The New York Giants season is over. They won a game that meant little to nothing in terms of the standings, but it left smiles on the faces of the players as they left the locker room for the final time in 2017. Let’s go through the “Kudos & Wet Willies” for the final time this season.
Kudos to ...
The Year 2018 — Happy New Year, Giants fans! You have to start the year believing it will be better for the Giants than 2017 was, don’t you?
Orleans Darkwa — Had the best day of the season by a Giants’ running back, with 20 carries for 154 yards. Had a 75-yard touchdown run on the game’s second play. Between now and the 2018 NFL Draft in April there will be a lot of Saquan Barkley chatter from Giants fans, and justifiably so. Darkwa, though, just had a 751-yard season and averaged 4.4 yards per carry.
Wayne Gallman — While Darkwa was getting all of the attention, Gallman had an efficient 15-carry, 89-yard day. He finished the season with 476 yards rushing, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Wonder what Darkwa and Gallman could have done with decent blocking most of the season.
Rhett Ellison -- Had five catches in six targets for 63 yards. As receiver after receiver fell by the wayside this season, the blocking tight end became a dependable target for Manning. He finished with 24 receptions, 235 yards receiving and two touchdowns, all career highs.
Ross Cockrell — Had an interception and four passes defensed on Sunday. That gave him three interceptions over the past two weeks. Acquired as depth, Cockrell became an important player for the Giants during the latter stages of the season.
Kelvin Sheppard — Had two interceptions, six tackles and two passes defensed. Signed in midseason, Sheppard did a nice job for the Giants in a difficult situation.
Andrew Adams — Filling in for Landon Collins, Adams did a nice Collins impersonation. He had six tackles, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed.
Brett Jones — Because offensive linemen aren’t supposed to make hits like this, which came after an Aldrick Rosas extra point was blocked.
Wet Willies to ...
The Year 2017 — Blech! Let’s not talk about it anymore.
Hands of Stone — I don’t know what the official count was, or what Pro Football Focus considers a drop or doesn’t consider a drop. Those of us sitting on press row Sunday, though, counted eight drops by Giants’ receivers. Yes, the guys Eli Manning was throwing to were basically the Giants’ third-string receivers. Yet, you have to think they all got NFL opportunities because they have at some point shown an ability to catch the ball. Shoot, the best catch of the day was by Washington defensive end Preston Smith. He made a beautiful read on a dump off to Wayne Gallman, and a nice catch for a defensive end, to intercept a Manning pass.
Adam Bisnowaty — Man, I hate to pick on Biz. The Giants told us all year that they really didn’t think he was an NFL caliber right tackle. I mean, how many guys did they add to the roster before finally, grudgingly, out of desperation when Bobby Hart was waived on Saturday, adding him to the roster. And lining him up as a starter the next day against Ryan Kerrigan, a premier pass rusher. The results were predictable. Kerrigan had two sacks and a hit on Manning. Bisnowaty also committed two holding penalties.
Kwillies to ...
Hunter Sharp — Caught three passes, one for a 16-yard touchdown. Unofficially, also dropped three passes. Sharp is an intriguing guy, especially as a returner. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants bring him to training camp next season and let him compete for a job.