Time for our 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review of Sunday's 29-24 victory by the New York Giants over the Dallas Cowboys. The game was a mixed bag of good and bad for the Giants, and that is reflected in this edition of 'K&WW.'
Kudos to ...
Dez Bryant's fingertips -- They were, after all, the only thing that separated victory from defeat. By the way, did anyone else wonder what the heck Corey Webster was doing on that play? Remember last week when we picked on the Washington Redskins for letting Victor Cruz behind them with the game on the line? Webster, a veteran who knows better, did the same thing.
Stevie Brown -- Two interceptions and a fumble recovery. When this guy has a chance to make a play on the ball he makes it, something not all defensive backs do. By the way, how do you take this guy out of the lineup when Kenny Phillips is healthy? Or, do you?
Jason Pierre-Paul -- An interception return for a touchdown on a brilliant read of a Dallas screen pass, a sack, four tackles and a pass defensed. Pierre-Paul was a force.
Lawrence Tynes -- He went 5-for-5 Sunday, including two field goals from outside 40 yards. The Giants needed every point Tynes provided. The guy is having a phenomenal year, 24-of-26 on field goals, with one miss outside 40 yards and one miss outside 50 yards.
Chris Canty -- The stats, two tackles and a sack, don't show how much of a force Canty was on Sunday. He was in the Dallas backfield a lot, showing exactly what the Giants missed while he was out for the first six games.
Linval Joseph -- Two sacks, three tackles and a brilliant hustle play that forced Romo to go backwards before throwing what turned into Brown's second interception.
[Related: 'Studs and Duds' | SB Nation New York]
Wet Willies to ...
Jayron Hosley, Prince Amukamara and Corey Webster -- Awful. That is really all I can say about the majority of the work done by the Giants' cornerbacks on Sunday. Coach Tom Coughlin said the Giants' "coverage was loose to say the least." He could have said it was often non-existent. I will be interested to see what the Pro Football Focus numbers say later on about the work of the secondary.
Hosley was toasted over and over by Miles Austin and committed a couple of penalties.
Webster had the nice early interception on a badly-thrown ball by Tony Romo. FOX commentator Troy Aikman pinned Dez Bryant's 55-yard reception on a blown Webster coverage, though. And, as I wrote earlier, what is Webster doing letting Bryant get behind him into the end zone with the game on the line?
Amukamara was picked on over and over. Dallas seemed to be targeting him and, while Amukamara made a play or two, the Cowboys seemed to be pretty much whatever they wanted against Prince.
I don't know who to blame for Jason Witten catching an outrageous 18 passes. Linebackers Michael Boley and Keith Rivers couldn't cover him. Michael Coe couldn't cover him. The giants' safeties couldn't cover him. The heck with it. 'Kudos' to Witten, a great player who had a great game.
Victor Cruz -- Probably dropped more passes than he caught. Ended the game with just two receptions for 23 yards, and had no impact.
Giants' red zone offense -- The only reason the Cowboys had any real opportunity to come back after the Giants took a 23-0 lead was that the margin should have been much greater than that. The Giants got into the red zone four times and came away with one touchdown and three field goals. That 23-point lead could have been 30+ with better work in the red zone.
Kwillies to ...
Ahmad Bradshaw -- Ran hard, as usual, but he didn't necessarily run well. It was Bradshaw's second-quarter fumble, on a play where he wasn't hit all that hard and seemed to just let the ball slide out of his grasp, that breathed life back into the Cowboys. He carried the ball 22 times, while Andre Brown got only three carries and David Wilson only two. We know Bradshaw isn't 100 percent, but after two straight ineffective weeks how long can that lopsided distribution of carries continue?
The Giants are 6-2, that is the bottom line. While the Cowboys keep finding ways to lose and the Philadelphia Eagles seem to be imploding the Giants keep finding ways to rack up victories. Sometimes there might be a little bit of luck involved, like those Bryant fingertips, but the Giants have a resolve and an understanding of what it takes to win that teams like the Cowboys and Eagles seem to be missing.
The Cowboys exposed some serious issues in the Giants' secondary. Offensively, the Giants did not run the ball well for the second straight week. I didn't mention Manning and his 15-for-29 effort in any category today. I really didn't think Manning got much help from his receivers on Sunday. Lots of drops, not many guys getting open and other than the early 56-yard catch by Reuben Randle no receivers really made plays for him.
Still, the standings say the Giants lead the NFC East with a 6-2 record. They will take it, and figure out how to fix the other stuff later.
PFF numbers, snap counts and more coming later on.