COMMENTARY | The New York Giants, left for dead at 0-6, are now alive in the NFC East. Four straight victories, including Sunday's 27-13 win over the Green Bay Packers, have them nipping at the heels of the 6-5 Philadelphia Eagles and 5-5 Dallas Cowboys.
Let's grade the Giants' effort Sunday, position-by-position.
Quarterback: Eli Manning played as well as he has all season, completing 25-of-35 for 279 yards with a touchdown and an interception (that even coach Tom Coughlin blamed on wide receiver Louis Murphy). Manning underthrew one long ball for Victor Cruz, but played very well. Grade: A-
Running Back: Andre Brown followed up his 30-carry, 115-yard effort vs. the Oakland Raiders with a solid 18-carry, 66-yard effort. Brandon Jacobs, playing for the first time since Week 6, handled short-yardage duties. He scored a touchdown and picked up a couple of first downs, including one on a fourth-and-one carry. Fullback John Conner, as is becoming the norm, did an excellent job clearing the way. On Jacobs' touchdown run Conner eliminated two potential Green Bay tacklers. Grade: B+
Wide Receivers: Another terrific day from Victor Cruz with eight catches for 110 yards. Rueben Randle had a 26-yard touchdown catch. Hakeem Nicks had four catches for 35 yards, but begged out of the game for a rest with the Giants in the red zone late in the first half. That brought on Louis Murphy, whose mistake cost the Giants points by creating a Manning interception. Jerrel Jernigan caught two balls, including a 13-yard catch and run on a wide receiver screen. Grade: B
Tight Ends: Brandon Myers caught three balls, at least showing himself to be a presence in the passing game. Myers also had a decent blocking, which has been an issue for him much of the season. Not really much impact from either Bear Pascoe or Larry Donnell. Grade: B-
Offensive Line: A mixed bag here. Manning was sacked four times and 53 of the 66 yards Andre Brown gained rushing came after contact, meaning he got almost all of his yardage on his own. Tackles Will Beatty (despite allowing a sack and four hurries facing Clay Matthews) and Justin Pugh (just one hurry) received positive grades from the analytical site Pro Football Focus. David Diehl (-4.9) and Kevin Boothe received the worst offensive grades. Grade: C
Defensive Line: Jason Pierre-Paul made the game-clinching play with his pick six of Scott Tolzien in the fourth quarter. Justin Tuck continued to play well with four quarterback hurries. As a team the Giants held Green Bay's Eddie Lacy to 27 yards on 14 carries. Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka had a couple of pressures. Defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins, Linval Joseph, Mike Patterson and Johnathan Hankins controlled the middle. Grade: A
Linebackers: Jon Beason had another big game for the Giants with an interception and eight tackles. Jacquian Williams had eight tackles, three for loss. Keith Rivers had a quiet game. Grade: A-
Cornerbacks: Tolzien passed for 339 yards and beat all three Giants' corners -- Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas and Trumaine McBride -- with deep balls. Thomas did make eight tackles and Amukamara six, including a couple of spectacular plays in run support. The Giants will be facing a string of quality quarterbacks the rest of the season, however, and giving up those big plays to Tolzien is troubling. Grade: C
Safeties: Antrel Rolle had an interception in the final two minutes and a pass defensed. Will Hill had five tackles, including a couple of solid open-field ones. No noticeable mistakes from either player. Grade: B
Special Teams: An excellent day for the Giants' much-maligned special teams. Punter Steve Weatherford punted five times for an average of 53 yards per punt and a net average of 42.2 yards. Rueben Randle set up a touchdown with a career-long 32-yard punt return. Josh Brown converted both of his field-goal attempts. Michael Cox didn't break any kickoff returns, but he did better than Jerrel Jernigan the previous week because he at least did not fumble. Grade: A
-- Ed Valentine is editor of Big Blue View, covering the Giants for SB Nation. He covers the Giants and Yankees for Yahoo Contributor Network. You can follow him @bigblueview.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- New York Giants
- Green Bay Packers
- Eli Manning
- Andre Brown
- Victor Cruz