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Giants Defeat Redskins for First Win

It took three weeks, but the Giants finally got their first win of the season on Thursday night when they defeated the Redskins 32-21. It wasn’t the cleanest win, but the mental mistakes and inability to capitalize on big opportunities that plagued the first two games were not present on Thursday. Let’s look back on what got the Giants to 1-2 and, somehow, one game out of first place in the NFC East.

Manning Up

Rightly or wrongly, Eli Manning took a lot of criticism after the Giants’ two losses to start the season. But he showed up in a big way on Thursday night and led his team to a much-needed victory.

Manning completed 23-of-32 passes (71.9%) for 279 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. While it seems like he is still working on his deep ball, it looked strong on a crucial 30-yard Odell Beckham touchdown in the beginning of the fourth quarter. The score made it 25-6 Giants and pretty much the game out of reach.

His 8.7 YPA is a stark improvement over his 6.4 mark through the first two games, so he’s definitely improving his play. His arrow is also pointing up since Victor Cruz is tentatively expected to return for next week’s game. The passing game needs all the help it can get with the running attack still a question mark. Which leads me to my next topic…

The Running Attack is Still a Question Mark

The three-headed monster at running back had a rough day, as the Giants gained just 84 yards on 31 carries, averaging an alarming 2.7 YPC. Most importantly, Andre Williams out-carried Rashad Jennings 14-11, although Jennings still out-gained Wiliams 32-29.

While neither back has put up great numbers this year, it really seems like Williams is cutting into Jennings’ starting job. Coughlin may just be giving both of them a lot of carries to see if one will emerge, because so far neither has.

I suppose if Jennings and Williams continue to struggle, then passing down back Shane Vereen could see more time, but the Giants are probably comfortable with his current role. That being said, he did have a better day on the ground (23 yards on six carries) then he did in the air (zero catches on three targets).

Randle’s Return

Okay, I know Rueben Randle has played in every game this season, but Thursday was the first time he flashed the potential we saw last year. While he managed just four catches for 28 yards in the first two games, he exploded for seven catches, 116 yards and a touchdown against Washington.



Randle’s biggest play of the day came when he somehow hauled in a 41-yard pass that bounced off his shoulder for a fourth quarter touchdown. Granted, the score involved a lot of luck, but Randle still displayed great focus and a refusal to give up on the play. Hopefully he can continue to be a playmaker even with Cruz set to return next week.

Game Balls & The Goat

Offensive Game Ball: WR Rueben Randle

Not much to say that hasn’t already been said. Randle had a great game, and it was refreshing to see the Giants have a receiver not named Odell Beckham stepping up to make plays. As we saw last year, OC Ben McAdoo’s offense works best when Manning can air it out to three receivers, so hopefully Beckham, Randle and the returning Cruz can form a serious threat for the remainder of the season.

Defensive Game Ball: CB Prince Amukamara

Linebackers Uani’ Unga and Jonathan Casillas had claims to this honor, but Amukamara was particularly impressive with his eight tackles (six solo) and three passes defended. He even picked up an interception for good measure. With fellow starter Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie out with a concussion, Amukamara stepped up in a big way.

The Goat: LB Jon Beason

Beason’s highly anticipated season debut was quieter than most expected. He got the start at middle linebacker, but didn’t return to an every-down role, and didn’t even make the stat sheet. Given his injury history, the Giants are probably just easing him back, but it would have been nice to see him make an impact in his debut.

The Giants have a nice long week as they prepare to host the 49ers on Sunday night.

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