The Giants enjoyed a rarity on Monday — a day enjoyed as victors.
Not since their Oct. 5 win over the Atlanta Falcons has Big Blue enjoyed a “victory Monday,” so for head coach Tom Coughlin, he was happy to have a light day of work.
“Well, it’s a better day at the office when you win, believe me,” Coughlin said via conference call. “Overall, it was well-played. We’re glad to win … It was really something our team needed badly.”
What the Giants (4-9) also needed badly was a light postgame injury report. And aside for a few “minor bumps and bruises,” Coughlin noted that there weren’t anyinjuries coming out of Sunday’s game that he’s particularly concerned about.
On Sunday, Big Blue became the first team to ever fieldrookies with 130-plus rushing yards (Andre Williams) and 130-plus receiving yards (Odell Beckham Jr.) in the same game. And another rookie, linebacker Devon Kennard, had a coming-out party.
Williams (game-highs of 24 carries and 131 yards) had 14 second-half carries for 104 yards, including a 50-yard scoring jaunt down the left sideline that made it 30-0 with 12:06 left in the 3rd quarter. It was the team’s longest run of the season.
Beckham (game-highs of 11 catches for 130 yards) set a team rookie record with his fourth 100-yard game, highlighted by a 15-yard touchdown and a spectacular leaping 50-yard grab. He also had a 9-yard run and even attempted a pass when he overthrew Rueben Randle on a 51-yard wide-receiver option pass.
Kennard, meanwhile, was a tone-setter for the defense as he had six tackles (all solo) andtwo sacks for the second-consecutive week. His first sack on rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger caused a fumble that defensive tackle Markus Kuhn returned 26 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter. And his second corral of Mettenberger knocked the rookie out of the game with an aggravated shoulder — and effectively ended the passer’s season.
Coughlin spoke highly of the rookies, noting that Williams “gets better the more he plays,” Beckham “continues to impress … [and] inspire the sidelines” with his amazing catches, and that Kennard could be a “game-changer” with his blitzing prowess and bone-rattling hits.
“What you’re seeing with the younger guys is steady improvement,” Coughlin said of the first-year players, singling out Kennard’s knack for causing turnovers. “And what you’re seeing is the production coming when he rushes the passer …He can shock you on contact, which we all have observed.”
The Giants won’t be shocking anyone with a backdoor playoff berth, but at least for one day, they were able to enjoy the spoils of victory and appreciate that everyone contributed to the win.
“As competitors, you still gotta love competing. There’s value in that — to enjoy a win after all the hard work you put forth during the week,” said linebacker Jameel McClain. “There’s value in that you go out there to win, regardless [of record]. You go out there to put your best effort for your teammates, for your coaches that sacrifice a lot of time. There’s always value.”
Big Blue notes:
- Coughlin admitted that quarterbackEli Manning spent a lot of time in the trainer’s room following the win, but added that “nobody seems to be overly concerned.I think he was just sore … There really hasn’t been any report to me on anything like [an injury].”
- Washington head coach Jay Gruden told reporters that his starting quarterback, Colt McCoy, has a sprained neck. If he can’t go Sunday against the Giants, Big Blue will likely see Robert Griffin III under center. And while he’s struggled mightily this season, the Giants have struggled even more against mobile signal-callers.
- Notable players who went unscathed included cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, whoplayed every defensive snap. It had been a while since Rodgers-Cromartie would be accountable for every snap, as he’s been battling back and hamstring injuries for a couple months. And while the gruff Coughlin reasoned that seeing his starters on the field for a majority of the plays is “theway it was meant to be,” he did admit it was good to have great attendance throughout the game, as the defense racked up eight sacks.
- Rodgers-Cromartie wasn’t the only starter to see at least 95-percent of the snaps, as safeties Stevie Brown and Antrel Rolle, and McClain all played every snap. ]
- Fill-in starting cornerbackChykie Brown missed just two snaps, as he lined up in 56 of 58 plays.