The New York Giants are alive in the NFC East, tied for the top spot at 6-7 after Monday's 31-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins. But, you knew that already. Let's provide what will, hopefully be some real analysis as we look at the 10 things we learned Monday night.
OBJ. Another game, another record. pic.twitter.com/kombHTyzgY— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 15, 2015
Giants' stars came through
In a game the Giants had to have, it was Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. who showed them the way. Manning was deadly accurate, going 27-of-31 for 337 yards and four touchdowns. Beckham had seven catches for 166 yards and two score. His game-tying 6-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter is as good a catch as you'll see with two hands.
The Giants still have a chance
The path isn't easy, with the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, 8-5 Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles remaining on the schedule. The Giants, though, still have a chance to win the NFC East. I think Giants' fans would have signed up for that when the season began.
The Giants' tackling is terrible
I'm sure Pro Football focus or ESPN Stats has the official number of missed tackles by the Giants. I'm not sure I want to know. Tackling, especially in the secondary, has been an issue for the Giants most of the season. The tackling display they put on in the first half was pathetic, especially on the 38-yard touchdown run by Lamar Miller.
More missed tackles costs Giants. Miller has 61 rush yards after contact. That's the most in a game in his career. pic.twitter.com/WA1DFRAUFC— ESPN Monday Night (@ESPNMondayNight) December 15, 2015
The defense can actually get a stop
The Giants' defense isn't very good. As we mentioned, the tackling throughout much of the game was pathetic. Miller averaged 7.4 yards per carry. The Giants gave up three plays of 25 or more yards, including a 47-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills. Yet, the Giants managed two stops in the fourth quarter when protecting a seven-point lead.
Tom Coughlin is a tough old man
Giants coach Tom Coughlin got absolutely jacked up by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the sideline in the fourth quarter. Coughlin bounced right back up and went back to work like nothing had happened.
"Actually it helped. It snapped my neck," Coughlin said. "I feel a whole helluva lot better right now."
It's not the first time we have seen Coughlin get drilled by one of his own players. Remember this?
Committee? Phooey on your committee
All four Giants' running backs played, and all four carried the ball. Still, for the first time all season the Giants relied primarily on one back. Rashad Jennings, who said earlier in the week he wasn't a big fan of the committee, carried 22 times for 81 yards. Jennings' previous high in carries this season had been 13, which he did twice. Jennings had several impressive runs, perhaps the best of which was the third-and-one run for two yards and a first down that allowed the Giants to begin running out the clock in the final few minutes.
Horrible night for Andre Williams. Three carries for three yards and a costly fumble on a botched handoff.
Giants' Week 16 game will be flexed
Monday afternoon we found out that the Giants' Week 16 game against the Minnesota Vikings would be flexed if the Giants defeated Miami. Since they did, that is now official. The game will be aired by NBC on Sunday Night Football.
Landon Collins is stepping up
A few weeks ago, rookie safety landon Collins was a goat after dropping an interception that ended up costing the Giants a game against the New England Patriots. since then, though, Collins has looked like a different player. Perhaps the Giants are using him a little differently, keeping him closer to the line of scrimmage. Perhaps that is just my imagination.
What I'm not imagining, though, is that Collins has begun to play like the guy the Giants thought they were getting when they traded up to get him with the first pick of the second round in the 2015 NFL Draft. He had a team-high seven tackles Monday, forced a fumble and laid a few other big hits. His tackling still isn't as consistent as you would like, but he is looking like a real player.
Rueben Randle is alive and well
Maybe, just maybe, he has been alive the whole time and the Giants just forgotten to feed him properly. The Giants got Randle involved early in the game, with Manning's first completion of the night going to him. Feeding Randle paid dividends as he ended up with five catches for 58 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown catch.
Will Tye won't be a secret for long
Rookie tight end Will Tye had five catches for 30 yards and a touchdown. I have said this before, but Larry Donnell is not getting his job back from Tye next season. He has 29 catches now and is on his way to establishing himself as the Giants' primary tight end heading into 2016.