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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Report Card: High marks, disappointing end

By Ohm Youngmisuk


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.