Giants Dominate Packers – Grades: Diary of a Giants Fan
In a game they had to have, the Giants waxed the Packers 38-10 on Sunday night football.
Before the bye week I wrote about the Ghost of November Past rising up to haunt the Giants, to forbiddingly hang above them until Big Blue could the strength to vanquish it.
I'm not sure I can put it any better than Dr. Venkman, so I won't try. I'll just echo his thoughts. The Giants came. They Giants saw. The Giants kicked butt.
It may not have opened that way when, after the Giants had driven straight down the field for an opening drive score, Corey Webster was beaten badly for a 61 yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson.
But where the Giants defense quickly adjusted, the Packers' did not - and before entire sections of MetLIfe Stadium had been filled, Big Blue had intercepted Rodgers, caused another fumble, assumed a comfortable lead, and exercised the demons...for now.
Losses in the next few weeks would certainly breath life into their hauntings but, for now, none of that matters. Be honest, if I'd told you before kickoff that the final score of this game would be 38-10, who among us would have picked the Giants to be the ones hanging 38? I wouldn't have, neither would you, and we would have both been wrong.
But as it is, the Giants showed us everything we hoped they would on Sunday: Efficient, well-rounded offense. Strong pass rush. Solid secondary work. Dominant win. Take it, and move onto grades.
Grades: Offensive Line - B+: Like the rest of the team, this unit had underperformed in the weeks before the bye. Not this week. They opened up running lanes, and, for the most part, kept Manning clean. Solid work.
Running backs - A-: No back got over 65 yards, but Bradshaw and Brown were ferocious, punishing runners throughout the game who each managed a touchdown. Individually, their stat lines weren't great, but as a corps, and with the passing game getting plenty of work, this was a great effort.
Wide Receivers - B: Touchdowns for Nicks, Cruz, and Randle highlighted what was quality work from this unit - especially the ever-healthier Hakeem Nicks - but one drop is enough to lower a grade, let alone multiple drops - looking at you, Cruz.
Eli Manning - A-: Again, the stat line wasn't all you'd expect for a QB of Manning's caliber - and coming off rumors of a "tired arm" it would have been nice to see a few more rocket-esq throws - but three touchdowns and a 38-10 win speak for themselves. As I've so often said: he's not always the QB you want, just the one you need.
Special Teams - B: Tynes hit his field goals, Weatherford punted well, but kick coverage could have been better. Admittedly though, that's pretty knit-picky.
Defensive Line - B+: Five sacks should probably lead to a better grade, but it took some time for the defensive line to get going, and when they did, I think a lot of their success can be attributed to great coverage. Still, you can't deny that they were a force in the game, good work.
Linebackers - B+: Chase Blackburn continued his campaign for "most underrated player in the NFL" with another solid game today, and the rest of the corps backed him up. Over 100 yards rushing is likely too much against a Packer team whose run game had been non-existent coming in, but the Packers have a lot of weapons, and this unit was a big part of keeping them in check.
Secondary - A: Take away one brutal mistake by Corey Webster and this was a near-flawless game for the Giants secondary. Those weapons I just eluded to have the potential to be the single most impressive force of their kind in the NFL. This much maligned secondary held them to 201 yards. How is that not an A?
Next week the Giants will travel into Washington for a date with RGIII and the Redskins on Monday night. Check back here during the week for a preview of that game and, as always, go Giants!