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Giants grades: Week 15

It's important to remember that Matt Dodge didn't give up 28 fourth-quarter points to the Eagles.

It's important to remember that Matt Dodge didn't give up 28 fourth-quarter points to the Eagles in that 38-31 defeat on Sunday.

A look at the grades;

Eli Manning – He’s been a walking turnover all season but you can’t pin this loss on Manning. Sure, he had his league-leading 20th interception – a tipped pass at the line of the scrimmage -- and now has a league-leading 25 turnovers, but Manning did more than enough to get the win. If not for the defense and special teams letting him down, Manning would’ve been canonized by Big Blue Nation. The usually up-and-down Manning went 23-of-39 for 289 yards and a career-high tying four touchdowns.

Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw – For the second consecutive game against the undersized Eagles’ defense, neither Jacobs nor Bradshaw could muster anything of merit. The first outing featured Bradshaw as the team’s leading rusher with 29 yards. Bradshaw fared better statistically, Sunday, as he had a team-high 66 yards on 19 carries but he had little impact on the game. Jacobs was even more inconspicuous as he added 34 yards on 12 carries.

Receivers – Mario Manningham finally came to the forefront and had an impact game, specifically in the first half when the Giants were running roughshod over the Eagles. Manningham, who’s struggled as a starter since being thrust into the role due to the mounting injuries, had a great game, posting eight catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Wideout Hakeem Nicks [six catches, 63 yards] and tight end Kevin Boss [three catches for 59 yards] also scored for New York, finally giving Manning some viable receiving options.

O-Line – The unit was finally intact for the first time since Week 7, as center Shaun O’Hara made his return. The results were so-so, as they never got Jacobs and Bradshaw on track and allowed two sacks. The line also gets demerits for allowing the Manning interception, as it was defensive end Darryl Tapp who batted the ball into the air. The O-Line’s saving grace was the stellar performance of Manning.

D-Line – They collapsed in the final seven minutes but for the first 53 minutes, this unit battered and beat up Michael Vick and held the vaunted Philadelphia offense to only 198 yards after three quarters. Still, it’s hard to ignore how badly they played down the stretch, allowing the Eagles to notch 28 points in the fourth quarter. New York was led by Justin Tuck’s 1.5 sacks and corralled Vick three times overall. Those are great numbers but the lingering visions for Giants fans for years to come is Vick dashing through the line for 90 rushing yards in the fourth quarter.

Secondary – The secondary was solid up until the fourth quarter, as they held DeSean Jackson to one catch in the first three quarters and didn’t allow a Philadelphia receiver to gain over 75 yards [Brent Celek led with two catches for 72 yards]. But the fourth quarter meltdown drastically hinders a better grade because there was the tight end Celek racing through the secondary for a 62-yard touchdown early in the fourth and wideout Jeremy Maclin’s game-tying 13-yard touchdown with 1:16 remaining.

Special Teams – People will forever remember rookie Matt Dodge as the goat of the game for not punting away from Jackson with 12 seconds remaining. Whether that’s fair or not is debatable because there were a plethora of problems that caused the Giants’ collapse. But that’s a label Dodge will have for a long time because head coach Tom Coughlin took a timeout to specifically order Dodge to punt out of bounds instead of the low liner to Jackson. Besides Dodge’s gaffe, the special teams allowed an onside kick with over seven minutes remaining in the game to start the snowball effect.

Coaching – How much blame should fall at Coughlin’s feet is up for debate because he was seen telling Dodge to kick it out of bounds. And immediately following the game Coughlin could be seen looking exasperated as he was seeking answers from Dodge, so it’s obvious that the plan wasn’t executed as expected. But Coughlin should be held to the coals some because the special teams wasn’t prepared for the onside kick and he’s now lost six straight to the Eagles.

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