By Paul Dottino
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This was the way the Giants should have played all season. Had they done so, they still would be in the playoff picture.
The Giants (4-8) dominated in every fashion while hitting several key benchmarks. They ran for 142 yards, had eight sacks, were plus-two in the turnover battle, and held the Titans to 61 rushing yards.
Finally, it appears they came out of the game with no injuries of note, a rarity this season.
Offense-RB Andre Williams and WR Odell Beckham Jr. This dynamic rookie duo each produced a 100-yard game with a touchdown, perhaps giving us a glimpse into the future. Williams (24-131) had 14 second-half carries for 104 yards, including a 50-yard scoring jaunt down the left sideline that made it 30-0 with 12:06 left in the 3rd quarter. It was the team’s longest run of the season. Beckham (11-130) set a team rookie record with his fourth 100-yard game, highlighted by a 15-yard TD and a leaping 50-yard grab. He also had a 9-yard run and overthrew Rueben Randle on a 51-yard WR option. His production outweighed the 45-yard TD pass that he dropped in the fourth.
Defense-LB Devon Kennard. He collected two sacks for the second straight week, since the Giants started using him more in their blitz package. His first sack on rookie QB Zach Mettenberger caused a fumble that DT Markus Kuhn returned 26 yards for a TD and a 17-0 lead with 1:07 left in the first quarter. In the fourth, Kennard’s pancake sack knocked Mettenberger out of the game with an aggravated shoulder injury.
Special teams-PK Josh Brown. He bounced back from his first missed field goal of the season last week to hit on all five tries, including an impressive 52-yarder that could have been good from much longer.
Offense-QB Eli Manning. He was solid (26-42 for 260 yards with one TD and an INT), but was totally at fault on the Giants’ only turnover – Marqueston Huff’s 23-yard INT return for a TD with 8:36 left in the third to make it 30-7. Manning rolled left and tried to hit TE Larry Donnell along the left sideline, but Huff clearly had inside position and the bullet pass came right to him.
Defense-DE Damontre Moore. It is not often you can justify a gasser to a player who had two sacks, but this was an easy choice for a defense that pitched a shutout. Moore was flagged for a late hit on the QB, nullifying CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s 36-yard INT for a TD on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Special teams-Field goal unit. Somehow the unit was not set up in time to get off a 37-yard attempt in the fourth quarter and took a delay of game penalty. But Brown connected from 42, anyway.
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