Giants CEO John Mara spoke to the media yesterday as Super Bowl Week opned here in New York. He still is feeling the sting of the Giants losing season. As per Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger, Mara plans to sit in the family's box at MetLife Stadium Sunday. That is, if his mother will permit.

"She wasn’t all that happy with me the way the season went," he said.

GEICO SportsNite has the latest from the Jets and the Giants as the owners from both teams help kick off Super Bowl week.

http://web.sny.tv/media/video.jsp?content_id=31325555&topic_id=6479520&tcid=vpp_copy_31325555&v=3

Tags: 2013 New York Giants, Super Bowl XVVIII

Vacc's 3 Keys: Cowboys-Giants 00:03:38
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano thinks the Giants must pressure QB Dak Prescott and keep a strong passing attack to defeat the Cowboys.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

THE GAME: The Dallas Cowboys (11-1) vs. the Giants (8-4) at the Meadowlands on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 8:25 p.m. ET

THE WEATHER: Welcome to winter! The temperature at kickoff should be just above freezing, but with even light Meadowlands winds it'll feel colder. Much colder. Oh, and good news! Snow is in the forecast. Right now it's not supposed to start until after midnight, so it won't be a factor unless there's overtime. But hey, you never know.

WHAT IT MEANS: First, and perhaps foremost, the Giants don't want to see the Dallas Cowboys clinch the NFC East -- and possibly a first-round bye, or even the No. 1 seed in the NFC -- against them in their home stadium. No, even with a win the Giants aren't going to win the division, but they do have plenty of pride. They also are in a tighter-than-you-think wild-card chase so they need to win to stay ahead of Washington and Tampa.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Kerry Wynn, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Owa Odighizuwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Olivier
		Vernon (54) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) is tackled by New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

In the aftermath of the loss of Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants have said all the right and predictable things. His loss is just an "opportunity" for someone else to "step up." After all, "next man up" is the mantra of the NFL.

So yes, all eyes will be in the trio of players likely to fill JPP's shoes - defensive ends Kerry WynnOwa Odighizuwa and Romeo Okwara. But the expectations for those three untested players should absolutely be tempered. And while they're the ones who are stepping in, they're not really the ones who have to step up.

Here are five players on the Giants' defense that do:

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants running back Shane Vereen (34) runs the ball during the first quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Matt Bush)
New York Giants running back Shane Vereen (34) runs the ball during the first quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Matt Bush)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Shane Vereen will make his much-anticipated return this Sunday. 

Vereen, who has been out with a torn triceps muscle since Week 3, had "a good productive week" at practice, according to Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, and he will be ready to go Sunday. The Giants announced they have activated Vereen off the IR and, in corresponding move, have waived OL Adam Gettis.

Tags: Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Ralph Vacchiano
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SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano is back for an all new Giants Goal Line, as Big Blue gears up for a pivotal matchup vs. the Cowboys on Sunday night. Plus, Ralph digs a little deeper into the loss of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

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John Fennelly, SNY.TV

A late-season Giants-Cowboys matchup usually has playoff implications for either one or both of the clubs and this year is no different. The Cowboys (11-1) are sitting atop the NFC East with a very comfortable three game lead over the 8-4 Giants with four games remaining.

The Giants' loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday put a damper on this week's showdown with Dallas in more ways than one. It pretty much handed the Cowboys the division and put the Giants in wild card mode, a position in which they hold the top berth at the moment.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Damon Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon
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GEICO SportsNite: Victor Cruz 00:01:59
Ralph Vacchiano catches up with Giants receiver Victor Cruz to discuss the team's Week 14 matchup with NFC East rival Cowboys.

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)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

EAST RUTHERFORD - The NFL is making Odell Beckham, Jr. put his money where his mouth was.

The Giants' star receiver was slapped with a $12,154 fine for verbally abusing and using excessive profanity toward an official during the Giants' 24-14 loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday. That brings Beckham's fine total to an impressive $108,926 this season, and more than $190,000 for his career.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

With Jason Pierre-Paul lost for the rest of the regular season, the pressure is on Olivier Vernon to carry the Giants' pass rush. And the $85 million man might even have to do it on his own.

But if he's feeling any pressure, heading into the Giants' showdown with the division-leading Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, he won't admit it. It's just business as usual, as far as he's concerned.

"We just have to go out there and play," Vernon said on Thursday. "There's going to be obstacles out there. You just have to go out and play. Do what you have to do. Hopefully the other guys are going to come in and step up. Make the plays like they have to. I know they are. Nobody is really losing any type of confidence right now."

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Kerry Wynn, Olivier Vernon, Owa Odighizuwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: FNNY on Giants 00:03:47
The Football Night in New York crew discusses if the Giants are heading in the right direction and if Eli Manning is an elite quarterback.

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GEICO SportsNite: Giant showdown 00:01:11
Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and defensive end Olivier Vernon discuss the preparation going into the game against Dallas.

Nov 14, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 14, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

The Giants' road to their first playoff berth since 2011 runs through the NFC wild-card (barring a miracle collapse by the Dallas Cowboys down the stretch). The race is obviously tight and the Giants need every win they can get.

And so we begin our regular look at where the race currently stands …

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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

MOONACHIE, N.J. (AP) Police are investigating racist graffiti scrawled on the walls of a New Jersey home belonging to a New York Giants player.

Police on Thursday were investigating the break-in at Nikita Whitlock's home as a hate crime, Moonachie police Sgt. Richard Behrens told The Record.

Whitlock, who's black, showed reporters the graffiti - "KKK," a swastika and other racial slurs - that was on multiple walls scattered throughout his family's home. The name "Trump" was also written on the wall in marker.

Tags: Nikita Whitlock
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Odell in Wonderland 00:02:54
The DNL panel discusses if Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham should stop complaining about the officials in the game against the Steelers.

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, Giants players and coaches react to losing Jason Pierre-Paul for the remainder of the regular 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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