What did we learn from the New York Giants’ 19-10 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday? Here are a few things.
1. McAdoo was telling the truth
The Giants’ coach had promised during the week that the team’s starters would play and that the Giants would try to win. He was good to his word.
After an impressive first half that saw the Giants take a 10-0 lead the Giants could easily have emptied the bench. They had accumulated 194 yards of total offense, Eli Manning had completed 12-of-18 passes, he defense had held the prolific Washington offense to just 83 yards and no points.
Instead, with the exception of Pro Bowl cornerback Janoris Jenkins and star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., starters largely remained in the game the entire way.
McAdoo said afterward that the result was “exactly what we needed.”
2. Paul Perkins is No. 1 ... maybe
The rookie started for the first time in his career, and had career highs in carries (21) and yards (102), becoming the Giants’ only 100-yard rusher this season. The fifth-round pick from UCLA has seen his playing time increase steadily in recent weeks. McAdoo said Perkins “ran nicely,” but still would not commit to Perkins continuing as the No. 1 back when the playoffs begin next week.
“We’re confident in Paul and Rashad (Jennings) and Bobby Rainey. We’ll use our backs accordingly,” McAdoo said.
Whatever. It would be hugely disappointing if Perkins does not continue as the team’s primary back.
3. Josh Norman just can’t let it go
The Redskins’ corner has been feuding, and butting heads, with Beckham since last season as a member of the Carolina Panthers. Even with a playoff berth on the line Sunday and Beckham disinterested in the extracurricular stuff that has marked the last couple of games, Norman persisted. He drew two penalties, one for a hit out of bounds on Beckham and one for this:
Way to keep your head in the game, Josh Norman! https://t.co/GgHcHF1Rnk pic.twitter.com/1psyle3PLt— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) January 1, 2017
4. McAdoo does have a sense of humor
The Giants’ coach has taken grief for a bunch of things this season. The suit that he wore the day his hiring was announced, his hair, the monstrosity of a play sheet he holds in front of his face during games among them. Here, McAdoo shows he can take a joke, high-fiving a young fan who showed up at FedEx Field in full Little Ben mode — mustache, sunglasses, hair, play card, even a sticky note.
Watch Giants head coach Ben McAdoo high-five mini Ben McAdoo https://t.co/pKXiVsA9vz #nfl pic.twitter.com/VT1gpx3Tfp— UnitedSportsNation (@USN1337) January 1, 2017
Here is a better look at Little Ben. And yes, Little Ben will be getting “kudos” on Monday morning.
Rt to bless someone's time line with young Ben mcadoo pic.twitter.com/iO9E8CRBx2— young ben mcadoo (@memeasaurusrex1) January 2, 2017
5. The Giants will face the ...
Green Bay Packers, who defeated the Detroit Lions on Sunday by a 31-24 score. The game will be held Sunday, Jan. 8 at Lambeau Field beginning at 4:40 p.m. ET [Full story]
6. DRC needs to stick around
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is in the third year of a five-year, $35 million contract. Technically, the development of Eli Apple has made him the Giants’ No. 3 corner. If, however, there is a better third corner in football I’d like someone to point him out. DRC had two interceptions on Sunday, four in his last three games and six for the season. Rodgers-Cromartie added a sack, a quarterback hit and two passes defensed.
DRC carries a massive $8.5 million cap hit in each of the final two years of his contract. That’s too much, but the Giants can’t simply cut him without trying to come to some type of financial compromise. The guy is still too good of a player.
7. That one throw is why there is hope
As good as the Giants’ defense has been and continued to be on Sunday even with Jason Pierre-Paul still out and Janoris Jenkins playing only half the game the Giants don’t need their offense to be a juggernaut. They need the offense to play mistake-free and to come up with big plays at critical times. The Giants did those things on Sunday.
The 44-yard strike from Eli Manning to Tavarres King (yes, that long-forgotten Tavarres King) with 4:02 left and the score tied set up the game-winning field goal. It was an absolute dart from Manning, the kind of play the Giants will need him to make in the postseason. Manning made one of those two weeks ago vs. Detroit, a 25-yard laser to Beckham when the Giants need it late in the game.
Those are the throws that give you hope that Manning and the offense can contribute just enough during the playoffs.
8. Dwayne Harris is indestructible
The Giants’ Pro Bowl special teams player left the game in the third quarter when he suffered what looked like an awful knee injury when he got buried under an avalanche of players returning a punt in the third quarter.
Harris, an extraordinary gunner, missed one Brad Wing punt but was then somehow back out there covering and returning kicks. The guy has suffered injuries to just about every imaginable body part this season and just keeps on coming back.
This inspired tweet from Art Stapleton is incredibly appropriate.
Dwayne Harris' season in one board game ... pic.twitter.com/qabJIGP54X— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) January 1, 2017