Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 11 Grades: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

NFL Week 11

Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants

Post Game Grades

The Giants continued their winning streak Sunday as they beat the Packers 27-13 and ran their winning streak to four games. The winning Sunday also added to another impressive streak the Giants have had with Eli Manning under quarterback, as this was the eighth season in a row that the Giants have gone on a winning streak of at least four games with Manning under center. It is an impressive streak that has helped the Giants nudge their way closer into the NFC East Division picture. With this game past them the Giants can now put all their efforts into what is the biggest game of the season next Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys.

Passing Offense: B

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America
Eli Manning had a solid game Sunday as his only miscue, an interception in the red zone, was not his fault at all as wide receiver Louis Murphy Jr. ran the wrong route. Outside of that Manning had a successful day, completing 25 of 35 attempts for 279 yards and one touchdown. Manning did absorb a number of hits, getting sacked four times and hit on multiple other accounts, but he stood in there and did enough to lead the Giants to victory.

Rueben Randle caught the lone touchdown pass from Manning, hauling in a total of three receptions for 37 yards. Victor Cruz was once again Manning’s favorite target, having 11 passes thrown his way and pulling in eight of them for a big yardage game of 110. Hakeem Nicks was tied for second most targets but you would not know it from how he looked on the bench, as it was another lackluster game for Nicks, who caught four balls for 50 yards. Nicks still has no touchdowns on the season and it is puzzling why he is not more involved in the offense; it was something no one was willing to discuss after the game.

Rushing Offense: B

It was not as dominating performance as in Week 10 for Andre Brown, but he had another solid, workman like outing. Brown rushed for 66 yards on 18 carries, a low yard per rush at 3.7 yards but he got the yardage needed when necessary. Brown also helped out in the passing game, catching three balls for 27 yards as he has provided a spark to the Giants backfield they have lacked all season outside of the Thursday night performance by Brandon Jacobs against the Chicago Bears.

Speaking of Jacobs, he had a nice night himself as well. Jacobs converted two crucial fourth and one in the first and second quarters, keeping drives alive to get the Giants in scoring position. The first conversation was followed by the Manning touchdown pass to Randle. The second ended with the Manning interception but seeing Jacobs convert short yardage situations is a positive for the Giants. He also converted his goal line carry into a touchdown as Jacobs did everything the Giants asked of him Sunday.
Al Bello/Getty Images North America

Pass Defense: A-

The only thing holding this grade back from being an A+ was that Scott Tolzein threw for 338 yards on 24 of 34 passing because other than that the Giants got after Tolzein like you would expect from what was once a vaunted pass rush against a player making his first career start. The made Tolzein rush a couple of passes because of the pressure they put on him, hitting him five times on the night. Tolzein was not sacked during the game but took a couple of vicious hits during the game.

Tolzein also threw three interceptions in the game, one of which was an impressive snatch by Jason Pierre-Paul that he returned to the house for a pick-six. Jon Beason had an impressive interception of his own, as a laser delivered by Tolzein seemed to just stick in the hands of the middle linebacker. He also followed it up with one of the most impressive nine yard returns you will ever see as he was determined to not get tackled. Antrel Rolle got the last interception with about two minutes remaining in the game to pretty much ice the game for the Giants.

Rush Defense: A+

The Giants rush defense showed up once again this week as the Packers were unable to get anything going in the ground attack. Eddie Lacy was able to pound a run into the end zone but outside of that play he was rendered useless by the Giants. If you take out the five yard touchdown run, he ran for only 22 yards on 13 carries. On the night the Packers managed only 55 yards on 20 carries, good enough for a measly 2.8 yards per carry.

Elsa/Getty Images North America
The Giants did well staying in their lanes and not allowing cutback runs, something that hurt them earlier in the season during their six-game losing streak as players would leave assignments equaling big plays for the opposition. This run defense has never really been the problem this season and they are continuing to be the backbone of this defense as the pass defense comes along as well.

Special Teams: A+

This was quite possibly the best game the special teams have played all season. The Giants were able to limit Packers return man Micah Hyde to only 69 yards on three kick returns and 34 yards on three punt returns.
A big reason for the limited return game was the punting of Steve Weatherford. Like much of the Giants Weatherford has struggled throughout parts of the season but Sunday he was on point. Weatherford boomed punts all night, averaging 53 yards per punt and pinning one inside the 20. He should have had a second punt inside the 20 if not for Ryan Mundy being unable to bat the ball down inside of letting it into the end zone.

The Giants had a quite night in the return game, as Michael Cox replaced Jerrel Jernigan as the kick returner after his fumble last week. Cox managed only 35 yards on two returns. Randle had a nice return on his only punt return, bringing it back 35 yards, setting up his receiving touchdown just six plays later.

Josh Brown got into the good play of the special teams as well, making his two field goal attempts from 40 and 28 yards away and all three of his extra points. Brown ran his field goal made streak to 11 after his performance Sunday. 

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