It was thanks to a defense that refused to go down despite the comedy of errors that was the New York Giant offense. This was not a well executed game by any means, and the grades reflect this.
Jerrel Jernigan (+3.3) - Was there any doubt about this one? Jernigan caught six passes for 80 yards and a TD en route to the best score by a Giants wide receiver this year. He consistently got open and destroyed Dwight Bentley and Don Carey in coverage. He was targeted a team-high 10 times. Jernigan was probably the one player Eli Manning trusted and it showed. He had two great catches, the TD, and one that was initially called incomplete on the sidelines, but after a Coughlin challenge showed that Jernigan had fantastic body control in completing the catch.
Key offensive Contributors
Nobody else scored above a +1.0. Hardly surprising.
Dallas Reynolds (-4.3) - Doesn't seem like we can go a week without having an interior offensive lineman landing in this spot. Reynolds was dinged for allowing 5five hurries as the Lions defensive front started manhandling the Giants as the game progressed. He didn't provide much of anything while run-blocking either, scoring negatively in that category as well.
Key Offensive Villians
William Beatty (-3.8) - Allowed two sacks and was destroyed on a couple of other plays. Beatty needs a vacation, he has completely dropped off the face of the Earth. He didn't get much push in the run game. I mean, I feel like I'm just copying and pasting the same analysis for some of these guys because it's the same thing, week in and week out.
Andre Brown (-2.8) - The biggest thing here was the key fumble in overtime. He also didn't force any missed tackles. He's struggled the last couple of weeks.
Eli Manning (-1.9) - Beatty needs to go on vacation, and he needs to take his quarterback with him. Eli made a few nice throws, but of course he had a stupid interception and overthrew several wide open receivers. His mechanics and his fundamentals seem to be degrading.
Kevin Boothe (-1.7) - Surprisingly, his pass protection was okay. He graded out horribly in run-blocking, however (-1.9). Can't say I'm surprised, Cox and Brown got nothing done up the middle against Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
Mathias Kiwanuka (+3.2) - Take a bow, Kiwi. That was some performance. He was credited by PFF with two sacks, two hits, two hurries, and a forced fumble, Kiwanuka had his best game by far this year. He was aggressive and quick. This was the first time he graded positively in run defense, pass defense, pass rush, and penalty. I wish we had this guy all year.
Key Defensive Contributors
Antrel Rolle (+2.7) - So, remember my post where I said it'd be okay to cut Antrel? Gosh, he's making me pay every week. He made this section due to a tremendous game in pass defense in which he allowed three receptions for 11 yards. He also didn't miss any tackles. What a beast.
Jonathan Hankins (+2.0) - When we got excited about a defensive line prospect from the 2013 draft, everybody assumed Damontre Moore was going to take over. That hasn't happened, but the guy taken one round before him has certainly impressed. Hankins has been everywhere ... when he's gotten a chance to play. Not quite a great pass rusher, he's fast becoming the team's best run defender. He earned this grade in only 21 snaps.
Ryan Mundy (-4.3) - Mundy didn't have a terrible game against the pass ... he even went positive in that aspect. No, he just had an unfathomably bad game defending the run. He scored an astonishing -5.1, generally owing to a ridiculous four missed tackles. That's more than Will Hill has missed all year.
Jon Beason (-3.0) - The book has been set on many players this year, and Beason is no different. Same story, decent work and great tackling in the run game not enough to offset horrendous pass coverage. Beason was responsible for sixreceptions for 52 yards. Most of the damage was done by Joique Bell on shallow crossing routes and checkdowns, which has been a consistent thorn on the defensive side of the ball.
Cullen Jenkins (-2.2) - A rare power outage for the productive Jenkins, who pass rushed the most snaps of any defensive player aside from Kiwanuka, but only came away with a hit and a hurry. Didn't really show out against the run, either.
Linval Joseph (-2.1) - Joseph also had a poor showing on Sunday. He was moved off the line of scrimmage multiple times by Larry Warford and Dominic Raiola on his way to a -1.5 grade against the run.
Spencer Paysinger (-1.7) - Pay's negative grade came primarily from run defense, which is a bit surprising, considering that has traditionally been his strength. It seems like PFF was not enamored with the Giants' run defense as a whole against the Lions.
Mike Patterson (-1.3) - Mike Patterson got a huge chunk of a negative grade for a penalty committed. I don't particularly recall the situation for it, but it creates the majority of his grade for this week. If one of you, my friends, remember when that penalty was called, it might explain it.
Special Teams Impact Performers
Josh Brown (+3.3) - Gone with Lawrence Tynes is the inability to hit 50+ yard field goals.
Steve Weatherford (+2.1) - Another week, another positive Weatherford grade. His punts have been things of beauty lately.
Michael Cox (+1.4) - Broke off a huge kickoff return late in the game to spring the Giants for a scoring drive.
Rueben Randle (+1.2) - Received this grade for fielding punts. Unsure why. Maybe because he didn't drop any?
In case you are wondering where Will Hill is, he had a negative run defense grade that limited his overall grade to only a +0.7. That being said, the Giants are now the only team in the NFL to have two players ranked in the top 10 at the safety position. Hill is ranked fifth and Rolle is ranked 10th. Both rank above the Seattle Seahawks duo of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who rank 11th and 12th, respectively. Best safety combo in the NFL? I think so.
Trumaine McBride and Prince Amukamara didn't score above +1.0 this week, though both came close. Prince allowed only two catches to Calvin Johnson for 26 yards. McBride was targeted an absurd 10 times. He allowed only four receptions for 38 yards. Both players played well.