The Giants Beat Report Card: Week 16 Review

The Giants Beat lead writer David Aitken provides his appraisal of New York's dominating road win over St. Louis this past Sunday.

Passing Offense:

This was as good as it gets for the Giants, and their best passing performance of the season. Eli Manning posted season bests in passing yardage, completion percentage and quarterback rating, and the difference was getting a good day from someone other than Beckham. Beckham continues to shine with yet another dominant performance, but the difference was Rueben Randle having arguably the best day of his career. He caught every ball thrown his way, including a 49-yard jump ball, a key red zone conversion on a 3rd and 16, and a touchdown.

Grade: A

Running Offense:

A good start from Williams and the offensive line set the tone early, and Williams had his second highlight run in three weeks when he broke off a 45 yard rush and ran over a hapless St. Louis defender along the way. Orleans Darkwa surely earned himself more playing time, proving his worth with an impressive touchdown run and receiving skills in addition to forcing a fumble on special teams.

Grade: B

Passing Defense:

,p>The pass rushing prowess on display the last few weeks was not as apparent in St. Louis, although that in part was aided by Damontre Moore’s early dismissal. Shaun Hill played a fine game against the Giants, and was able to hit some big strikes down the field against the Giants. Ultimately the Giants were able to force two turnovers and keep the Rams out of the red zone enough to win.

Grade: C-

Running Defense:

The Giants had trouble with the run, and are fortunate that the Giants’ red-hot offense always had the team a few steps ahead and had the Rams chasing the game. Tre Mason often found running room, including 10 yards on a second quarter touchdown, but ultimately only carried the ball 13 times. Similar to the Tennessee game, the Giants got ahead early enough and kept the pressure on to prevent the running game from being a real factor against them.

Grade: C-

Special Teams:

The forced fumble on the ensuing kick return after the Giants opening drive really set the tone, and had the Giants up by two scores before the Rams even got to touch the ball on offense. Weatherford punted the ball well and Josh Brown hit a 52-yard field goal, but had one blocked late in the game. Tavon Austin gave St. Louis good field position off a big punt return, but wasn’t as dangerous as he could have been.

Grade: B+

Coaching:

This was a chippy game with emotions riding high, but you would have liked to see the team play more disciplined and keep all of its players on the field. St. Louis had a player ejected and had 9 penalties themselves, but the Giants ended up giving 149 yards away to St. Louis on penalties alone, and also had a few turnovers taken back as well. Much credit has to go to Ben McAdoo, as the Giants won this game on the play of the offense. This looked like a preview of what the Giants can look forward to in year two of McAdoo’s system.

Grade: B-


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