Cobb. Rodgers ran all over the field but only managed 22 yards as the Giants managed to contain the mobile quarterback.

A

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants' lone mistake was a 61-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. Otherwise, the Giants defense did a terrific job against the Packers' high-powered offense.

The Giants were concerned about Randall Cobb and it showed as they held Cob to four catches for 39 yards. They sacked Rodgers five times, hit him seven times and picked him off once. With Kenny Phillips back, the Giants brought back the three-safety wrinkle and it worked.

A

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Giants held Randall Cobb to just 20 yards on two punt returns and an average of 26 yards on six kickoff returns. They even used Antrel Rolle on kickoff coverage to help out.

Lawrence Tynes made a 43-yarder. Rueben Randle's one muffed punt return was really the only negative.

A+

COACHING

The Giants clearly accomplished what they wanted to during the bye. They self-scouted and tried to figure out ways to spark the team. They got creative with their personnel usage - especially on defense  and dominated Green Bay.

The defending champions started their final six-game stretch to close the season in dominant fashion.





Report Card: Needs improving ... much

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
11:08
AM ET


Here's a report card for the Giants from their 24-20 loss to the Steelers on Sunday.

D-plus

RUSHING OFFENSE

The Giants scored a touchdown with Andre Brown's 1-yard dive, but they were able to gain only 68 yards total on 22 carries.

Ahmad Bradshaw managed 48 yards on 15 carries and Brown added 20 yards. The Giants must be able to run the ball better than this, especially when Eli Manning is struggling.

F

PASSING OFFENSE

The Giants' passing attack is ice cold. Manning completed just 10-of-24 passes for 125 yards -- his lowest total since he threw for 119 yards against the Vikings in 2008 when he played just one half.

Manning, who also was picked, tried on a few occasions to go deep, with little success. Victor Cruz had five catches for 67 yards but Hakeem Nicks was a nonfactor, with one catch for 10 yards. The offensive line gave up two sacks.

F

RUSHING DEFENSE

Steelers RB Isaac Redman rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown. But what hurt most was that the Giants couldn't get a stop when they needed one. Redman rushed for 8 yards on a third-and-2 with under five minutes left and then broke two tackles to score the go-ahead touchdown.

The Giants were missing Chase Blackburn, Keith Rivers and Jacquian Williams, but the run defense has to get better.

C

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants sacked Ben Roethlisberger (216 yards and two touchdowns) four times. Osi Umenyiora forced a fumble that led to a Michael Boley 70-yard touchdown. The D intercepted Roethlisberger once. And Corey Webster kept WR Mike Wallace in check for most of the game.

But Wallace got loose for a 51-yard catch-and-run touchdown that got the Steelers back in the game in the fourth. And when the D needed a stop on a third-and-9 to get the ball back with 2:40 left, the Giants allowed WR Emmanuel Sanders to get loose for 16 yards.

C-

SPECIAL TEAMS

The positive: Lawrence Tynes made a 50-yard field goal and a 23-yarder. And the Giants stopped a fake field goal at their own 4-yard-line.

But Tynes missed a 51-yarder (short), and Emmanuel Sanders nearly scored before Giants punter Steve Weatherford knocked Sanders out of bounds on a 63-yard punt return. Chris Rainey also had a 68-yard kickoff return for the Steelers. Weatherford did have one nice punt inside the 20, but the Giants' usually solid return coverage was shaky Sunday.

D

COACHING

The Giants did actually lead this game 20-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. But the offense was totally inept, running a total of nine plays for minus-8 yards in the fourth.

The defense gave up 14 points in the last quarter and could not get a stop when it was needed. And special teams, a strength this season, also was shaky at times. The play calling and third-down efficiency (2-for-10) must improve.





Report card: Just skating by

October, 29, 2012
10/29/12
12:18
PM ET
video

B-minus

RUSHING OFFENSE

The Giants never seemed to be able to get the run game going but they did finish with 103 yards on the ground. Ahmad Bradshaw got 22 carries and finished with 78 yards and one fumble. Andre Brown added 21 yards on three carries and a touchdown.

On a day when they had trouble passing, the Giants got a little something out of their run game.

C-

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning failed to throw for a touchdown and finished with just 192 yards. Dallas' secondary did an even better job against Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks in the rematch by holding the two to a total of six catches for 69 yards. Rueben Randle did catch a 56-yard bomb.

The Giants were just 3-for-15 on third-down conversions and Manning only completed 15 passes. But six of the completions came in the fourth quarter on two drives that resulted in the two field goals that made the difference. So he came through when it mattered most.

B+

RUSHING DEFENSE

The Giants shut down Felix Jones to a total of 19 yards as the Cowboys pretty much abandoned the run. Tony Romo also finished with no yards rushing but Jones and Romo did both score on 1-yard runs.

Still, the Giants held Jones and his big-play potential in check and Romo was not able to scramble for any big gains. They also forced a Jones fumble.

C-minus

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants allowed Romo to throw for 437 yards and one touchdown. Jason Witten exploded for 18 catches for 167 yards. Miles Austin also had nine catches for 133 yards while Dez Bryant finished with five catches for 110 yards and it could have had more if not for his fingers.

But, the Giants intercepted Romo four times, sacked him four times and made two defensive stands to win the game in the final 3:31. Stevie Brown was outstanding with two interceptions and a forced fumble and Jason Pierre-Paul had a pick-six and a sack. Linval Joseph added two sacks and Chris Canty had a stellar game with a sack.

A-

SPECIAL TEAMS

Lawrence Tynes carried the Giants with four field goals (41, 37, 26, 43 and 37). Steve Weatherford cracked a 53-yarder that pushed Dez Bryant back before he muffed it. He recovered only to fumble and the Giants recovered to set up one of Tynes' field goals.

David Wilson averaged 21.5 yards per kickoff return and Bryant failed to hurt the Giants as a punt returner.

B-

COACHING

The Giants were practically handed a 23-0 lead. That lead should have been bigger but the Giants couldn't score more touchdowns. They failed to knock the Cowboys out and let Dallas score 24 unanswered as the offense repeatedly stalled out.

Defensively, Jason Witten shredded the Giants secondary. But, the Giants made all the winning plays to get a big road win for their third straight victory and were fortunate enough for Dez Bryant's fingers to land out of bounds.



Report card: Straight A's

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
12:11
PM ET




A

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning didn't post out-of-this-world stats with 193 yards passing and one touchdown. But the passing game was outstanding as Manning didn't turn the ball over. The offensive line was terrific in not allowing a single sack. Manning was officially hit just once and when the Giants had to move the ball, Manning hit Domenik Hixon on plays of 39 and 16 yards before finding Victor Cruz in the end zone to score the first touchdown and let the Niners know the Giants were here to win. The Giants did settle for four field goals so the red zone efficiency can improve.

A+

RUSHING OFFENSE

Ahmad Bradshaw didn't rush for 200 yards like he did last week but his 116 yards and one touchdown on the Niners may have been a bigger feat. Bradshaw joins Marshawn Lynch as the only running backs to crack 100 yards on the Niners in 44 games. The offensive line was superb and dominated the Niners in the fourth quarter as Bradshaw gained 56 yards in the final quarter. The Giants had a 13-play drive that ate up 7:10 in the fourth to finish the game.

A+

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants rattled Alex Smith and forced three interceptions out of the normally mistake-free quarterback. Antrel Rolle had two of the interceptions early in the third to set up two Giants' field goals. Prince Amukamara also had a pick. The pass rush returned with six sacks. LB/DE Mathias Kiwanuka (one sack) played up front more and Adrian Tracy also saw action and got a sack. The secondary gave up one big play to Randy Moss for 55 yards.

A

RUSHING DEFENSE

The mission was to stop Frank Gore and make the Niners have to pass. Mission accomplished as the Giants held Gore to 36 yards rushing and the Niners to a total of 80 yards on the ground. This was crucial because it allowed the Giants to win time of possession and the pass rush to attack Alex Smith.

A-

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Giants had a field goal blocked which is never good. But Lawrence Tynes made four field goals and David Wilson continued to be a force, sparking the Giants' dominant second half with a 66-yard return to open the third quarter that helped the Giants score a touchdown to go up 17-3. Numerous Giants pointed to that return as a key play in the game. The dangerous Ted Ginn also only had 22 yards on two punt returns.

A+

COACHING

Tom Coughlin set the tone for the week by stating that nobody gave the Giants a chance to win. Perry Fewell made the necessary adjustments to spark his pass rush, shut down Frank Gore and force Alex Smith into rare mistakes. Kevin Gilbride stuck with the run until the Giants pounded the Niners' defense into submission in the fourth. The Giants were balanced and had all three units in sync to not only pull off the upset but completely dominate San Francisco. Major kudos to the coaching staff.





Report card: Sparkling marks

October, 8, 2012
10/08/12
8:00
AM ET


A

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning connected with Victor Cruz on three touchdowns, and passed for 259 yards. His lone interception came when Cruz had the ball popped out of his hands by a defender.The offensive line also kept Manning from being sacked. Without Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, Manning still dissected the Browns defense with Rueben Randle (six catches for 82 yards) and Domenik Hixon (five catches for 55 yards).

A+

RUSHING OFFENSE

Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled on the first carry of the game -- and then he went off, posting a career-high 200 yards with a touchdown. David Wilson even got into it, scoring his first NFL touchdown on a 40-yard run. Andre Brown suffered a concussion and the Giants' running offense still gained 243 yards on the ground. The offensive line opened plenty of holes on this day.

B

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants gave up a 62-yard touchdown bomb from Brandon Weeden to Josh Gordon, and a late meaningless touchdown pass. They also failed to register a sack against a Browns offensive line that had allowed nine sacks coming in. But Stevie Brown, filling in for Kenny Phillips, came up with a momentum-turning interception, and Chase Blackburn also had an interception in the end zone.

B

RUSHING DEFENSE

Trent Richardson looked like he was poised for a big afternoon when he scored a touchdown early and had 67 yards by halftime. But the Browns fell behind big, and Richardson ended up with just 81 yards on 17 carries. The Giants held the Browns to under 100 yards on the ground, even without the injured Rocky Bernard inside.

B-

SPECIAL TEAMS

David Wilson couldn't get going this time, only averaging 13.5 yards per kickoff return. Andre Brown had one return for 13 yards. Joshua Cribbs had a 74-yard kick return, and would've scored if not for Mark Herzlich's touchdown-saving tackle. But Will Hill forced a Cribbs fumble and Stevie Brown recovered to help set up the go-ahead Giants touchdown in the second quarter.

A

COACHING

Opening the game down 14-0 is never ideal. But the Giants could have struggled a lot more in this game with seven key contributors inactive. The Giants avoided their usual penchant for playing down to the level of their competition and instead handled their business. The Giants' ability to keep plugging guys in, in place of injured players, is a credit to the coaching staff and front office.



Report Card: A defeat with two D's

October, 1, 2012
10/01/12
11:45
AM ET


B-

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning passed for 309 yards and two touchdowns and had the Giants in position to steal the game at the end. Manning was hit but the offensive line surrendered no sacks. Victor Cruz and Domenik Hixon came up with some big catches. But Manning threw a costly interception in the end zone from the 10-yard line to start the fourth. And he attempted a pass for Ramses Barden toward the end zone which resulted in an offensive pass interference. While Barden drew two other pass interference calls on the Eagles to keep the final drive alive, the final one forced Lawrence Tynes to have to try a 54-yard field goal.

D

RUSHING OFFENSE

Ahmad Bradshaw returned for the first time since injuring his neck against Tampa Bay but the Giants' running game was shut down. Bradshaw gained 39 yards on 13 carries. Andre Brown, the running sensation for the past two games in Bradshaw's absence, gained only 14 yards on five carries. The Giants could never get the ground game going against a stout Philadelphia defense. Brown needs to get more carries.

B-

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants held Michael Vick to 241 yards passing and one touchdown and did so while losing Kenny Phillips to injury with an already depleted secondary. But they only hit Vick three times, sacked him twice and failed to get an interception. Vick came into the game having been sacked nine times and intercepted six times. DeSean Jackson scored a touchdown and had six catches for 99 yards but Prince Amukamara did a nice job on Jeremy Maclin, who had one catch for seven yards. Brent Celek did beat the Giants for four catches for 57 yards and some first-down catches.

D+

RUSHING DEFENSE

The Giants started smothering LeSean McCoy, who had just two yards at halftime. But they lost containment and McCoy and Vick exposed the edges for big gains on the outside. McCoy ran for 121 yards in the second half, including 32 yards on the drive that resulted in the Eagles' game-winning field goal. Vick added 49 yards as the Eagles rushed for 191 yards total. The Giants did stop the Eagles inside their own 2-yard-line twice in the second half. But the Eagles held the ball for 10:28 in the fourth quarter, mostly by running over the Giants.

B

SPECIAL TEAMS

Tynes missed the would-be game-winning field goal from 54 yards out. His career-high is from 53. He did make a 25-yarder. David Wilson was electric, returning six kickoffs for 217 yards, including returns for 53 and 45 yards in the second half. He had a 48-yard return in the first half brought back for holding, though. The Giants have something with Wilson. Steve Weatherford punted five times and had a net average of 35.8 but the Eagles only had one punt return for three yards and that's good considering the history between these two teams.

B-minus

COACHING

The defense could have done a better job of containing McCoy and Vick in the second half on runs. And the Giants certainly could have played for a field goal at the end instead of throwing for Barden which resulted in a pass interference. Still, the Giants were in this one at the end and nearly stole a divisional game in probably the most hostile environment in the NFC East.



Report Card: Straight A's in Week 3

September, 21, 2012
9/21/12
10:57
AM ET
Here are my grades for the Giants' Week 3 win over the Panthers:

A

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning didn't throw for 500 yards this time but he still had an efficient and effective game. He opened with two passes and completed 27 of 35 overall. It felt like Manning could have passed for a lot more if he wanted to. The offensive line was terrific as Manning was barely touched until he was sacked late in the third quarter.

Ramses Barden was impressive in his first start for Hakeem Nicks with nine receptions for 138 yards on 10 targets. Martellus Bennett scored for the third straight game. One negative: the Giants settled for five field goals.

A

RUSHING OFFENSE

There's a reason why Jerry Reese thought Andre Brown could be like Derrick Ward but bigger. He rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 17 yards in his first career start.

For the second straight game, Brown provided a major spark to the running game. He picked up 71 yards after contact -- the most of any Giant since 2010 according to ESPN Stats and Info.

The offensive line, Bennett, Bear Pascoe and Henry Hynoski did a good job of opening holes. Rookie David Wilson only got one carry for minus-two.

A

PASSING DEFENSE

Cam Newton never got comfortable and the Giants hit him when they got a chance. He completed only 16 of 30 passes for 242 yards and was picked three times. He was sacked twice.

The explosive Steve Smith was held to four catches for 86 yards. Tight end Greg Olsen did have seven catches but the Giants reduced the big plays. Cornerbacks Corey Webster, Jayron Hosley and Prince Amukamara came up big for the thin secondary. And Michael Boley had a pick for the third straight game.

A

RUSHING DEFENSE

Perry Fewell's defense had some trouble at first with DeAngelo Williams. But overall, the Giants held Carolina to just 60 yards rushing on 20 carries, forcing the Panthers to pass.

Newton was held to only six yards on six carries but Superman did find the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown dive. Newton is certainly capable of inflicting a lot more damage. The Giants were locked in defensively.

A

SPECIAL TEAMS

Lawrence Tynes was magnificent, drilling five field goals from 47, 49, 30, 36 and 27. A miss early on could have stymied the Giants' momentum, but instead he kept putting points on the board and digging a bigger hole for Carolina.

A-plus

COACHING

The Giants were without Nicks, David Diehl, Ahmad Bradshaw and Domenik Hixon. They had just three days or so to prepare for Newton. The coaching staff did a superb job as the Giants absolutely dominated Carolina from the coin toss.

In the past two seasons, the Giants have played three road games with less than seven days' rest and they are 3-0 while outscoring opponents by 22 points according to ESPN Stats and Info.

That's a credit to Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff.



Report Card: Giants fall in Week 1

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
11:45
AM ET
Eli ManningScott Boehm/Getty ImagesAfter Eli Manning & Co.'s season-opening loss to Dallas, the report card isn't exactly glowing.
Here are my grades from the Giants' season-opening loss to the Cowboys.

C-minus

RUSHING OFFENSE

Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 78 yards and a touchdown but 33 came on one run with under six minutes left. When the Giants had to establish the run in the first half, they managed 23 yards. They also failed to punch the ball in the end zone despite having first-and-goal at the 1 in the second quarter.

Making matters worse, Tom Coughlin was going to utilize exciting rookie David Wilson as evidenced by giving him the second carry of the night.

But Wilson fumbled on his second carry later that drive and Coughlin kept benched the rookie except for on kickoffs. Hopefully this won't affect his confidence. The O-line has to open more holes for Bradshaw.

C

PASSING OFFENSE

Eli Manning got the Giants within seven points with 2:36 remaining but he still had one of his poorer games against Dallas with just 213 yards and one touchdown. The offensive line allowed him to be sacked three times as DeMarcus Ware got past David Diehl twice.

Victor Cruz only had six receptions for 58 yards and dropped a few balls. But he did appear to draw a pass interference in the end zone in the second quarter that wasn't called.

C

RUSHING DEFENSE

In the first half, the Giants stuffed DeMarco Murray for 20 yards. Linebacker Keith Rivers was very active until being slowed a bit by a hamstring issue. But Murray broke free for 111 yards in the second half and broke tackles in the process.

The Giants were repeatedly gashed by opposing running games in the first half of last season and they must stop the run in order to let their pass rush take over. With Chris Canty on the PUP list, the Giants can use Marvin Austin (back) on the field soon. And they have to work on tackling.

C

PASSING DEFENSE

The Giants were able to get some pressure on Tony Romo but they only sacked him twice with the two sacks coming from Rocky Bernard and Linval Joseph. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul have to get sacks.

They almost certainly will not survive if the secondary can't cover. Kevin Ogletree burned the Giants for eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns. They also surrendered a touchdown on first and 30 to Miles Austin. Cornerback is a big concern with Michael Coe re-injuring his hamstring and Prince Amukamara still nursing a high ankle sprain. Even Corey Webster struggled a bit in this game. Michael Boley did have an interception return for 51 yards and just missed scoring a touchdown.

A-

SPECIAL TEAMS

Lawrence Tynes converted a 22-yard field goal. Steve Weatherford punted four times for a net average of 44.5 yards and had one land inside the 20. More importantly, the dangerous Dez Bryant had two punt returns for zero yards.

Domenik Hixon returned to being the punt returner but only had one return for five yards. And David Wilson was the kick returner with 71 yards on three kickoff returns. Andre Brown handled two other kickoffs for 29 yards.

C

COACHING

The Giants were only down 7-3 at the half and the game clearly was there for the taking. But there were too many breakdowns defensively, most of them seem to be on the players more than the coaches such as missed tackles and bad coverage. The Giants were thin at corner to begin with.

One coaching move was Tom Coughlin benching David Wilson for fumbling but I can't blame him for that, especially if Wilson learns from this. The Giants, though, never could seem to get a handle on Kevin Ogletree and offensively, they had a hard time moving the ball on Dallas' defense until they fell behind big.





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