Eli Manning missed the entire second half of Sunday's game against the Redskins with a sprained ankle, but the Giants still manage to win their season finale.
The Giants finish their season with a home victory over the Washington Redskins. New York won seven of its last 10 games to finish with a 7-9 record.
See below for full game grades and analysis for Big Blue.
Washington - 6
New York - 20
|Positional Unit||1st-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Redskins Week 17
Game Analysis for the New York Giants
Pass Offense: Manning played well before his injury and subsequent interception. His replacement, Curtis Painter, did virtually nothing, but was victimized by several dropped passes.
The one positive takeaway for the upcoming 2014 season was the play of Jerrel Jernigan. He registered his third consecutive strong effort and looks to be potentially a key piece in the Giants offense going forward.
Run Offense: Jernigan also highlights this unit with his electrifying 49-yard touchdown run at the end of the third quarter. The play gave the Giants an 11-point lead heading into the final frame, making it virtually impossible for the offensively challenged Redskins to come back.
Also, Peyton Hillis provided a steady, if unspectacular, rushing attack after Brown’s fumble in the first half relegated him to the bench for a majority of the second half.
Pass Defense: Cousins certainly doesn’t appear to be a starting-caliber quarterback, but the Giants didn’t give him any opportunity to have success in this game.
They pressured him into three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble. Also, the linebackers and secondary provided tight coverage and numerous deflections, which is a big reason Cousins completed less than 40 percent of his passes.
Run Defense: Alfred Morris had some success in the second half, but the Giants did force him to fumble on the Redskins' first possession of the third quarter.
Overall, a strong final effort for a unit that was a bright spot in this lost season.
Special Teams: Outside of Josh Brown’s missed field goal, this unit was solid. The Giants place-kicker converted his other two attempts, but the punt team was the true star on this day.
Steve Weatherford averaged 44 yards per punt on eight attempts and the coverage was excellent, allowing only 23 yards on seven returns.
Coaching: Tom Coughlin made up for his poor decision on the long Brown field-goal attempt in the first half with a key challenge late in the third quarter.
He wisely threw the red flag, contending that Roy Helu Jr. was short of a first down on a third-down catch, even though the officials had moved the chains. Replays proved Coughlin right, forcing Washington to punt.
First-Half Analysis for the New York Giants
Pass Offense: Despite completing less than 50 percent of his passes, Eli Manning had a productive and mistake-free first 29 minutes. His performance was especially impressive given the weather conditions and the lack of protection provided by his offensive line.
However, he added to his league-leading interception total with under a minute left in the second quarter, one play after suffering a lower-leg injury on a hard hit.
Also, Jerrel Jernigan continues to impress and could be a key member of the receiving corps in 2014.
Run Offense: Outside of a few productive Peyton Hillis runs, this unit has been stifled. To make matters worse, Andre Brown’s fumble set up the Redskins' first score of the half.
Pass Defense: The front four consistently pressured Kirk Cousins, and the secondary’s coverage was solid during the few opportunities the Redskins signal-caller had time to throw.
Run Defense: Alfred Morris has not had much running room, largely due to Jon Beason’s active play at middle linebacker. Also, the Giants nicely sniffed out a reverse and a scramble by Cousins.
Special Teams: Josh Brown badly missed a 50-yard field goal, wasting the Giants' first opportunity to score points in this game. He atoned to some extent, however, by converting a 34-yard attempt late in the second quarter.
On a positive note, Steve Weatherford’s punting has been relatively solid and has netted few return yards, despite the wet and rainy conditions.
Coaching: Tom Coughlin made a poor decision allowing Brown to kick a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter instead of going for it on 4th-and-2.
Given the conditions, and Brown’s struggles in pre-game warm ups (which was nicely documented by the Fox broadcast), kicking the field goal in that situation was a low-percentage play.