Sunday's 32-18 victory by the New York Giants over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was pretty much the Jason Pierre Paul and Odell Beckham Show. Those two will, obviously, earn "Kudos" this week. Let's see who joins them as we offer our traditional day after game "Kudos & Wet Willies" review.
Kudos to ...
Jason Pierre-Paul -- Wow! Pierre-Paul would likely have made this list just for playing on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. He not only played, though, he played outstanding football. And he played a lot of it. Pierre-Paul played way more, and way better, than anyone had a right to expect against the Bucs.
Pierre-Paul was officially credited with playing 45 of 63 defensive snaps (71 percent). He had two tackles, two hits on Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston and four pressures, two of those on the Buccaneers' final possession with the Giants desperately trying to protect a 23-18 lead. Per Pro Football focus, Pierre-Paul had the third-high pass rush productivity score among 4-3 defensive ends in Week 9.
Can Pierre-Paul still be an impact player, and can he help the Giants right away? Those were the questions entering Sunday. The answers are yes, and yes.
Giants' special teams -- The special teams were reliable all season, until last week's game-changing punt return breakdown at the end of the loss to the New Orleans Saints. Sunday, the Giants' special teams made up for that blunder in a big way.
- Placekicker Josh Brown made all four of his field-goal attempts, including clutch kicks of 53 and 44 yards with the Giants clinging to the lead in the fourth quarter. Brown has made a franchise record 23 straight field goals, including 19 this season. The last time Brown missed a kick was Week 16 of last season when the St. Louis Rams blocked a 29-yard attempt.
- Brad Wing only had to punt once, but absolutely rocketed a 64-yard punt that Tampa Bay return man Bobby Rainey mishandled and returned for a single yard.
- The Giants held Rainey, one of the league's most explosive return men, in check. One yard on that punt return, and only 87 yards (21.3 per attempt) on four kickoff returns.
- There were no coverage miscues on the final kick of this game. Brown kicked off to the dangerous Rainey, and the Giants swallowed him up at the 12-yard line. Defensive back Tramain Jacobs, just added to the roster Saturday, got credit for that tackle.
Jasper Brinkley -- With Jon Beason gone for the season and Uani 'Unga inactive due to a neck injury, the Giants turned to the seven-year veteran Brinkley and he answered the call. Perhaps it's typical of a season in which the Giants have gotten help at times from pretty much everyone on the roster. Brinkley ended up with a team-high seven tackles in 34 snaps, including five solo and one for a loss. He also had a fumble recovery and a forced fumble recovered by the Giants that led to 10 points. Brinkley's Pro Football Focus grade of +5.5 was the best on the Giants' defense. That is how you step up when your number is called.
Odell Beckham -- Nine catches for 105 yards for Beckham. The 9-yard catch he made to give the Giants a first down with them clinging to a five-point lead and needing to chew up some time late in the fourth quarter won't make any t-shirts or highlight reels, but it was fantastic clutch grab. Eli Manning throws a low ball, intentionally, trying to be as safe as possible. Beckham picks the ball off his shoetops. The catch came on a play that started with 4:14 left. The Giants then bled the clock all the way to :28, before kicking a field goal.
Beckham, incidentally, set more records. He now has 150 receptions in 21 games, becoming the fast player in history to reach the 150-catch mark. Anquan Boldin did it in 25 games. Beckham has 2,064 career receiving yards, tying the NFL record for fewest games to 2,000 yards.
Jonathan Casillas -- The veteran linebacker had six tackles and played a solid game. He gets this "Kudos," though for one absolutely incredible effort play. On the 68-yard first-quarter catch-and-run by Tampa Bay's Mike Evans Casillas runs Evans down from behind, preventing a touchdown. Tampa Bay eventually settled for a field goal. Casillas was a full five yards behind Evans when he caught the pass, and sprinted 45 yards to chase him down at the Giants' 12-yard line. That is a phenomenal hustle play and might have been a game-saver.
Trevin Wade -- For his hustle and being in the right place at the right time. Wade had two fumble recoveries including the one he turned into a touchdown on theBuccaneers' final play. He also had a play similar to the one made by Casillas. After Charles Sims of Tampa Bay ran through Brandon Meriweather and Craig Dahl, Wade chased him down to prevent a touchdown. The play went for 59 yards and the Bucs did eventually score a touchdown, but Wade still deserves credit for his effort.
Wet Willies to ...
Pectoral muscles -- Pectoral and calf muscles seem to the in vogue injuries for the Giants this season. Johnathan Hankins forced a fumble that led to a Giants' touchdown early in Sunday's game and suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the process. The Giants' best defensive tackle will undergo an MRI today, but he is almost certainly headed to Injured Reserve. There will be complaints about strength and conditioning and all of that, but I don't know how you prevent a torn pectoral when a guy reaches to make a one-armed tackle and then gets violently twisted into the bottom of a massive pile.
Giants' secondary -- Thank God Mike Evans and the Tampa Bay receivers had the dropsies. Evans dropped five passes, including one that probably would have gone for a long touchdown. Doug Martin dropped another one that probably would have been a score. The Giants surrendered only 249 yards passing, less than half of what Drew Brees collected, the week before but it could have been much, much worse if the Bucs hadn't helped the Giants.
Landon Collins made an awful play on the 68-yard pass to Evans, taking a bad angle and making a late, foolish lunge for an attempted interception. As the deep safety that left Evans clear sailing after the catch until Casillas ran him down.
Meriweather had an unnecessary roughness penalty. Meriweather and Dahl also combined to miss a tackle that turned what should have been a 6- or 7-yard run by Tampa Bay's Charles Sims into a 59-yard run.
Jayron Hosley had a pass defensed, but the ball was right in his hands and should have been an interception.
You can bet that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots are going to be looking forward to getting a shot at this pass defense next Sunday.
Damontre Moore -- Hate to do this, but another game and another roughing the passer penalty for Moore. That's one in each of the last three games the third-year defensive end has played in. He didn't exactly pile drive Winston, wrapping him up around the legs, but he did hit him late. Watch the replay and you see Moore take two full steps and then dive AFTER Winston has released the ball. Clearly, he has an opportunity to pull up and avoid the hit.