Jernigan stars as hobbled Giants gut out win over Washington

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

The Giants’ 2013 season ended just at the right time. If they did have a game next week, they probably would not have enough bodies to field a viable lineup.

They out-gutted the sorry Redskins (4-12) in the soaking, teaming, unrelenting rain at MetLife today by the score of 20-6. And they did it with only three of their opening day offensive starters on the field for most of the game.

Coming into the game with several key players either out or banged up, the Giants seemed to lose players every ten minutes or so….

QB Eli Manning missed the second half with a twisted ankle. He was replaced by backup Curtis Painter at halftime. WRs Rueben Randle (knee) and Hakeem Nicks (ankle) hobbled off in the first half and did not return. LT Will Beatty fractured his right leg in the third quarter and was carted off the field.

The weather was the real story today, throttling both teams on offense. The slippery ball was responsible for scores of poor throws, dropped passes. slips, falls, missed kicks and seven fumbles that resulted in three turnovers.

The Giants (7-9) did not let the weather nor the injuries get in their way of victory, however. They were led by their smothering, run-stopping front on defense and little-used third-year WR Jerrel Jernigan, who scored twice.

Jernigan caught six passes for 90 yards, including a 24-yard TD from Manning in the first half. He scored on a 49-yard reverse play in the second half. His late surge this season could make the Giants’ decision on whether to re-sign Nicks an easier one. Jernigan was clearly a weapon the past two weeks and one wonders why the team had not used him more often the past three seasons.

The season is finally over. On the bright side, the Giants finished 7-3 after losing their first six games. They played with heart today and gave the smattering of loyal fans here something to be proud of.

On the flip side, over two dozen players will be eligible for free agency this offseason. Some might say that is not a bad thing. Change is constant, but in the end, Tom Coughlin and his coaches did an admirable job considering all the injuries the Giants were forced to endure this year.




1 comments
joeknix
joeknix

It was nice to see Jernigan step up over these last few games since it obviously wasn't going to come from Hakeem Nicks with Cruz out.  I'm not sure how a 5ft 8 guy is going to play anything other than the slot receiver position but it was nice to see that we have another option out there to catch balls next year.  Sheesh . . . where has that been over the last 3 years?  I'm not sure what to make of it.  I hope it's not a mirage but regardless he came to play these last few games for sure.


Now the next question is what to do with Nicks.  Nicks has never had separation speed but he used to fight much harder for 50/50 balls.  In a contract year he managed to finish with zero TD catches which is insane.  I really felt like he was playing to not get hurt rather than leaving it all on the field.  I have no idea what his season does for his next contract but I've got to believe someone is going to step in with more guaranteed money than the Giants will throw at him. I wouldn't be surprised if we grab a receiver in the early rounds of the draft next year.  I just hope the GMen have enough sense to grab an OT with that first pick.