Derek Hagan (85) of the New York Giants runs the ball against Reed Doughty (37) of the Washington Redskins on December 5 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Kudos to ...
- Jason Pierre-Paul: This young man has come a loooong way for the Giants since being thrust into a larger-than-expected role when Mathias Kiwanuka went down with a season-ending neck injury. At times, the first-round pick from South Florida was completely unblockable Sunday. Two sacks, a forced fumble, a pass batted down and a fumble recovery. As impressive as his pass-rushing was I think the play I loved most was the fumble recovery, simply because of the hustle required for Pierre-Paul to get down the field and be in position to make that play.
Brandon Jacobs: Who says Jacobs isn't a big-play back? The big fella had 103 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries, an average of 12.3 yards per attempt. He created a 39-yard run out of a play that looked dead, ran through the Redskins for a 28-yard score and had a nifty cutback on his eight-yard touchdown run.
- Derek Hagan: Steve Smith? Hakeem Nicks? Who needs 'em? Hagan caught a team-high seven passes for 65 yards. That's the most catches Hagan has had in a game since Dec. 9, 2007 when he caught eight passes against Buffalo as a member of the Miami Dolphins. So, umm, why did the Giants cut this guy at the end of training camp? I did not understand it then, and I still don't understand it now.
Pat Flaherty: Again playing a makeshift offensive line, the Giants set a franchise record by not allowing a quarterback sack for a fifth straight game. The Giants' veteran offensive line coach has got to get some props for the work done by this group blocking for Eli Manning and opening holes for Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. I think it pretty much goes without saying that the line itself also deserves a huge 'Kudos.'
- D.J. Ware: A really nice game-opening 37-yard kickoff return, the last 20 of which he got almost entirely on his own. That's the sort of 'make something out of nothing' kickoff return the Giants have not had all season.
- Ahmad Bradshaw: A lot of tough work by Bradshaw. who went over 1,000 yards for the season Sunday when he gained 97 yards on 25 carries and sliced through the Washington defense for two TDs. One small quibble. I mean, Ahmad, couldn't you have found three more yards somewhere. It would have been really sweet to have two runners crack the 100-yard mark.
- Barry Cofield: Seven unassisted tackles and a pass defensed. He might not be the most dominant defensive tackle around, but you have to love this guy's hustle up and down the line of scrimmage.
- Tom Quinn: As much as I have criticized this guy the past year or so, I have to give him 'Kudos' today. Tremendous kickoff coverage from a unit suddenly emerging as one of the best in the league, a punt downed on the five-yard line, a great angled punt inside the 15-yard line from Matt Dodge, a really good kickoff return from Ware. I still get nervous, but I have to give the guy credit. From the beginning of the season to right now there has been tremendous improvement in special teams play.
- Devin Thomas: Speaking of special teams, the former Redskin certainly made his old team know he was around. Thomas blocked a punt, made a punishing solo tackle on a kickoff and adeptly downed a beautiful punt by Dodge at the five-yard line.
- Justin Tuck: Three tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles for Tuck. Since his halftime tirade against Jacksonville Tuck has backed up his talk by stringing together six quarters of terrific football that are probably as good as any he has ever played.
- Terrell Thomas: Four tackles and an interception in the end zone that helped remind the Redskins that, well, they had no chance to win that game. Thomas has good days and bad ones, and this was one of his better ones.
- Mike Farley: For filling in capably for me Sunday both here and at SB Nation New York. Maybe the 'Farley Jinx' truly is a thing of the past.
No 'Wet Willies' today. In a lopsided 31-7 victory I can't really find any performances on the Giants side worthy of that type of criticism. I am not a total softy, however, so I do have to hand out a few 'Kwillies.'
Kwillies to ...
- Will Beatty: Can't give him a 'Wet Willie,' not after helping the Giants run the ball so well and again allowing Eli Manning to pass without being sack. Two holding penalties and a false start, though, won't endear him to Tom Coughlin. If David Diehl is ready to return next Sunday against Minnesota it will be interesting to see if it is Beatty or left guard Kevin Boothe who takes a seat.
- Matt Dodge: The classic 'Kwillie' player gets another one. He hit a couple of absolutely beautiful punts, but he also hit two or three liners where he was fortunate Washington's Brandon Banks did not end up with bigger returns.
- Deon Grant: Five tackles, including a terrific solo tackle on a kickoff return, but Grant failed on two chances to create turnovers. He dropped an easy interception and muffed a clean shot at a fumble recovery on an Osi Umenyiora strip sack. That did not hurt on Sunday, but against Philly or Green Bay the Giants will pay for those kinds of missed opportunities.
- Antrel Rolle: I will admit that I got a chuckle out of his being booed for a tripping penalty. Good thing he did trip the guy, though, because if he hadn't the play would have gone for a touchdown. Rolle was soft in coverage a couple of times and took a terrible angle on another play that could have gone for big yardage if McNabb had been on target. He did make five tackles and come up with a fumble recovery, though. That is what Rolle is -- a play maker. He is not a perfect technique, always in the right spot safety.
- Eli Manning: All four Giants touchdowns were rushing touchdowns, and Eli was a workmanlike 15-of-25 for 161 yards. The 'Kwillie' is for the completely boneheaded interception in the end zone with the score already 14-0. No idea what Eli thought he saw, but you can't throw into triple coverage and kill a scoring opportunity when you have a chance to bury a team.
- Kenny Phillips: Played a nice overall game, but it looked like KP might have had the deep coverage on Anthony Armstrong's 33-yard touchdown catch. He was nowhere to be found.