Making Their Mark: Offense

With the second marking period in the books, and the Giants riding high on a six-game winning streak, it's time for TGI to hand out the midseason grades. Here goes:

Averages:

QBs – Eli can and should still be playing better. Grade: B
RBs – Big Brandon's everything he said he would be – and maybe more. Grade: B+
WRs – If Plax isn't headed to Hawaii they should cancel the Pro Bowl. Grade: A
TEs – Long hair or not, Shockey's still a stud. Grade: B+
OL – The starting five has been the Real Diehl. Grade: A-

By the player:

Quarterbacks

Eli Manning – With more than 1,500 yards, 13 touchdown passes and a 79.5 QB rating, it's hard to say that Manning hasn't played well. However, the nine INTs he's thrown, and the fact that he's coming off one of the worst games of his career, also make it hard to say he's playing with the elite QBs in the league either. Grade: B

Jared Lorenzen – Even though he completed four of his eight pass attempts in mop-up duty, Lorenzen lost the backup job in practice. Grade: Inc.

Anthony Wright – He's also received very limited playing time (three games, seven pass attempts). Grade: Inc.

Running backs

Brandon Jacobs – The reigning Player of the Month, you better believe that Jacobs has played very well this season. The only thing that slowed him down was the knee injury he suffered opening night. But neither knee nor ankle ailments can stop Jacobs, who is averaging a whopping 5.6 yards per carry. Grade: A

Derrick Ward – He played very well in Jacobs' absence, but not nearly as well once the big man returned. Ward has also been nicked up by an ankle problem, but he's still been able to average 4.4 yards per tote and 64 yards per game. Overall, he's given the Giants much more than they could have expected. Grade: B

Reuben Droughns – He's been just the opposite of Ward. Much was expected from Droughns, but the Giants have limited him to just playing in short-yardage and goal-line situations, in addition to filling in for Ward and returning kickoffs. He's done what they've allowed him to, and done it very well. He has three TDs on only 38 carries. Grade: B

Ahmad Bradshaw – He's yet to play on offense and lost the kickoff return job earlier in the season. Not the best start for the potential-laden rookie, who's sure to get another look on kickoffs this year. Grade: C-

Madison Hedgecock – He's done very well in the blocking game and has shown that he can even catch the occasional pass, if need be. The Giants were in search of a true fullback; they've got one now. Grade: B

Wide receivers

Plaxico Burress – If this guy isn't headed to the Pro Bowl, then they might as well not even hold it this season. He's been dominating from the receiver spot, a fact made all the more impressive due to the fact that he doesn't even practice during the week due to an injured ankle. He's on pace to score 16 touchdowns. Grade: A

Amani Toomer – The consummate professional, Toomer can go from being shut out one week to being the receiving star the next. He just wants to win. While he's likely never going to attain that elusive Pro Bowl spot, he's still confident he can win a ring. Grade: B+

Steve Smith – A serious shoulder blade injury cost him the last six games. But he did look good during the first two. He should be back for Dallas. Grade: Inc.

Sinorice Moss – With Smith down, it was high time for Moss to finally make some noise. Instead all he's done in eight games is catch six passes. Grade: C-

David Tyree – A receiver in name only, Tyree has played well on special teams, although not quite up to his Pro Bowl level from two years ago. Grade: B

Domenik Hixon – Still waiting to see him operate in the return games. Grade: Inc.

Tight ends

Jeremy Shockey – As usual, he's New York's leading receiver, this side of Plax, at least. With 31 catches for 11.5 yards per, he's well on his way to another Pro Bowl berth. Where he really should be commended, however, is in his blocking, where he's made great strides. Grade: B+

Michael Matthews – Considering the Giants kept him aboard to block, it's kind of surprising that they've thrown to him as much as they have. He hasn't responded well, catching three balls and dropping at least that many. His blocking has been good enough thus far. Grade: C

Kevin Boss – He's been a total non-factor in the receiving game. Grade: Inc.

Offensive linemen

David Diehl – If only he were the type to say ‘I told you so.' Diehl, one of the biggest perceived question marks heading into the season, has played lights out all season long. He's matched up with some of the best DEs the league has to offer – and he's won more often than not. We are not the only ones that owe Mr. Diehl an apology. Grade: A-

Rich Seubert – Like he never left. Seubert is as solid as a rock, and he's quite the leader as well. His sense of humor keeps everyone light around the stadium, yet he's serious when he needs to be – and the rest of the O-line follows. Grade: B+

Shaun O'Hara – A Pro Bowl alternate last season, there's no reason to think he won't get his fair share of votes again at the end of this season. O'Hara's been great this season, both on and off the field. Grade: B+

Chris Snee – Hope Tom Coughlin's daughter is ready for a trip to Hawaii at the end of this season. Snee has established himself as one of the best guards in the game. He's a road grader in the run game and has gotten much better in pass pro as well. Grade: A-

Kareem McKenzie – He's played much better than he did last year. McKenzie rebounded from a disappointing 2006 and improved, especially in his pass-blocking. He's the final piece to an O-line that has been solid, to say the least. Grade: B

Grey Ruegamer – New York's offensive line has been so steady that they haven't even needed to use any reserves. Grade: Inc.

Guy Whimper – Guess he's not going to be playing left tackle any time soon, injuries notwithstanding. Grade: Inc.

Kevin Boothe – Still waiting for a chance to play as well. Grade: Inc.

Adam Koets – He's going to have to settle for just being on the team. Grade: Inc.


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