Monday Morning Report: Giants Pitch Complete Game
John Fennelly , Lead Writer
Not much to dislike about yesterday’s game except that it was wet and cold. The Giants were ballin’ in all phases.
On offense, Eli Manning threw touchdowns to four different receivers. Rookie David Wilson ran for 100 yards and scored twice. Victor Cruz had eight catches for 121 yards, eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark for the second consecutive season. The Giants were 4-5 in the red zone and 3-3 in goal-to-go situations.
Manning’s four TD game was the seventh of his career, tying him with Y.A. Tittle for the most in team history.
Wilson scored three touchdowns overall yesterday (two rushing, one kickoff return) and had a franchise-record 327 all-purpose yards (227 kickoff return, 100 rushing) He is the first player in NFL history with at least 200 kickoff return yards and 100 rushing yards in the same game. The rookie had kickoff returns of 58, 97, 52 and 20 yards. WR Jerrel Jernigan had a 60-yarder.
The Giants’ return game had gone stale the past few games after a strong start. Perhaps they were over-thinking some things. Wilson had a huge return called back due to a penalty in Washington last week. The Giants worked hard to correct some things this week in practice. Wilson broke off a big one during Friday’s practice:
“We go through the special teams script each week and sometimes it’s not there (the big runback) and sometimes it is. This week on every return that I did in practice it looked pretty good, and before the special teams meeting before the game, coach hands out assignment sheets. This game, he didn’t hand me one, so I went to ask him ‘coach, where’s my assignment sheet,” and he said, “you don’t need one – just run fast.” I think that might be the new thing – I think I’m done with the assignment sheets.”
On defense, the Giants were in a taking mood. S Stevie Brown had two interceptions, returning one for 21 yards and another for 70. He ended the game with 259 return yards on the season, breaking the record of 251 set by Giant legends Emlen Tunnell in 1949 and Dick Lunch in 1963. The Giants only had one sack on Brew Brees, which came in the fourth quarter at the hands of Osi Umenyiora deep in New Orleans territory.
They allowed Brees to pass for 354 yards, but the Saints were only 2-4 in the red zone and scored only 2 TDs all game, both by RB Darren Sproles. The Giants’ secondary kept the New Orleans receivers pretty much locked down. Only little-used WR Joe Morgan had over 100 yards receiving (2 for 106) and one of those catches came on a play where Brees threw the ball up for grabs in the middle of the field.
S Antrel Rolle forced one fumble and recovered another. The defense played with life, led by LB Michael Boley (10 tackles). Brown and LB Chase Blackburn had eight tackles each.
Rolle, who had said the Giants needed to regain a “dog” mentality, was pleased with yesterday’s effort:
“Oh yeah. I saw a lot of dogging today. I saw a lot of dogs. No pit-bull, I didn’t see any pit-bulls today. We’re saving that for the long haul.”
From GEICO SportsNite: David Wilson and Tom Coughlin talk about the running back’s stellar performance in the Giants’ 52-27 victory over the Saints on Sunday.