Finally, a win! A sloppy but dominant (does that even work?) win over the Tennessee Titans brings the New York Giants to a record of 4-9. For all those in the #GiantTankJob movement, this was a bit of a ding, but hell, even then, you had to have a little bit of a smile on your face.
I certainly did. A win probably hurts in the long run, but at the very least, it's going to give me a little pep in my step tonight. I don't think I'm going to call this "5 Things We Learned" at this point because we really know what this team is about. So let's call this "5 Observations":
Odell Beckham: What More Is There To Say?
We wax poetic about the greatness of Odell Beckham Jr. every week, but every week he gives us a reason to. Is there anything he can't do? Well yeah, he did have that overthrow on a 60 yard designed OBJ pass. He also had an unsportsmanlike penalty. What he also had was 9 catches, for 117 yards and a TD ... in the first half. He just couldn't be stopped. He had another ridiculous 50-yard catch to go along with a lot of underneath chain moving type plays.
He finished his day 11 receptions for 130 yards and a TD, along with one rush for 9 yards as he pretty much went on autopilot as the team just tried to kill time. He was targeted deep once in the second half, which he dropped a good pass.
A Shout-out To Andre Williams
Andre Williams has his fair share of critics here (including myself) because he has too many negative plays. However he showed his power today. He had his first ever 100-yard game rushing, mostly thanks to a 50-yard gallop in which the Titans defense parted like the Red Sea. He followed Henry Hynoski for most of the afternoon and really just put his head down and did WORK. Granted, he still had some of those negative plays, and that was that lack of vision showing, but for the most part, he was breaking tackles like a boss.
He ended his day with 24 carries for 131 yards and a TD for 5.5 yards per carry against the worst rush defense in the league. Perhaps more impressively for him, he also added three catches for 16 yards. All in all, a very nice day for the rookie.
The Pieces Are There In The Front Seven
There was pressure from everywhere as Perry Fewell opted for a more attacking style of defense. Damontre Moore had himself an up and down game, with a sack and several pressures, but also an absolutely idiotic personal foul penalty on a DRC pick six. Devon Kennard continues his torrid streak with two more sacks and several big plays against the run game. Jason Pierre-Paul had a monstrous game with a sack and several more quarterback hits/hurries. Johnathan Hankins once again was unblockable in the middle. Even Kerry Wynn and Jay Bromley showed promise getting few snaps here and there.
We've been down on this front seven all year but facing a depleted Tennessee Titan offense, the Giants were teeing off on Zach Mettenberger and eventually knocked him out of the game. In total, the Giants had 8 sacks this game. In the last two games, their sack total has reached 15. Granted, they were against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, but still, that's impressive against anybody.
Even In A Blowout, The Giants Still Derp Away
An Odell Beckham personal foul penalty, a Damontre Moore personal foul penalty, an Antrel Rolle/Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie personal foul penalty, a Chykie Brown personal foul penalty, not one, but two delay of game penalties, one or two illegal man down-field penalties, one of the dumbest interceptions I've seen a pro football quarterback throw, and a few others were among the idiotic plays this team made on Sunday.
Will they ever have a complete, mistake-free game this season? Unlikely given the youth and the absurd amount of turnover, but more discipline is needed. This looks characteristic of a team that doesn't know how to handle success, and that's absolutely true. I don't mind some of the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for celebrating all that much. I mean, they needed something to celebrate. That Moore penalty left a terrible taste in my mouth.
The Offensive Line Does Its Job
... For once. I didn't see too many breakdowns as they were blowing holes open for Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams for most of the game. Eli Manning was also pretty much clean. Officially, the Titans defense was credited with only five quarterback hits and no sacks, so that speaks volumes about the protection they were able to afford the quarterback.
This is in stark contrast to the massacre at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars as Weston Richburg, John Jerry, and J.D. Walton had much improved games and limited the damage from Titans star Jurrell Casey. The Titans aren't some pushover either, before this game, they were ranked top 10 in the NFL in sacks. This offensive line is not good, but every dog has its day, and today, this dog was pretty damn good.