PATRIOTS REPORT CARD VS. GIANTS
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Tom Brady
led what could've been the game-winning drive and showed his usual
poise in the fourth quarter, but two key turnovers led to 10 points for
the Giants and set the tone for a frustrating afternoon. All told,
Brady turned the ball over three times, and, once again WR Chad
Ochocinco was a non-factor.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- BenJarvus
Green Ellis averaged more than 4 yards per carry, but the running game
really wasn't a factor. This is a surprise considering the Giants have
trouble stopping the run, particularly on first down. The Patriots
should have tried to establish the run a bit more.
PASS DEFENSE: D -- For three
and a half quarters, the Patriots managed to hold the depleted Giants'
offense in check, but when New York spread it out offensively, New
England had no chance. Eli Manning led two late scoring drives,
including the game-winner on a touchdown pass to Jake Ballard. The
secondary once again let the Patriots down, and it doesn't appear to be
getting better anytime soon.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- With Ahmad
Bradshaw out of the lineup, the Giants figured to struggle running the
ball, but Brandon Jacobs filled in nicely with 72 yards on 18 carries,
including a 10-yard touchdown run. Even D.J. Ware had a couple of big
carries, and Manning had a scramble for a first down on the game's
final drive that helped lead to a field goal. Ultimately, the run
defense wasn't nearly good enough, which turned out to be the story of
the afternoon across the board.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Awful.
Stephen Gostkowski missed a chip-shot field goal at the end of the
first half and Julian Edelman muffed a punt in the third quarter that
led to Jacobs' touchdown.
COACHING: C -- The Patriots
talked about wanting to get Taylor Price more involved offensively, yet
he didn't get a single snap Sunday; instead, the Patriots kept wasting
time trying to get the ball to Chad Ochocinco, who clearly isn't a good
fit with this offense. There's not much else to complain about from a
coaching standpoint; the Patriots don't have a great defense no matter
what plays Belichick and his staff draw up.
GIANTS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS
PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- It
wasn't pretty and certainly the numbers don't show it, but Eli Manning
was once again elite despite not having receiver Hakeem Nicks
(hamstring) available. Manning's only glitch was the interception he
threw into the end zone that was picked off by Kyle Arrington;
otherwise, he made the plays he needed to in order to move the chains,
including finding his big tight end Jake Ballard for two key passes on
the game-winning drive. While the pass blocking wasn't always there,
which forced Manning to throw a lot off his back foot, the good news is
that he wasn't sacked. Manning finished 20 of 39 (51.2 percent) for 250
yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus --
While the numbers don't appear to be impressive -- the Giants' rushing
game averaged 3.8 yards per carry -- it was how they ran the ball that
made the difference. Minus their top running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, who
was home nursing a broken foot, Brandon Jacobs came to work with a
brand new attitude. He ran with a purpose and made every single one of
his 72 yards on 18 carries count for something. Meanwhile DJ Ware, who
moved into the third-down back role, did a nice job of picking up the
blitzes while also managing a respectable 3.3 yards per carry on his
seven opportunities. Finally, rookie Da'Rel Scott, active with Bradshaw
sidelined, showed that intriguing burst of speed and quickness through
the line on his lone carry that went for five yards.
PASS DEFENSE: C-plus -- While Patriots
quarterback Tom Brady only completed 57 percent of his passes that
included two touchdowns, he also threw two costly and uncharacteristic
interceptions. The Giants did a nice job for the most part of mixing up
zone and man-to-man coverage, and also did a decent job of disguising
what they were looking to do. However, the fact remains that the
Patriots managed to record not one, but two 100-yard receivers this
week -- Wes Welker, who had nine catches for 136 yards, and tight end
Rob Gronkowski, who caught eight balls for 101 yards.
RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus -- Save
for a couple of big runs of 18 yards by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who
broke free for 18 yards on the Patriots' first play from scrimmage, and
receiver Wes Welker, who had a 13-yard scramble, the Giants run defense
was much more stout this week as players did a better job of getting
into their gaps and shedding blocks. Credit the Giants' linebacking
corps, led by team leading tacklers Mathias Kiwanuka and Michael Boley,
who did an exceptional job of keeping the Patriots' runners from
getting to the defensive backfield.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- Take
away the low, short snaps by Zak DeOssie (which were handled cleanly by
holder Steve Weatherford), and the muffed punt by Aaron Ross that
nearly changed the complexion of the game, and the Giants special teams
had another solid outing. The star this week was Weatherford, who sent
five of his six punts inside the 20 and of those five, three inside of
the 10-yard line, forcing the Patriots to work with a longer field.
Meanwhile the Giants' coverage units were, for the most part, solid,
though the gunner coverage had its share of troubles with New England's
gunners. The special teams also came up with a big play when linebacker
Mark Herzlich forced a fumble that was recovered by fellow rookie
linebacker Spencer Paysinger, a turnover that set up an ensuing scoring
COACHING: A -- Head coach Tom
Coughlin has his players believing they can stand toe-to-toe with any
team, and it's showing in their on-field performance. What's more, when
some critical mistakes were made that could have potentially affected
the outcome of the game, Coughlin and Co. were right there, encouraging
players to forget about it and move on to the next play. Offensive
coordinator Kevin Gilbride found a way to get tight end Jake Ballard
involved in the game and it paid dividends as Ballard contributed on
the game-winning drive. He also figured out a way to jump-start the
running game despite not having his best runner, Ahmad Bradshaw, and
his starting center, David Baas, in the lineup. Defensive coordinator
Perry Fewell brought his best plan to date to this game, a plan in
which the Giants mixed up their coverages and disguised what they were
doing just enough to keep the Patriots guessing.
Game Balls & Goats: Pats - Giants
Report Cards: Patriots - Giants
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