Fortunately for fans and players alike, their bounce-back win on Sunday has granted an at least temporary reprieve and some recovery time headed into the bye week.
Here are the Giants' risers and fallers after Week 6.
Stock: Up ↑
After two weeks of God-awful run and pass blocking, the unit finally showed a hint of cohesion again. Chris Snee was out with an injury, and Kevin Boothe was forced to slide over to take his spot, but that did not have the negative effect many expected.
Centers are undervalued in the NFL, as they don’t garner many statistics. However, going 3-for-3 on touchdowns after 1st-and-goals from the 1-yard line is not easy for any offense. It starts with the push from the center, and that is what the running game has lacked the last few games.
Stock: Down ↓
I wonder if Cruz owned a bird as a child; if so, the animal was likely abused.
Against the land-dwelling Bills, he decided to come back down to Earth—no pun intended.
Cruz only caught two passes for 12 yards and had a big drop late in the game.
Cruz cannot be expected to perform huge every game, but the high level seen over the past three games is not what should be expected over the coming months.
Expect Cruz to be consistently inconsistent, as most young players prove to be when they enter the ranks of the NFL.
Stock: Up ↑
Ahmad Bradshaw was a man on a mission against the Bills.
No. 44 had been very vocal with his criticisms of the offensive line, play-calling and the general game plan of the Giants—it was put-up or shut-up time.
He definitely leaned toward the former, capping his three-TD day with 104 yards on 26 attempts. His three touchdowns may have been three 1-yard plunges, but he was also three-for-three on such attempts. Considering that goal-line offense has been an incredible weakness for this offense in the past, this was definitely a positive for both he and the line.
When you say you should get the ball more, you are opening yourself up to the heaviest form of scrutiny. Bradshaw not only stood up to that scrutiny, he ran his best at the end of the game to help seal the victory.
He has shown the coaching staff and fans alike that when he asks for the ball, give him the damn ball.
Stock: Up ↑
It’s never easy to call injuries to your two Pro Bowl defensive ends a blessing, but in the case of Jason Pierre-Paul, that‘s exactly what it is.
Considering the caliber of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, last year’s first-round pick would have been relegated to a third-string role without a doubt had both of these players been healthy.
After his sack of Fitzpatrick on Sunday, the long-armed, back-flipping menace is now second in the NFL with 7.5 sacks. However, that is not why his stock has gone up. With his extremely long arms, he should wreak havoc on the opposing quarterback’s field of vision and passing lanes.
It all comes with development, and he will eventually learn when and where is the time to give up on getting to the QB and turn into an obstacle. He effectively ended the game with such a play last week.
If he can continue to contribute in such ways, his stock will remain high even after health returns to the line.
Stock: Down ↓
Deon Grant recorded two tackles in the game, but it was the tackle he didn’t make—or even come close to making—on Fred Jackson that told the story of his afternoon.
The angle taken by Grant on Jackson’s 80-yard TD run was about as non-existent as Tom Coughlin’s volume control after a Giants holding penalty.
On the 60-yard catch and run by Naaman Roosevelt, where was Grant? Nowhere to be found.
The Giants started four safeties on Sunday against the Bills. Four.
If this was an acceptable defense to run, wouldn’t teams with any semblance of a linebacking corps do just that?
Grant’s stock Is down, but the stock in the scheme should drop even more drastically.
Stock: Up ↑
No NFL player’s stock fluctuates as frequently or drastically as the younger Manning brother’s.
A week after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble—while also hearing the obligatory “regression” rhetoric in the process—he came back with one of the best games of his career.
No, it was not a statistical gem. He was 21-for-32 with 292 yards and no TDs. But what the stat line doesn’t tell you is that he was seven yards and one stronger set of hands from Mario Manningham away from a four-TD day.
Ahmad Bradshaw was the direct beneficiary of Jake Ballard and Manningham’s catches at the the 1-yard line, along with Hakeem Nick’s 60-yard catch to the 5-yard line.
Even more importantly, Manning was going against the team currently leading the league in takeaways. They entered the game with a total of 16—the same number they would leave it with.
Manning stepped up and proved to all of his detractors that he is not as turnover-prone as some would like to think. His stock rose as a result.
Maybe eventually the sports universe will come to the understanding that his career does not hinge on every single game, and he simply has off-days just like everyone else.
Stock: Up ↑
When Terrell Thomas went down in the preseason, most labeled the Giants’ secondary as an ultimately lost unit.
Aaron Ross had been in witness protection since early 2008, Prince Amukamara had a broken foot and they were going to be torched repeatedly in the contemporary pass-happy NFL. This has not been the case.
Corey Webster is, and always has been, the most experienced CB with the Giants. Do I need to reference Brett Favre’s final pass as a member of the Green Bay Packers—one that ended up in the hands of Corey himself.
He proved this Sunday when given the task of defending the Bills' premier receiver in Stevie Johnson. Yes, he was beaten on one play that led to a short Bills touchdown, but his two second-half interceptions were as important to the Giants winning that game as any Eli Manning pass or Ahmad Bradshaw run.
The first was an outstanding one-handed, cradling grab on an underthrown ball early in the second half that—if nothing else—broke the Bills’ momentum. The second was a game-saver.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick carving up the Giants with the game tied 24-24 and already in field-goal range, Webster made an outstanding grab on another underthrown ball to Johnson. This led to the Giants' final drive, along with the go-ahead and game-winning field goal. If the image didn't give it away, there was a pretty blatant facemask as well.
Corners are supposed to make interceptions. But time and time again, you see sure interceptions that could have changed the course of entire games dropped by even the league’s best. Webster proved he has the uncanny ability to make those catches when they count.
His stock has skyrocketed for it.