If there’s any solace to be taken from a lowly December victory – misery does indeed love company. The Giants ended the Lions postseason aspirations with a 23-20 overtime win, and in the process almost assuredly closed the book on Jim Schwartz as head coach. While this W could end up costing the Giants draft slotting, sending the despicable Schwartz on his way is reward enough.
Overtime conversions: 26-yard connection from Manning to Rueben Randle on 3rd and 9… followed by a 15-yard dart scooped up by Jerrel Jernigan on 4th and 7. Jernigan was a game-changer out of the slot, catching six balls for 80 yards and a maiden breaking TD. In addition to the score, three of his grabs moved the chains on 3rd or 4th and long situations.
You think the G-men shaded their coverage towards Calvin Johnson? CJ saw four targets all afternoon long, and ZERO in the second half + overtime. With the Lions dearth of secondary receivers – RB Joique Bell led them in receptions and yardage – the game plan was a smashing success.
Less than 48 hours after being arrested on a child support related issue, Will Hill picked up right where he left off on the gridiron by making impact plays. Hill notched six solo tackles (11 in total), earned a 1.7 PFF coverage rating, and took a deflected Matthew Stafford pass to the house to the tie game with 4:57 remaining. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Athleticism/activity goes a long way.
Josh Brown’s OT game winner (third of the day) upped his tally to 17 consecutive made field goals dating back to September 29th at Kansas City. Not bad for a kicker off the scrap heap.
For the second consecutive week the run game was a non-factor. Andre Brown ran for 40 yards on 16 attempts, with ten of those carries resulting in two yards or fewer. Brown also lost a fumble on the second play of overtime; he was taken off on a cart and later diagnosed with a concussion.
After Marshawn Lynch caught all six of his targets last week, the Giants once again allowed an opposing running back to punish them as a receiver out of the backfield. Joique Bell hauled in all TEN of his targets for 63 yards, most coming off utilization of the screen game. That’s the price you pay for sending extra attention Calvin Johnson’s way.
Eli Manning just couldn’t maneuver through an entire 60 minutes interception free. With 23 seconds remaining in regulation from the Detroit 49-yard line, Manning overthrew an open Jerrel Jernigan over the middle and the pass was picked by strong safety Glover Quin.
Will Beatty is stealing money. In 45 pass blocking snaps, Beatty was responsible for two QB sacks, four hurries and earned a -3.9 pass block rating.
The offensive effort in the second half was poor beyond belief. Their first five possessions resulted in: three and out, three and out, safety, three and out, three and out. The Giants recorded their initial second half 1D at the 2:58 mark of the fourth quarter. Wait… they won this game?