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Giants-Chiefs “Kudos & Wet Willies” review

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants
Janoris Jenkins returns an interception Sunday.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A New York Giants victory to talk about! Only the second one in 10 tries this season. It’s almost too bad the Giants have to play on Thanksgiving night — they won’t have much time to bask in the warm glow of winning.

Let’s get right to the traditional “Kudos & Wet Willies” review of Giants 12, Chiefs 9 in overtime.


Kudos to ..

Roger Lewis Jr. — You really can’t deliver a bigger, or better, play than Lewis made to set up the game-winning field goal.

“I want 10 (Eli Manning) to believe in me and that’s what I got to do. I’ve got to make that play,” Lewis said after the game.

Chad Wheeler — In his first NFL start, Wheeler held Kansas City sack master Justin Houston (7.5 this season, 67.5 in his career) to no sacks and one hit on Manning. He was physical in the run game, throwing a nice block on a 1-yard touchdown run by Orleans Darkwa. Let’s not anoint the undrafted free agent rookie as the answer at right tackle for the Giants just yet, but this was a promising beginning.

Landon Collins — This was the Landon Collins everyone expected to see this season. He had 14 tackles, an interception, and a handful of heavy hits. He made plays in the backfield and deep down the field. Where has this guy been? Who knows? It was, however, good to see him return.

Brad Wing — This has been a miserable season for Wing, but Sunday was a good day for Wing and the Giants’ punt coverage unit. The Giants held All-Pro return man Tyreek Hill to 9 yards on two returns. Wing’s 57-yard punt that was downed at the 5-yard line set up a Janoris Jenkins interception late in the fourth quarter.

Aldrick Rosas — His two field goals were short, 23 and 26 yards, but neither were gimmes in brutal kicking conditions and both were clutch, one giving the Giants a late lead in regulation and the other giving them a win. Rosas missed an extra point, but the way that ball basically just stopped moving forward in the wind I’m not killing him for that. This had to be a nice confidence boost for the struggling rookie kicker.

Janoris Jenkins — I spent lots of time last week blasting Jenkins, and came out in favor of his being benched on Sunday. To his credit, Jenkins responded to the firestorm around him. With all eyes — fans, media, teammates and coaches — on him, Jenkins played well. His interception was more a case of Smith making a horrid throw than anything Jenkins did. He nearly had a second pick in regulation, but was called for a questionable pass interference. Most notably, when Jenkins needed to tackle he did so willingly. He ended up with five.

Calvin Munson — I don’t know if Munson, an undrafted rookie, is part of the long-term answer for the Giants at linebacker. I do know he plays hard and he makes an impact in run defense. Munson had 12 tackles on Sunday.

Damon Harrison — How can I not mention the big fella after the first interception of his six-year career.

Evan Engram — Not for his play. Engram was quiet with just one catch on his targets, and had two penalties (one a questionable pass interference that negated a 28-yard catch that would have given the Giants first-and-goal). For what Engram did in the locker room. D.J. Fluker told media post game that the effort put forth by the Giants on Sunday began with the rookie tight end stepping forward during the week and imploring teammates for more energy. The first-round pick showing a willingness to lead is a positive development for the Giants.

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Wet Willies to ...

John Jerry — Really this is for one incredibly dumb play by Jerry. With the Giants facing secord-and-18 at their own 40-yard line with 8:26 left in a tie game, Jerry committed a foolish unnecessary roughness penalty when he head-butted a Kansas City lineman. That cost the Giants 15 yards and the down, since it was a dead ball penalty. That’s the second silly penalty on Jerry this year. Remember his inexplicable delay of game for trying to stop Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Elijah Qualls from getting off the field?

Kalif Raymond — Ball security was an issue for the Giants’ new punt returner in previous stops with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. He had five fumbles on 25 returns in six games with those two teams. He muffed a return in the second quarter. He recovered it, but that’s still not a promising beginning.

Running back dropsies — Orleans Darkwa dropped two Manning passes, though one was a low throw by Manning that may not really be counted as a drop. Wayne Gallman also dropped a pair of passes. C’mon, fellas! Help your quarterback out.

Fans who are bummed that the Giants won — I can’t stand the “I’d rather lose for a higher draft pick” philosophy, and I’m seeing a lot of folks online who are actually upset that the Giants won because it might give them a lower draft position. Enjoy the win, people! That’s why the games are played. It was a fun game, a fun afternoon, something to feel good about in an awful season. I have said this many times over the years, but having the higher pick doesn’t necessarily mean you get the better player. So, why obsess over a couple of draft spots? Be happy that the Giants won a game.