Now Commenting On:

Donnell, Pugh and Richburg don't travel to Washington

Center Weston Richburg (ankle) has been downgraded to out and will miss Sunday's game against the Redskins.

Richburg, tight end Larry Donnell (ankle) and guard Justin Pugh (concussion) did not travel with the team to Washington.

Linebacker Mark Herzlich (quad) was upgraded from out to questionable, the team announced.

Linebacker J.T. Thomas (ankle) is also questionable, while linebacker Unai' Unga (neck), guard Geoff Schwartz (ankle), defensive end Damontre Moore (hamstring) and cornerbacks Prince Amukamara (pectoral) and Leon McFadden (groin) are probable.

Tags: Justin Pugh , Larry Donnell , Mark Herzlich , Weston Richburg
Steve Spagnuolo sees drastic improvement out of Jason Pierre-Paul
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul high fives teammates as they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

As Jason Pierre-Paul prepares for his third game of the season, he has certainly garnered the attention of coaches, and for good reason.
Pierre-Paul has made strides from game to game, evident by a sack Week 10 against New England, which was called back due to a penalty.
Still, as Pierre-Paul learns to make adjustments with his hand, he has continued to improve as a pass rusher.
"The first game, I remember he was even flipping trying to get comfortable on which side should he be on," Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said.
"I think the second game we saw a little bit more of him, especially in the passing situations, but I think the run game. I think he's been OK there, we always preach in terms of defense of using your hands, and even when you're out here in practice and he's got it wrapped up, it's a little tougher to do, but I do see him using it more and more. That's encouraging and I think that's good."
Pierre-Paul has had to learn to put his left hand down in the ground instead of his right, which has been among the biggest adjustments for the defensive end.
Other teams have taken notice, too.
As opponents make adjustment for Pierre-Paul, he's working to combat it.
"You can see on film that in obvious passing situations, they'll use a guy to chip, and I think that's something that you're going to see when you've got somebody of his caliber out there rushing the passer," Spagnuolo said. "They have to decide where they think he is, whether he's like he was a year ago, or two years ago, or if he's different because of the injury he's dealing with. I think he's always going to face that, I really do."
However, he has worked tirelessly with defensive line coach Robert Nunn in an effort to improve.
Spagnuolo believes eventually that hard work will yield positive results.
"He's just battling the comfort level," he said. "It's getting used to a lot of different things every game. I think he obviously feels more comfortable this week than he did last week and hopefully that'll pay off."

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul , Sam Spiegelman
GEICO SportsNite: NY Giants 00:01:52
Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Tom Coughlin discuss their confidence in Hakeem Nicks in the Giants' Week 12 matchup vs. Washington.
McAdoo: Giants' running game has to start breaking off some long runs
Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Giants' running game is lost right now. Gaining only 3.8 yards per carry, it is the thing the Giants do when they need a rest from passing. Using four different backs, the Giants have only scored three touchdowns on the ground this season. Conversely, they've only fumbled once and did not lose it.

Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo told reporters on Friday the running game is set to take off. They just haven't been able to get going, but it's not too late. In evaluating what has been happening over the bye week, McAdoo revealed what he saw on tape these past two weeks.

"In the run game, we were winning the down at a fairly decent clip," he said. "We need to eliminate the zero and negative yardage runs that hurt you. The other thing we do is when we get a chance to have a one-on-one, we need to break an arm tackle and take it to the house, that's something we haven't done."

Asked to explain, he said what many of us have seen: the explosion isn't there and it has to return.

"The play is blocked, we're gaining yards," McAdoo said. "We need to rip off a couple big ones. We need to minimize the zero and negative yardage runs when we're getting hit in the backfield or whether we just get back to the line of scrimmage or lose one or two. We need to get those out of our system."

McAdoo backtracked when it was suggested he was placing the blame on the poor output.

"Well, no. It's everyone's involved in that, it's not one group," he said. "Believe me, there's enough to go around and I'm included. For the backs, the biggest thing for the backs is they need to be aware of the situation. When there's one yard to go, they need to get that yard on third and one. When you get one-on-one with a safety, we expect our backs to beat that safety and take one the distance, and we haven't done that yet and it's a challenge on them to do that. We expect them to do it and we count on them to do it."

Asked the Giants were going to continue the four-man rotation of Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Andre Williams and Orleans Darkwa, McAdoo confirmed they would. He was then asked who is the best at breaking those arm tackles that have been so frustrating.

"They've each had their moments," he said. "They've each had their moments. I don't know that one sticks out one way or the other. Andre is a big, physical guy and if he gets a body one-on-one in the hole he's pretty good with it. Shane has some wiggle to him. They each have their own skillset. Rashad does a nice job, he's had some nice second half runs in games where he's come out. But we just need to play the way we're capable of there."

Tags: Andre Williams , Orleans Darkwa , Rashad Jennings , Shane Vereen , John Fennelly
Spagnuolo: Prince Amukamara can help us
Sep 24, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) breaks up a pass intended for Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Faytok/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports (Chris Faytok/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports)

After missing five games due to a partial pectoral tear, Prince Amukamara is back.
The oft-injured Giants cornerback will start opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Sunday as the team faces Washington in an NFC East tilt.
Before Amukamara sustained his injury, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was impressed with his level of play. Now that he's back in the fold, he's optimistic about this Giants secondary.
"We know he's a good football player," Spagnuolo said. "I really thought right before he got hurt, I thought he was really coming along and playing real well for us.
"Anytime you lose a player of Prince's caliber, it makes it a challenge. I think the guys have done a good job to this point. We're glad we have him back. … Hopefully he can knock the rust off really quick in the game and he can help us."
Jayron Hosley and Trumaine McBride took on larger roles with Amukamara sidelined, but that didn't lead to Spagnuolo changing up his defense.
That will remain the same as Amukamara returns to the starting lineup.
However, the defensive coordinator indicated there's a higher degree of confidence with both the Giants' starting cornerbacks back out there.
"I probably won't call anything differently now that he is in there," Spagnuolo said. "He's played in this league a long time, he's a solid pro, we rely on him as one of our real good football players, and to have one on either side, that being DRC (Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie), I think there is a sense of security there for us."

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie , Jayron Hosley , Prince Amukamara , Trumaine McBride , Sam Spiegelman
Giants' WR will have opportunities against weakened Washington secondary
Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Giants head into this weekend's game against the Washington Redskins with a clear advantage: their wide receivers against the Redskins' banged-up secondary.

CB Chris Culliver tore both the MCL and ACL in his left knee in last week's loss to the Carolina Panthers and is out for the remainder of the season. Starting strong safety Trenton Robinson (hamstring) is also out this Sunday. In addition, CBs Bashaud Breeland (hamstring/illness) and Deshazor Everett (hamstring) are questionable. CB DeAngelo Hall (toe) and safety Dashon Goldson (knee/hamstring.wrist) are probable.

The Giants are looking forward to throwing the football this weekend. WR Hakeem Nicks is returning and Odell Beckham Jr. is also poised for a big afternoon. 

"He had a good week of practice, caught the ball well, seemed to pick up with the signals and with the offense," head coach Tom Coughlin said of Nicks on Friday. "So to what extent is he really prepared? Not going to give you percentages, but I think he's done a good job. He's worked hard, he's studied, he's had extra time with coaches. So I feel confident that the experience will kick in as well and, if called upon, he'd be able to go."

"I think Coach said it best when he said he was the best guy out there, and we're fortunate that he was out there," offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said of Nicks. "He came in and he's doing a nice job. He's working at it, putting in some extra time learning it, spending some time with Sean (Ryan) and Ryan Roeder, putting the time in after practice and in the evenings. He's had a nice week."

Beckham was not around when Nicks was the team's star wide receiver. He was asked for his impression of Nicks, whom he met for the first time this week.

"I've seen him and first time I met him, I had to put my hand up to his," Beckham said. "I was like, "You know, we've got to kill the awkwardness and see what's going on." That's kind of how we broke the ice and we've been cool ever since he's been here. He knows what's going on, he knows how to win. From what I've seen, he's been great and he always will be great."

Beckham said Nicks' hands may be a little bigger and he will not lend him his gloves. The two of them are only half of the Giants' wide receiving equation right now. Rueben Randle is healthy and Dwayne Harris is playing at a higher level than the Giants expected he would.

Coughlin was asked if thought Beckham would continue to get better, or has he hit his ceiling.

"You're either going to get better or going to get worse and there's no question what he can do," Coughlin said. "He will be better and he'll continue to grow and develop and know more about the opposition, know more about who he's playing against, know more about what's expected when someone does something defensively to try to adjust to what you're doing. He's going to do nothing but get better."

The Redskins pass defense is currently ranked ninth in the NFL, but with all of these new injuries, it is going to be difficult for them to contain the Giants' receiving corps on Sunday.

"Washington plays so well at home," Coughlin said. "I mean, they've done an exceptional job. Their finest output of the year offensively was at home against New Orleans. They ran into a very, very good football in Carolina last weekend and a couple weeks prior they played New England, there's two undefeated teams. They battled and so on and so forth. We have great respect for them and when you see how well the quarterback has played, Cousins had played at home, they've done an outstanding job."

Tags: Dwayne Harris , Odell Beckham Jr. , Rueben Randle , John Fennelly
Larry Donnell's season is in doubt
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke)

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell's season is in doubt due to a neck injury (Raanan, Nov. 27).  

"It's going to be a while," Donnell said. "There is a chance that I could play, but this is not an arm, this is not a foot, this is my neck. So I'll take all the time that is needed to make sure that is right before I get back out there." 

Donnell, 27, was injured while making a diving catch in the first quarter of the Giants loss to the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 1. He has not appeared in a game since.

"There is concern. Well, there is concern or he'd be able to play," coach Tom Coughlin said. "The fact is they're not where they want him to be when they'd give him the green light, so he's not ready to go.

The possibility remains that Donnell could be placed on season-ending IR.

"He gets a test pretty much every week. So we're in a holding pattern there," Coughlin added.

Donnell has 29 receptions for 223 yards and two touchdowns this season. 

Tags: Larry Donnell , Tim Reilly
Giants injury report
New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) breaks up a pass intended for Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Chris Faytok/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports)

Out: G Justin Pugh (concussion), TE Larry Donnell (ankle) and LB Mark Herzlich (quad)

Doubtful: C Weston Richburg (ankle)

Questionable: LB J.T Thomas (ankle)

Probable: CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), CB Leon McFadden (groin), DE Damontre Moore (hamstring), G Geoff Schwartz (ankle) and LB Uani Unga (neck).

Tags: Tim Reilly
NFC East: Giants can put themselves in driver's seat with win over Redskins
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) at the line of scrimmage during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

With all the Giants' misfortunes this season, who would ever have thought they could open up a two-game lead on Thanksgiving weekend?

Well, thats where they stand right now. If they beat the Redskins in Washington this Sunday, they will be 6-5 and two full games ahead both Philadelphia and Washington, who would both be 4-7 should that happen.

Thanksgiving was an ugly one for the Eagles and the Cowboys. Philadelphia was crushed by the Lions on Detroit, 45-14, and Dallas' season was all but ended at home by the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, 33-14. QB Tony Romo re-injured the clavicle that had kept him out of action since Week 2 of the season.

The misfortunes that have plagued the Giants the past few years have now seeped into their rivals' seasons. The Eagles have completely fallen apart, and by the time they come here to play the Giants, they could be without head coach Chip Kelly, who is on the hot seat and may be let go in the coming weeks.

The Giants are finished with Dallas this season, having split their two games with them. Washington, however, still has two games against the Cowboys and can still play a spoiler role.

New York currently has a five-game winning streak over Washington, but Giants head coach Tom Coughlin isn't taking anything for granted. He was asked on Wednesday what is different about what the difference is between the Redskins they'll see this week and the team they beat 32-21 back on Sept. 24.

"Just the fact that they've been very successful," he said. "But they've played some pretty good teams on the road, too."

Someone asked if the Giants understand that this game is for first place.

"Oh no, I tell them and they understand it," Coughlin said. "We try to make everything absolutely clear, absolutely understandable, the circumstances, as we go along. The six-game season, one game at a time, this is the most important game of the year, right here in the division."

The Giants' winning streak means little to Coughlin as well.

"You have to earn it every time you play," he said. "Past records mean nothing. We're in the division."

And that division has fallen down around them, leaving just the Redskins in their way

Tags: John Fennelly
Cowboys' Romo likely done for season

ESPN reported that Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is "done for the season" after re-injuring his left collarbone Thursday in a 33-14 loss to unbeaten Carolina in Arlington, Texas.

Dallas fell to 3-8, and without Romo are very unlikely to challenge the NFC East-leading Giants the division title the Cowboys won last year.

Romo was injured on the final play of the third quarter during when he was sacked by Thomas Davis.

"You can hear something happen, you're just disappointed, frustrated," said Romo, describing the injury as similar to what he felt when he broke his collarbone in Week 2 against Philadelphia before missing seven games - all losses.

Owner Jerry Jones said the team needs more information to know Romo's status for the rest of the season, and the 35-year-old quarterback will have more tests Friday. Coach Jason Garrett said X-rays taken when Romo came out of the game were inconclusive.

While Romo's left arm was in a sling, he was able to leave the stadium driving his car after playing his first game at home since the season opener.

Dallas already trailed 30-6 when Romo got hurt. The Panthers (11-0) had three interceptions before halftime, and returned two of those for touchdowns. Linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted two straight passes, returning the first 32 yards for a touchdown, and setting up a field goal at the end of the half with the second.

Romo finished 11 of 21 for 106 yards with a 27.2 passer rating.


Redskins lose DB Culliver for season

Washington Redskins cornerback Chris Culliver tore the ACL in his right knee Thursday during practice and is out for the season, according to multiple media reports.

Washington (4-6) hosts the first-place Giants (5-5) on Sunday.

Coach Jay Gruden says Culliver "tweaked" his knee after jumping for a ball and landing on it.

Culliver missed three games earlier this season after injuring his left knee in practice and also had been dealing with a shoulder injury. He missed the entire 2013 season in San Francisco after tearing his left ACL in training camp.

Culliver signed a four-year free agent deal in the offseason. He is the sixth Washington starter to be lost for the season.

Giants injury updates...
Justin Pugh (Kevin Hoffman)

TE Larry Donnell, LB Mark Herzlich, G Justin Pugh, and C Weston Richburg did not practice on Thursday.

LB J.T. Thomas was limited during practice.

CB Prince Amukamara, CB Leon McFadden, DE Damontre Moore, G Geoff Schwartz, and LB Uani 'Unga were all full participants.


Tags: Justin Pugh , Larry Donnell , Mark Herzlich , Weston Richburg
Family of Frank Gifford reveals Giants great suffered from CTE
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The family of Frank Gifford revealed in a statement that the Pro Football Hall-of-Famer and broadcast icon suffered from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) a brain disorder that is commonly associated with concussions and head trauma.

From NBCNews:

"We as a family made the difficult decision to have [Gifford's] brain studied in hopes of contributing to the advancement of medical research concerning the link between football and traumatic brain injury," Gifford's family said.

"Our suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma were confirmed when a team of pathologists recently diagnosed his condition as that of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) - a progressive degenerative brain disease," it said.

"We have great respect and sympathy for the Gifford family," the Giants said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "We all miss Frank dearly. We support the family's decision to contribute to the discussion and research of an issue we take very seriously."

Gifford, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 84, played for the Giants for 12 seasons. He may be most famous for the violent hit he sustained at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles' Chuck Bednarik in 1960 that was classified as a "deep brain concussion" at the time and kept Gifford on the sidelines until 1962.

Below is a statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

"Frank Gifford was a beloved member of the NFL family. He exemplified everything good about our game throughout his 85 years of extraordinary accomplishments, both on and off the field.

We appreciate the Gifford family's desire to help the medical community understand more about CTE, and we are grateful for their support of the league's efforts to improve safety in our game. At the NFL, we are supporting grants to NIH and Boston University as well as other independent efforts to research the effects of repetitive head trauma.

But we are not waiting until science provides all of the answers. We are working now to improve the safety of our game. The NFL has made numerous rules changes to the game, all to enhance player health and safety at all levels of football. These include 39 rule changes and better training and practice protocols that are yielding measurable results.

This work will continue as the health and safety of our players remains our highest priority. We have more work to do - work that honors great men like Frank Gifford."

Tags: John Fennelly
GEICO SportsNite: NY Giants 00:02:01
Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and Rashad Jennings talk about the NFC playoff race and look forward to facing Washington in Week 12.

Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and Rashad Jennings talk about the NFC playoff race and look forward to facing Washington in Week 12.

Landon Collins can't get past near-interception against Patriots
Nov 15, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Landon Collins (21) tries in vain to pull in pass interception during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. New England Patriots defeat the New York Giants 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports (Jim O'Connor)

Landon Collins was a 5-star safety at Dutchtown High School (La.) and an honorable All-American at Alabama, so playmaking came natural.

Having an interception slip out of his grips against the Patriots two weeks ago hasn't been easy to get over.

"That was the first time I had the game in my hands and dropped the ball," Collins said. "That was the first time that happened."

Sometimes the first time stings the most.

"It was definitely hard because I don't do that," Collins said. "I killed myself when I went home, I just couldn't take it, but I'm just ready to get back on the field and just keep it going and prove myself."

"I got over it," he added, "but I mean just to feel that I let the team down is always in the back of your mind."

Collins' first chance to make amends for that dropped interception comes Sunday against Washington.

The rookie safety will have a chance to play his first game at FedEx Field, the same stadium where his idol, Sean Taylor, played in.

"It's going to be fantastic and it's going to be a dream come true to be on the field he played on," Collins said. "When I go out there and do warm ups and stuff with myself, I just want to (think) of him and his name and stuff like that."

How much Collins plays remains a question.

Collins' snap percentage dipped in the Week 10 loss to New England and remains up in the air entering Sunday.

Regardless, the rookie will be ready when his name is called.

"We're doing this rotation thing now and we're just working on getting everybody in because all of us have been getting a lot of snaps and they're just trying to keep my legs straight and just trying to switch it up a little bit," Collins explained.

"It didn't bother me. I understand where coach is coming from because it's a long season, and they just want to make sure I keep my legs underneath me, and be able to keep contributing as much as I can."

Tags: Landon Collins , Sam Spiegelman
Eli stoked to regain the magic with Nicks
Eli Manning and the Giants are hoping to spring another upset of the Patriots on Sunday. (AP)

One of the reasons the Giants decided to bring WR Hakeem Nicks back last week is his familiarity with QB Eli Manning, who he connected with for touchdown 26 times in the five seasons Nicks was here from 2009-13.

Only Plaxico Burress (33) has caught more TDs from Manning, who is looking forward to seeing his old mate out on the field in blue again this Sunday in Washington.

"He looks good, he looks like he's running well, grasping the offense," Manning said of Nicks on Wednesday. "We just got to be smart and put him in there, make sure he knows what he can do so we can put him out there and play fast. He was running some routes and there's obviously certain routes we've thrown many times and read his body language and go over things. I think he's picked up things pretty quickly and hopefully he can come in and help us out."

The Giants have Odell Beckham, Jr. as their new "go-to" guy and Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris have also made big plays this season. So how is Nicks going to fit in and contribute?

Sometimes players just have chemistry with one another, and Nicks and Manning have always had that. Manning said that even with a new offense and the fact that the two hadn't practiced together in two and a half years, some of that magic might still be there.

"That's the goal," Manning said. "There's obviously some things -- similar routes, similar things we've run many times. He knows how to do it. I don't know what the plan is on how much or where's he's going to be or what all the thoughts are but he practiced today and made some plays for us."

Reminded that Nicks was still only 27 years old, which is seven years younger than Manning, he said, "Yeah, he's young."

Let's see if there is an any fire left, or if it's just a lot of smoke.

Tags: Eli Manning
Larry Donnell likely to miss Sunday's game with a neck injury
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) reception 1st quarter as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones (31) defends at MetLife Stadium. (Robert Deutsch)

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is likely to miss Sunday's game against Washington due to a neck injury (Vacchiano, Nov. 25).

Donnell, who was cleared to resume football activities by team doctors on Monday, underwent an MRI on Wednesday morning and the Giants medical staff determined he was unable to practice.  

"I don't know too much. I don't really want to know," Donnell said when asked by reporters on Wednesday regarding the results. "I feel fine but obviously something is wrong."

Donnell, 27, originally hurt his neck in the Giants week 8 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He has 29 receptions for 223 receiving yards and two touchdowns this season. 

Tags: Larry Donnell , Tim Reilly
Scouting the Redskins: By the numbers
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

With game day nearing, we delve into the scouting report to break down the Giants' Week 12 opponent, the Washington Redskins

Here are some numbers that tell the story about Washington, including how they have fared so far in the 2015 season and the Giants' history against them…

3: The Giants registered 3 sacks against the Giants before the bye week, which was a season-high mark.

6: The Giants have 6 games remaining on their schedule, including two against NFC East opponents. Those six games are against opponents with a combined 34-26 record.

9: Washington's offense has turned the ball over at least once in 9 of 10 games this season. Since the Week 8 bye, the Redskins have turned the ball over seven times in three games, including five a week ago against Carolina.

9: Sunday could mark the season debut for former 2009 first-round pick Hakeem Nicks. Nicks ranks 9th all-time on the Giants' franchise receptions and receiving yardage list after five seasons with the team.

13: The Giants own a +13 turnover differential, which is tied with Carolina for the best mark in the NFL. The Giants have 23 takeaways, which is second to the Panthers' 25.

16: Giants quarterback Eli Manning is 16-6 in his career against the Redskins. He has thrown 25 touchdowns compared to 18 interceptions.

17: Washington's defense has notched 17 sacks this season. Ryan Kerrigan is responsible for 4.5 of those sacks. The Giants have allowed 15 sacks this season, good for the fourth-fewest in the NFL.

19: Washington is tied for fourth in the NFL with 19 turnovers on the season. Kirk Cousins has accounted for 10 of those turnovers via interceptions.

20: The Washington defense has allowed 20 touchdowns through the air this season, which is tied for third-most in the NFL along with Philadelphia. Last week, Cam Newton passed for a career-high five touchdowns against the Redskins.

28: Washington ranks 28th in total yards per game (332.8). The team ranks 20th in passing (237.5 yards per game) and 25th in rushing (95.3 yards per game).

47: Tight end Jordan Reed leads Washington with 47 receptions for 443 yards and a team-high six touchdowns. Reed is questionable for Sunday's game after sustaining a knee injury against the Panthers late last week.

Tags: Eli Manning , Washington Redskins , Sam Spiegelman
Giants could play in London in 2016
General view of Wilson NFL official Duke football at Wembley Stadium in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Giants could play a game in London in 2016 if they finish in the same place in the NFC East as the St. Louis Rams in the NFC West....

From the NFL:





The formula for the second game means that the Rams will face either the Philadelphia Eagles, who would be making their first regular-season trip to the UK, the Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants, who would be making return visits, or the Washington Redskins, who could become the first team ever to play in consecutive weeks in London.

The Miami Dolphins hosted the Giants in the first ever NFL regular season game played outside of North America at Wembley Stadium in London on Oct. 28, 2007. The Giants won the game 13-10.

New York has not played in the International Series since that inaugural game. 

Tags: Tim Reilly
Amukamara, Donnell, Thomas, Unga return; Pugh, Richburg do not
Oct 11, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell (84) catches the game winning touchdown in front of San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

The Giants will be preparing for their six-game stretch run by getting several key contributors back from injury. CB Prince Amukamara (pec) and TE Larry Donnell (neck) are scheduled to practice in full on Wednesday.

Prince told reporters on Monday that he is "100 percent" and head coach Tom Coughlin also noted that Amukamara has received medical clearance to play, but would not put a percentage on his health. The Giants are next to last in passing defense and Amukamara's return can only help the besieged secondary.

"I think he can add a lot," Coughlin said when asked what Prince can bring to the defense. "He's a good player and he's demonstrated that over the years. He'll hang in there, he's done a nice job of that. Everybody gets beat on a route once in a while, but he hangs in there and he keeps battling away. He has a strong physical presence, so I think there's no doubt he'll add tremendously."

Paired with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is arguably having his best season as a pro, Amukamara's return can help balance out the coverage scheme. Coughlin commented that was the general thinking.

"I think that hopefully is what we're going to get, is outstanding play on both sides," he said.

Donnell is dealing with a neck injury that has caused him to miss the last two games. The Giants have had issues scoring touchdowns in the red zone, having the seventh-lowest red zone touchdown percentage, and Donnell's size is sorely needed in that area. LBs J.T. Thomas (ankle), who has missed three games, and Uani' Unga (neck) who has missed two, are also in line to return.

OL Justin Pugh (concussion) and C Weston Richburg (ankle) are unlikely to practice Wednesday and will be questionable this week. Pugh is in the league's concussion protocol and Coughlin said he could not give a timeframe until Pugh passes all the tests.

Richburg was injured in the New England game and did not return. He was replaced by Dallas Reynolds, who will start this week if Richburg can't. John Jerry will continue to fill in at LG for Pugh.

Stat of the Day

Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. is second in the NFL in making third down catches. Beckham has been targeted 33 times this season and caught 22 of them with no drops. He is behind only Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, who has caught 27 of 39 targets, also with no drops.

Tags: J.T. Thomas , Justin Pugh , Larry Donnell , Odell Beckham Jr. , Prince Amukamara , Uani' Unga , Weston Richburg , John Fennelly
Five things we want to see from the Giants after the bye week
New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle (82) gives New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty (32) stiff arm after pass reception during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Jim O'Connor)

At 5-5,the New York Giants still control their own fate as they enter the stretch run of the season.
Still leading the NFC East, the Giants return from the bye week with a game at Washington before a difficult four-game stretch that leads the team to its regular-season finale against Philadelphia. 
After the Week 11 bye, the Giants had a chance to retool and get healthy.
Here are five things we'd like to see from the Giants following the bye week:
A pass rush
The Giants enter Week 12 tied for last place in the NFL with 12.0 sacks. But in Week 10, the Giants seemingly pieced together their best pass rush of the season, sacking Tom Brady three times in a close loss. 
Jason Pierre-Paul also had a sack, but it was wiped away by a penalty. Nonetheless, it's an encouraging sign that Pierre-Paul is already making strides despite playing in two games, and the rest of the Giants' defensive line is stepping up to the challenge as well.
The Giants need a pass rush to win the NFC East and make noise in the playoffs. It's a blueprint that led the team to two Super Bowls over the past decade. As we saw early on in this season, a lack of a pass rush made the team wildly inconsistent and an easy stepping stone against superior teams.
Defensive reinforcements
The Giants opened the season with one of the better defenses in the league. However, as injuries began to force players out of the lineup, this rag-tag group began to falter.
This week, the Giants had a chance to make room for defensive reinforcements at multiple levels of the defense. Cornerback Prince Amukamara is back opposite of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Amukamara had been dealing with a pectoral tear and missed five games. He'll take over for Jayron Hosley in the starting lineup and be an upgrade against teams' No. 2 wideouts.
Additionally, J.T. Thomas (ankle) and Uani 'Unga (neck) should be back in the mix, too. Thomas has missed the last three games and Unga has missed the past two. 
In other words, nearly the Giants' entire starting linebacking corps was sidelined. With Thomas and Unga back, the front seven is again solidified and should help improve a rush defense that has struggled in recent weeks, allowing more than 100 yards in five of the last six games.
More Darkwa
The Giants have rushed for more than 100 yards twice in eight games, and no Giants running back has eclipsed 100 yards in a single game to date.
That needs to change if the Giants are going to find balance in their offense down the stretch. 
With a backfield comprised of Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa, Tom Coughlin must configure a plan in which the team has more success on the ground to set up play-action pass and control the time of possession. Otherwise, the Giants are going to continue to be predictable and inconsistent running the ball. 
Darkwa leads the team with a 4.7 yard per carry average, which is more than the Giants' team averages per carry (3.8), which is 27th in the NFL. The 23-year-old back has proven he's deserving of more carries as he fits what the Giants are trying to do offensively. 
Ereck Flowers' strong second half
The Giants' rookie left tackle is going to remain right where he has been all season since incumbent Will Beatty will not be returning to the field in 2015.
Thus far, Flowers has had a very … rookie type of season, with bright spots and blemished all alike. 
With some injuries nagging the Giants along the offensive line to Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, the team needs stability from other areas. One of those areas needs to be at left tackle.
Flowers needs to come out strong for the stretch run and protect Eli Manning from some talented edge rushers that the Giants are going to face over the final six games. 
Offensive line coach Pat Flaherty said Flowers' technique is improving at practice, but it needs to translates to the games. After a week to continue to perfect his technique, Flowers needs to step up and play a pivotal role on this offensive line.
Rueben Randle being a true No. 2
Odell Beckham Jr. has enjoyed continued success his sophomore seasons. He ranks seventh in the NFL with 863 receiving yards on 63 receptions to go along with eight touchdowns.
And he might not be the most important receiver on the Giants.
We know what to expect out of Beckham - playmaking ability, outstanding catch-and-runs and a consistent threat to opposing defenses.
However, Beckham is susceptible to struggles when defenses blanket him.
Those defenses are unable to do so when Randle is at his best.
When Randle catches a touchdown, the Giants are 3-0. He's a perfect complement to Beckham's skillset, and with Dwayne Harris now the full-time starter in the slot and perhaps Hakeem Nicks finding a niche role in the offense, Randle needs to step up and be a true No. 2 option for Manning.
Randle has seen an uptick in targets. Six seems to be a magic number of sorts. When Randle is targeted six or more times, the Giants are 3-2. Not too shabby.


Tags: Ereck Flowers , Jason Pierre-Paul , Orleans Darkwa , Prince Amukamara , Rueben Randle , Uani' Unga , Sam Spiegelman
Rested Giants are ready for "six-game season" to begin
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin watches his players during the pregame warmup for their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

The New York Giants come out of their bye week in better shape than when they entered. At 5-5, they are currently one full game ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins and two ahead of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

The Giants' bye week came late this season, and in the NFL these days that is a blessing of sorts. If you are in position to make a run for the playoffs, a late bye can put you in the driver's seat.

"There were some fresh legs, that's for sure," head coach Tom Coughlin said when asked if his team came back recharged on Monday.

"Six-game season, that's exactly what it is," Coughlin surmised the immediate future. "Every game is a critical game. We are relevant and now we've got to do something about it. "Finish," that word we keep using, you've got to finish. We've got to be playing at our best in all three phases with no lapses, and that's where I'd like to see us go."

The six-game season begins this week in Washington, with a chance to put the Redskins two games behind them. Washington was annihilated by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, 44-16, and the Giants will attempt to kick them while they are down.

This is not the season to be looking past any opponent, but for the Giants, it doesn't matter. They've been competitive against every team but one, the Philadelphia Eagles, who they play in Week 17.

In between Washington and Philadelphia, they play the Jets at home, at Miami, Carolina at home and then Minnesota on the road. They are probably looking at eight wins at best. With Philadelphia in turmoil and Washington vulnerable, the Cowboys could get themselves back in the mix. QB Tony Romo is back and the Cowboys have stayed competitive without him, and will certainly be better with him. The Giants split their meetings with Dallas this season.

Tags: John Fennelly
GEICO SportsNite: NY Giants 00:01:40
Ralph Vacchiano reports from Giants camp as wide receiver Hakeem Nicks discusses his joy in returning to Big Blue.
Hakeem Nicks is 'back where I wanted to be'
Aug 23, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans receiver Hakeem Nicks (14) runs after a reception during the first half against the St. Louis Rams at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

A familiar face was back on the field for the Giants at practice on Monday, one the team hopes can reignite his career and help them get to the playoffs.

Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, signed last week after the Giants placed Victor Cruz on season-ending injured reserve, is back with the team after two seasons. He spent 2014 in Indianapolis, then has been searching for a job since being cut by the Tennessee Titans this past summer.

"It feels good," Nicks said when asked how it feels to back in Blue. "Feels good to be back in the building, definitely feels good to be back in the Giants uniform. Just want to continue to make plays and be a great football player and a great team player."

He was asked if thought he'd ever be back with the Giants after he left more than two years ago.

"I felt like this is where I wanted to be in my heart," Nicks said. "Business is business and it's going to play out the way it's going to play out, and fortunately I was blessed enough to be back in this position."

The Giants reached out to Nicks to fill their No. 4 wide receiver spot. Odell Beckham, Jr., Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris are the top three. So, what can he bring to the table? 

"Veteran experience, catcher, outstanding hands, he'll work very hard," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "He's excited about being here. He's missed the opportunity to compete, so all of those things he'll bring to our practices and our games."

Nicks is confident he can contribute immediately and doesn't see the new offense as being too difficult to absorb.

"It's a new season, we got a six-game schedule," Nicks said. "I've seen this before and we're right where we need to be in this division. Just look forward to what's at hand."

Is that feasible? Coughlin believes Nicks is off to a good start.

"He's energetic, he looked good," Coughlin said. "Kidded around with him a little bit. He did fine for a guy that's just trying to study and pick up the signals and all of those things. He did okay."

Nicks played five seasons for the Giants from 2009 to 2013, catching 311 passes for 4,622 yards and 27 touchdowns. He has had multiple injuries that have slowed him down which was primarily the reason he was not on an NFL roster this season. He is still only 27, and, depending on who you believe, he still has plenty left to give.

"To be honest with you, I don't think there's any question about that part of it," Coughlin said. "He is a young man and he does miss it and he has worked very hard to stay in shape. We knew that when he worked out here the first time. Yeah, I'm hoping that's exactly what it will be."

Making things easier for Nicks to ease back into action is the presence of QB Eli Manning, with whom Nicks built a solid rapport during his first stint with the Giants.

"That helps a lot. That helps a lot, that chemistry," Nicks said. "We're definitely looking forward to it. Glad to be back in this position again, playing with Eli again. I look forward to everything that is about to come."

Tags: Dwayne Harris , Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , Rueben Randle , Victor Cruz , John Fennelly
Amukamara: We 'control our own destiny'
Oct 4, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) recovers the ball and gets tackled by Buffalo Bills runningback Cierre Wood (41) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Giants beat the Bills 24 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports (Timothy T. Ludwig)

Fresh off a bye week, Prince Amukamara is anxious to get back to football.

But it's more than just Week 11 that Amukamara has been away from the field.

Sidelined by a pectoral injury, Amukamara has missed the Giants' last five games. However, he's expected to return for Sunday's NFC East tilt with Washington.

Amukamara declared himself 100 percent and is eager to be a part of the team's stretch run.

"It's great to control our own destiny," Amukamara said. "We know that this game, coach (Tom) Coughlin says, is worth two points because it's in the division and we know that if we take care of what we have to take care of I think we'll be good. We're in the driver's seat and if we win out then we will be happy at the end. We definitely don't want to be in a position where we're paying attention to like Minnesota or other teams to lose and stuff like that because that's not a fun way to look at it."

Amukamara is one a handful of defensive reinforcements returning to the Giants this weekend.

Along with Amukamara, J.T. Thomas and Uani' Unga are expected to be back in the mix as well. Thomas has missed the Giants' last four games with an ankle injury and Unga recently sustained a neck injury.

"We'd definitely help improve our defense," Amukamara said. "I think our defense was doing great without us and we've seen the last couple of weeks, especially last week against the Patriots, I think we just add more bodies and add more help to help our defense."

Amukamara's return to the field is not something he's taking for granted either.

Of course, last year the cornerback's season was cut short due to a bicep tear. Amukamara is in a contract year and health is expected to be a key factor in the Giants' decision to retain him.

This year, Amukamara is focused on making his presence felt during the most critical point in the regular season.

"Definitely excited for it to be short-term (injury) unlike last year and just to come back and finish where I started," he said. "Hosley, I feel like did a great job in my spot and I'm just glad to be back."

Tags: J.T. Thomas , Prince Amukamara , Uani' Unga , Sam Spiegelman
Giants injury updates...
Justin Pugh blocks a Patriots defender. (AP)

The Giants provided injury updates after practice on Monday...

1.) G Justin Pugh was in concussion protocol because of symptoms that persisted after the Patriots game, when it was reported he didn't have a concussion. 

2.) DE Damontre Moore missed practice due to a hamstring injury.

3.) C Weston Richburg missed practice due to an ankle injury.

4.) CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) returned to practice.

5.) TE Larry Donnell said he's been cleared by doctors and that he feels 100 percent.

.500 Giants take 1-game lead in weak East

The New York Football Giants (5-5) will remain in first place in the NFC for at least another week. They didn't have to do much to stay there, either.

While the Giants enjoyed their bye week, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) and the Washington Redskins (4-6) were demolished by Tampa Bay and Carolina respectively on Sunday and are both one full game behind the Giants going into Week 12.

The Giants face the Redskins at FedEx Field next Sunday. The Eagles will play in Detroit on Thanksgiving.

Philadelphia was humiliated at home by the Bucs, 45-17. Rookie QB Jameis Winston threw 5 TD passes and RB Doug Martin rushed for 235 yards. The Eagles still have to play New England, Arizona and the Giants.

Washington was pummeled 44-16 by the undefeated Panthers (10-0), who were led by QB Cam Newton's five TD passes.

In QB Tony Romo's return from a fractured clavicle, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Dolphins in Miami, 24-14, to raise their record to 3-7.

Giants' defense trying to stay afloat with their backup linebackers
New York Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas (54) gestures to the crowd (William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports)

Throughout the years, the Giants' defense has been identified by their linebackers, the stalwarts who narrow and shorten the field for opposing offenses.

Lately, they have been short on manpower in the LB corps and the Giants' defense has been one predicated on takeaways rather than shutting teams down with pressure. They have allowed 420.9 yards per game theough the first ten weeks of this NFL season, just slightly less that the league's worst defense, the porous New Orleans Saints.

The season began with high hopes for LB coach Jim Herrmann's unit. Jon Beason was healthy again and would man the MIKE position. Devon Kennard, after a strong showing in his rookie season, would be the SAM and the Jaguars' J.T. Thomas was signed to play the WILL.

Of course, this plan never really got off the ground. Beason was hobbled by knee and ankle injuries, limiting him to playin in parts of just four games. He was placed on season-ending IR on Nov. 7. Kennard strained a hamstring in the Giants' Week 4 win over Buffalo, then missed two games and is still rounding back into shape. Thomas has missed the past three games with an ankle injury.

Last week against the New England Patriots, the Giants started Jasper Brinkley at MIKE, Jonathan Casillas at WLB and Kennard at SAM. Brinkley was only playing because the Giants' No. 2 MLB, Uani 'Unga was out with a stinger. He was leading the Giants in tackles until he broke down three weeks ago.

Casillas has been a nice addition to the team. Coming over from New England vis free agency this past offseason, Casillas has shown not only his penchant for special teams play but is second on the club in total tackles with 51.

The injuries are part of the game, Herrmann said last week in his media session. The position is a focal one that includes constant movement and contact.

"I think it's the nature of the position. You have to do it in this League, you've got to be ready for injuries at any given time, so guys have to double up duty," Herrmann said when asked about the mixing and matching due to injuries this season.

"They're learning," he continued. "Some will play WILL linebacker in base, some may have to back up the MIKE, some may have to back up the SAM. When we get into the sub-packages, that's where the guys have really got to know, okay what's my role, where am I going to be playing, who am I backing up, and they do a good job. They're all smart men and it's a help for me, because I can say, 'OK, here's your double duty this week, here's your double duty this week' and they all understand."

"A lot of times they don't get reps at the second position, but they've got to know what's going on and all my guys are very scheme-conscious," he added. "They have an idea of what we're trying to get done from each of the positions, so it makes it a lot easier for me as a coach to be able to have smart guys that know how to do that."

But the results have been mixed. Kennard is a high-ceiling guy with a pedigree and the Giants are seeking stardom from him. The rest are journeymen and free agents. If Kennard can stay healthy, the Giants' defense will benefit. Herrmann confirmed that Kennard was wearing the radio from the SAM slot and he has liked the progress he's made this season over his rookie year.

"I think just now he's more involved in all the packages and we can use him in multiple positions; on the ball, setting the edge, we can put him as a roam-around kind of guy in sub, we can stick him back off the ball in a four-man front as an inside backer," said Herrmann. "To me, his overall understanding of the game has gone up tremendously. I think from year one to year two, that's probably the biggest improvement that he's made is being able to go in and do all of that and feel comfortable and taking the role of taking the defensive signal and getting guys lined up. I like where he's at."

With Beason probably gone for good, the Giants would like to get Unga, a UDFA out of BYU that the Giants latched onto last winter and then made the team, back in the fold soon and continue to develop him. Unga had been a violent run-stopper this season but was exposed in space on passing plays.

"Coming in like he did, probably no one in the NFL world even knew who he was," Herrmann said of Unga. "He was a kid in college who made plays and was always around the ball and understands the game. He did a great job coming in this year and going in the first Dallas game and making plays. He's one of our most productive guys. I like where he's at, we've got to get him fixed up in terms of his injury, but he'll add great depth to whoever we put out there."

The Giants are a long way from the days of their great LB corps, but in today's NFL that may not be the worst thing in the world. Lineman and secondary personnel are more valued by GMs these days but if you can get yourself a couple of decent linebackers, you can survive. The Giants are trying to convince themselves they have some good ones.

Tags: Devon Kennard , Jasper Brinkley , Uani' Unga , John Fennelly
Giants' backfield is not having the desired effect
Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement)

The Giants have always been known as a team that runs the football well. In their championship seasons, they could grind up yards, sustain long drives and basically pound their opponents into submission.

This season, none of that is happening. They currently rank 26th in the NFL in yards per game (95.0) and 28th in yards per carry (3.8). They have just three rushing touchdowns, their lowest total through 10 games since 1996, when they had two.

The Giants have just three runs of 20 or more yards, tied for 25th in the NFL, and 22 runs of 10-plus yards, tied for 24th. They have gone 11 consecutive games without an individual 100-yard rusher. The last time a Giant RB rushed for over 100 yards was last Dec. 21 when Andre Williams ran for 110 yards at St. Louis.

That is their longest streak without a 100-yard rusher since they played 14 consecutive games from Oct. 18, 2009 to Sept. 26, 2010. When a Giants runner reaches the century mark, it usually results in a victory; they are 45-13 in regular-season games under head coach Tom Coughlin when they have a 100-yard rusher.

Yet, here they sit at 5-5 and probably should be 7-3 or 8-2. They are living and dying with the passing game on offense, an opportunistic defense and special teams that outhustles opponents. They are as far away from those ground and pound Giants we knew and loved as they can get.

Craig Johnson, the Giants' running backs coach has good backs to work with, but game situations and play calls have kept the rushing attack from gaining any traction.

"I think it's still a work in progress. Obviously I would like to see them continuously improve," Johnson told reporters on Monday. "Until we get 4.0 (yards per carry) or more, that's the standard point I'm going to look for, I'm never going to be happy, and they understand that. I think they've done a good job in the passing game and the pass protection game. I still think that we need to be more consistent running the football. We're going to continue to do everything we can to make that happen and I hope that will continue to bring a balance to our offense."

The consistency will not come until the Giants abandon this strategy of a four-man platoon in their backfield. Everyone is touching the football these days, as if it were some kind of intramural tryout. Rashad Jennings usually goes first followed by Williams, Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa.

When asked the reasoning behind the heavy roatation, Johnson said a lot but divulged very litttle...

"I think going into the season, obviously Shane [Vereen] with a new group, he obviously has done a really good job and has lifted our pass receiving out of the third down spot. He's done a good job as a player and then Rashad [Jennings] and Andre [Williams] coming back from a year ago had really done a good job. I had seen Orleans Darkwa do quite a bit of stuff in the preseason. He had some injury issues so we let him do more special teams early but as time continued to go on, I just felt like I wanted to give him that opportunity to play. Since I put him on the field, he's been averaging close to five yards a carry, so because of that, I'm going to continue to try and give him reps in all the games and see if we can kind of get our rhythm going with multiple guys doing it."

No one is going to run for 100 yards in this system unless they break off a long run. That hasn't happened because the offense keeps rotating. Every time the Giants introduce a new running back into the game, odds are they are going to run. Defenses have picked up on it and have snuffed them out.

Yet Johnson remains confident. The rotation has fit the needs of the offense, which is to do something else when they are not passing the ball. Still, the four-man rotation will remain until furhter notice.

"I think that obviously it's a hard number to try and get four guys reps because you always want to try and get guys in rhythm and all that," said Johnson. " I think all of them have deserved to play. Rashad has done a lot of good things, Andre probably had the best game of all the backs a week ago, Orleans has been consistent, so what I'm trying to do is give them all some opportunities and then the guys that really seem to be in a rhythm within each game, you try and give them a little bit more reps."

The offense won't be feared unless it's balanced. The Giants can't continue to rely on Odell Beckham Jr. making one-handed catches to bail them out every game. Or not, as was the case last week.

The days of Earth, Wind and Fire are over. We are in the new era of Backfield in Motion. It's not something the Giant fans are hoping to get used to.

Tags: John Fennelly
Coughlin again weighs in on Beckham's non-TD

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has coached more NFL games than just over a handful of men and he knows when something doesn't look right.

Such was the case last Sunday when the officials overturned a sure touchdown into an incomplete pass, costing the Giants four points and eventually the game against the Patriots.

With just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr. appeared to catch a TD pass from QB Eli Manning. Beckham rabbed it with both hands and got both feet down. The ball was slapped out of Beckham's hands but after the TD was scored, most thought. Upon review, the call was changed.

Initially, Coughlin blamed Beckham's style of relyling too much on hand catches and not pulling the ball into his body.

"It's not something that I teach," Coughlin said of holding the ball away from the defender. "Get the ball into a secure position in your body. In other words, what's the difference if you're carrying the ball out here or you're carrying the ball out here? It's in a slapable position, whereas if you have it in here, you've got it well protected within the grasp of your arm, your body and your extra arm can help, too. He'll learn from that."

But after hearing the explanation from the NFL's VP of Officiating, Dean Blandino, Coughlin began to rethink his stance.


"They did get it right, and the rule is pretty clear on this," Blandino said on NFL Network, per the New York Daily News. "I know there has been a lot of debate about the rule, but it says you have to have control, you have to have both feet down, and after the second foot is down, you have to have the ball long enough to establish yourself as a runner. And that doesn't matter if you're in the end zone or in the field of play. It's that element of time.

"Beckham, the second foot hits, and it's a fraction of a second, maybe a fraction of a second after that, the ball comes out. He didn't have the ball long enough after the second foot was down to establish possession, that's why it was overturned to incomplete."

Speaking on Mike Francesa's show on WFAN this week, Coughlin tried to make sense of the call.

"We've made this a very difficult call and the thing that bothers me about it is, first, the word 'runner.' There is no runner in the end zone. When a guy catches the ball in the end zone, that's it. He's not going to take another step, Mike. He's on the sideline."

The fact of the matter is, that was a first down play. The Giants had two other downs to score and did not. Had they been successful on one of those downs, perhaps we wouldn't be beating the drum on this.

The Giants are one of the most inefficient teams in the red zone, with a success rate of roughly 44 percent, which many see as a 56 percent failure rate.

Welcome to the new!

Welcome to the new and improved

This overhaul brings our sites into one updated home, combining the Blog Network into a one-stop shop for all New York sports news.

A few highlights of the new site…

Main navigation: You can now read news about all New York City area sports teams by accessing the main Menu button. From the dropdown, you can navigate to any of the other team pages. From there, you can also access our TV schedule, programming updates and bios of our on-air talent.

Sidebar navigation: Once you're reading a team page, you will also see a new left-hand sidebar. This sidebar shows all our stories on that team page. You can either scroll down the page normally, or scroll through the sidebar to see what you want to read next.

Commenting popup: If you'd like to leave a comment on one of our stories, or discuss the news with your fellow fans, clicking the comment button will pop open a new window over the story you were reading. From there, you can login and post with the account you used on our previous site, or make a new one if you've never commented before.

There are many new additions and tweaks to the new site that you will find along the way. We hope it improves your experience on our sites and helps you get the best New York sports news and opinion.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at

Thanks for reading and enjoy the site! Staff

Giants re-sign safety Cooper Taylor
Cooper Taylor returns a blocked punt for the Giants in 2013. (AP)

The New York Giants have re-signed safety Cooper Taylor to their 53-man roster from their practice squad (Giants, Nov. 18).

Taylor, 25, was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. He has spent most of his tenure with the Giants on their practice squad roster.

In 2013 he appeared in 10 games. After spending all of 2014 on the practice squad roster, he was active for three games earlier this season.

Tags: Tim Reilly
Giants' pass rush showing signs of life
The return of Jason Pierre-Paul has reinvigorated the Giants' pass rush. (AP)

The Giants, like most NFL teams this season, have been operating with one wheel in the sand thanks to key injuries. Their defense has been especially hit hard. Just as the Giants got their star, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, back from an offseason, off-the field mishap, they lost runstopper Johnathan Hankins and rookie DE Owa Odighizuwa for the long run.

JPP has provided a spark to the defense even though he hasn't lit up the stat sheet. His presence has stabilized a toothless pass rush and his enthusiasm has had a rippling effect throughout the locker room.

Still, the Giants have been deficient in the pass rush all season as GM Jerry Reese outlined during his press conference on Monday.

"We've had some pretty good pass rushers, but you can't just wave the magic wand and a pass rusher is going to fall out of the sky," Reese said. "You have to get what's available and obviously not having Jason from the beginning after the accident he had in July and training camp starts at the end of July and that happens, so you're taken aback a little by that. Owa hasn't developed as quickly as we'd like for him to. He's had some injury issues and still does have some injury issues.

"But the young players, Damontre (Moore), Owa, and some of the veterans we have, Robert Ayers, who is coming around a little bit, he's had some injury issues. We thought we had enough to generate some pass rush. Obviously we'd like to have more. I do think the pass rush with Jason back is starting to come around a little bit now. Obviously we'd like to have more pass rush than we've had."

That is going to be difficult to do, but the Giants are dialing up ways to get to the QB. Last Sunday vs. New England, they sacked QB Tom Brady three times and hit him a total of five. Ayers had a sack, but S Craig Dahl and LB Jasper Brinkley had the other two. JPP had a sack rescinded by a penalty.

Defensive line coach Robert Nunn says the team will miss the dynamic that the JPP-Hankins tandem brings to the defense.

"In our meeting room, Jonathan is such a big part of our group and he is such a solid player," Nunn said. "He is one of those guys that is not going to show up every day on the stat sheet but he is another one that causes people to make plays and that was tough loss for us. Yesterday I thought Markus Kuhn had probably his best game as a Giant, Jay Bromley is doing some good things and then (Montori) Hughes came in and had some good reps for us. He probably had about a dozen reps, so they have some big shoes to fill with Hank."

Nunn has suggested that JPP is having an "El Cid" effect on things.

"When he is out there, they know he is out there and it helps everyone else," Nunn said, "so he has had some really good pressures and he had the sack that was taken away yesterday on a tough call, but if he continues to do what he is doing right now, things are going to work out."

And work out they may. With no further injuries, the Giants may be able to get some traction in the pass rush and lead this team to the playoffs.

Tags: John Fennelly
Giants officially sign Hakeem Nicks
After announcing Victor Cruz will undergo season-ending surgery, the Giants signed Hakeem Nicks to add depth at wide receiver. (AP)

The Giants have signed WR Hakeem Nicks, according to Mike Garafolo (Nov. 17). The team confirmed the signing late Tuesday.

The Nicks signing comes after WR Victor Cruz announced he will have season-ending surgery on his calf on Monday.

"This is home," Nicks said. "You know what they say, 'Let a dog roam, he'll find his way home.' They left the backdoor open for me."

Nicks played with the Giants from 2009-2013, making 311 catches for 4,622 yards and 27 touchdowns over 70 games.

He spent one season with Indianapolis in 2014, making 38 catches for four touchdowns over 16 games. He has not appeared in the NFL this season, despite playing preseason games with the Titans before being cut.

"I'm happy to be here, happy to be back in the building," Nicks said. "I feel great, I feel hungry. I'm ready to get on that field and make some plays."

To make room on the roster for Nicks, the Giants waived linebacker James Morris. The team also released WR Justin Talley from their practice squad.

It's hard to fathom why the Giants would revisit this chapter from their past. Nicks has been slowed by injuries to the point where no team has risked taking a flier on him.

After a disappointing season in Indianapolis, Nicks was invited to the Titans' training camp and was cut, even though Tennessee had a very young and inexperienced receiving corps. He has since tried out for several teams: Dallas, New England and Baltimore, all desperate for WR depth and was not offered a contract by any of them.

Don't forget that Nicks had a tiffs with both Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin in his last season over voluntary workouts. But the Giants have apparently chosen to forgive and forget. I think they're going to wish they forgot with this one.

However, it's a no-risk situation. Cruz was going to give them nothing. And Nicks will not be asked to do too much, as Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris have the top three slots sewn up. Myles White has also looked good, so I'm not sure where Nicks will fit in anyway.

Tags: John Fennelly
Reese sees Giants as a first-place team
Despite their 5-5 record, Giants GM Jerry Reese sees Big Blue as a first-place team. (AP)

Giants general manager Jerry Reese put a positive spin on the team's season that many see as disappointing and frustrating when he gave a rare press conference on Monday.

"I feel like a first-place team because that's where we are," Reese said when asked if he felt this was a first-place team. "Obviously I really don't want to talk about the first 10 games, the first 10 games are over, but we had some chances in some of those games to come out on top.

"We didn't do it and we're 5-5, we're on top. The division is going to come down to a couple games at the end probably, and we want to be one of the teams in the conversation at the end."

That is going to take a bit of doing, especially the way the Giants have been giving games away. With two division games left (Washington and Philadelphia), the Giants can make a statement by winning those. The rest of their schedule (Miami, Minnesota, Carolina and the Jets) is not a favorable one. The Giants need to play smarter and learn how to finish teams off.

"I think we haven't finished games like we want to finish games, I think that's been an issue. In this league, the close games, you have to win the close games," Reese said. "There's not many blowout games in the National Football League, you have to win the close games. For whatever reason, we've come up short a few games at the end of the game. So these last six games, we want to win those close games at the end."

Reese was asked who should be blamed for the team's failures in the final minutes of games. He had no real answer to give.

"You can blame it on all of us," Reese said. "I think everybody can take some blame in this situation. I can take some blame, the coaches can take some blame, the players can take some blame about where we are.

"But again, we're in first place. We've got six games to go and we're going to try and win them all. So blame all of us if you want to, we're big boys. We can handle it if you want to blame us. You should blame us, we've built the team, we've coached the team, the players play, so blame all of us. But again, we're in first place."

For now.

Tags: John Fennelly
Post Mortem: Another close loss
The Giants put up a strong fight against the Patriots but came up short in the game's final seconds. (AP)

The Giants blew another late fourth quarter lead on Sunday, falling to the New England Patriots, 27-26, in the final seconds. It was the fourth time this season the club allowed itself to be beaten in the final minutes.

The Giants are 5-5 and sit all alone in first place in the NFC East for another week, at least. Washington and Philadelphia are one-half game back at 4-5. Dallas is in the cellar with a 2-7 record.

Here are some news and nuggets from Sunday's game:

The Giants lost by one point for the second time this season, and each by the same score. They fell on opening night in Dallas, 27-26. It's the first season in which the Giants have lost two one-point games since 2001, when they lost to St. Louis, 15-14, and Philadelphia, 10-9, in consecutive weeks.

Four of the Giants' five losses - to Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, and New England - were by a total of nine points.

As is now their custom, the Giants won the coin toss and deferred taking the ball until the second half. They are 2-3 this season and 2-9 under Tom Coughlin when they defer. They lost this game despite doing exactly what is intended when they defer, scoring at the end of the first half (Dwayne Harris' one-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds left) and at the beginning of the second (on Josh Brown's 38-yard field goal to end the first possession of the third quarter).

The 87-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. was the third-longest of Eli Manning's 297 career touchdown passes (280 in the regular season). It is exceeded only by the 99-yarder to Victor Cruz vs. the Jets on Dec. 24, 2011 and a 92-yard score to Mario Manningham at Washington on Jan. 2, 2011.

The touchdown pass to Beckham was Manning's 20th of the season. It is the 10th different season in which Manning has thrown 20 or more touchdown passes. The only other quarterbacks with more such seasons are Peyton Manning (16), Brett Favre (15), Tom Brady (13), Dan Marino (13) and Drew Brees (12).

Manning completed 24 of 44 passes for 361 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It was his third 300-yard game of the season and the 36th of his regular-season career. The Giants are 16-20 on those games.

Manning's first-half total of 251 yards was a career-high. His previous best was 239 in the first half at Washington on Nov. 30, 2008.

Tight end Will Tye made his first career start. Tye (31 yards) and wide receiver Myles White (28) each had his career-long reception. Tye's previous long was an 18-yarder vs. San Francisco. White's was a 15-yarder for Green Bay at Minnesota on Oct. 27, 2013.

For the second week in a row, Jasper Brinkley started at middle linebacker and led the Giants in tackles, this time with 12 (nine solo). The total included a sack for no yards. Brinkley also forced a fumble for the second straight game.

Craig Dahl played much of the game at safety in place of rookie Landon Collins. Dahl sacked Brady for a five-yard loss. It was the fourth sack of Dahl's nine-year career, and first since Dec. 5, 2010, when, as a member of the St. Louis Rams, he dropped the Cardinals' John Skelton for a 10-yard loss at Arizona. Dahl also intercepted a pass in that game.

Robert Ayers had the Giants' third sack.

Jason Pierre-Paul briefly had his first sack of the season, but it was nullified by an illegal use of hands penalty.

Brown kicked four field goals from 37, 38, 53 and 29 yards and extended his career-high and Giants-record streak to 27 consecutive successful field goal attempts. Only Gostkowski, with 30, has a longer active streak.

Tags: John Fennelly
GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:00:41
Ralph Vacchiano reports from Giants camp, where the inconsistent team is still in first place in the NFC East.

Ralph Vacchiano reports from Giants camp, where the inconsistent team is still in first place in the NFC East.

Eli Manning says Victor Cruz injury is unfortunate

Eli Manning will not have his favorite slot receiver back this season.

The Giants quarterback received the news about Victor Cruz's season-ending injury through word of mouth, and said the prognosis was difficult to swallow considering how hard Cruz worked to try and return.

"It's unfortunate. I know it is tough on him and he worked so hard to come back from the knee injury last year and was excited coming out and playing and was looking good in training camp and to have this nagging calf injury, so I know it has been tough on him," Manning said. "I think our receivers have been doing some good things. Dwayne (Harris) has been playing well in the slot, so we have to worry about the guys we have here and playing at a higher level to win games."

Manning was taken back a bit to find out that Cruz's calf injury would cause him his season.

Cruz was returning from a torn patellar injury in the offseason before a calf injury set him back in August. That same calf injury led to multiple PRP injections, which were thought to help Cruz return back to the lineup soon.

Instead, both Manning and Cruz were blindsided when the injury was declared season ending.

"I did not think that was the case," Manning said. "It seemed like there was a deal that it would be a few weeks and come back - just a calf strain, but I guess just kept reinjuring it and I just feel for him more than anything just because I know he wants to be out there playing and I know it has been frustrating to have this nagging him and now getting to this point."

Tags: Eli Manning , Victor Cruz , Sam Spiegelman
Giants to sign OL Emmett Cleary

The Giants will sign OL Emmett Cleary to the active roster from the practice squad, Jordan Raanan of reports (Nov. 16).

Cleary, 25, has been on the practice squad for the entire season.

The Giants lost C Weston Richburg to a mild ankle sprain during Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Tags: Emmett Cleary
Five things we learned from Jerry Reese...
(Julio Cortez/AP)

Giants GM Jerry Reese spoke with the media on Monday. Here are five things we learned…

1.) The front office, coaches, and players all share some blame for the team failing to close out games, but Reese likes the position the Giants are in heading into the bye week.

2.) Reese feels that the Giants can compete with anybody in the league and said he was pleased with the way the team played against the Patriots on Sunday.

3.) Reese is a little surprised by how well DE Jason Pierre-Paul has performed since returning from his hand injury.

4.) Reese said he felt badly for WR Victor Cruz, but that Cruz's contract situation "will take care of itself" after the season.

5.) The Giants' injury issues are no worse than the issues plaguing other teams throughout the league.

Five things we learned from Tom Coughlin...
(Julio Cortez/AP)

Giants head coach Tom Couglin spoke with the media on Monday. Here are five things we learned…

1.) Coughlin said it was inspirational how well the Giants played against the high-powered Patriots and that the experience can help them moving forward.

2.) WR Odell Beckham, Jr. isn't to blame for the loss against the Patriots, but he can learn from it. Coughlin noted that securing the ball properly right away is something Beckham will need to work on.

3.) Coughlin's decision to not run the ball on the goal line during the Giants' final drive was because the Patriots had six defensive linemen on the field.

4.) CB Prince Amukamara will likely be ready to play against Washington after the bye week.

5.) Coughlin was very disappointed to hear about WR Victor Cruz's season-ending surgery, but would not speculate on Cruz's future with the team.

Patriots 27, Giants 26: By the numbers

The Giants dropped to 5-5 after a 27-26 loss at the hands of the 9-0 Patriots Sunday.

Here are some numbers to help tell the story of the game:

1: Stephen Gostkowski nailed his game-winning 54-yard field goal with 1 second remaining. For the second time in the past three games, the Giants were beaten on a field goal with one second or less left. In New Orleans two weeks ago, Kai Forbath kicked a 50-yarder as time expired.

2: The Giants have lost 2 games by 1 point this year. The Giants lost their season opener to Dallas, 27-26, too. That marked the first time the Giants have lost two one-point game since 2001.

3: Eli Manning's 87-yard touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. on the Giants' opening drive marked the 3rd time the team scored on its opening possession. The Giants are 0-3 this season when they score on their opening drive and 22-17 all-time under Tom Coughlin in such series.

7: The Giants snapped their 7-game winning streak against AFC East teams. That streak included two Super Bowl wins over New England. The Patriots were the last AFC East team to beat the Giants back in the 2007 regular-season finale.

8: The Giants rushed for 80 yards, marking the 8th time in 10 games the team has failed to rush for more than 100 yards.

9: Four of the Giants' five losses have come by a total of 9 points.

10: The Patriots trailed 20-10 in the third quarter. The 10-point deficit was the largest Patriots deficit of the season.

10: Manning's touchdown to Beckham was his 20th of the season. Manning has 10 seasons of throwing 20 or more touchdown passes. The only other quarterbacks to accomplish that are brother Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Brady, Dan Marino and Drew Brees.

12: Beckham's 104 yards receiving gave him his 12th career 100-yard receiving game. He has three in a row and five on the season.

17: The Giants dropped to 7-21 against defending Super Bowl champions. The Giants have not beaten a defending champion in 17 years. Their last win came on Dec. 13, 1998 against the Broncos.

54: Gostkowski's 54-yard field goal was the longest game-winning kick against the Giants since Nov. 13, 2013. In that game, Green Bay's Mason Cosby connected on a 57-yarder.

Tags: Sam Spiegelman
Victor Cruz will have calf surgery, will miss entire 2015 season
(Bill Kostroun)

Giants WR Victor Cruz announced he will have surgery due to a tear in his calf and will miss the rest of the 2015 season.

"I just got news that I will be having season-ending surgery on my left calf," Cruz announced in a video on Bleacher Report (Nov. 16).

Cruz did not play at all in the 2015 season due to the calf injury.

"This hurts," Cruz said. "I worked so hard to come back from the patellar tendon surgery. I fought hard, day in and day out, in rehab, physical work, strength work. Then the calf happened.

"It's a tough thing to go through - emotionally and physically."

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Cruz never gave anyone the sense that he was healthy after "tweaking" the calf back in training camp. He tried everything, including running on an underwater treadmill and PRP injections, to get back on the field. Nothing seemed to work.

There is a silver lining to this development, however. Dwayne Harris has played well in Cruz' absence. Harris had six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's loss to New England.

Cruz signed a six-year, $45.879 million contract with the Giants back in 2013, but the deal contains just $15.625 million in guarantees. Could this lost season and a half change Cruz' future with the club? Stay tuned.

Sam Spiegelman

This is what I've been warning Giants fans for months. Once Cruz suffered a setback with his calf in August, it seemed inevitable that the once-great slot receiver had fallen under the injury prone label once and for all.

It's likely the end of a fantastic career, one that was over way too early.

For the Giants' sake, Dwayne Harris has emerged as a really productive receiver in the slot that can also contribute on special teams. Even if Cruz could return, between the question marks surrounding his health and how long it would take for him to get his legs under him, I doubt he could even come close to matching Harris' production.

Unfortunately, this is now how one of the great New York Giants receivers wanted to go out. He was a great ambassador of the team and New York, but injuries caught up with him.

Tags: Victor Cruz
Pierre-Paul shrugs off loss, says he expects Tom Brady to do that
(Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The New York Giants nearly pulled off the impossible, but a late field goal lifted the New England Patriots to a 27-26 victory and a 9-0 record Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants (5-5) couldn't finish the deed, but went toe-to-toe with one of the league's unbeatens until the waning seconds.

They're close to what they want to be as a team, Jason Pierre-Paul said.

"We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "Yeah, we're a championship team, but that was back then. This is a whole new team, whole new faces. We've got a lot of work to do."

The Giants put forth arguably their best defensive performance of the season. After failing to record a sack in each of the past two games, the defense brought Tom Brady down three times Sunday.

As many stops as they forced throughout the game, the defense couldn't slow down Brady and Co. on the Pat's final drive. Landon Collins nearly intercepted Brady, who bounced back to complete the next 5-of-9 pass attempts, including a 4th-and-10, to set up Stephen Gostkowski with a 54-yard field goal attempt.

"Anytime you lose, it's frustrating," said Pierre-Paul. "We had it right there until the end. Tom Brady is a good quarterback, you know? We were expecting him to do that, but we expected to stop the ball and get off the field. But he's a good quarterback, what can I say?"

The Giants will take this disheartening loss with them into their Week 11 bye week.

From there, the Giants play Washington, the Jets and the Dolphins. They end their schedule with the Panthers, Vikings and Eagles.

The focus on what's ahead, Pierre-Paul said, not what happened Sunday.

"We've got to move forward. It's a terrible loss. We wanted to win so badly, but they executed better than us today. But we've got to move on. We've got a bye week and guys are leaving or whatever, so we've got to come back and get on the roll again."

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul
NFC East: Uneven Giants keep tentative hold on division lead
(Julio Cortez/AP)

The difference between the good teams and the bad teams in the NFL isn't anything glaring. The good teams make the plays needed to win and the bad teams don't. Depending on the week, the Giants can fall into either of those categories.

On Sunday against New England, the Giants made a load of great plays, but undid all of that good with disturbing lapses that allowed a bushwhacked Patriots team to avoid its first defeat since Week 17 of last season.

"Not much for me to say about it other than the frustration was-I mean, finish the game," a disappointed Tom Coughlin said after New England won a hair-raising 27-26 game in the final seconds last night.

"Just get the game over with," the coach continued. "We had the ball in the end zone that's knocked out of the hands. We have to kick a field goal, which makes you right away worried because they have an outstanding kicker who might kick it from 58 to 60 yards, he's done that before."

"You have a chance to intercept the ball in the middle of the field and it's just thrown up and we don't catch the ball. I thought there were times in the second half we weren't able, obviously, to sustain any kind of drives, and that was frustrating in itself. They did put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We're up 10 and then we give up a punt return, which you know, jeez, here we go."

The loss dropped the Giants to 5-5, but due to the inconsistency of their division rivals, they remain in first place for another week as they enter their bye week.

The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Miami Dolphins, 20-19, at home and are now 4-5. The Dallas Cowboys lost their seventh game in a row down in Tampa. Their season is effecitvely over at 2-7, but do have Tony Romo returning. The Washington Redskins have found a quarterback in Kirk Cousins, blowing out New Orleans on Sunday and raising their record to 4-5.

The Giants, had all things broke their way this season, could be 9-1 in the best-case scenario. They lost late fourth-quarter leads in four of their five losses. Had they won just two of those, they would be 7-3 and we would be singing a different tune today.

Coughlin was asked what impact losing so many close games could have on his team.

"They are going to come back and battle back and compete," he said of his team. "These games against that present a great challenge for you, it is inspirational to the great competitors, they line up and battle against a very good football team, an undefeated football team and many of the writers are talking about them going undefeated and that was a highly motivating factor. You love to play these games, you really do and the frustration - they will hurt all day tonight and all day tomorrow and we all will, we all will and probably well into the bye week, but maybe that is a good thing."

The Giants will not have it easy the rest of the way. After the bye, they travel to Washington to play the suddenly-powerful Redskins. Then they come home for the Jets, followed by a Monday night matchup vs. the Dolphins in Miami. They finish the season with Carolina at home, Minnesota on the road and the season finale - a rematch with Philadelphia.

One thing is for certain. It won't be dull.

Tags: John Fennelly
GEICO SportsNite: Giants lose 00:01:38
Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie discuss the missed opportunities that led to Big Blue's loss to the Patriots.

Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie discuss the missed opportunities that led to Big Blue's loss to the Patriots.

Beckham Jr. drops potential go-ahead grab
Odell Beckham Jr. had the winning catch in his hands Sunday but couldn't come up with it. (AP)

Odell Beckham Jr. appeared to watch what would have been the go-ahead touchdown in Sunday's game against the Patriots with 2:01 remaining in the fourth quarter, except Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butlerpunched the ball out of Beckham's hands.

"I lost us the game," said Beckham, whose team settled for a field goal to take a 26-24 lead. "The play down in the end zone, it's a play that should have been made."

Beckham leapt, caught the ball with both hands and got both feet in bounds in the end zone before Butler broke up the play.

"I caught it," Beckham said. "I trust in my hands, I go up and catch it, came down with two feet. You've got to complete the whole process, and it didn't go the way we wanted it to."

Referees initially ruled the play a touchdown, but overturned the call upon further review.

"You can't leave it up to the officials to get anything right," Beckham said. "You've just got to make the plays yourself. It was just a case of playing the play longer than your opponent."

After the Giants kicked a field goal, Tom Brady drove the Patriots downfield to set up a game-winning 54-yard field goal with 1 second remaining.

"[I] had an opportunity to put this team ahead and make them have to drive down and score a touchdown instead of kick a field goal with one of the best kickers in the league," Beckham said.

Beckham scored an 87-yard touchdown on the Giants' second play from scrimmage in the first quarter, but outside of that, was held in check by the Patriots' secondary. Excluding his touchdown, he had three catches on 11 targets for 17 yards.

Giants lose to Pats on last-second field goal
Despite Eli Manning's big day, the Giants came up short against the Patriots on Stephen Gostkowski's last-second field goal. (AP)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The Patriots haven't had a tougher test than the Giants gave them Sunday.

New England passed - and remained undefeated - on Stephen Gostkowski's 54-yard field goal with 1 second remaining for a 27-26 victory over New York.

The Giants, who seemed to have New England's number, were poised to knock the Patriots from the ranks of the unbeaten on Josh Brown's fourth field goal with 1:47 remaining. But you don't beat the Patriots (9-0) with field goals.

After Brown made his franchise-record 27th field goal from 29 yards, Tom Brady drove the Patriots 44 yards, converting a fourth-and-10 on the series. He also got lucky when Giants rookie safety Landon Collins dropped an interception.

Gostkowski, the NFL's leading scorer the last three seasons, sent his winning kick soaring through the uprights.

New York (5-5) has given the Patriots fits under Tom Coughlin, including two Super Bowl wins, and nearly pulled off another victory. A 5-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. on New York's final drive was originally called a touchdown, then reversed by a video review.

That possession was set up when Trumaine McBride intercepted Brady at the goal line, setting up an 86-yard, 15-play march to Brown's field goal.

That left room for Brady, who hit Danny Amendola three times for 32 yards on the winning series.

Both Beckham and New England's Rob Gronkowski had the longest TD catches of their careers: Beckham for 87 yards and Gronkowski for 76.

The Patriots inexorably marched downfield with the opening kickoff on a 14-play, 80-yard drive. Backup tight end Scott Chandler capped it with a 1-yard reception, giving New England a point in an NFL-record 32 straight quarters. They extended it to 35 with Gostkowski's second-quarter field goal; LeGarrette Blount's one-yard TD run following Amendola's 82-yard punt runback in the third - the longest of Amendola's career; and the long pass to Gronkowski on which New York's Craig Dahl and Brandon Meriweather collided.

But they also were plagued by critical pass interference penalties, and lost top receiver Julian Edelman in the first half with a foot injury. Of course, they still had Brady and Gostkowski.

The Giants, still in first place in the NFC East, controlled long portions of the game.

Just 51 seconds after Chandler's touchdown, Beckham stunned the Patriots with a spectacular reaching catch-and-run on which he split New England's two best defensive backs, Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty. Beckham embellished his celebration with a salute at attention to the crowd; the Giants honored the military before the game.

The Giants had another quick drive in them, ending the first half by covering 74 yards in 54 seconds. The seven-play series included Elli Manning's 31-yard passes to Rueben Randle and Will Tye, the latter getting to the Patriots 1.

Manning, as sharp as ever in the first half, hit Dwayne Harris in the back left corner of the end zone for a 17-10 halftime edge. Manning had a career-best for one half of 251 yards passing. Brady had 127.

Manning got plenty of help from New England mistakes to start the second half: 36 yards on a pair of pass interference penalties. Brown made a 38-yard field goal to end that possession. He later hit a 53-yarder for a 23-17 lead.

Against New England, that's rarely enough.

John Fennelly

Another game in which the Giants had the lead and the clock in their hands in the final minutes and let it get away. As well as they played, there are no prizes for losing. They should have won today. They should have put the first blemish on the L side of the Patriots' ledger.

They had the Pats flustered in the first half and kept answering them in the second half. Even after Amendola's 82-yard punt return that led to a score and Gronkowski's 76-yard TD catch and run, they stayed in the game.

But it was around the two-minute mark where they ran aground again. The OBJ play when he could not complete the TD catch was a killer. They still had three more downs to score a TD and walked away with a FG.

It was Collins' dropped INT on the first play of the Patriots' ensuing drive that was the real dagger. The game would have been over right there. Collins is having a very trying season and this play could be the seminal moment of his rookie campaign.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. That seems to be the story of the 2015 New York Giants.

Pugh inactive, Jerry to start at guard
New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) celebrates his touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys with offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) and teammates during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Offensive guard Justin Pugh is inactive and will be replaced by John Jerry Sunday afternoon when the Giants host the Patriots at MetLife Stadium.

Also inactive are WR Victor Cruz, TE Larry Donnell, DB Leon McFadden, and linebackers J.T. Thomas and Unai Unga.

Thomas will be replaced by Jonathan Castillas and Donnell by Will Tye.

Guard Geoff Schwartz is active.

Week 10 prediction: Giants vs. Patriots
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) celebrates after catching a pass for a touchdown in front of Washington Redskins' Bashaud Breeland (26) during the second half an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The New England Patriots (8-0) visit the New York Giants (5-4) on Sunday in a Week 10 clash.

The Patriots are an NFL-best 41-15 in the month of November since 2001, which is good for a .732 winning percentage. Tom Brady is 12-2 all-time against the NFC East. The Giants lead the all-time series with the Pats 6-5 with three consecutive wins dating back to Super Bowl XLII.

Here's a short breakdown of what to expect as well as a prediction:

Game: Week 10 vs. New England

Last season: Did not play

Last meeting: Giants won, 21-17, on Feb. 5, 2012 (Super Bowl XLVI)

How the Giants will win: The Giants defense needs to figure out how to generate a pass rush. The Giants have failed to register one sack over the last two weeks, allowing Drew Brees to torch them and Jameis Winston to have success. If they give Tom Brady a clean pocket, what will he do? Jason Pierre-Paul played more than half of the snaps last week at Tampa in his season debut, meaning he could be in line for even more playing time Sunday and - potentially - more production. However, it's on Steve Spagnuolo to dial up the right blitzes to get penetration in the Patriots' backfield and force Brady into making some errant throws.

How the Patriots will win: The Patriots need one of their running backs to break through for a strong game. Dion Lewis is out for the year with a torn ACL, so it'll be on one of the many backfield contributors to step up in his stead. We already know what the Patriots' aerial attack can do, but complemented with a solid run game or screen game, they become that much more dangerous. It could be LeGarrette Blount rushing for 100 yards or James White catching six balls out of the backfield. Either way, the Patriots thrive when they involve their running backs in major ways.

How the Giants will lose: The Giants have rushed for more than 100 yards twice in the past three games, but if they fail to do it Sunday they're going to find themselves in a shootout with the top offense in the NFL. The Giants need a steady, productive running game that will allow them to control the clock and convert makeable third downs. If the Giants put themselves in numerous passing-down situations and third-and-longs, the Patriots' front seven will get after them and get their offense back on the field. The Giants must combat that with a steady rushing attack.

How the Patriots will lose: The Patriots have successfully bottled up opposing offense's No. 1 receivers, but are about to see Odell Beckham Jr. On paper, the New England secondary appears to be one of the biggest weak spots on the defense. However, they have played exceptional, good for the eighth-best passing defense, according to Football Outsiders. The secondary has only had one poor performance - in Week 1 against the Steelers - when Antonio Brown and Co. gashed them for a season-high 330 passing yards. Manning and Beckham are capable of a similar performance.

Prediction: Patriots 41, Giants 30

Why: The Patriots are on a tear, and unfortunately, this Giants team doesn't have the means to slow them down. The Giants lack a solid running game, rush defense or pass rush, three crucial elements necessary to giving New England a run for its money. Brady has too many weapons in the passing game and in the backfield to exploit the Giants defense and whatever it throws at him. Defensively, the Pats' front seven has a distinct advantage over the patchwork Giants offensive line and a very inconsistent running game. The odds are stacked against the Giants.

Login with Facebook Login with Twitter Login with