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Giants 27, Ravens 23: “Kudos & Wet Willies” review

Lots of praise, and a little bit of criticism

Baltimore Ravens v New York Giants
Eli Manning
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

There is a lot to discuss when it comes to the New York Giants’ 27-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. As we always do, let’s discuss much of that with our traditional “Kudos & Wet Willies” review.


Kudos to ...

Odell Beckham — Despite a painful hip pointer that sent him to the locker room at one point and caused him to go in and out of the lineup a couple of times, Beckham came up with a career-best game with 222 receiving yards, Both he and the Giants needed it. Touchdown catches of 75 and 66 yards, and a ho-hum 43-yard grab tossed in for good measure.

Eli Manning — It took until midway through the second quarter for Manning and the Giants to get started, but once they did they pretty much didn’t stop. Beyond the 403 passing yards and the three touchdowns something that doesn’t get talked about enough is Manning’s work at the line of scrimmage. Beckham credited Manning with changing the play on both of his touchdowns and called him “the most prepared person I’ve ever been around.” In this case, that preparation helped him deliver when the Giants were on the precipice of disaster.

Roger Lewis — It was just one play, but Lewis’ 24-yard touchdown catch with Beckham in the locker room during the second quarter breathed life back into the Giants. That’s delivering when your number is called, and good teams find players who can do that when they are needed.

Pass protection — In 47 drop backs, Manning was sacked once and hit only two other times. He was comfortable in the pocket nearly all of the time. Rip Ereck Flowers for surrendering the sack if you want, and many are, but Flowers was lined up against Terrell Suggs, a six-time Pro Bowler now with 111.5 career sacks, and gave up one play. That’s pretty good.

Jonathan Casillas — What a brilliant play by Casillas on fourth-and-goal from the Giants’ 1-yard line to start the fourth quarter. He got off a seal block on the edge and ran down running back Terrance West to keep the Giants in the lead at that point. Casillas finished with 11 tackles.

Landon Collins — The second-year safety was all over the field. He had 12 tackles, two for loss, a sack and a pass defensed. Pro Football focus credited Collins with a game-high five stops.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie — Give DRC a ton of credit. He shrugged off the costly, phantom pass interference penalty and made several critical plays for the Giants down the stretch. DRC, in fact, broke up the final two Joe Flacco passes of the game. Rodgers-Cromartie finished with six tackles and three passes defensed. By the way, does he look like a guy playing with a groin injury?

The kicking net — Hey, if it keeps Beckham happy we’re all for it. Congratulations on your engagement.

Wet Willies to ...

Giants’ running game — The Giants entered the game determined to get the running game, which struggled against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5, going. It didn’t happen. The Giants got just 38 yards rushing on 17 attempts (2.2 yards per carry). Their longest running play of the game was six yards. Rashad Jennings carried nine times for 15 yards (1.7 yards per carry) in his return to action.

Larry Donnell — If Manning and Beckham hadn’t produced that fourth-and-one magic one of the big stories of Sunday would have been Donnell’s boneheaded play one snap before the Giants’ game-winning score. On third-and-four, Donnell took a short pass from Manning. He appeared to have plenty of room to pick up the first down if he headed straight upfield, staying in bounds. Instead, he headed for the sideline, getting knocked out of bounds by Tavon Young a yard short of the first down.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa — In 22 defensive snaps, the 2015 third-round pick did not register a statistic ... except for the roughing the passer penalty with 15 seconds left in the game that wrecked a fourth-down stop and gave Baltimore three more chances to win the game from the Giants’ 24-yard line.You can say the penalty was debatable if you want, but it was unnecessary. One thing that isn’t debatable is that OO’s play so far this season has been disappointing.

Kwillies to ...

Victor Cruz — The veteran wide receiver had key receptions on a pair of Giants’ scoring drives, and finished the day with three receptions for 31 yards. He had a drop of an easy throw, however, and he and Manning didn’t always seem to be on the same page. Before all of his injuries, Cruz was always Manning’s most dependable target. His routes were pristine and he was always where Manning expected him to be. Cruz has had good moments so far this season, but the consistency hasn’t been there.

Final thoughts

Just a few observations.

After the fourth-quarter penalty on Rodgers-Cromartie, the MetLife Stadium crowd was as loud and unhappy as I have ever witnessed it.

Neither Olivier Vernon nor Jason Pierre-Paul earned “Kudos” as neither had big statistical games. Both, though, showed up at times. JPP had a pair of pass breakups. Vernon came up big with the Ravens leading 10-0, making a couple of plays to snuff a potential Ravens’ scoring drive.

Darian Thompson? Nat Berhe? Good players, but undrafted free agent rookie Andrew Adams has played exceptionally well for three straight weeks now.

The only reason cornerback Janoris Jenkins (two passes defensed) didn’t earn “Kudos” was for the 70-yard completion to MIke Wallace he got victimized for. Otherwise, another outstanding game for “Jackrabbit.”