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    Nov 2006

    News, notes, rumors and gossip: Monday, December 10, 2012 THE MORNING AFTER



    Giants-Ravens Week 16 Game Moved From 1:00 PM To 4:25 PM

    Saints' Joe Vitt On Loss To Giants: "That Was An Embarrassment"

    Excerpt: "he Saints made it very interesting in the third quarter, cutting a 35-13 Giants lead to 35-27 in six minutes, but the Giants recovered and put it away with 17 unanswered points in a 52-27 rout.

    The win keeps the Giants' cushion in the NFC East at one game after each of the other teams in the division won yesterday – yes, even the Eagles. We now take a look at what a few members of the Saints had to say postgame Sunday night.

    Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt

    "That was an embarrassment today…Here's the key, we can't have four turnovers in a game, especially on the road against a good football team. We can't allow them to have the returns that they had and score touchdowns on returns and have a chance to win on the road against a good football team."

    On punter Thomas Morstead's shorter kickoffs than usual…

    "Well, we’re outdoors. There’s a little bit of a breeze down there. It was raining. I don’t think you expect him to go that far. It’s no excuse. Our coverage teams have done an outstanding job all year long. It’s a shame what happened today with our coverage teams, but they miss it. That’s what they’re paid to do. That’s what we’re paid to do is cover kicks and cover punts and get the job done. We didn’t get that done today." Read more...


    Giants Beat Saints 52 - 27 To Hold Onto 1st Place In NFC East

    Excerpt: "The Giants had to have this game.

    With both the Cowboys and Redskins pulling off comeback wins just before the Giants took the field, the stakes were even higher. A Giants loss would have dropped them into essentially third place in the NFC East, by virtue of the first tiebreaker of division record.

    The Giants didn’t let that happen. They delivered a convincing 52-27 win against a Saints team that had beaten them three straight times, improving to 8-5 and preserving their first-place division standing.

    They did it with four takeaways, two by Stevie Brown, and a team-record kickoff return yards that were part of an overall electric performance by rookie David Wilson, who scored on a kickoff return and twice on offense. The Giants’ 52 points, including four touchdown passes by Eli Manning, were a season-high and also the most allowed by the Saints since 2005.

    The Saints got on the board first, when Elbert Mack slipped under an underthrown Manning pass and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown. But Wilson tied it up in a flash, returning the following kickoff 97 yards for his first career kick return touchdown.

    Safety Antrel Rolle had implored the Giants defense to play with “more dog” last week, and the unit responded. Rolle recovered the Giants’ first forced fumble and he created the second one, recovered by Linval Joseph to set up a 6-yard touchdown by tight end Martellus Bennett.

    The Giants held the Saints’ league-best red-zone offense to a pair of field goals in the red zone, before the Giants broke the game open.

    Manning missed his fair share of throws through the day, but he arced a beautiful pass over cornerback Jabari Greer to find Domenik Hixon for a 5-yard touchdown. The score, Hixon’s first since he tore his ACL on a touchdown catch early last year, gave the Giants a 21-13 halftime lead." Read more...

    Giants vs. Saints; You Grade 'Em


    Top Target Hakeem Nicks Gradually Returning To Form For The Giants

    Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks didn’t realize that with his four catches for 67 yards Sunday, he had officially become Eli Manning’s favorite target, moving past Plaxico Burress’ mark of 244 career catches from Manning.

    “I didn’t even know that,” Nicks said. “That’s a good thing. Gotta keep building on it.”

    Nicks is hopeful he’ll be able to do so more and more each week, as he continues to work through foot and knee injuries. He also scored his third touchdown of the year in the 52-27 win against the Saints.

    Nicks needed X-rays after the game, though he didn’t say on what body part. He said they checked out fine, though. Nicks also admitted to banging his knee — the knee that has bothered him since the Week 2 game against Tampa Bay — during the game, but said he was able to push through.

    Coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks “wore down,” but Nicks said he’s continuing to progress physically.

    Nicks said he didn’t have any doubt he would play, despite being listed as questionable with a knee injury. He said he just needed a day off practice last week because of the short turnaround following “Monday Night Football.”

    “I feel like I’m definitely getting a lot better as far as creating separation now,” Nicks said. “I can feel myself coming out of my routes a lot better, which I knew it would. … I initiated a little bit more run after the catch, trusted a little bit more, stuff like that, and I see it just getting better from here.” Read more...

    Politi: David Wilson Will Make Giants' Fans Flip Over His Performance

    Excerpt: "David Wilson had finally broken free on a kickoff return, nothing but fake grass between him and the end zone, and a few hundred miles away in Danville, Va., his parents knew what was coming next.

    The back flip. From the time he was barely out of diapers, their boy loved to stun people with his back flips. Once, the Wilsons were entertaining friends when David climbed onto the hood of their F-10 pickup truck and flipped to a perfect landing onto the driveway.

    He was just 4.

    “It was scary,” his father Dwight Wilson said over the phone with a laugh.

    The elder Wilson had a young relative who broke his neck trying similar flips, so he enrolled his son in a gymnastics class so he could perfect them. But one day, when he arrived at the gym to pick him up, he found David teaching a half-dozen kids how to flip.

    “I was like, ‘C’mon. No way. I’m not paying you to teach the class!’ ” the father said. “That’s when I took him out of gymnastics.”

    The flips stayed. Victor Cruz has the salsa dance to celebrate touchdowns. David Wilson has back flips. Now, after the way Wilson played in this 52-27 win over the Saints, the Giants can hope they’ve discovered another weapon for their final push to defend their title." Read more...

    Stevie Brown, Giants' "D" Stand Tall Against The Saints'

    Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle wanted to see a “nastier” side from his defense; more “dog” from his inconsistent unit. Jason Pierre-Paul chimed in by uttering the “s” word (soft) to describe the defense’s performance last week against the Redskins.

    Facing a potent Saints offense Sunday, the Giants surrendered their fair share of big plays and points, but when they needed a stop or a turnover, they came through with some “nasty” in a 52-27 trouncing at MetLife Stadium.

    “We definitely stepped up to the plate,” defensive lineman/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. “It was a challenge, and we rose to the occasion. Antrel’s words are pretty much right on target, and he wasn’t off this week either. We had a little extra motivation.

    “One of our brothers was, not calling us out, but challenging us to step up, so I think everybody took that to heart.”

    All it took was three plays for a nasty streak to surface with the Giants’ trio of safeties.

    Drew Brees connected with Marques Colston for thirty yards over the middle when safeties Will Hill — playing for the injured Kenny Phillips — and Stevie Brown converged on the wide receiver. From one side Hill lowered his shoulder to clobber Colston; from the other, Brown’s perfectly placed hit knocked the ball loose. Several bounces later, Rolle pounced on it.

    On the next drive, Rolle forced his own fumble, leveling fullback Jed Collins after a 2-yard reception. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph recovered it and four plays later the Giants extended their lead to 14-7 with a touchdown." Read more...

    Eli Manning's Wobbly Start Turns Into 4 Touchdown Barrage For Giants

    Excerpt: "Eli Manning’s day began with two floundering deliveries from his right arm.

    On the third play from scrimmage, Domenik Hixon had a step on cornerback Jabari Greer deep down the right sideline. An accurate pass would’ve gone for a 37-yard touchdown.

    Instead, Manning’s throw landed a few yards short and was nearly intercepted. The whispers of Manning’s fabled tired arm continued.

    On the next drive, after two short completions to fullback Henry Hynoski, Manning attempted another shot downfield. He targeted Jerrel Jernigan, but again the pass fluttered in the air short of where it needed to be. This time, cornerback Elbert Mack — after a couple bobbles — capitalized. He zipped down the field untouched for a 73-yard touchdown return to give the Saints a 7-3 lead.

    The whispers grew louder.

    Over the next three-and-a-half quarters, Manning silenced them. Besides a poor decision in the third quarter — when he threw an interception to Isa Abdul-Quddus after eyeing Bennett from the snap when Victor Cruz was wide open over the middle — Manning played nearly mistake-free. He finished the game 22-of-35 for 259 yards, four touchdowns and a 99.6 passer rating.

    “I liked the way he responded,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He wears that stuff hard.” Read more...



    This Could be Wilson's Time To Shine

    Excerpt: "David Wilson's emergence couldn't have come at a better time for the Giants, because they might need him to carry a bigger than expected load down the stretch.

    How much bigger depends on Ahmad Bradshaw's left knee, which was injured in the first half of the Giants' 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Bradshaw returned to the game, but Wilson took over the feature back in the offense. And on Monday, Bradshaw was undergoing an MRI and other tests to determine if there was any significant damage.

    "Anytime you're talking about a knee and you're going through a series of tests, you're better off to wait and see what the results are," Coughlin said on Monday. "I wouldn't speculate on anything right now."

    Bradshaw played 38 of the Giants' 69 offensive snaps on Sunday and rushed 11 times for 33 yards. After the game, Coughlin said he expected Bradshaw would be "sore". He also said Bradshaw could have continued playing, if necessary. On Monday, though, Coughlin backed off when asked if that statement indicated the injury was minor.

    If Bradshaw can't go, the Giants will turn to Wilson if necessary after his breakthrough performance on Sunday. He was in for 21 plays and rushed 13 times for 100 yards. Coughlin also praised him for his pass blocking, saying he picked up a key safety blitz.

    "The timing is great for David to come to the front," Coughlin said. "And he'll hopefully provide us with that spark we need right now to go along with the rest of our players to give us an added playmaker that people are going to have to — flat out have to — defend." Read more...


    Myers: Rookie David Wilson Shows GMen Life In Fast Lane

    Excerpt: "The television cameras caught a tear from David Wilson’s left eye rolling down his face after he lost a fumble halfway through the first quarter of the first game of his NFL career in the Giants’ season-opening loss to the Cowboys.

    Wilson has amazing speed – one of the few things not even Tom Coughlin can teach – but he is not fast enough to break a 50-yard run from the bench. The fumble came on his second carry, and the only time Wilson was permitted to touch the ball again that night came on kickoff returns.


    That provided a valuable lesson for the 2012 first-round pick. The ball is precious and if you can’t protect it, then you won’t play for Coughlin. All that was a prelude to Wilson starring in the Giants’ version Sunday of “A Star Is Born,” in the 52-27 victory over the Saints.

    The Giants were so energized by the must-win, which allowed them to hold on to first place in the NFC East, that safety Antrel Rolle, who called out his teammates last week, imploring them to get nasty and to “get a little bit more dog in us,” looked ahead a little bit. After saying the Giants are built to respond after making it hard on themselves, he didn’t flat out issue a guarantee that they are going to repeat as Super Bowl champs, but he certainly implied that another trophy is on the way.

    “We’re a fighting team,” he said. “We’re going to fight to the end. We will be the last team standing.”

    There’s a long way to go between now and Feb. 3 in New Orleans, but Wilson gives the Giants an element that could help get them there. He’s one of the few players in the NFL who can score from anywhere on the field. He’s that fast. He is also creative when the ball is in his hands and he’s got a bunch of guys chasing him. He knows how to make them miss." Read more...

    Rookie Wilson Sets Tone For Giants Tout Of Saints

    Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle called for the Giants to let out their “dogs.” Then David Wilson finally broke out of the doghouse.

    Wilson, the Giants’ 2012 first-round pick, had his long-awaited breakout game on Sunday, setting the tone with an early 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that was only the start of his big day. He set a team record with 327 all-purpose yards, including 100 rushing yards and two scores on the ground, to lead the Giants to a 52-27 win over New Orleans.

    It was the moment Wilson was waiting for since he fumbled on his second NFL carry on opening night against Dallas. And for the Giants, his “coming out party” as fullback Henry Hynoski called it, couldn’t have come at a better time. Had they lost on Sunday they wouldn’t have just lost control of their playoff destiny, they would’ve slipped all the way to third in the tight NFC East.

    “For him to come out today and have the kind of game that we needed him to have,” said Tom Coughlin. “We needed a spark. We certainly got one. The timing was right.”

    “He’s probably the best athlete on the team,” Justin Tuck added. “Whenever you put a threat like that back there, it’s only a matter of time.”

    Wilson wasn’t the only sparkplug. The Giants’ defense — fired up by Rolle’s call to play “nasty” and to “get a little bit more dog in us” last week – gave up a lot of yards (487), but kept the Saints off balance by forcing four turnovers. That included two interceptions from safety Stevie Brown, whose pick in the fourth quarter at the Giants’ 8 with the Saints threatening to make it a one-touchdown game, may have saved the day." Read more...

    Giants' Insider: Victor Cruz Passes 1,000 Yard Mark

    Excerpt: "Victor Cruz has caught plenty of passes the past two seasons, but his final catch of Sunday’s game, was especially sweet.

    Cruz scored a touchdown on a 10-yard scoring grab in the fourth quarter of the Giants’ 52-27 win over the Saints, giving him 1,001 receiving yards on the year. He’s now topped the 1,000-yard mark in two straight seasons, an impressive feat for a wideout who was simply trying to hang on to a roster spot at the beginning of last season.

    “Individually, it does (mean something), man, because all my life I dreamed about having a 1,000-yard season,” Cruz said. “You see all the greats that have 1,000 yards, and doing it back-to-back seasons is definitely one of my dreams come true.”

    But Cruz, who finished the game with eight catches for 121 yards to go with the scoring catch, quickly added that the individual milestone won’t mean anything if the Giants aren’t successful.

    “It’s all opportunity,” Cruz said. “You’ve got nothing to show for it if you don’t make the playoffs, if you don’t get to where you’re going.”


    Hakeem Nicks is officially Eli Manning’s favorite target. The wideout caught four Manning passes for 67 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, and he’s now hauled in 247 of Manning’s throws. That broke the mark of 244, held by Plaxico Burress.

    “I didn’t know that,” Nicks said. “That’s a good thing. Got to keep building on it.” Read more...

    Antrel Rolle Back Up Mid-Week Barking

    Excerpt: "There wasn't just "a little bit more dog" in Antrel Rolle on Sunday - the Giants' free safety was one of the big dogs in Big Blue's 52-27 home win over a Saints team that came barking up the wrong tree.

    Rolle forced a Marques Colston fumble, tipped an eventual Drew Brees interception, recovered a Jed Collins fumble and made five tackles to back up his harsh mid-week criticism of the Big Blue defense, which he said needed to get "nasty" and "get a little bit more dog" in it following their subpar performance in last weekend's 17-16 division loss to the Redskins.

    The unit gave up only six first-half points and forced four New Orleans turnovers, which also included two interceptions and a forced fumble by strong safety Stevie Brown, a third-year pro who said Rolle's challenge had fired up the defense.

    "You definitely want to go out there and play hard when someone makes a comment like that," said Brown, who set a new Giants single-season record with 259 interception yards when he took a pick back 70 yards in the fourth quarter. "Everybody looks at 'Trel as a leader. He's played great for us this year, and when someone challenges you like that, you want to rise up."

    Rolle recovered Colston's fumble on the Saints' first drive, forced by defensive backs Will Hill and Brown, then forced Collins' fumble on New Orleans' second drive that Linval Joseph recovered, leading eventually to a Martellus Bennett touchdown. To open the second half, Rolle tipped a Brees pass that was intercepted by Brown and led to a David Wilson touchdown that stretched New York's lead to 28-13 with 13:04 remaining in the third quarter.

    "We know how bad this team has whupped us in the past," said Rolle, wearing a shiny black vest and sunglasses postgame to complement his rock-star play. "They made a couple of big plays ., we've got to make sure we regroup and take care of that, but for the most part on defense I think we did a pretty good job." Read more...



    Manning Mixes Two Interceptions With Four Touchdowns

    Excerpt: "Eli Manning was in the midst of a three-game stretch with no touchdown passes just a few weeks ago, a striking slump for the Giants’ star quarterback.

    “It was a whole team slump,” guard Chris Snee said yesterday. “We had no confidence. It wasn’t just him.”

    Manning has rebounded, continuing his rise yesterday with a career-high-tying four touchdown passes in the Giants’ 52-27 romp over the Saints at MetLife Stadium.

    Manning was far from flawless. He threw two interceptions on bad balls, one of which was returned for a touchdown. But he completed 22 of 35 passes, threw for 259 yards, racked up a 99.6 rating and easily outplayed Drew Brees in lifting the Giants to a desperately needed victory in their NFC East title bid.

    Manning now has thrown eight TDs in the past three weeks, following his three-game stretch when he had none.

    “I think offensively, we continued to work and make sure that everybody is doing the right things,” Manning said of getting the passing game on track. “Making sure that our assignments, our techniques are perfect and getting back to practice and make sure that everything is sharp. Knowing exactly what we need to do to get open, the offensive line is protecting and we’re getting good down and distance and staying out of third-and-long situations.\

    “I think guys are just stepping up and responding. Getting Hakeem [Nicks] back and running where he’s making plays, that’s obviously outstanding. Getting [Domenik] Hixon back into the mix, getting him healthy and Martellus [Bennett] has been playing well. All of those things make a big difference.” Read more...

    Maul In: No Dogging It For Rolle, Brown

    Excerpt: "Antrel Rolle backed up his bark, and fellow safety Stevie Brown supplied plenty of bite.

    With their playmaking safeties combining for four turnovers, the Giants got back to playing with the edge Rolle was looking for in a dominant 52-27 victory over the Saints last night at MetLife Stadium.

    “I saw a lot of dog today,” Rolle said with a broad grin after the Giants remained alone atop the NFC East, a game ahead of the Redskins and Cowboys.

    Rolle, the fast-talking veteran safety who said the Giants needed “to get a little bit more dog in us” after their disappointing Monday night loss to the Redskins, provided a major spark in the rout of the Saints with his play. His words held just as much sway.

    “When someone makes a comment like that, you definitely want to rise up,” Brown said. “Everyone looks at ’Trel as a leader and he’s played great for us this year.”

    Rolle recovered a fumble, forced another and broke up a pass that directly resulted in an interception — key plays which helped the Giants build a 35-13 lead — and Brown came up with a pair of momentum-turning second-half interceptions.

    “Turnovers were huge, and more important, our offense was able to get points off those turnovers, which makes it that much better,” Rolle said. “We were attacking the ball, being physical.”

    The two safeties, who combined for three passes defensed and 15 tackles, limited star Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to just five receptions for 56 yards. In fact, both of Brown’s interceptions came on passes intended for the gifted 6-foot-7 Graham, who torched the Giants last year for two touchdown catches in a 49-24 Saints rout.

    “We knew he was one of [Drew] Brees’ favorites targets, so we wanted to take him away,” Brown said.

    Rolle began quickly, recovering Saints receiver Marques Colston’s fumble on New Orleans’ first drive. On the next Saints possession, Rolle dislodged the ball from fullback Jed Collins and Brown recovered." Read more...

    Rookie Makes Giants Leap Forward

    Excerpt: "You can’t show the world a dog mentality until you are out of the coach’s doghouse, and David Wilson was unleashed last night on the NFL.

    A 97-yard kickoff return touchdown, and backflip in the end zone.

    A pair of rushing touchdowns, one for 6 yards, another for 52, both punctuated by backflips in the end zone.

    A single-game franchise record of 327 total yards — 227 on kickoff returns, 100 on 13 carries. The first Giant since 1948 to have a kickoff return for a touchdown and a rushing touchdown.

    Flip Wilson, no laughing matter to the Saints.

    “I didn’t really look at records,” Wilson said after Giants 52, Saints 27. “That’s shocking, I think one was in 1948. ... I don’t know if they had facemasks that long ago,” he said with a chuckle. “But I know my parents weren’t born. ... That’s a long record that’s been there.”

    Antrel Rolle demanded more bite this week, and Wilson delivered.

    “He’s a pit. ... He’s a pit bull,” Rolle said.

    But wouldn’t Rolle consider himself the team pit bull?

    “Nah, I’m giving him the pit bull status for the day,” Rolle said.

    That’s the ultimate compliment, right?

    “Ultimate compliment,” Rolle said. “I was a Rottweiler today, but he was a pit.”

    This is not the same Wilson who incurred coach Tom Coughlin’s wrath by fumbling on opening night, who wasn’t going to earn the coaches’ trust until he had mastered the intricacies of blitz pickup. It was no small thing that Eli Manning congratulated him for picking up a free safety blitz either.

    “I definitely don’t want to be the reason that we don’t get back to the playoffs or the Super Bowl,” Wilson said." Read more...

    Saints' QB Left With No Room To Breathe

    Excerpt: "Apparently Jason Pierre-Paul was right: His Giants really did have an easy time dealing with New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. Easy as in child’s play.

    Brees had spent his entire career torching the Giants, giving them nightmares of No. 9 jerseys and fleur-de-lis helmets. But after Robert Griffin III and the Redskins’ option vexed the Giants last week, Brees and the Saints were sloppy and turnover-prone in a 52-27 Big Blue rout before 81,437 at MetLife Stadium.

    A week after throwing five interceptions against the Falcons — and two weeks removed from a pair of pick-sixes against the 49ers — Brees threw two more last night, Stevie Brown snatching two passes intended for tight end Jimmy Graham.

    “It’s really tough,’’ said Brees, who saw a Saints team that had been an NFL-best 41-13 the prior three years fall to 5-8. “We’ve established a standard. We were used to winning. We still are. That’s why this hurts. It’s painful.’’

    New Orleans committed four turnovers, with Jonathan Vilma acknowledging the Saints just weren’t good enough. And interim coach Joe Vitt admitted his team — all but eliminated from playoff contention — were in a fragile state after a loss he called an “embarrassment” and a “pounding.”

    “That was an embarrassment what took place on the football field,” Vitt said. “It starts with me and that’s where the blame should go.

    “When you’re losing the way we’re losing, you’re a fragile football team.’’ Read more...

    Flippin' Big Victory

    Excerpt: "It could have been a huge swing day in the NFC East for the Giants, a swing that could have spun then from first place all the way down to third in the division they once thought they controlled.

    As it turned out, status quo never looked so good for the Giants. They engaged in a wild back-and-forth scoring spree with the dangerous, mistake-prone Saints, taking a lead, watching it shrink and getting outrageous returns from rookie David Wilson, who enjoyed his NFL coming-out party in an exhausting, rain-filled and explosive 52-27 victory at soggy MetLife Stadium.

    Wilson became the first Giants player since 1948 to have a rushing and kickoff return for a touchdown in the same game, taking over as Ahmad Bradshaw was slowed by a knee issue that limited his workload. His three-touchdown performance overshadowed Eli Manning’s outing, which included four touchdown passes and his two interceptions. Wilson had a kickoff return of 97 yards for a touchdown and scoring runs of six and 52 yards.

    At 8-5, the Giants maintained their one-game lead in the division on the Redskins and Cowboys, both 7-6.

    The Giants no doubt left their locker room prior to the game believing the events of the day were working in their favor. As they went out for warm-ups, the early games looked great for the Giants until they turned into double disasters. The Cowboys, trailing all game, came back to beat the Bengals 20-19 on Dan Bailey’s last-second field goal. The Redskins, trailing the entire second half and losing Robert Griffin III to a knee injury, came back to force overtime against the Ravens and then backup Kirk Cousins helped produce a dramatic 31-28 victory.

    And so, the Giants took the field with the pressure squarely on them; if they lost, they would drop into a three-way tie for first in the NFC East but actually in third place based on tie-breakers. That dreary scenario was avoided because the Saints (5-8) are dreadful on defense and were shockingly inept in covering kicks. Drew Brees, coming off a career-high five interception nightmare in Atlanta, threw two of them against the Giants, both to safety Stevie Brown.

    Brees had been 4-0 with 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions against the Giants but he had no chance in this one, as the New Orleans special teams and defense were abysmal.

    Leading 21-13 at halftime, the Giants looked to put things away with a ferocious start to the second half. Antrel Rolle, having a huge impact, leaped to defend a pass to towering tight end Jimmy Graham and the high throw was intercepted by Brown and returned 21 yards to the New Orleans 20. It didn’t take long before Wilson was powering in and stretching over the goal line on a six-yard scoring run. Wilson punctuated the touchdown with a left-handed spike and then a back-flip. A few minutes later, Manning hit a resurgent Hakeem Nicks on a 25-yard strike, Nicks easily beating cornerback Patrick Robinson." Read more...

    Nicks Picks It Up

    Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks easily motored past cornerback Patrick Robinson and cradled an Eli Manning pass for a 25-yard touchdown connection, which did not signal the absolute return of Nicks to form. But it sure was a sign he’s getting closer.

    “I’m starting to get more separation and I feel myself coming out of my routes a lot better, which I knew I would,’’ Nicks said after last night’s 52-27 rout of the Saints. “You all know how I play by now.’’

    Nicks is looking more like himself after battling through foot and knee issues all season. He had four catches for 67 yards against the porous New Orleans secondary, nicely complementing Victor Cruz (8-121, 1 TD) to give the Giants that 1-2 punch they rode last season to the Super Bowl. Cruz now has 1,004 receiving yards this season." Read more...









    Giants Defeat Saints 52 - 27

    "If this is how the final month of the season is going to be, the Giants and their fans are in for a wild ride.

    Early on Sunday, the Giants’ two closest pursuers in the NFC East – Dallas and Washington – each won on last play-field goals. The Giants then went out to play the New Orleans Saints and in a wild game that included numerous big plays by each team, emerged with a 45-27 victory.

    The Giants improved to 8-5 and stayed one game ahead of the Cowboys and Redskins in the division race with three games to play. They will play next week in Atlanta.

    Eli Manning tied a career-high with four touchdown passes – one each to Martellus Bennett, Domenik Hixon, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz – and David Wilson scored on a 97-yard kickoff return and a six-yard run. Lawrence Tynes added a field goal.

    Stevie Brown intercepted two passes, increasing his team-high total to seven, and his 91 return yards gave him a team-record 259 for the season.

    The Giants set a team record with 287 kickoff return yards.

    The Saints got a 73-yard interception return from Elbert Mack, two Darren Sproles touchdowns – one on a 13-yard run, the other on a nine-yard reception – and a pair of Garrett Hartley field goals.

    Brown’s second interception – and 70-yard return – led to Tynes’ three-pointer, which increased the Giants’ lead to 45-27 with 10:19 remaining.

    Manning’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Cruz just 40 seconds into the fourth quarter increased the Giants’ lead to 42-27. The drive was set up by Jerrel Jernigan’s 60-yard kickoff return to the Saints’ 25-yard line. Four consecutive Ahmad Bradshaw runs moved the ball to the 10. On second-and-seven, Manning found Cruz all alone in the end zone for the touchdown.

    The Giants scored two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the third quarter to increase their lead to 35-13.

    On the first play of the second half, Drew Brees’ pass down the middle for tight end Jimmy Graham was intercepted by Brown, who returned the ball 21 yards to the Saints’ 20.

    Manning and Nicks kept the drive alive by hooking up for a 12-yard pass on third-and-eight. On the next play, Wilson took a handoff and followed the left side of the line and fought his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.

    The defense forced the Saints to go three-and-out, and after the punt the Giants took possession at their own 38. On the second play of the drive, Manning threw to the right side for Nicks, who was pushed out bounds after a 23-yard gain. Three plays later, on third-and-two, Manning found Victor Cruz for a three-yard gain to the 25. On the next snap, Nicks ran past cornerback Patrick Robinson on the right side, caught Manning’s pass inside the five and stepped into the end zone for his third touchdown of the season. The score increased the Giants’ lead to 22 points gave the Giants a since September 16 vs. Tampa Bay.

    But the Giants gave some of it back in less than a minute. New Orleans started its next series at the 25 and on the first play Brees threw a pass down the middle to Joseph Morgan that gained 62 yards. Two plays later, Sproles took a handoff and zipped around the left side for a 13-yard score, making it 35-20 with 7:21 remaining.

    The Saints continued to hold the momentum when safety Isa Abdul-Quddus intercepted Manning’s pass for Bennett and returned it 12 yards to the Saints’ 32-yard line. That set up a six-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Brees slipping a short pass to Sproles, who took it into the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown. With 1:51 remaining in the third quarter, the Giants’ once-commanding lead was down to eight points, a 35-27.

    Hixon’s terrific catch of Manning’s pass in the right back corner of the end zone with just 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter increased the Giants’ halftime lead to 21-13.

    On second-and-goal from the five, Hixon used a head fake to slip past cornerback Jabari Greer before jumping up to secure the ball and land inbounds for the touchdown. The Giants traveled 69 yards in nine plays and 1:37 following a New Orleans field goal.

    The big play on the drive was a 35-yard pass to Victor Cruz, who lined up in the right slot, moved to the outside at the snap and took Manning’s pass all the way to the Saints’ 18-yard line. Hixon followed immediately with a nine-yard reception and Ahmad Bradshaw picked up the first down with four yards run. Two plays later, Hixon scored.
    The Saints had pulled to within a single point on Hartley field goals of 32 and 25 yards.

    Big plays dominated the first quarter, which ended with the Giants holding a 14-7 lead.
    Mack got it started when he stepped in front of Manning’s third-down pass to Jerrel Jernigan and sprinted 73 yards up the right sideline for the game’s first score with 9:38 remaining in the quarter.

    It was the second pick returned for a touchdown this season by a Giants opponent. On Sept. 16, Tampa Bay’s Eric Wright intercepted a pass and brought it back 60 yards for a score.

    Mack’s 73-yard interception return was the longest by a Giants opponent since Seattle’s Brandon Browner ran one back 94 yards for a touchdown on Oct. 9, 2011
    Thirteen seconds later, the game was tied after Wilson’s electric 97-yard kickoff return. The Giants’ first-round draft choice this year, Wilson caught Garrett Hartley’s kickoff, ran up the middle and then moved to his right to outrun the entire Saints coverage team.

    It was the Giants’ first kickoff return touchdown since Domenik Hixon’s 74-yard runback against New England on Dec. 29, 2007. The Giants had played 76 regular season and nine postseason games between kickoff return touchdowns.

    The Giants forced a turnover on the Saints’ next possession that to led a go-ahead touchdown.

    On first down from the Giants’ 48-yard line, Brees threw a pass to Jed Collins, who gained two yards before Antrel Rolle forced the ball out of his hand. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph picked up the ball and returned it 16 yards to the New Orleans’ 35-yard line.

    A 16-yard pass to Hixon and two Saints penalties – one for defensive pass interference, the other for holding – helped move the Giants to the five-yard line. After Wilson lost a yard on first down, Manning threw to Bennett, who was wide open in the middle of the end zone. The score gave the Giants a 14-7 lead with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter."

    Giants vs. Saints Highlights - VIDEO

    GIANTS 101

    Giants Rout Saints 52-27 In Breakout Game For David Wilson

    Excerpt: "After watching the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys each make fourth quarter comebacks to win their games, the New York Giants knew this was a must win. Big blue found themselves down by a touchdown early after a Manning pass was picked off for a touchdown. But David Wilson, the star of the game, answered right back with a kick return for a touchdown of his own. That's not all Wilson was able to accomplish. He would finish with 100 yards rushing and three total touchdowns. The Giants also won the turnover battle recovering two fumbles. Mr. Johnny on the Spot, Stevie Brown, was able to intercept Drew Brees twice. The Giants offense was able to capitalize on the turnovers, converting them into points.

    This victory was crucial, with the Redskins and Cowboys threatening. Every game from here on out is a must win, especially with a weak Giants division record, which is worse than both the Cowboys' and Redskins', in the case of a tie. The next game comes against the NFC's top team, the Atlanta falcons, and after that it doesn't get any easier. But for now Giants fans can celebrate today's dominating victory against a dangerous Saints team. So let's take a look at today's good, bad, and mixed performances of today's Giants win." Read more...



    Giants 52, Saints 27: David Wilson Leads Giants With Three Tds

    Excerpt: "On a day that saw both the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins earn dramatic victories, the New York Giants answered the bell with a huge 52-27 victory Sunday over the New Orleans Saints. The Giants (8-5) maintained their one-game NFC East lead with the victory.

    This was a breakout game for rooking running back David Wilson. He returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score, carries 13 times for 100 yards -- including touchdowns of 6 and 52 yards -- and had 227 yards returning kickoffs. His 327 yards of total offense is a single-game franchise record. The Giants also set a single-game franchise record with 287 total yards in kickoff returns.

    This one resembled an Arena Football League game with the teams going up and down the field at a frenetic pace. The Giants, however, took advantage of four New Orleans turnovers, two interceptions by Stevie Brown and fumble recoveries by Antrel Rolle and Linval Joseph, in addition to Wilson's kickoff return score.

    The game started poorly for the Giants' offense. A 58-yard kickoff return byDavid Wilson, giving the Giants the ball at the New Orleans' 45, was wasted by a three-and-out.

    After a New Orleans' turnover, a fumble by Marques Colston that was recovered by Antrel Rolle -- again at the 45 -- Eli Manning threw a third-down interception that Elbert Mack returned 73 yards for a score.

    Wilson then returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to knot the score at 7-7.

    Linval Joseph
    then recovered a fumble after a reception by New Orleans fullback Jed Collins to once again set the Giants up in Saints' territory. The recovery put the ball at the New Orleans' 35-yard line. Four plays later Manning hit Martellus Bennett for a 6-yard touchdown, giving the Giants a 14-7 lead with 4:19 remaining in the opening quarter.

    The Saints drove 81 yards in 14 plays for a 32-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley to cut the lead to 14-10 with 9:46 left in the half. .

    Wilson, having a great day returning kickoffs, returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the New Orleans' 46. Lawrence Tynes missed a 36-yard field goal attempt wide left after the Giants' drive stalled at the 19-yard line.

    Following Tynes' miss the Saints drove 67 yards in eight plays. Hartley hit a 25-yard field goal to make the score 14-13 with 1:57 left in the half.

    The Giants then drove 69 yards in nine plays with Manning hitting Domenik Hixon for a 5-yard touchdown on a fade route with 20 seconds left in the half, giving the Giants a 21-13 lead." Read more...



















    Giants' David Wilson Breaks Free In Rout Of Saints

    Excerpt: "As David Wilson was dozing off the night before the biggest game of his budding pro career, the rookie had his hotel room television on ESPN Film's "30 for 30" feature, "You Don't Know Bo," on Bo Jackson.It is only fitting that Wilson watched highlights of one of the best athletes in recent memory the night before producing his own personal record-shattering highlight reel against the New Orleans Saints.

    The player whom many of his teammates call the best athlete on the New York Giants set a franchise record with 327 all-purpose yards while scoring three touchdowns to ignite the Giants' 52-27 explosion over the Saints.
    Wilson became the first player in NFL history to have 200 kickoff return yards while also rushing for 100 yards in a game.

    "I don't know what took him so long," defensive end Justin Tuck cracked.

    After starting his season by famously fumbling on his second career carry against Dallas -- which led to the whole did he or didn't he cry episode on the sideline -- Wilson finally gave everyone a glimpse of what he is capable of doing when given the opportunity in the 13th game of the season.
    He literally was one step away from breaking multiple touchdowns on kickoff returns, gaining 227 yards on four returns. He averaged 56.8 yards a return, the highest average ever by a Giant with at least three returns in a game. His critical 97-yard touchdown return came right after Eli Manning had thrown a 73-yard pick-six early in the first quarter to Elbert Mack, swinging the momentum back in the Giants' favor." Read more...

    Champs Send Message To NFC East

    Excerpt: "Their competition in the NFC East had staggered back to life in zombie form, leaving the New York Giants in a most vulnerable state, leaving them to search for their true identity somewhere amid a rainy, London-like fog.

    Just before the Giants faced their tormentor, Drew Brees, Dallas and Washington completed their comeback victories over Cincinnati and Baltimore with dramatic field goals that came all of three minutes apart. After spending most of Sunday afternoon thinking they would retain control of the division win, lose or draw, the Giants suddenly saw their margin for error reduced to the size of a referee's whistle.

    Maybe this would be the day they surrendered to human nature. Maybe this would be the day they cracked and listened to that little voice within reminding them that they'd won it all last year, and that failing to do so this year wouldn't amount to a felony in anyone's book.

    Eli Manning
    's big brother, Peyton, called it the pass. As soon as Peyton won his liberating Super Bowl ring, he warned reporters that he didn't want the pass the following season. He didn't want anyone accepting substandard play because, you know, he'd already won the big one and deserved the benefit of the doubt.

    Tom Coughlin has been coaching against the pass all season, coaching against human nature. He already knew how tough it was to repeat as champs since he tried and failed to pull it off in 2008, when Plaxico Burress blew a hole in his leg and blew up his team's two-peat plans."All it took," Coughlin would say in August, "was one selfish act." The coach called his 11-1 Giants of 2008 "the best team in football," a team that ultimately would go one-and-done in the playoffs." Read more...

    David Wilson scores 3 TDs as Giants beat Saints, remain atop NFC East

    Excerpt: "Rookie David Wilson's brilliant game might be the spark that gets the New York Giants back to the playoffs.Wilson returned a kickoff 97 yards for one touchdown, ran for two more scores and piled up a team-record 327 all-purpose yards.

    Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes in the Giants' 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.The Giants (8-5) maintained their one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas.

    The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of
    Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8).New York also ended a three-game losing streak against the Saints, who turned over the ball four times in losing their third straight.

    Manning had TD passes of 6 yards to
    Martellus Bennett, 5 yards to Domenik Hixon, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 10 yards to Victor Cruz.

    Wilson scored on runs of 6 and 52 yards and finished with 100 yards on 13 carries for the biggest day of his short career.

    The 52 points were their most since scoring 55 against Green Bay in 1986. It also was the most given up by New Orleans, whose defense is run by former New York coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

    Darren Sproles
    scored on a 13-yard run and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brees late in the third quarter, cutting the Giants lead to 35-27.However, Jerrel Jernigan returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to set up Manning's touchdown pass to Cruz.

    New York iced the game when
    Stevie Brown returned one of two interceptions thrown by Brees to set up Lawrence Tynes' 39-yard field goal.

    The biggest play was Wilson's kickoff return, which came one play after
    Elbert Mack intercepted Manning in the left flat and returned it 73 yards to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.

    The touchdown came minutes after Dallas rallied for a 20-19 win over Cincinnati and Washington beat Baltimore 31-28 in overtime despite losing Robert Griffin III to a knee injury.

    The Giants could have folded against a team that had routed them the past two meetings. Instead, Wilson, who has been threatening all season to break a kickoff, fielded one at the 3, went up the middle and then veered toward the right corner of the end zone. He capped it with a somersault." Read more...

    Giants Steamroll Saints - VIDEO

    Rapid Reaction: Giants 52 - Saints 27

    Excerpt: "With the Redskins and Cowboys breathing down their necks, theNew York Giants held on to their division lead by crushing the Saints 52-27.

    What it means: The Redskins and Cowboys both won in dramatic fashion just before the Giants kicked off against the Saints.

    But instead of feeling the pressure, the Giants heeded Antrel Rolle's plea to play nastier and bring a dog mentality onto the field. They responded by forcing four turnovers on defense and building a 22-point lead midway through the third quarter. The Saints closed to within 35-27 late in the third, but Eli Manninganswered with a touchdown pass to Victor Cruz to open the fourth.

    Now the Giants go into the final three games clinging to a one-game lead in the division but looking a lot more explosive and potent. The Giants just have to show they can be consistent and quit the roller-coaster weekly act.

    Eli bounces back: Manning got off to a shaky start, throwing a 73-yard pick-six in the first quarter. He would later throw another interception, but he had his most productive day of the season with a season-high four touchdowns.

    He still looks uncharacteristically off on some of his throws like his interceptions and when he underthrew Cruz on one completion. But he came through in the red zone when the Giants needed it most, and the offense looked prolific again.

    David is Goliath:David Wilson has been saying all season he is going to finally break a kickoff return for a touchdown. That day came on Sunday, when he returned one 97 yards in the first quarter.

    But he was a monster overall. He scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one on return. And he broke 100 yards for the first time in his career with Ahmad Bradshaw in and out due to a knee issue. He set a franchise record with 327 all-purpose yards.

    On Wilson's first kickoff return, he went 58 yards to put the Giants at the Saints’ 44. He also had a 52-yard return in the second quarter to set the team’s franchise record for kickoff-return yards. Jerrel Jernigan even got into the act with a 60-yard return on a short kickoff designed to avoid Wilson near the end of the third quarter.

    But Wilson didn’t stop at just kickoffs. He scored on a 6-yard touchdown run early in the second half to put the Giants up 28-13, and he picked up the slack in the running game in the fourth quarter with Bradshaw resting. He busted a 52-yard touchdown run in the fourth while the Giants were trying to run out the clock.

    Safety dance:Kenny Phillips was inactive thanks to a knee injury, but the Giants' safeties still made big plays." Read more...

    Sunday Blitz: Saints-Giants Re-Cap - VIDEO



    David Wilson Busts Out In 52 - 27 Giants' Win

    Excerpt: "David Wilson didn’t do much for the Giants through the first 12 games of the season, but he came up with an big one in lucky number 13 to help the team stay on top of the NFC East.

    Wilson returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, had a six-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and put the final touches on a 52-27 win over the Saints with a 52-yard run in the fourth quarter. Wilson also chipped in a couple of other long kickoff returns to help keep the Giants in fine field position — they had seven drives start in New Orleans territory — all day on their way to the win.

    Wilson, who finished with 327 all purpose yards and 100 rushing yards, wasn’t the only guy coming up with big returns. Jerrel Jernigan had a 60-yard kickoff return, Stevie Brown flipped the field on one of his two interceptions and the Giants rolled up more than 400 yards on all of their returns (there were two fumbles and two punts as well) during the day. That left the Giants offense without much heavy lifting to do, but they handled a limited workload awfully well." Read more...



    Manning, Wilson fuel Giants in blowout win over Saints

    Excerpt: "Rookie David Wilson's brilliant game might be the spark that gets the New York Giants back to the playoffs.

    Wilson returned a kickoff 97 yards for one touchdown, ran for two more scores and piled up a team-record 327 all-purpose yards. Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes in the Giants' 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

    The Giants (8-5) maintained their one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas. The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8).

    New York also ended a three-game losing streak against the Saints, who turned over the ball four times in losing their third straight.

    Manning had TD passes of 6 yards to Martellus Bennett, 5 yards to Domenik Hixon, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 10 yards to Victor Cruz. Wilson scored on runs of 6 and 52 yards and finished with 100 yards on 13 carries for the biggest day of his short career.

    The 52 points were their most since scoring 55 against Green Bay in 1986. It also was the most given up by New Orleans, whose defense is run by former New York coordinator Steve Spagnuolo." Read more...





    Manning Throws 4 TDs As Giants Kick Saints 52 - 27

    Excerpt: "Rookie David Wilson finally delivered on all the promise and might have provided the spark that gets the New York Giants back to the playoffs.Wilson returned a kickoff 97 yards for one touchdown, ran for 100 yards and two more scores and piled up a team-record 327 all-purpose yards in a 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday that also featured four touchdowns pass by Eli Manning.

    The first-round draft pick from Virginia Tech is the first NFL player to have 200 yards in kickoff returns and 100 yards rushing in a game, with his total breaking the Giants mark of 303 set by current teammate Domenik Hixon in 2009.

    The Giants (8-5) maintained their one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas.

    The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8).

    New York also ended a three-game losing streak against the Saints, who turned over the ball four times in losing their third straight.

    Manning had TD passes of 6 yards to Martellus Bennett, 5 yards to Hixon, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 10 yards to Victor Cruz. Wilson scored on runs of 6 and 52 yards and reached the century mark on only 13 carries for the biggest day of his short career.

    The 52 points were their most since scoring 55 against Green Bay in 1986. It also was the most given up by New Orleans, whose defense is run by former New York coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

    Darren Sproles scored on a 13-yard run and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brees late in the third quarter, cutting the Giants lead to 35-27.However, Jerrel Jernigan returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to set up Manning's touchdown pass to Cruz.

    New York iced the game when Stevie Brown returned one of two interceptions thrown by Brees to set up Lawrence Tynes' 39-yard field goal.
    The biggest play was Wilson's kickoff return, which came one play after Elbert Mack intercepted Manning in the left flat and returned it 73 yards to give the Saints a 7-0 lead. " Read more...








    NFL Week 14: Questions Of The Day

    Last edited by RoanokeFan; 12-10-2012 at 03:45 PM.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

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