Let’s hand out our final group of “Kudos & Wet Willies” for the 2016-2017 NFL regular season. Hopefully we’re in playoff form, just like your New York Giants, who finished the season 11-5 ater a 19-10 victory Sunday over the Washington Redskins.
Kudos to ...
Ben McAdoo — Even if you are still harping on the “he shouldn’t be calling the plays” argument or picking on him for that over-sized play card you have to give the guy credit. He is a rookie head coach who took his team from the brink of disaster at 2-3 to all 11-win season, going 9-2 over the final 11 games. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the players bought in. McAdoo decided to go for the momentum-building victory Sunday rather than rest many of his starters, and it worked. He is now only the second coach in franchise history to win 11 games his first season, with Dan Reeves (1993) being the other.
Paul Perkins — Little by little the fifth-round pick from UCLA has become the Giants’ lead back. Sunday, he had career highs in carries (21) and yards (102). The Giants ran for a season-high 161 yards, 39 more than their previous high of 122 in Week 10 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. They ran the ball 40 times, passed only 27 and held the ball for 35:52. Perkins’ ability to make tacklers miss and to push the pile for extra yards was a big part of the reason why.
Odell Beckham Jr. — Five catches Sunday gave him 101 for the year, his first career 100-catch season. Beckham was removed from the game early in the third quarter. He gets “kudos” largely for keeping his cool while Washington’s Josh Norman was baiting him and picking up two personal foul penalties.
Little Ben — We gave the young Giants’ fan who showed up at FedEx Field dressed as the Giants’ coach, right down to the sticky note on the play card, props on Sunday night. Now, here is the “Kudos” the young man earned.
Rt to bless someone's time line with young Ben mcadoo pic.twitter.com/iO9E8CRBx2— young ben mcadoo (@memeasaurusrex1) January 2, 2017
Tavarres King — The journeyman wide receiver made the team with a terrific preseason, but has been largely forgotten about. H had only one catch for six yards before Sunday and was active for only the sixth time this season. He ended up making the biggest offensive play of the day, however, a 44-yard catch that set up Robbie Gould for a game-winning 40-yard field goal.
That was just the fourth catch of King’s career, and by far the biggest. His three previous catches totaled 19 yards. Good for him for staying ready and making a play when he had a chance.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie — Two interceptions, four in the last three games and six for the season. His first sack since 2011 and only the second of his career. Two passes defensed. DRC has been selfless this season, transitioning to playing mostly in the slot to make room for first-round pick Eli Apple, and has probably played the best football of his three seasons with the Giants.
The defense as a whole — The Giants held the Redskins to 83 total yards and no points in the first half. Washington ended the game with only 284 yards. In 13 possessions, the Redskins had only one — and 11-play, 76-yard scoring drive — that lasted more than six plays. The Giants sacked Kirk Cousins four times. Rodgers-Cromartie had two picks. As usual, the defense was dominant. Even without Jason Pierre-Paul and with Janoris Jenkins playing limited snaps.
Wet Willies to ...
I could probably find a player or two deserving of a “WW,” but this is the first time in five years the Giants are headed to the playoffs. So, we’re thinking happy thoughts today and not handing out “Wet Willies.” ... Unless you want to give one to Washington’s Norman for, well, for being a jerk. Oh, and for being completely unable to cover Beckham.