Justin Tuck and the Giants defense play a key role in today's Giants win in Detroit, which eliminated the Lions from the playoffs.
Full game grades and analysis are below.
New York - 23
Detroit - 20
|Positional Unit||1st Half Grade||Final Grade|
at Lions Week 16
Game Analysis for the New York Giants
Pass Offense: Eli Manning’s interception at the end of overtime was an atrocious throw off of his back foot that badly missed a wide-open Jerrel Jernigan.
However, he had two big throws in overtime that sealed the game—a 26-yard third-down conversion to Rueben Randle and a 15-yard completion to Jernigan on 4th-and-7 that put the Giants in range for the game-winning field goal.
Run Offense: This unit performed terribly today. They had less than 50 yards rushing on two yards per carry, and Andre Brown’s fumble in Lions territory in overtime could have cost the Giants a win.
Pass Defense: Calvin Johnson was clearly hindered by a knee injury, but this unit still deserves credit for a strong performance. The stars were Mathias Kiwanuka, with six tackles, five quarterback hits, two sacks and a forced fumble, and Will Hill, who likely prevented defeat with his interception return for a touchdown.
The Giants offense was so anemic prior to Hill’s return that it is hard to believe they would have been able to manufacture a game-tying touchdown drive.
Run Defense: Joique Bell hurt the Giants all day long with plenty of five- to 10-yard runs. He was the main reason that the Lions gained nearly 150 yards on the ground.
Special Teams: The 50-yard punt return by Jeremy Ross early in the third quarter was the start of the Lions' second-half surge. The overzealous pursuit of gunner Charles James, a common problem with the punt coverage unit this year, initiated Ross’ big return.
However, Michael Cox’s strong kickoff return set up the Giants with great field position to start overtime. And, of course, Brown’s 45-yard field goal to win the game was huge, and capped off a great day for the placekicker.
Coaching: Tom Coughlin’s decision to go for it on 4th-and-7 from the Lions 42-yard line on the game-winning drive proved to be a smart decision. In terms of play-calling, it probably didn’t hurt that the Giants were already eliminated from playoff contention.
First-Half Analysis for the New York Giants
Pass Offense: Manning missed on a few deep passes early in the game, but he has avoided making any costly mistakes and has made several key throws. The biggest one was the touchdown pass to Jernigan.
Speaking of Jernigan, he has had an excellent first half, with two catches that converted third downs and the aforementioned touchdown reception.
Run Offense: Outside of an 11-yard run by Brown in the second quarter, this unit has been awful. This is not a surprise, given the Lions' active front four and the Giants' injuries on their offensive line.
Pass Defense: They dropped three relatively easy interceptions, but Justin Tuck secured the fourth one, which was by far the hardest.
Prince Amukamara also deserves credit for holding Johnson to a reasonable 43 yards receiving.
Run Defense: They’ve done a good job slowing down Reggie Bush. Kiwanuka, who had an excellent first half, also stripped the Lions starting running back in the second quarter.
However, Bell has hurt New York, mainly due to two carries—a nine-yard run and a 16-yard scamper.
Special Teams: Outside of the offsides penalty by Damontre Moore that kept the Lions next-to-last drive going, it was a solid first half for this unit. The star was Josh Brown, who converted field goals from 41 and 52 yards.
Coaching: Coughlin correctly challenged a Jernigan third-down catch for a first down that was initially ruled incomplete. He and the rest of the staff have also done a good job getting the team motivated for this game after last week’s embarrassing shutout loss to the Seattle Seahawks.