Some quotes and reactions after Sunday’s 30-17 win over Houston at MetLife Stadium, the Giants’ first victory of the season…
Head coach Tom Coughlin: “Nice to win. Nice to win, nice to do a lot of good things in the process. We talked about winning the turnover battle, obviously we’re plus-two. Rushed for 193, we had interception turnovers. We blocked a punt, which is really, really good. We won the time of possession and we forced them to play from behind. They hadn’t played from behind much this year and that was a strong contributor as well. We left some plays out there, no doubt. We had the bad snap from center, that hurt us on the field goal. We had the turnover of the drive, some of the long drives that we had, but they came out in the second half, made some adjustments and moved the ball but we were able to go down and score, the turnovers in point-blank range and put the points on the board. Good win for our team, we needed it. A lot of guys played well, I’m looking forward to looking at this tape. Short week so here we go.”
QB Eli Manning: “That is the way it is supposed to work. I thought it started up front with our offensive line. They did an outstanding job opening up lanes. Rashad [Jennings] ran hard. We didn’t get stuck in many third-and-longs. We didn’t have many third downs at all, it felt like. Receivers, we got the ball out quick. The receivers made catches. They had good runs after the catch. It was efficient. We mixed it up and went to no-huddle, then we went with some standard offense and huddled up. I thought we had a good combination and a good mix. Guys were well-prepared and we played well, but we still have to fix some things.”
DE Jason Pierre-Paul: “We came out, and we did our assignments. Things went wrong for the offense, we lost the ball or whatever, but we knew we had to contain and do our jobs. As long as we did our jobs, we were going to be okay, and you see we won the game…It feels good. We’ve just got to keep on taking it one game at a time, and that’s what we’re going to do. We can’t let this win get over our heads. We still have a lot of work to do, and we’ve got a short week for the Washington Redskins.”
WR Victor Cruz: “It feels good to get ourselves motivated again, ready to play, get our fans excited. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. Coming in there, preparing during the week, and getting a victory…I think the energy level is high on the team. I think we’re confident. This week in practice was indicative of that as well. I think we were just flying around, everybody felt good, and we’re excited to get things going.”
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
We weren’t able to run this column the first two weeks of the season because the Giants offense was, well . . .you know. Here’s the Giants fantasy roundup after their 30-17 win over the Houston Texans Sunday courtesy of our friends at Rotoworld…
RB Rashad Jennings rushed for 176 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries. It was a career day for Jennings, who set a career-high in rushing yards, 68 yards more than his previous mark. He has 381 yards and two scores through three games as the Giants’ clear-cut every-down workhorse. Jennings plays in every situation and gets the goal-line looks, as he pounded his score in from 1 yard out in this one.
QB Eli Manning completed 21 of 28 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Manning has posted back-to-back strong starts after the preseason and Week 1 debacles. Eli hit Victor Cruz for a 61-yard gain on a quick slant early in the first half, before again finding Cruz on a post for a 26-yard score. His best throw of the game, though, went to Daniel Fells for a 9-yard touchdown. Eli placed the ball over the top of the safety and to the right of a linebacker, only where Fells could catch it. The offense is starting to wake up for Giants, but Eli is still just a low-end QB2.
WR Victor Cruz caught five passes for 107 yards and one touchdown Sunday. After a drop-filled first two weeks, Cruz reeled in 5 of 6 targets. He worked mostly against CB Kareem Jackson. Cruz took a quick slant upfield for a 61-yard gain in the first half, but was caught from behind around the 15-yard line. He later found the end zone on a post pattern from 26 yards out. Cruz stopped on a dime, changed direction, and exploded toward the end zone for the score. The Giants’ passing game has found a bit of a rhythm the past two weeks. They’ll look to continue it Thursday against the Redskins. Cruz is a solid WR2/3.
WR Rueben Randle caught five passes for 27 yards Sunday. Randle was targeted a team-high 10 times, and the chemistry between he and Manning appears to be growing. But Randle is seeing mostly short passes. He did see one end-zone look, but got tangled up with the Houston cornerback and couldn’t make the one-handed catch. Randle gets the DeAngelo Hall-less Redskins on Thursday night. He’s a boom-or-bust WR3/4.
TE Larry Donnell caught six passes for 45 yards Sunday. Donnell caught all six passes that came his way, and hasbeen targeted 22 times this season. Donnell was on his way to the end zone in the first half, but ended up losing a fumble at the 4-yard line. He’s put himself in the TE1/2 mix as a favorite of Eli Manning.
RB Andre Williams rushed for 18 yards on six carries Sunday. Williams got one series to himself, but didn’t do much with the carries and was way out-touched by Rashad Jennings, 34-6. Jennings also gets all the goal-line looks, and cashed one in for a 1-yard score Sunday. Williams has no fantasy value in re-draft leagues. He won’t have any unless Jennings gets hurt.
Quick disclosure: I do not have any Giants on my fantasy rosters.
Eli appears to to be turning the corner in this offense, and you should pick him up if he is available. You’ll have to do it quick, because the next game is Thursday night. I’m sure Cruz and Jennings are already on rosters in most leagues. Donnell, too. A lot of FF owners jumped on him after the first two weeks. Still not sold on Randle or Williams…yet. PK Josh Brown is also worth a look down the road. He just kicked his first FG of the season Sunday, but the Giants could become an offense that creates opportunities for him going forward.
Result: The Giants (1-2) earned their first September win since 2012, defeating Houston (2-1) Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Need to know: Giants RB Rashad Jennings ran for 176 yards on 34 carries. Three of his five 100-plus yard games have been against Houston. . .Eli Manning was 21 for 28 for 234 yards, two TDs and no interceptions. . . .Victor Cruz caught his first touchdown pass at home since Dec. 30, 2012. . .Antrel Rolle’s first-half interception of Ryan Fitzpatrick was the Giants’ first forced turnover of the season. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had his first interception as a Giant. . . .Josh Brown kicked his first field goal of the season. . .Texans RB Arian Foster was inactive . . . .An up-and-down day for Giants special teams. They blocked a punt to set up a touchdown in the second half after a number of problems in the first, including Zac DeOssie’s low snap to cost the Giants a field goal.
Links: AP recap | Box score
What’s Next: The Giants have three days to prepare for their game at Washington Thursday (8:25 p.m.)
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
At some point, the pieces were going to come together for the Giants and that day was today.
From start to finish they were the better team vs the Texans this afternoon, executing more crisply and overcoming some early miscues.
The Texans came into the game having only surrendered 20 points over the first two games but the Giants moved the football with ease against them.
Had Larry Donnell not fumbled deep in the red zone and Zak DeOssie not dribbled a snap on a short FG, the Giants could have had over 40 points today.
A win is a win in this league. No sense dwelling on the negatives. The Giants beat a good football team today and now have some momentum to build on.
Sticking to the positives, Eli Manning was sharp, Victor Cruz showed some explosiveness and Rashad Jennings answered some questions about what he can do with the football.
The offensive line put in their best effort of the season, keeping Eli clean for the most part and opening up holes for the running game.
The defense played well on third downs early, keeping the Texans at arm’s length the whole game.
It was a total team win, one that came at the right time for the Giants. With a win Thursday night in Washington, they can be .500 for the first time since 2012.
The Giants (0-2) try to break an 0-7 September losing streak today when they host All-Pro DE J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans (2-0).
Site: Metlife Stadium
Kickoff: 1:00pm EDT
Surface: Field Turf
TV: CBS (Ch. 2 in NYC): Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Jenny Dell (Field reporter)
Radio: WFAN 660AM and 101.9FM Bob Papa, Carl Banks and Howard Cross SIRIUS: 108 (Hou), 133 (NYG) XM: 227 (NYG)
Referee: Terry McAulay
The Line: Texans by 2 1/2; O/U 41 1/2
Series: This is only the fourth meeting between the Giants and the Texans, who entered the NFL in 2002. The Giants lead the series, 2-1, and have won the past two meetings.
Last Game: 10/10/10: Giants 34 at Texans 10. New York WR Hakeem Nicks has 12 receptions for 130 yards & 2 TDs. Giants WR Steve Smith adds 89 receiving yards & TD reception.
Last Game at Site: 11/5/06: Giants 14, Texans 10. New York RB Tiki Barber rushes for 115 yards & TD on 17 attempts. Giants TE Jeremy Shockey has 8 catches for 66 yards and TD.
Texans: OUT: LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), S Shiloh Keo (calf) QUESTIONABLE: RB Arian Foster (hamstring), G Ben Jones (ankle, knee), S D.J. Swearinger (elbow) PROBABLE: LB Akeem Dent (hamstring), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), TE Garrett Graham (ankle), WR DeAndre Hopkins (illness), DE Tim Jamison (groin), WR Andre Johnson (ankle), CB Johnathan Joseph (foot), DT Louis Nix (wrist), RB Jay Prosch (hand)
Giants: OUT: LB Jon Beason (foot, toe), WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE: T James Brewer (back), T Charles Brown (shoulder), P Steve Weatherford (left ankle) PROBABLE: DT Markus Kuhn (ankle)
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Giants linebacker Jon Beason was officially ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Texans with a balky toe.
Jameel McClain is slated to start at MLB for Beason.
Beason was joined by WR Odell Beckham Jr., LB Devon Kennard, T Charles Brown, DE Kerry Wynn, T James Brewer and DT Jay Bromley as inactives.
The Texans will be without running back Arian Foster (hamstring), with rookie Alfred Blue expected to start.
The Texans’ inactives are as follows:
T Jeff Adams, LB Jadeveon Clowney, RB Arian Foster, S Shiloh Keo, T Louis Nix, WR DeVier Posey, and QB Tom Savage.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Here are three keys for the Giants today if they are going to get of the schneid vs Houston today.
Stop the run. The Texans are averaging 151.5 yards per game on the ground. The Giants will have Markus Kuhn back and the Texans may be without their feature RB, Arian Foster. Don’t let the backups beat you.
Hang on to the damn ball. Victor Cruz and crew need to catch the football today and the Giants need to win a turnover battle sometime. Why not today?
Block. The Giants might use Rashad Jennings as a chipper to stop the Texans’ rush, led by J.J. Watt. Good idea. The Giants can be a dangerous team if the offensive line could just execute.
GEICO SportsNite: Eli Manning talks about how the offense needs to come together to score more points and Jason Pierre-Paul on working together as a team.
In case you missed it…
Giant rookie running back Andre Williams, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry in the preseason, has struggled out of the gate for the Giants. Williams has 21 yards on 13 carries in two games (Schwartz, Sept. 21).
Sunday’s game against the Texans is an absolute must-win. An 0-3 start makes the odds of going to the playoffs very low. (Vacchiano, Sept. 21).
Victor Cruz has had some drops this year, and instead of fans yelling Cruz, there are some boos for the star wide receiver (Samuel, Sept. 20).
The Giants have a lot to look out for against the Texans. Dan Graziano takes a look at it on ESPN.