Report Card: Giants win in Week 2
Yes, Eli Manning threw three picks that led to three Tampa TDs in the first half. But as only Eli can do, he orchestrated yet another stirring comeback with three Giants' fourth-quarter touchdowns (two passing and one rushing). He threw for a career-best 510 yards and Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks were sensational with a combined 21 receptions for 378 yards and two touchdowns. Martellus Bennett also had five catches and a touchdown. And kudos to the O-line as Manning wasn't sacked once on 51 passing attempts. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants are the first team to have two players with at least 10 catches and at least 175 yards receiving each in the same game.
Ahmad Bradshaw was knocked out of the game with a neck injury after just five carries but Andre Brown gave the Giants a spark with 71 yards on 13 carries. The Giants rushed for 94 yards total but Brown scored the game-winning touchdown after purposely going down at Tampa Bay's 2-yard line to kill more clock at the end of the game. And he also converted a critical two-point conversion. David Wilson only had three carries for six yards.
The Giants sacked Josh Freeman twice and picked him off twice, including a game-sealing interception at the end. But the defense allowed 27 points and let Freeman tie the game near the end way too easily. Charged with protecting a 34-27 lead with 3:59 remaining, Freeman only needed five plays to go 80 yards and tie the game with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams. The Giants' corners continue to struggle.
The Giants did a good job of containing Doug Martin for the most part. The rookie rushed for 66 yards but did score on an 8-yard touchdown run. The Giants also stuffed Martin on a third-and-1 at the 50 midway through the third quarter that helped start their comeback from down 27-13.
Lawrence Tynes nailed four field goals on a busy day and the Giants needed all of those points. Steve Weatherford only had to punt twice but did land one inside the 20. Rueben Randle returned punts for the first time and had an impressive 45-yard return called back due to penalty. David Wilson continues to look good as kick returner, averaging 28.7 yards per return on Sunday.
The Giants struggled early again, falling behind 27-13 with 13:14 remaining in the third. The defense gave up too many big plays again. And the offense looked flat early on. The Giants did lose three key players in the first half (Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl and Domenik Hixon) to injury but adjusted. And in the end, the Giants called the right plays to come back and win with Eli's brilliance. There's still a ton of work to be done but Tom Coughlin never stopped fighting, even letting Greg Schiano hear it at the end for Tampa charging the line on a kneeldown.