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Giants Victorious in Monday Night Thriller Over Dolphins

In a game that was probably more exciting than most expected, the Giants snapped their three-game losing streak with a 31-24 victory over the Dolphins in Miami. The win means the Giants are still in a three-way tie atop the NFC East with the Redskins and Eagles, who both won on Sunday.

A Giants offense that struggled to get going against Washington, and then struggled to maintain momentum against the Jets, finally fired on all cylinders against Miami. Even the horrid Giants running game showed some signs of life. Although that’s a relative term, since leading rusher Rashad Jennings still only averaged 3.7 YPC.

This was just the Giants needed to keep their heads above water in the competitive-but-not-very-good NFC East. Playing in front of a national TV audience, they were able to get going early and stay going for 60 minutes.

They also accomplished something they haven’t done a lot this year: they closed.

The all-too-familiar feeling crept in late, as the Giants clung to a seven-point lead for the final 11 minutes of the game. The Dolphins had chances to tie it up, but the Big Blue defense stepped up and made stops, even when the ‘Fins marched into Giants territory.

Giants WR Odell Beckham drags his feet to secure a touchdown against the Dolphins (Photo: Getty Images).

Giants WR Odell Beckham drags his feet to secure a touchdown against the Dolphins (Photo: Getty Images).

Perhaps most surprising was the Giants’ ability to run the clock out on the final possession of the game. And I don’t mean that sarcastically – the lack of a running game has made running the clock out seemingly impossible, accounting for a lot of the Giants’ late-game woes this year. But on Monday night, it worked. Jennings picked up two first downs on the drive, and Eli Manning connected with Odell Beckham to pick up a first down that iced the game.

Overall, this was the performance that New York needed. It’s clear there’s talent here. The Giants are probably the most talented team in the NFC East, and if they managed to hold in a couple games that they lost late, they’re probably running away with the division. But as it stands, they’re in a tight race with Washington and Philadelphia for the division crown.

While the win over the Dolphins is nice, the Giants can’t afford to celebrate for very long. The sledding gets significantly tougher from here on out. On Sunday, the undefeated Panthers are coming to town in what will surely be the Giants’ toughest test of the year. After that, the Giants head to Minnesota for a Sunday night showdown. They wrap up the season at home against the Eagles, who are suddenly hot after downing the Patriots and Bills in back-to-back weeks.

Before we look ahead to the Panthers, let’s recognize the best from Monday’s big win.

Offensive Game Ball: Eli Manning & Odell Beckham

This combination is simply incredible. After Manning’s deep ball seemed to be tapering off in recent years, Beckham has breathed new life into the Giants offense, and the two were at it again on Monday night. Manning was about as good as you could ask for, completing 27-of-31 passes for 337 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Beckham caught seven of his nine targets, amassing 166 yards and two touchdowns. Beckham’s first score was an insane show of focus as he managed to keep both feet in bounds by a hair, and the second was the game-winning 84-yard touchdown where he embarrassed two Dolphins DBs.

Defensive Game Ball: Jason Pierre-Paul

JPP may have only had three tackles, but he got solid pressure on Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill all night as he continues a surprisingly strong season coming off his hand injury. He also set the tone early for the Giants’ defense by recovering a Dion Sims fumble caused by Landon Collins on the first drive of the game.

The Goat: Andre Williams

The Giants’ running game as a whole has struggled this season, and while it may be due in part to the banged up offensive line, Williams continues to look lost whenever he has the football. He carried the ball three times for “gains” of -1, -1 and 5. On what would have been his fourth carry, he mishandled the handoff and kicked the ball straight to the Dolphins for an easy turnover. While Manning was officially credited with the fumble, it was all Williams and he was benched for the rest of the game. I have a hard time seeing Williams back next year at this rate.

Up Next

The undefeated Panthers roll into MetLife Stadium at 13-0. Last week, Carolina cruised to a 38-0 victory of the Falcons, who beat the Giants at home earlier this season. On a short week, the Giants have a big challenge ahead of them. But as they look to stay in the NFC East race, they’ll attempt to replicate the success they almost had against the then-undefeated Patriots earlier this year.

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