Since Tom Coughlin took over as Giants head coach in 2004, the Giants have finished in the top 10 in total offense six times and finished twice more in the top 15. In 2013, the Giants dropped to 28th in overall offense (19th passing, 29th rushing).

The sudden drop in production and success can be attributed to a number of factors. Injuries, age, poor planning, lack of depth and dearth of talent due to failures in the draft all converged on the Giants last summer. They opened the season with six straight defeats but managed to recover thanks to a soft schedule that saw them play a string of teams who were without their starting quarterbacks.

They finished 7-9 but there was no avoiding the obvious - an overhaul on the offensive side of the ball was needed...

Scoring: 18.1 PPG Rank: 28th - 2013 saw the lowest point output in the Coughlin Era, after ranking in the top 10 every season since 2008. Only four teams ranked lower: The Jets, with a rookie QB, and the Texans, Jaguars and Bucs - all who drafted in the top seven in last week's draft.

Turnover Ratio: -15. Second-worst in the NFL after Houston (-20). The Giants committed a league-high 44 turnovers, (29 INT, 15 fumbles). It could have been worse had the Giants not amassed 29 takeaways of their own. Eli Manning set a franchise record with 27 INTs.

Completion Pct: 57.3% - Tied for 28th in the league. Inexcusable when you have a QB with a cap number near $20 million and a Pro Bowl receiver surrounded by No. 1 and No. 2 draft picks.

Passing TDs: 18 - Tied for 27th in the NFL. By far the lowest output of Manning's career.

Receiving TDs: WR Hakeem Nicks had 56 receptions but none in the end zone. Rueben Randle led the team with six, and Victor Cruz and TE Brandon Myers scored four apiece.

Passer Rating: 67.6. Another inexcusable showing. It was next to last in the NFL. Only the Jets were lower, at 66.6.

Sacks: Eli Manning was sacked 39 times, a career high, as compared to just 19 times in 2012. Curtis Painter was sacked once, raising the team total to an even 40.

Rushing: Ranked 29th in the NFL in yards gained and were also 29th in YPC with 3.5. The Giants also fumbled 12 times on rushing plays, losing seven.

Third Down Pct: 32.7% (30th in the NFL). The Giants went 6-for-12 in fourth down attempts. For the record, they finished 27th in the league in first downs.

Red Zone Efficiency (TD only): 47.2%, which was good for 30th in the league. By comparison, big brother Peyton's Broncos had a RZ percentage of 72.7.

So, what happened?

Injuries, injuries and more injuries. The Giants led the league in starter games lost to injury with 91, with 26 of those games along the offensive line. By Week 17 they were down to just three of the eleven opening day starters on offense.

It's a miracle that this team finished 7-9. They actually could have had an even better record had they not thrown their two games against Dallas in the trash and let the Bears off the hook in Chicago.

The offense moved slowly. From the inception of the play and the deliverance of it to the huddle, to the execution. OC Kevin Gilbride and his staff regularly took too long to call a play and get it into Eli, forcing him to hustle to get the team lined up and giving him less time to audible. As the season went on and the faces changed, it's widely suspected that many of the players on the field did not know their assignments on many plays, hence the miscommunication in the passing game.

Eli also called way too many time outs as a result, crushing any momentum the team had built. They also committed eight false starts, fourth highest in the league.

The offensive line had a rash of injuries. All-Pro guard Chris Snee (hip) was lost for the season, as was center David Baas (knee). The Giants countered with players such as Jim Cordle and James Brewer, who were overwhelmed at times. To add the to the misery, OT Will Beatty had a sub-par season.  As a result, the Giants offense was sluggish and out of sync for most of the year. Manning was under constant pressure and the rushing attack screeched to a halt. Not having fullback Henry Hynoski for the entire season didn't help, either.

It's difficult to call the rushing game an attack at all. Andre Brown and David Wilson were supposed to split the carries, but that plan was quickly scrapped when Brown re-injured his leg before the season and missed the first eight games. Wilson lasted only five weeks before being shelved with a potential career-threatening neck injury. The Giants turned to Da'Rel Scott, but he stayed true to form by getting injured in his first taste of duty.

The team had no choice but to bring back Brandon Jacobs and sign veterans Jon Conner and Peyton Hillis. Those players infused some life back into the offense and were shortly joined by Brown in Week 9 to stabilize the rushing game.

The passing game was littered with a slew of disconnects and breakdowns. Manning was not sharp and made far too many risky throws. Nicks was productive, but he never quite seemed to be the same player he was before his injuries. Randle was inconsistent, running incorrect routes and even looking confused at times. Cruz had to deal with extra defenders blocking his routes and limiting his ability to break off long gains.

Brandon Myers was brought in to take over the TE duties. He proved to be a below-average blocker and a station-to-station receiver. Myers never clicked with Eli and missed on some big plays which cost the Giants in several games.

What's being done to fix the offense?

Coaching: OC Kevin Gilbride retired and Coughlin fired old cronies TE coach Mike Pope and RB coach Jerrald Ingram. He hired Green Bay assistant Ben McAdoo to replace Gilbirde, and brought in Danny Langsdorf as the new QB coach. Craig Johnson was hired to coach the RBs. The overhaul didn't stop there. Sean Ryan (QBs) was moved back to WR coach, replacing Kevin Gilbride, Jr., who will take over the TEs. OL coaches Pat Flaherty and Lunda Wells are the only mainstays from 2013.

McAdoo's system will be a Giant-sized version of the west coast offense. The general impetus will be to put pressure on the defense by adapting an "up-tempo" pace. Eli has always performed well in a spread-out, no-huddle environment. It will keep him focused through simplification and hopefully help him maintain sharpness with shortened pass routes and higher-percentage throws.

Langsdorf will be a refreshing voice in Eli's ear, keeping him on task, helping him to cut down on mistakes and avoid taking too many risks. Johnson will bring a new wrinkle to the team's running backs, emphasizing both the rushing and receiving aspects of the game.

Flaherty is one of the game's top OL coaches and will be charged with the task of integrating the old with the new. Gilbride, Jr. is considered one of the league's top young coaches and is being given the difficult task of not only following in Pope's footsteps, but making something out of an under-performing unit. Ryan is back handling the wideouts, where he helped Victor Cruz become a star a few years back.

Quarterback:  The mission this offseason is to get Eli some much-needed help, which management did by getting him new coaches, new players and and a risk-proof strategy. Now it is up to him to break his old habits of locking his eyes on receivers, telegraphing passes and trying to fit throws into unreasonable windows. He also must take his leadership role more seriously and be more demanding of his teammates.

Offensive Line: This has been the area pundits have been pointing at the most as the main culprit of the downfall of the offense, but things are looking up.

In free agency, Jerry Reese signed the massive Geoff Schwartz to play LG, JD Walton to play center, and veteran starters Charles Brown and John Jerry to supply some depth. In the draft, Reese grabbed Colorado State center Weston Richburg in the second round. Richburg is perfect for McAdoo's system - a mobile lineman that can pull and get to the second level. He can play guard as well. The plan is for Richburg to take over the center position.

Returning are Justin Pugh, who started all 16 games as a rookie at RT. He has gained ten pounds over the offseason and is gaining both confidence and skill with each game. Will Beatty's season ended with a broken tibia and his status for 2014 remains uncertain. If he's healthy, he'll start at either left or right tackle.

Chris Snee plans to return for one more season as the elder statesman. His hip appears to have healed and he will either start at RG or provide backup. The starting lineup, if all goes well, will be: LT Beatty, LG Schwartz, C Richburg, RG Snee and RT Pugh. With veterans like Jerry, Brown and Walton, the Giants' line will be back in business in 2014.

Running Back: A complete retooling. Brown and Scott are gone. Former Raider and Jaguar Rashad Jennings and NCAA rushing champ and Heisman finalist Andre Williams are in. Michael Cox and Hillis are both returning. David Wilson has yet to be cleared by doctors. Hynoski has re-signed to challenge Conner at fullback.

The Giants traditionally keep four RBs and on FB. All questions will be answered should Wilson not be cleared by training camp. Jennings is both a productive rusher and receiver. Williams is a hammer that gains positive yards. However, his receiving skills need to be honed. Hillis is a tough runner whose best asset is receiving the ball via short passes. Cox is a big runner with a lot of potential and is valuable on special teams. If Wlison makes it back, he'll be relegated to third-down duty.

The Giants needed more versatility and durability in this unit and it looks like they've gotten it. Jennings is a multi-pronged weapon that will see the majority of the snaps. Williams will get his shots in as well, softening the defense while shoring up the short yardage and goal line packages. Coughlin should have no issues with this group. Everyone, with the exception of Wilson, blocks well.

Tight End: We will find out shortly if Reese is right about Adrien Robinson. It appears to be his job to lose. He'll be pushed by Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells and Xavier Grimble in training camp. Kellen Davis is a proven blocker and short-yardage and red zone option.

Gilbride, Jr. will try to unleash the speed of Robinson and the size of Donnell. If that looks to be too tall a task, they could go with the other two players. Fells has produced in a previous life and Grimble was reportedly misused at USC and could end up being a pleasant surprise.

A veteran, most notably Jermichael Finley, could come into the mix this summer should things not work out among this group. No matter who gets the job, the TE is integral to the offense and someone must produce at this position for the Giants to be successful.

Wide Receiver: The team's No. 1 - Hakeem Nicks - is gone, off to Indianapolis via free agency. The Giants decided to use the draft to replace him by taking Odell Beckham, Jr. with the 12th overall pick. Beckham is a dynamic player who, like Nicks, simply makes plays. He runs solid routes, has big hands and has a 40-inch vertical leap.

Beckham will line up in Nicks' spot, but could also line up in the slot, if needed. He will take the pressure off Cruz and Randle, which is key. Cruz performs better from the slot and Randle struggles to get separation in double coverage.

The depth is solid with Mario Manningham returning and Jerrel Jernigan becoming more of a known quantity. Mario is not quite 100% so his participation is questionable at this point. Trindon Holliday was brought here to return kicks but can also play wideout, if needed. Former UMass product Julian Talley has been quietly waiting his turn and could factor into the mix.

 

Tags: New York Giants, New York Giants Offense

Dec 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) runs the ball against New York Giants cornerback Trevin Wade (31) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 24-14. (Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) runs the ball against New York Giants cornerback Trevin Wade (31) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 24-14. (Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Odell Beckham insisted he was done talking about NFL officials. And he was.

At least for a moment.

But it took only a moment for the Giants' star receiver to go from insisting that complaining about the officiating was "wasting breath" to taking more shots at NFL officials. And all it took was a question about Ben McAdoo admitting that Beckham's gripes about the non-calls during the Giants' loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday were probably right.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: JPP injury 00:01:50
As they prepare for the Cowboys, New York Giants players and coaches react to losing Jason Pierre-Paul for the remainder of the season.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - If there's one thing the Giants know about Jason Pierre-Paul, it's that he knows how to make a remarkable comeback.

Now their mission is to stay alive long enough for him to do it again.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jonathan Casillas, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during the preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Giants won, 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during the preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Giants won, 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv:

The next game Jason Pierre-Paul would likely be healthy enough to play is probably Super Bowl LI in Houston on Feb. 5.

So in other words, the Giants have seen the last of JPP this season.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Kerry Wynn, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Owa Odighizuwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia Wednesday morning after visiting with Dr. William Meyers.

He also underwent surgery to repair a groin injury, reports Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv.

Pierre-Paul is expected to miss "at least" six weeks, a team source told Vacchiano, meaning the NFC Championship game would be the earliest Pierre-Paul could return.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Kerry Wynn, Owa Odighizuwa
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo talks with wide receiver Victor Cruz at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo talks with wide receiver Victor Cruz at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)

After failing to be targeted once against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz had a talk with rookie coach Ben McAdoo.

What was interesting on Tuesday was Cruz said that it was McAdoo who sought him out as the Giants (8-4) returned to work and started looking forward to playing Dallas (11-1) on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

"I came into the building, we were getting ready for our first meeting and he came up to me and was like, `You are coming to see me, right?' I was like, `Yeah, I am coming to see you.' Shortly after, I came and saw him and we spoke and then that was it."

Tags: Victor Cruz
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Giants have signed DE Jordan Williams to the team's practice squad, the defensive lineman told Dan Duggan of NJ Advanced Media.

Williams signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent time on both New York and Miami's practice squads last season, before being promoted to the Dolphin's active roster in December.

The Dolphins released Williams on Sep. 20, after signing him to the practice squad only two weeks earlier. 

Williams played his college ball at the University of Tennessee. 


New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) walks off the field after the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) walks off the field after the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin)

Despite venting his frustrations to reporters following the Giants 24-14 loss to Pittsburgh in which he did not have a single pass thrown to him, WR Victor Cruz reiterated to NFL Network on Monday that he is a team player and is not angry about his lack of targets against the Steelers.

"After the game, obviously I was a little angry so some of the comments stemmed from anger," Cruz said on Monday. "But I didn't say anything bad. I didn't say anything bad, but just out of anger you lost the game, you want to contribute and I just want to go out there and contribute at the end of the day. We'll see how it goes tomorrow when I step into work and have a conversation with coach [Ben McAdoo] which I plan on doing and we'll take it from there. But I'm not angry, I'm not a disgruntled employee, I'm not like screw this - I'm a team guy first and I just want to make sure that everybody's interest is at heart."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, Will Tye
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Giants ran 55 plays during Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Steelers, running the ball just 14 times for 56 yards.

Rashad Jennings had six carries for 19 yards, while Paul Perkins rushed seven times for 38 yards -- an average of 5.4 yards per carry.

In their three prior games against the Browns, Bears, and Bengals, the Giants ran the ball 27 times, 29 times, and 27 times respectively -- eclipsing the 100-yard mark all three times while winning each game.

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 (Jason Bridge)
(Jason Bridge)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv:

The Giants so badly wanted to prove to everyone that they were true contenders, that their six-game winning streak wasn't a mirage just because of the poor quality of some of the teams they beat. They wanted respect. They wanted to be taken seriously. They wanted to be considered one of the best.

Instead, they came out flat and played down to the diminished expectations of their doubters as they took their first real step up in class.

Tags: Dwayne Harris, Eli Manning, Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Odell Beckham Jr., Rashad Jennings, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, Will Tye, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants lose 00:01:35
Ben McAdoo, Odell Beckham, and Eli Manning comment on the team's lack of offensive production following a 24-14 loss to the Steelers.

PITTSBURGH -- At the start of what Ben McAdoo called "real football," he better hope he didn't just see the real Giants' offense.

But unfortunately for him, 12 games into the season, it sure looks like that what it is.

It remains the biggest mystery of the Giants' season, and at this point very likely the key to their demise: What has happened to what was once, and was supposed to be again a top-10 offense? The Giants gained an embarrassing 234 total yards in Sunday's 24-14 loss to the Steelers.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Victor Cruz, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports Images)

PITTSBURGH -- It takes a lot to wipe the smile off of Victor Cruz's face, but the Giants finally found a way by ignoring him Sunday.

The Giants' former star receiver didn't have a single pass thrown to him during the Giants' 24-14 loss to the Steelers. Eli Manning threw 39 passes in the game to seven different targets, including 25 to three other receivers. But nothing went toward Cruz, despite the offensive struggles.

Asked if that was frustrating, Cruz said, "Take a guess."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: FNNY on OBJ 00:03:28
The Football Night in New York panel discusses Odell Beckham Jr.'s comments on the officials following the Giants' loss to the Steelers.

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GEICO SportsNite: McAdoo on refs 00:00:42
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo discusses his thoughts on the referees in the Giants' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

PITTSBURGH -- Odell Beckham Jr. has had it with the officiating crew that he believes mishandled the Giants' 24-14 loss to the Steelers on Sunday -- the same crew he dealt with in his last two games against his nemesis, Josh Norman. He implied their rocky history has tilted the playing field against him.

And he believes they should be banned from officiating any Giants games again.

"It's not like I'm sitting here saying the refs are the reason we lost the game, but there's plenty of (bad) calls in the game and anybody can go watch the film. Anybody," Beckham said. "Anybody can go watch the film and see exactly what was going on. I don't know. I don't really think that we should have this crew any more when the Giants are playing with the past history and everything that's gone on."

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Will Tye, Ralph Vacchiano
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown catches a touchdown pass over New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins during the first half at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge/USA Today Sports Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown catches a touchdown pass over New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins during the first half at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge/USA Today Sports Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.

Antonio Brown edged good buddy Odell Beckham Jr. in their personal showdown, catching six passes for 54 yards and an acrobatic scoring grab at the back of the end zone. Tight end Ladarius Green added six receptions for 110 yards, both career highs, and a touchdown as the Steelers (7-5) won their third straight to keep pace with Baltimore atop the AFC North.

Manning completed just 24 of 39 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in the red zone for the Giants (8-4), whose six-game run ended with a thud. Beckham was largely a non-factor despite a game-high 10 receptions for 100 yards.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Odell Beckham Jr., Pittsburgh Steelers, Rashad Jennings, Sterling Shepard
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Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) and Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) line up against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) and Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) line up against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

THE GAME: The Giants (8-3) vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: Cloudy and chilly, with temperatures in the upper 30s or low 40s. There's a small chance of a little rain, but at least it doesn't appear there'll be much wind.

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Vacc's 3 Keys: Giants-Steelers 00:03:53
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano identifies three keys for a Giants victory on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv:

THE GAME: The Giants (8-3) vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: Cloudy and chilly, with temperatures in the upper 30s or low 40s. There's a small chance of a little rain, but at least it doesn't appear there'll be much wind.

WHAT IT MEANS: A lot. And a lot of different things. First, the Giants need to win if they have any hope of winning the NFC East. The Cowboys' comeback win in Minnesota on Thursday night made that a longshot for the Giants as it is. If they win, though, they'll remain two back and then if they beat the Cowboys next week they'd be one back with the tie-breaker and three games left to play. A loss in Pittsburgh, though, and the Giants will be three back with four games left and even if they beat the Cowboys next week the division is likely out of reach. The wild card race, though, may be their's to lose if they win in Pittsburgh. If that happens they'd be at least two games up, maybe three, with four to play. That's a virtual lock. But regardless of all that, this is a benchmark game for the Giants. Yes, they've won six in a row, but the competition hasn't exactly been stellar. Their December schedule represents a big step up in class and even though the Steelers have been erratic, beating them in Pittsburgh is the Giants' toughest challenge since their back-to-back trips to (and losses in) Minnesota and Green Bay, right before their winning streak started.

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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) warms up before a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) warms up before a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

Ralph Vacchiano answers a question about Victor Cruz's effectiveness and how the Giants use Sterling Shepard.

Tags: Victor Cruz, Ralph Vacchiano
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Odell Beckham's production has been limited by the fact that teams such as the Eagles are double- and triple-covering him. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Odell Beckham's production has been limited by the fact that teams such as the Eagles are double- and triple-covering him. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano answers a question about the Giants' offense lack of explosiveness.

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Ralph Vacchiano answers a question about the state of the Giants offensive line.

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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

John Fennelly, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | | Archive Posts

When one thinks of a New York Giants-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup they envision a hard-hitting affair between big bodied linemen and linebackers. That may have been the case in years past, but the game has changed immensely in this decade. The biggest matchup in this Sunday's upcoming game between the two legendary franchises will likely take place between two 5"10" speedsters.

The Steelers' most explosive player is WR Antonio Brown, the 5'10" four-time Pro Bowler who has been virtually unstoppable the past several seasons. Fantasy players know Brown well and in legacy leagues, he rarely lasts past the first few selections. In DFS, Brown is one of the highest-valued names. He'll cost you, but he's usually worth it.

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, John Fennelly
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The Wild BJC asks on Twitter: "31st in NFL rushing yards thus far, will this eventually hurt the Giants down the stretch or can they keep winning via pass game and defense?"



Ralph Vacchiano: Conventional wisdom insists that a team can't win in December (especially in the Northeast) or on the road in the playoffs by throwing the ball on offense alone.

At some point it needs to run the ball to control the clock and pick up the tough first downs. It needs to play defense, too...


Oct 9, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:25
Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison has been making a huge impact for the Giants much maligned defense.

Giants defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison has been making a huge impact for the Giants' much maligned defense.

Tags: Damon Harrison
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Taylor James on Twitter asks: "Is Jerry Reese still on the hot seat?"



Ralph Vacchiano: No, I'm pretty sure he's safe now. I'd say John Mara and Steve Tisch are pretty happy with six straight wins, an 8-3 record, a likely playoff berth and - if nothing else - a relevant December. They kept Reese around to turn the franchise back in the right direction after three straight losing seasons. Barring a total and stunning collapse down the stretch, that's exactly what he did...

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GEICO SportsNite: Eli, Big Ben 00:03:32
Sterling Shepard talks about his targets, while the panel debates Eli vs Big Ben.

GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:25
Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison has been making a huge impact for the Giants much maligned defense.

 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

When the leaves begin to cover the ground here in the East in late November, you can bet the NFL contenders are getting their running games in order. The Steelers are a prime example. Yes, they have an explosive passing game, but they know it's their running game that will propel them towards the postseason.

That running game is led by one of the best backs in the league in Le'Veon Bell, the fourth-year man out of Michigan State who came into this season still rehabbing from MCL/PCL surgery. He missed the first three games of the season due to another drug-related suspension and it's taken him a while to find his footing in this offense that was passing the ball nearly 65 percent of the time the first nine games of the year.

But that's changing as Bell has been heating up of late. The past two weeks, he rushed for 120 and 146 yards against Indianapolis and Cleveland respectively, and added 77 more yards in those games via 12 receptions. He is looking more and more like the weapon the Steelers had back in 2014, when Bell was a first-team All-Pro.

Tags: Damon Harrison
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Landon Collins has been named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Month for November, it was announced Thursday.

He is the first Giants player to win the award since Jason Pierre-Paul in December 2011 and the first safety in Giants history to win the award.

The 22-year-old Collins, who won back-to-back defensive Player of the Week awards earlier this season, had three interceptions, five passes defensed, one sack, and 30 tackles (23 solo) in November.

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins
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GEICO SportsNite: Vereen returns 00:01:45
Giants players and coaches react to Shane Vereen practicing with the team for the first time since he was incapacitated with an injury.

GEICO SportsNite: Beckham 00:00:48
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. speaks about his ability to match up with Steelers stud Antonio Brown.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's thumbs up for Odell Beckham. Literally.

The Giants' star wide receiver gave the thumbs up sign when asked how his injured thumb was feeling on Wednesday. He injured it in the Giants' win in Cleveland on Sunday and was briefly forced to leave the game. He did return, though, and finish his six-catch, 96-yard, two-touchdown performance.

He wasn't on the Giants' injury report Wednesday and was able to participate in their light practice. He also said his thumb was "good," though he added that it definitely hurts.

"Every time it hits there," Beckham said. "In the game, I was going down to the ground and I had my hand over the ball. They tried to rip the ball and just ripped straight thumb. It doesn't feel good. I don't think you really notice how much your thumb bumps into stuff or gives out of its movement until you have one that's hurt and you bump it into a table.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants' struggling offense could soon get a boost with the return of running back Shane Vereen.

Vereen returned to practice with the team on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a partial tear of his triceps muscle in Week 3. And he's far enough along in his recovery, according to a team source, that the "hope" is he'll be ready to play in the Giants' showdown with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 11.

"Man, I wish I knew, honestly," a clearly excited Vereen said after practice. "It's up to the doctors. I am progressing, doing everything that they have me do each and every day, just trying to take baby steps and hope enough of the baby steps will be to getting back on the field."

Vereen has been on injured reserve since his injury, but he will become the Giants' "designated to return" IR player as long as he's added to the active roster some time in the next 21 days. Giants coach Ben McAdoo would not put a timetable on Vereen's return - he said that will be up to the medical staff - but he was clearly excited by the idea.

Tags: Shane Vereen, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

As the "real football" begins this weekend, the Giants are in fantastic position. They still have a shot at winning the NFC East -- especially if they can beat the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 11 -- and they have a strong hold on at least one of the NFC's two wild-card spots.

With five games to go, though, their lead of two games isn't fully secure -- especially considering how difficult their schedule is down the stretch. Here's a look at the state of the wild-card race, and a look at the division race, too:

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Giants released their injury report on Wednesday. The following players were listed...

Did Not Participate in Practice

  • S Nat Berhe (concussion)
  • LB Mark Herzlich (concussion)
  • DE Owa Odighizuwa (knee)

Limited Participation in Practice (Less than 100 percent of a player's normal repetitions)

Tags: Brett Jones, Dwayne Harris, Justin Pugh, Mark Herzlich, Marshall Newhouse, Nat Berhe, Owa Odighizuwa
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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 12, the league announced Wednesday morning

Pierre-Paul recorded three sacks, seven total tackles, three tackles for loss, and had a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown in New York's 27-13 win over Cleveland on Sunday.

The award marks the fourth time Pierre-Paul has been named the Defensive Player of the Week, putting him third in Giants history behind only Lawrence Taylor (9) and Michael Strahan (5).

Tags: Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr.
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:02
Giants quarterback Eli Manning discusses the prospect of facing his draft classmate Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shakes hands with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shakes hands with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning after a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants are getting some help on beating Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers by learning from Eli Manning's champion brother Peyton.

Peyton, a two-time Super Bowl champion who retired after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 in February, visited the Giants' facility on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan

Eli is facing the Steelers for the fourth time in his career, the first since 2012. Eli is 1-2 in those games, while Peyton, including the playoffs, went 4-1 in his career against the Roethlisberger-led Steelers, including a win in last year's AFC Divisional Game. Peyton threw for 1,250 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception in those matchups.

"He gave some insight," Eli said to Raanan. "Just some stuff that was successful; he's played Pittsburgh a lot over the years. Played 'em last year in the playoffs. So just had a few tips or ideas that may fit into our system."

Tags: Eli Manning, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Seattle Seahawks linebacker Eric Pinkins (47) runs during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. (Kyle Terada)
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Eric Pinkins (47) runs during the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. (Kyle Terada)

The Giants have promoted S/LB Eric Pinkins from the practice squad, while RB Orleans Darkwa has been placed on the injured reserve list, the Giants announced Tuesday evening.

Darkwa has been dealing with lower leg soreness, and has not recorded a carry since New York's 23-16 loss to the Packers on Oct. 9. The running back has only appeared on special teams in the last four games. 

On the season, Darkwa has carried the ball 30 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Tags: Orleans Darkwa
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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

Odell Beckham, Jr. could remain the Giants' punt returner when they face the Steelers this Sunday, head coach Ben McAdoo hinted after Sunday's game.

"We'll take a look at it. We'll talk to him in the game plan meetings this week," McAdoo told reporters. "He's sure-handed back there. He's electric with the ball in his hands."

Bobby Rainey began this past Sunday's win against the Browns as the punt returner, but was replaced by Beckham after fumbling one away in the first half.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants on FNNY 00:03:49
The Football Night in New York panel discusses Eli Manning?s arm and the Giants' offensive potential moving forward.

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 (Ken Blaze)
(Ken Blaze)

The first three months of the Ben McAdoo Era couldn't have worked out much better for the Giants. They are 8-3, the second-best record in their conference, and well-positioned for their first playoff berth in five years. They are rolling, coming off their sixth straight victory.

Everything is good. Everyone is happy. But the rookie coach still gave his team this warning:

"It's December football," he said on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "This is where the real football begins."

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On this week's Giants Goal Line, SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses another so-so win for the Giants, as well as the Odell Beckham Jr show, as Big Blue survived in Cleveland to beat the Browns and claim their 6th straight win. Plus, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post calls in to chat about whether or not the Giants are better or worse than their record, and whether or not they are serious contenders as the calendar flips to December.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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The Giants' Odell Beckham celebrates after scoring against Clevleeand Sunday.
The Giants' Odell Beckham celebrates after scoring against Clevleeand Sunday.

Odell Beckham Jr. was targeted 11 times and had six catches for 96 yards with two touchdowns during the Giants' 27-13 win over the Browns on Sunday.

Last week against the Bears, he only had five catches for 46 yards on seven targets, leading to concern the Giants weren't using their top playmaker enough.

Beckham had a 32-yard catch-and-run off a slant pass in the second quarter fora score, and a 4-yard TD reception with 5:10 to go as the Giants put the winless Browns away. He had a 41-yard catch before his second TD. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr.
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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Giants QB Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes Sunday during the Giants' 27-13 win over the Browns in Cleveland.

He completed 15 of 27 passes for 194 yards overall, had zero interceptions and was sacked just once.

Two of Manning's touchdown passes were to Odell Beckham, Jr. -- a 32-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter and a four-yard reception with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr.
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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul celebrates as he runs into the endzone from his touchdown interception against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul celebrates as he runs into the endzone from his touchdown interception against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recorded three sacks and returned a fumble for a touchdown to help lead the Giants to their sixth straight win with a 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Kerry Wynn, Olivier Vernon, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants driving 00:03:28
Marc Malusis and Chris Lopresti discuss the important factors in the Giants' win and how far Big Blue can actually ride this momentum.

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GEICO SportsNite: Giants rolling 00:01:10
Eli Manning, Ben McAdoo, and Jason Pierre-Paul speak following the team's 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes, two to Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jason Pierre-Paul returned an interception for a score as the Giants defeated the Browns 27-13 Sunday in Cleveland.

Tags: Eli Manning
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New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins trashed Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. on social media after Sunday's 27-13 win.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Janoris Jenkins
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