Photo: New York Giants
On Thanksgiving, we watched the Washington Football team topple the Dallas Cowboys. For a second, they were on top of the NFC East. That wasn't until the Giants came up big time, and defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-17.
"When you're in Newwwww Yorkkkkkk, you can be four-and-seven, and also in first place, let's hear it for Newwwww Yorkkkkkk!"
Photo: ESPN Standings, Giphy
The Giants were road favorites after news broke that Joe Burrow's electric rookie season came to an end with a torn ACL and MCL. The battle was close, but the Giants came out on top. The Bengals kept it close, way too close for comfort, but the offense was drastically different without their rookie QB. Here is a recap of the Giant's win. Happy early Victory Monday.
O-Line and Run Game, very nice!
Wayne Gallman was a workhouse today. He had TWENTY FOUR carries for 94 yards and a touchdown. Imagine what a healthy Saquon would be doing. Gallman has stepped up in huge ways and has truly earned his spot as the lead back. He is a solid runner, but a lot of credit goes to the offensive line.
After a heated dispute between offensive line coach Marc Colombo and head coach Joe Judge, Colombo was released from his duties. He was replaced by a familiar name, Dave DeGuglielmo. According to the New York Post, DeGuglielmo spent five seasons as a generally well-liked assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin with the Giants. He later coached in New England, alongside Judge. He comes with two Super Bowl wins and an impressive backgroun. His work showed well today.
The line was formidable and provided plenty of outlets for Gallman and the run game to succeed. In addition, the Giants didn't allow a single sack in today's contest. The team had over 140 yards rushing throughout the game. In the first five games of the season, the Giants ranked 32nd in rushing offense. In their last 6 games, they ranked 5th, with just about 150 rushing yards per game. That is what you call gradual improvement right there!
Photo: Giants / Getty Images
Graham Gano is a Pro-Bowl Kicker
After signing an extension and defeating the Eagles in Week 10, Graham Gano, unfortunately, contracted COVID-19. He recovered well and returned to the team this week, and thank goodness he did. Gano was perfect, yet again, nailing four kicks today from all over the field. The longest was 49 yards, and he was a key attribute to the Giants winning today.
Patrick Graham and his defensive weapons
The defense continues to shine for this team, and coach Patrick Graham is unlocking its potential. Safety Jabrill Peppers also racked up six tackles, and deflected two passes, and was around the field all day being an absolute athlete.
Leonard Williams has been so solid, and I am sorry for the slander given to him last season. He collected his six sack today and has been consistently providing pressure all season long. He also came up clutch and recovered the game-sealing fumble recovery, when the Bengals were near midfield, attempting to win the game.
Speaking of turnovers, the Giants won the turnover battle today, collecting three. Logan Ryan forced a fumble and recovered it. Niko Lalos intercepted Brandon Allen, and of course the key recovery by Williams on the final drive.
There is still room to improve and ensure games are closed out confidently, but overall, they are a solid group of players.
The Giants are a young team with a solid core of veterans to provide leadership and stability. The youngin's, however, have been playing very well, and are improving each and every week. Shane Lemieux has been incredible on the line. Darnay Holmes is getting better every game. The practice squad call-up, Niko Lalos, deserves a game ball, and recorded his first career interception!
Daniel Jones was commanding the offense today. He was playing clean football, throwing over 200 yards with no turnovers. After a short pass in the third quarter, Daniel Jones went down and immediately grabbed his hamstring. He came back the next drive and tried to fight through the pain, but was replaced by backup Colt McCoy, who closed out the game going 6-10 and 39 yards. There is no word on the seriousness of the injury, but let's hope that it is nothing serious and just a tweak. Daniel Jones is the key to the Giant's potential playoff run.
Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire / Getty Images
Cons and Improvements
The Curious case of Evan Engram
Evan Engram, a blessing and a curse. It truly is head-scratching, enjoyable, and frustrating all at the same time. He ended the game with 6 catches for 129 yards, averaging over 20 yards per catch. That was after two huge bombs by Daniel Jones, resulting in a 53 and 44-yard completions throughout the game. He can be such a dominant offensive player, but his turnover issues kill the Giants. Bengals Vonn Bell punched the ball out of Engram’s hands for a fumble, which the Bengals turned into a field goal in the first half.
Cam Flemming should not be in the offensive line rotation
It is safe to say that the Flemming experiment has not panned out. His play has been sloppy and is constantly creating penalties. His third penalty (holding), came in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, which brought back a crucial first-down catch by Wayne Gallman. The game was way too close for this to happen. This type of play is unacceptable, especially with the caliber player Flemming can be. Luckily, rookie Matt Peart will return from the COVID/Reserve list for next week's game.
Kick and Punt Coverage
This was tough to watch. It was quite surprising because the Giant's special teams unit has been very impressive up to this point. It started in the first quarter when Brandon Wilson of the Bengals returned a kickoff for 103 yards all the way to the house. The Giants just came off a fun and easy offensive drive and scored. Eleven seconds later, the Bengals tied it up with that return.
As mentioned, with the win today, the Giants sit in first place in the NFC East. They have a challenge ahead, heading to Seattle to face the Seahawks for Week 13. The odds are against their favor, but the Seahawks defense isn't their normal "Legion of Boom". The difference-maker will be Daniel Jones. He left today's game with a hamstring injury, and let's hope it doesn't keep him out this week. Colt McCoy looked solid, but Jones would be the guy we want leading the team.