New York Giants: Halftime report

Halftime Report: Giants 35, Eagles 7

December, 30, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A quick take on the first half:

Surprise! The Giants won the coin toss and elected to receive, but the Eagles attempted an onside kick and recovered the ball. It was a stunning blow, but the Giants recovered nicely, thanks to a Stevie Brown interception on the Eagles' opening drive. It was Brown's eighth interception of the season.

New blood: In the final week of the regular season, Tom Coughlin finally unleashed a couple of rookies, and it paid off. With veteran wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw bothered by injuries, the Giants started Rueben Randle at wideout and David Wilson in the backfield. Randle scored a pair of touchdowns and Wilson also scored one in a 21-point first-quarter outburst by Big Blue.

Second quarter: The teams traded touchdowns to start the second quarter. The Eagles finally got on the board thanks to a touchdown pass from Michael Vick to Jeremy Maclin, on a fourth-and-1 from the Giants' 7-yard line. It was their second fourth-down conversion of the drive. The Giants answered with a 10-play, 73-yard march that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Bradshaw.

Eagles coach Andy Reid went for it on another fourth down at the end of the half, and it cost his team dearly. Facing fourth-and-5 at midfield, the Eagles came up a yard short with 17 seconds left. The Giants made them pay. Eli Manning connected with Domenik Hixon for 30 yards, and then found Victor Cruz in the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown with four ticks left. Manning threw four TD passes in the first half for the first time in his career.

Justin time: Justin Tuck had just his fourth sack of the season, and first since Week 9 against the Steelers, bringing down Vick for a 4-yard loss in the first quarter.

All for naught? Even if they finish off the Eagles, the Giants also need the Lions, Packers and Redskins to win Sunday in order to qualify for the playoffs. The Lions trail the Bears 20-10 at the half. (The Packers and Redskins play later.)

Halftime Report: Giants 21, Saints 13

December, 9, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A quick take on the first half:

Shaky start: Eli Manning nearly threw an interception on the very first possession of the game, on a ball intended for Domenik Hixon. On the Giants' second possession, Manning did throw a pick, and it was returned 73 yards for a touchdown by Elbert Mack, giving New Orleans a 7-0 lead.

Game changer: Rookie David Wilson has had some big kickoff returns this season, but he finally broke one for a touchdown in Week 14. Right after the Saints' touchdown, Wilson returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a TD, tying the game at 7.

Wilson also had kick returns of 58 and 52 yards in the first half -- but the Giants failed to score on either of those possessions despite the great field position.

Strong finish: The Giants had just 80 total yards of offense until their final drive of the first half. Starting at his own 31-yard line with just under two minutes remaining, Manning methodically marched the Giants down the field -- as he often does in the two-minute drill. He finished it off with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Hixon, who made a beautiful grab in the back corner of the end zone.

Manning also threw a 6-yard TD pass to Martellus Bennett late in the first quarter. He was 15-for-22 for 146 yards in the first half. But the Giants rushed for just 13 yards on eight carries.

The other side: The Saints racked up 227 yards of offense in the first half -- 126 in the air, 101 on the ground. But a pair of first-quarter turnovers hurt them badly. Wideout Marques Colston fumbled at the end of a 30-yard catch and run, recovered by Antrel Rolle. And on the Saints' very next possession, fullback Jed Collins fumbled after catching a short pass, recovered by Linval Joseph.

Automatic no more: Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes, who was 32-for-36 on field goals coming into the game, missed a 32-yarder in the second quarter.