Landon Collins returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half and set up a Giants TD with another as New York rallied for a 17-10 victory over the Rams Sunday morning in London. Antonio Rogers-Cromartie clinched the game with an interception in the end zone with 32 seconds remaining. The Giants intercepted Rams QB Case Keenum four times.
THE GAME: The Giants (3-3) vs. the Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at Twickenham Stadium on London on Sunday, Oct. 23, 9:30 a.m. ET.
THE WEATHER: It's exactly what you'd expect in London, but possibly without the fog and the rain. Temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 50s with a bit of wind (10-20 miles per hour) and plenty of clouds.
Giants: S Nat Berhe (concussion), S Darian Thompson (foot), RT Marshall Newhouse (calf), QB Josh Johnson, LB Deontae Skinner, WR Tavarres King, DT Robert Thomas.
Rams: DT Michael Brockers (thigh), CB Trumaine Johnson (ankle), G Jamon Brown (hand), WR Nelson Spruce (calf), WR Pharoh Cooper, OT Pace Murphy, QB Sean Mannion.
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THE GAME: The Giants (3-3) vs. the Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at Twickenham Stadium in London on Sunday, Oct. 23, 9:30 a.m. ET.
THE WEATHER: It's exactly what you'd expect in London, but possibly without the fog and the rain. Temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 50s with a bit of wind (10-20 miles per hour) and plenty of clouds.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Giants got themselves back on track last weekend with a solid, gutty performance against an undermanned Ravens team, and this is their chance to keep their momentum going heading into the bye. Really, if they are 4-3 at the bye with all the issues that have been swirling around them, and they're only a game-and-a-half behind the idle Cowboys, whom they've already beaten, that puts them in pretty good position at the nearly halfway point. They'll take that. It's certainly better than having two weeks to think about a loss, on top of everything else that's going on.
PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Odell Beckham. Remember when he was the Giants' biggest problem? You miss those days already, I bet. Anyway, he's worth watching here for a couple of reasons. For one, the last time the Giants played the Rams - two years ago - they became the first team to really go hard, physically after the Giants' easy-to-incite receiver they nearly ignited a full-scale brawl. Will they do it again? Well, keep in mind their defensive coordinator is Gregg "Bountygate" Williams. Also, tactics like that often work on Beckham. One thing that doesn't work? Single coverage. He saw a lot of that on Sunday against the Ravens when Beckham exploded for eight catches, 222 yards and two touchdowns. The Rams' pass defense is the bottom half of the league. They've been in London now since last Monday. A majority of these London games have been high-scoring. Beckham could be in line for a big day.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Giants interior offensive line vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald. If you like smashmouth football, this could be a treat. The 6-foot-1, 285-pound Donald is considered by many to be the best defensive tackle in the NFL these days. He's certainly the most explosive player at that position and maybe the best pass rusher, though so far he only has three sacks. Regardless, with his speed and quickness and power he'll be a handful for the Giants' inside three of center Weston Richburg and guards Justin Pugh and John Jerry. A good guess would be that Donald lines up often over Jerry, who has been playing well but is the weakest link of those three. He'll likely get a ton of help from Richburg, though. Whoever has to block him, their ability to do that is the key to whether the Giants have any prayer of running the ball successfully inside - or on any short-yardage plays. And if Donald can be a force in the pass rush and make Eli Manning move outside of the pocket, that mean big trouble for the Giants.
INJURY REPORT: Beckham (hip) is going to play, so everyone take a deep breath. Even though he missed a couple of practices before the Giants' flight to London, that was never really in doubt. He did most of his damage last week with what the Giants have called a "hip pointer" too. They are again shorthanded at safety with Nat Berhe (concussion) and Darian Thompson (foot) out, but they're used to that by now. And RT Marshall Newhouse (calf) is out again, but Bobby Hart has done reasonably well as his replacement. It sounds like the only other player they're not sure about is long-snapper Zak DeOssie (questionable, ankle). They have practice squad long-snapper Tyler Ott on standby, if needed. … Oh, and while this isn't an injury, it's worth noting that - as you may have heard - K Josh Brown didn't make the trip and former Bears K Robbie Gould will take his place. … The Rams will be without DT Michael Brockers (thigh) and CB Trumaine Johnson (ankle), both of whom are significant losses for their mediocre defense. Both their starting defensive ends - William Hayes (ankle) and Robert Quinn (shoulder) are listed as questionable, but both practiced fully on Friday and are expected to play.
Expect more of Trevin Wade and Leon Hall and maybe even plenty of newcomer Coty Sensabaugh. Also questionable for Sunday are WR/KR Dwayne Harris (toe), RB Rashad Jennings (thumb), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (groin) and LB Devon Kennard (concussion). It sounds like Jennings will play, but he may need to share a little time with Orleans Darkwa. JPP insisted he will play, but the Giants might have to be careful with his snap count, too.
THE PICK: The average margin of victory in this International series in London has been 15 points, but that number has been skewed by four blowouts. Take those out and the average margin of victory in the other 11 games has been eight. So in other words, despite the unusual setting, the disruption to routine, and the hassles of long, international travel, these have proven to be close and just like regular NFL games. With that said, the Giants are simply a better team than the Rams if they can play like they did last week. The Rams, with Case Keenum at quarterback, have been a mess offensively and they can't even get running back Todd Gurley going (2.9 yards per carry).
They are stronger on defense to be sure, but they are banged up there and their numbers have been mediocre. Meanwhile, the Giants really seemed to hit their stride last week and that had the feel of the beginning of the run. Beckham was destined for a breakout, and now that he's had it he's probably not going to regress much. And with him reestablished as a dominant threat, which should open up a ton for the rest of the Giants' weapons. So they should score in this game. A lot. Certainly a lot more than the Rams are capable of scoring. As long as Beckham keeps his head and doesn't let the Rams rattle him, the Giants won't be in danger of having this game come down to their new, emergency kicker having to make a big kick. … Giants 34, Rams 16.
MY RECORD: 4-2.
Tags: Eli Manning , John Jerry , Josh Brown , Justin Pugh , Marshall Newhouse , Nat Berhe , St. Louis Rams , Zak DeOssie , Ralph Vacchiano
WR Odell Beckham (hip) and CB Eli Apple (groin) are both active this week against the Rams.
Beckham had been dealing with a hip injury all week but was not given a designation on the team's final injury report going into the game.
According to ESPN's Jordan Raanan, Beckham did not warm up with wide receivers but instead spent a long period of time with Giants trainers on Sunday.
Apple, the team's 2016 first-round draft pick, had battled a groin injury and has yet to play in a full game since Week 2.
Tags: Eli Apple
The 3-3 Giants will face the 3-3 Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium in London on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET. The winner gets to take a 4-3 record into their bye week. For the Giants, that can speak volumes considering they were 2-3 going into Week 6 with their future in doubt.
Here's how the matchups shake out this week...
Rams' rushing offense vs. Giants' rushing defense: The Rams are 28th overall in rushing, gaining only 3.1 YPC and 80.8 yards per game. Todd Gurley, who ran for 1,106 yards in only 13 games as a rookie last year, is only gaining 2.9 yards per clip here in 2016. He's been getting the lion's share of the carries and will continue to do so. He is a dangerous runner regardless, so the Giants' 12th ranked rush defense could have their hands full in this game.
Rams' passing offense vs. Giants' passing defense: The Rams came into the season with the quarterback position in transition. They chose Cal's Jared Goff No. 1 overall in the draft but Goff has been a spectator thus far this season and Case Keenum has taken every snap. Keenum has stepped up his game the past two weeks and is starting to click with WRs Kenny Britt, Brian Quick and Tavon Austin. TE Lance Kendrick is also a key contributor with 31 targets. The Giants are 22nd against the pass this year and are last in the NFL in sacks and takeaways. The secondary is still experiencing injuries, so If they can't get pressure on Keenum, they could be vulnerable.
Giants' rushing offense vs. Rams' rushing defense: The Giants' rushing game is a joke and has been further hampered by injuries to Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen. The Giants are averaging 76 yards per game (third worst in the NFL) and have run the ball only 28 percent of the time the past three games. Jennings (wrist) is expected to be healthier this week, so maybe they will have more success. The Rams, although having a star-studded defensive line, have not been as staunch against the run this season, allowing 4.2 YPC and 115.7 yards per game. The Giants' running game has got to get going at some point, so maybe this is the week. Or maybe not.
Giants' passing offense vs. Rams' rushing defense: The Giants come to London sporting the league's third best passing game, breaking out last week in a big way against the Ravens. QB Eli Manning is second in the NFL in passing yards (1,788) and WR Odell Beckham appears to be getting past his issues. They have scored only 8 TDs through the air this season, however. The Rams rank 17th against the pass this season with 10 sacks and nine takeaways. Pro Football Focus ranks the Rams' secondary 17th overall, noting strong play from the safeties but state that CB Troy Hill has been "the worst cornerback in coverage this season." The Giants should have success in this area Sunday.
Special Teams Breakdown
Giants: KR/WR Dwayne Harris is third in the NFL with a 28.7 average. He hasn't been as successful on punts, averaging 7.1 yards per attempt. The Giants have been covering kickoffs and punts fairly well this season, allowing just 18.6 yards per return on kickoffs and 10.9 yards per return on punts. Punter Brad Wing is averaging 47.5 yards per punt (gross) on 26 attempts with seven landing inside the 20 with four touchbacks and four fair catches. Robbie Gould takes over the kicking responsibilities Josh Brown. He is a seasoned veteran and the transition there would appear to be a seamless one.
Rams: Four different players have returned kickoffs this season for LA for an average of 23.5 YPA. Austin is the primary punt returner, averaging 8.9 yards per with a long of 47. He can be explosive. The Rams are allowing 21.3 yards per kickoff return and just 6.2 yards on punts. Punter Johnny Hekker leads the NFL in landing punts inside the 20 with 16 and is second in inducing fair catches with 17. Kicker Greg Zuerlein has been perfect this season making all nine of his FGAs (two over 50 yards) and all eleven PATs.
Tags: St. Louis Rams , John Fennelly
After hearing criticism from the public and from officials around the league, commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview with the BBC a big part of the problem is that people outside the NFL don't understand the difficulties of the situations regarding domestic violence.
When asked by BBC's Richard Conway about how the NFL penalizes touchdown celebrations compared to domestic violence issues, Goodell said the league has more challenges regarding specific cases than people may realize.
"I understand the public's misunderstanding of those things and how that can be difficult for them to understand how we get to those positions," Goodell said. "But those are things that we have to do. I think it's a lot deeper and a lot more complicated than it appears but it gets a lot of focus."
In regard to Josh Brown, who was orignally suspended one game and eventually placed on the commissioner's exempt list on Friday, Goodell said the league had difficulty getting all the information needed to make a clear-cut decision on the kicker.
"Well you have to go and get the facts," Goodell said. "We have asked repeatedly for those facts and the information that's been gathered by law enforcement both orally and in writing. And we weren't able to get access to it. So you have to make decisions on whatever information you have. We take this issue incredibly seriously. This is something we've been working on with policy changes, to educating our players to make sure they understand how they deal with issues with their family, give them resources to be able to deal with this.
"But when it happens we're not going to tolerate it. So we have some new information here, we'll evaluate that in the context of our policy and we'll take it from there."
Tags: Josh Brown
With the Giants' pass rush sitting at the bottom of the NFL, the secondary has been left to pick up the slack. Even with all the injuries, the unit has done an impressive job holding down the fort. That has not gone unnoticed. Pro Football Focus has it ranked 8th in the NFL going into Week 7.
From Matt Claassen of Pro Football Focus:
"Safety Landon Collins was mostly a disappointment as a rookie, but he's made great strides from his position-worst coverage grade a season ago. Receiving stats into his coverage are down across the board, and busted coverages haven't seemed like an issue this year. Leon Hall has also played well in the slot, and has been a valuable addition after sitting on the free-agent market for months."
Injuries killed the Giants last season, leaving them to go find veterans who were without jobs -- not the best course of action. This year, the injury bug struck again but the club didn't panic and trusted their roster.
Rookie safety Darian Thompson, who won the free safety job in training camp, has missed most of the season with a foot injury. Nat Berhe, his replacement, has missed time with a concussion. Both are out again this week. The Giants have been going with rookie UDFA Andrew Adams at safety.
"Andrew's been solid," defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said on Thursday before the team left for London. "He has made some normal rookie mistakes, they show up in the game but if those mistakes as a safety can be ones that don't kill us in the football game, we can survive them. He had to step in there going from practice squad, not getting a lot of reps, having to be thrown in the fire right away. I think he's done an admirable job, really."
At cornerback, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie is coming off a groin ailment and rookie Eli Apple is still dealing with the same injury. The Giants have been going with DRC, Janoris Jenkins, Hall, Trevin Wade (who is also hurt with an ankle) and free-agent pick up Coty Sensabaugh.
Spagnuolo said DRC should be near 100 percent this week and Apple could dress this week, but that was head coach Ben McAdoo's call.
"We certainly don't want to set him (Apple) back like with what happened last time," said Spagnuolo. "He came off the hamstring, and then it set him back with the groin, so we don't want that to happen. We'll have to be smart about it. I'm sure Ben will make that decision."
The secondary has stepped up leadership-wise as well. DRC has been a positive presence, but it's the second-year safety Collins that on the field nearly 100 percent of time and leading the charge.
"We tell him he's not a rookie anymore because you're past your third game in your second year," Spagnuolo said of Collins. "He functions with the guys, the vets really well. I think having played in Alabama really helps those guys. It's not too big for him. It never was at the beginning, and it isn't now. The one thing I really like about him, is when he makes a mistake or something doesn't go well, he's the kind of guy that can shake if off really quick. He just moves on to the next play, it doesn't stay with him. And, he works every day. We're always doing ball drills; he's always talking about the scheme. He's done a great job."
This week the Giants will face a Rams' offense that has discovered its passing game. Last week in Detroit, QB Case Keenum hit on 27 of his 32 passes, including 19 in a row at one point. He finished the game with 321 yards, 3 TDs and a 126.7 QBR.
"I think their offense has gotten better and better every game that they've played, which is scary for us, having to play them in the 7th game," noted Spagnuolo. "The offensive line is playing better together, the quarterback I've always thought was a really smart football player and could function the way they need. The running back, wide-outs they have, they're a good football team when we look at them."
Executives and players from around the league are not happy with how the NFL and the Giants handled Josh Brown's domestic violence case, according to an ESPN report.
Brown, who had initially been suspended one game, was placed on the commissioner's exempt list Friday when more evidence was revealed that Brown had physically and emotionally abused his wife.
According to the report, one owner called the situation an "embarrassment," while another wondered how the league could let the situation play out like this when the NFL had initiated a domestic violence policy two years ago. In that policy, the league implemented a six-game suspension for those involved in domestic violence cases.
After being placed on the exempt list, Brown's career with the Giants is likely over.
Tags: Josh Brown
The Giants dragged their feet in disciplining K Josh Brown, so the league basically took them off the hook on Friday by placing him on the commissioner's exempt list, which means his fate is no longer in the Giants' hands. He is still getting paid, however.
Not to diminish the importance and severity of Brown's actions but the team needs to get back to the business of football with a big game coming up on Sunday against the Rams. On Friday, they officially announced the arrival of Brown's replacement, veteran kicker Robbie Gould.
"It's exciting to be here," Gould said in a team release soon after his long flight arrived. "Obviously, it's a great opportunity to play for one of the most heralded franchises in the NFL. Happy to get the opportunity and thankful to get the opportunity. Looking forward to having some fun."
Gould has a wealth of experience, having kicked for the Bears from 2005-15. He was released in the Bears' final cuts in September. Gould is the most accurate kicker in the history of the Bears (85.4%) and also is the their all-time leader in points scored with 1,207.
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo knows Gould from his days in Green Bay. He faced Gould a total of 17 times.
"I've seen him make a lot of kicks against me in the past," McAdoo said. "He's been successful. We're hoping that continues."
After being teamless for the first time in more than a decade, Gould (pronouced Gold) is ready to get back into the fray.
"At some point you knew it was going to happen just because of turnover, age, performance," Gould said. "It was such a great run there. I am so happy that I had the chance to be in one place for so long. Have so many great relationships and friendships. They've been an awesome support for me going through being cut, but around for the first six weeks. It's been great to be able to spend some time with my family. Now, I'm ready to play some football."
He will be paired in the kicking and PAT operation witn holder Brad Wing and long snapper Zak DeOssie, although DeOssie may not play this week. Tyler Ott was added to the roster this week should he not be able to go due to injury.
"These guys are professionals," Gould said. "I have a lot of respect for what they do. They're great at what they do. The nice thing is that NFL.com gives you the ability to be able to watch film. I've been able to watch special teams film. These guys are really good at what they do. That'll make my job easier."
Tags: Josh Brown
The Giants were chided this offseason by critics and NFL executives for giving former Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins a five-year, $62 million contract. Jenkins had never made the Pro Bowl but always been considered a top talent, but his performance did not exactly reflect it. In short, he wasn't worth the money.
In his four seasons with the Rams, who selected him with the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of North Alabama (by way of Florida), Jenkins had been a hit-or-miss prospect. His stats were all over the map, as per Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus.
Yards allowed: 2,989 (3rd most since '12 by CB)
TDs allowed: 22 (3rd)
INT: 10 (t-12th)
Passes Defensed: 34 (t-7th)
With the Rams, Jenkins possessed the speed and agility to make phenomenal plays but also had the propensity to get burned for big chunks of yards and touchdowns. He's already shown those some of those traits here as a Giant this season, but his overall play has been more positive than negative and he has vindicated GM Jerry Reese, who rolled the dice in signing Jenkins to bolster the sagging pass defense.
"Jenkins challenges wide receivers, he competes, and he makes plays," Reese said after signing Jenkins. "He has outstanding transition skills."
We've seen that, and Jenkins' former coach, the Rams' Jeff Fisher who will be on the other sideline this Sunday in London, already knows the value Jenkins can bring to a secondary.
"It was a disappointing loss for us," Fisher said of Jenkins' free agent decision to leave. "He's an outstanding young man, one of my favorites that I've ever had an opportunity to coach. With all due respect to the other corners in the league right now, it's hard to find one that's playing better than he is."
That may be true. Jenkins has 24 tackles (22 solo) with seven passes defensed, which is tied for third in the league. He is also third in the NFL in defensive snaps played (432) behind teammate Landon Collins and Miami LB Kiko Alonso, who both have 443.
Jenkins has made his presence known all over the field. He was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against New Orleans in Week 2. Jenkins scored the Giants' only touchdown in their 16-13 victory when he scooped up a blocked field goal and returned it 65 yards for the score.
Jenkins, who hails from a small town in Florida, does not pay much attention to impressions of his play by the fans and media.
"I don't know," Jenkins said this week when asked if he thought he was a one of the league's top corners. "I am just playing football and doing what I do. That is a nice compliment, but I am just going to stay focused and continue to play football. I mean, I don't talk about it. I let people like you all do the ratings and say what you all have to say. I just play football."
Jenkins admitted he had every intention of re-signing with the Rams, but the Giants blew them out of the water with their offer.
"It was hard, but business is business," he said about leaving the Rams. "I am gone and I am here now."
"We made every attempt and it's just one of those things that happens in free agency," Fisher said. "So I was disappointed. I spoke with him, he wanted to come back, it's just didn't work out; it was out of our control."
There's more to the game than stats, however, and Reese saw Jenkins as the type of player he could invest in. So far he's been right. Fisher gave some further insight into Jenkins' work ethic.
"There were never any issues with him from the mental standpoint,' said Fisher. "He sees things, he's hard to fool, he plays within the scheme and I can assure you, you guys have probably have not been in a defensive meeting room, but I can pretty much assure you that he sits in the front row because that's what he did here. He's a student, he studies, he competes, quietly. He's got great ball skills and he's playing really well."
Yes, he is.
Tags: Janoris Jenkins , St. Louis Rams
The Giants have dry-docked kicker Josh Brown, whose domestic violence case has been reopened after new details surfaced out of his home state of Washington. The Giants have replaced Brown with veteran Robbie Gould for the game in London. More discipline is expected in the coming days, but the news left some of Brown's teammates and coaches stunned.
Special Team Coordinator Tom Quinn: "Obviously, it's tough what he's going through. I don't agree with domestic violence and all of that. He's trying to change. The new material coming out was probably a shock to all of us."
Punter Brad Wing: "I don't have anything to say about that. We have a big game coming up. We have a lot going on this week. Making a very long trip. That's really all that I'm focused on. I don't have anything to say about that situation...He went out there and did his job today. That was good. ... I don't know exactly what incident you're talking about. I just know he was going through a divorce with his wife."
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: "I know Josh Brown. I know him personally. He's like a brother. We have Bible studies here. He's the leader of that group. It's hurtful what he's going through but I'm definitely here for him. He's helped me grow a lot from being a man off the field. I've learned a lot from him. To just see what he's going through, I'm hurt for him. I'm here if he needs a shoulder, a hug or just to talk. I definitely know the kind of man that he is. I know that's not him. I know the things I've learned from him."
WR Victor Cruz: "Obviously, it is an unfortunate situation for all parties. But as a teammate, I am behind Josh Brown. I just want him to get himself right and make sure that he is able to overcome these things. It is not an easy thing, obviously involving his personal life. But as an individual, I just want him to overcome and see where it goes."
Tags: Brad Wing , Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie , Josh Brown , Victor Cruz , John Fennelly
Giants WR Odell Beckham and CB Janoris Jenkins were both fined by the NFL for penalties they took in Week 6 against the Ravens.
Beckham was hit with a $24,309 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, while Jenkins was fined $9,115 for a 15-yard facemask penalty.
Beckham was called for the foul after taking off his helmet during a touchdown celebration on the game-winning score.
The wide receiver has now been fined four times this season.
Tags: Janoris Jenkins , Odell Beckham Jr.
The NFL found a way to get the Giants out of the Josh Brown mess when the league placed the embattled kicker on the "Commissioner's exempt list" Friday - a move that likely signals the end of his season, and could be the end of his Giants career.
The "exempt list" is essentially paid leave for the 37-year-old Brown, who was informed of the decision on Friday in a letter from Adolpho Birch, the NFL's Senior VP of Labor Policy & League Affairs. The move came one day after Brown was left behind by the Giants when they left for London on Thursday evening. And it comes two days after SNY and other media outlets obtained police reports and evidence that showed Brown admitted to physically abusing his wife.
The NFL's decision takes Brown off the Giants' active roster for an indefinite period of time, which Birch's letter described as "limited and temporary". It was done, Birch wrote, "to permit the league to fully review the (new) materials and determine whether further action is necessary."
"The released materials appear to contain information regarding other incidents of abuse separate from the May 22, 2015 incident for which you were disciplined under the Personal Conduct Policy," Birch wrote. "As a result, further investigation by the league into those separate incidents is needed."
Birch added that "We expect to conduct this review expeditiously" and that any adjustments to his status would be done "in a timely manner." However, multiple sources indicated Brown is likely to remain on the "exempt list" for the remainder of the season and will likely never kick for the Giants again.
Brown does have the right to appeal the decision. However, even if Brown remains on the list he will still collect the remainder of his $1.15 million salary for 2016, but he would not continue to get the $15,625 per game bonuses in his contract. He also would surely be cut long before his $250,000 roster bonus or $1.725 million salary kicks in next year.
The "exempt list" is a rarely used mechanism that was most famously used in 2014 when the NFL Commissioner placed both Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson on the list while they were under investigation by the league. Hardy was in trouble for a domestic violence incident, while Peterson was being investigated for child abuse.
Both spent the final 15 games of the season on the list.
According to NFL rules, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the only person in the league with the power to use this option, and he is the sole judge of how long a player remains on the list. The Giants can essentially do nothing with Brown until Goodell decides what's next. Birch's letter informed Brown that while he can't attend games or practice with his teammates, the Giants may allow him to be at their practice facility for meetings, individual workouts, therapy, rehab and other non-football activities.
The move also clears a roster spot, which a source confirmed the Giants will use to sign Brown's replacement - former Bears kicker Robbie Gould.
Brown, of course, was suspended for the NFL season opener for violating the league's personal conduct policy when he was arrested on domestic violence charges in May, 2015. The arrest report later revealed that his wife accused him of "more than 20" instances of domestic violence. But the NFL said said it couldn't consider those because it didn't have enough evidence, thanks to a lack of cooperation from Molly Brown and the King County (Wash.) Sherriff's Office.
Brown famously described that incident as "just a moment". But on Wednesday, documents obtained by SNY revealed Brown confessed to a long history of physical and mental abuse of his wife in journals and emails that were turned over to police. It also showed that NFL security was called during one domestic incident involving the Browns at the Pro Bowl last January. And Giants co-owner John Mara also revealed on Thursday that Brown "certainly admitted to us that he abused his wife in the past," though Mara said the extent of that abuse was "unclear."
The Giants, though, still chose not to cut Brown. Instead they just left him home as they travelled to London, where they will take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. That allowed the NFL to step in and put a likely end to Brown's career with the Giants.
Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano
Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said the team won't turn their back on K Josh Brown, who is again being investigated by the NFL for domestic violence incidents with his now ex-wife, Molly.
Brown did not travel with the team to London for Sunday's game against the Rams, with the Giants releasing a statement Friday saying they'll "revisit" the issue when they return and that they remain supportive of Brown.
"We're looking to get as much information as we can to make an informed decision," McAdoo said Friday in London. "We're not going to turn our back on Josh. He's a teammate and a guy we're hoping makes strides."
It came to light Wednesday that Brown, who was suspended for the first game of the season due to the domestic violence incidents, admitted in personal journals to repeatedly physically and emotionally abusing Molly Brown.
McAdoo said he doesn't condone domestic violence and that he hasn't had time to go through all the information regarding Brown that recently came out.
"I haven't had time to filter through a lot of this information," he said. "A lot of it came out recently. We're relying on the front office to go through it. We're working to get all the information we can get so we can make the best available decision."
Tags: Josh Brown , Danny Abriano
There was a moment last August when John Mara was trying to defend his now indefensible decision to stick with Josh Brown when he seemed to understand his organization was losing its grip on its righteous reputation.
"This is an organization that always tries to do the right thing," he said. "I don't know if we always get it done, but we try."
Maybe that's true. But when it comes to Josh Brown they have gotten everything painfully wrong.
That became clear on Thursday when, faced with the easiest decision they'd ever have to make, they chose not to cut their 37-year-old kicker and instead punted their decision into next week. Even worse, Mara later went on WFAN and offered this absolutely shocking admission:
"He admitted to us he'd abused his wife in the past," Mara said.
It's really impossible to understand why the conversation -- along with Brown's career with the Giants -- didn't stop right there.
But it didn't. Mara added that "What's a little unclear is the extent of that (abuse)," even though the extent of domestic violence really shouldn't matter much. And that came shortly after a tone-deaf statement from the Giants that read, in part, "The Giants do not condone or excuse any form of domestic violence." That's great, but by keeping Brown employed they certainly appeared to be condoning or excusing it. And they even offered up a justification for not just letting him go.
"Josh has acknowledged that he has issues in his life and has been working on these issues through therapy and counseling for a long period of time," the statement read. "We remain supportive of Josh and his efforts."
That's nice that he's acknowledged his issues - though remember, he considered all those issues to be "Just a moment" when confronted with them publicly back in August. Regardless, why are the Giants still supporting him after its clear whatever efforts he's undertaken haven't worked.
Just look at what the Giants know - or at least what we know they know - about Brown's situation: He was arrested on a domestic violence charge in May, 2015. He got drunk and pounded on his wife's hotel room door at the Pro Bowl in January until NFL security was called and they were concerned enough that they moved his wife to a different room (as reported by SNY). He admitted to Mara that he abused his wife.
And now, thanks to the documents obtained by SNY on Wednesday - documents which since have been released by the King County (Wash.) Sherriff's Office to the NFL, and presumably the Giants - they know Brown admitted to physically, emotionally and verbally abusing his wife on multiple occasions.
What more does a reasonable person (or organization) need?
This was a gift for the Giants - an easy out to a long-running sideshow that included a sad litany of mistakes. They stumbled through this whole Brown affair from the start, tripping over step after step. The NFL has often turned into the Keystone Cops every time a domestic violence issue arises. The Giants appeared to be dutifully following their lead.
Consider how badly they blew it in the spring when they re-signed Brown a two-year, $4 million deal even though they knew he was under investigation and facing a suspension for domestic violence. They could've quietly walked away then and this circus wouldn't exist. Instead, they dared it to happen. They blew it again when they let Brown say his domestic violence history was "just a moment" and when they allowed new coach Ben McAdoo to say he supported Brown "as a man, as a father" just hours before a police report was released showing Brown's wife accused him of "more than 20" instances of abuse. They had to know it was inevitable, by the way, that those gory details would get out.
Then they blew it again when for a full week after that they arrogantly remained silent, refusing to explain their decision. McAdoo, Mara and GM Jerry Reese wouldn't talk about it during that stretch. (Reese, by the way, still hasn't talked about it). Mara later admitted that silence was a mistake.
And yet despite all that, they did again on Thursday when they went 24 hours without a sound from the franchise after the court documents were published. During that stretch they inexplicably let Brown practice, when they had to know there was no way they were taking him to London. Then they refused to make McAdoo, Mara or Reese available to the media at large, which forced their own players - like punter Brad Wing, running back Rashad Jennings, receiver Victor Cruz and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - to have to answer questions about a topic they likely didn't know nearly enough about. They hung them out to dry, as if they were the spokesmen for the franchise.
And it all could have been solved so neatly before anyone got to their practice facility on Thursday morning. Thanks to the media - not the Giants or NFL investigators, by the way - they were handed a written confession from Brown, who wrote in his own journals, as obtained by SNY on Wednesday, "I have abused my wife". The Giants and the NFL were blindsided by that new information, so they could've easily claimed Brown had hiding relevant facts and dismissed him for that.
With no fuss at all, they could've atoned for all their past sins, to an extent, by feigning ignorance, then doing the right thing and claiming "If we had only known …"
Instead, they delayed what surely seems to be inevitable. Brown will almost certainly never kick for the Giants again. Yet the Giants decided to take the weekend to consider their options. And they seemed to try to stand behind Brown at every turn. Mara, understandably, said he's "certainly disturbed by what I've read" but he also praised Brown for making "a good-faith effort" at rehabilitation and because "he's attempted to be honest with us."
Mara was not asked why the mere attempt at being honest was good enough.
Regardless of that, Mara almost certainly will end up doing the right thing, and if he doesn't there are indications that the NFL might step in to attempt to preserve whatever credibility its domestic violence policy has left. Brown will likely end up in the purgatory of the NFL commissioner's exempt list if the Giants don't come to their senses and cut him.
But the delay in that is inexplicable. What is there to think about? If the NFL and the Giants are really serious about taking a stand against domestic violence, how is it not enough that Mara said Brown "admitted to us he'd abused his wife."
There's nothing to think about after that statement. It's an easy call - about as easy as it ever gets in these situations.
That's why it's so impossible to understand why the Giants keep making this seem so hard.
Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano
Giants owner John Mara said that K Josh Brown had told the team that he had abused his wife, the owner told Mike Francesa on Thursday.
"He admitted to us he'd abused his wife in the past," Mara said while a guest on Francesa's radio show. "What's a little unclear is the extent of that."
Mara went on to say that what he's read about the abuse is "obviously disturbing," but the team still needs more information before they make a decision on the kicker's future with the Giants.
"I don't want to speculate one way or the other... the long-term decision is pending," said Mara on what the team will do with Brown.
The Giants owner said he still believes Brown has made a good effort to rehabilitate himself, and that the kicker "has attempted to be honest" with the team.
The Giants announced this evening that Brown would not make the trip to London, and that the team would revisit this issue following Sunday's game.
Tags: Josh Brown
Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould is flying to London to join the Giants, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed that Gould will sign a one-year deal with the Giants, to be prorated for the final 11 game, worth $637,532.
Gould will replace Josh Brown, who did not accompany the Giants to England after more revelations in his domestic abuse case.
Before the season, the Bears released Gould, Chicago's most successful kicker.
Gould, 34, left Chicago as its all-time leading scorer with 1,207 points. He was the most accurate kicker in team history and, at 85.4 percent, is ninth in NFL history.
In a statement released by the team, the Giants announced that K Josh Brown will not make the trip with the team to London. In addition, the Giants will review the newly released information and make a decision on the kicker's future with the team following Sunday's game.
Here is the Giants' full statement:
"Josh Brown will not travel with the team to London.
In light of the news reports regarding the documents released by the State of Washington yesterday, we think it makes sense to review this newly disclosed information and to revisit this issue following our trip to London.
The Giants do not condone or excuse any form of domestic violence. Josh has acknowledged that he has issues in his life and has been working on these issues through therapy and counseling for a long period of time.
We remain supportive of Josh and his efforts."
Brown, who attended practice Thursday, is again under investigation by the NFL for domestic violence incidents with his now ex-wife.
It was reported Wednesday that Brown admitted in his own journals to physically and emotionally abusing Molly Brown, who alleged the league and some Giants players were aware of the severity of the incidents.
Tags: Josh Brown
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. and CB Eli Apple were listed as limited participants in Thursday's practice, the team announced hours before departing for London.
Beckham hurt his hip during last week's win over the Ravens. However offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said the team is very optimistic that Beckham will play this week.
Apple is still recovering from a groin injury suffered during the team's Week Five loss to the Packers. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo told reporters that the Giants are hoping to have their rookie cornerback on Sunday.
LS Zak DeOssie, LB Keenan Robinson, and CB Trevin Wade were also limited in Thursday's practice.
While the protective boot has been removed from his foot, S Darian Thompson is still not practicing.
S Nat Berhe and OT Marshall Newhouse also sat out practice on Thursday.
Tags: Darian Thompson , Eli Apple , Keenan Robinson , Marshall Newhouse , Nat Berhe , Odell Beckham Jr. , Trevin Wade , Zak DeOssie
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Molly Brown did call hotel security on her allegedly "drunk" husband, a Giants kicker Josh Brown, when he was pounding on her hotel room door at the Pro Bowl in January, and the NFL did help her switch hotel rooms, according to an NFL source.
But the league did not hide her and her children at a different hotel, the source said, and the Browns were together as a family without any known incidents the rest of the weekend -- including on the field on Sunday after the game.
That account, from a league source, is slightly different than the one alleged by Molly in the police "follow-up" report which was released by the King County (Wash.) Sheriff's Office on Wednesday and obtained by SNY. In that report, Molly alleged the NFL moved her and her children to a different hotel after the incident "where Josh would not know where they were," the police report said.
The NFL source confirmed the incident occurred on the Friday night of Pro Bowl weekend and that hotel security was called. The source said that the Browns had three rooms at the same hotel -- one for Molly, one for her two sons, and one for Josh and their young daughter. Following the incident, Molly was moved to another room in the same hotel, but Josh and the kids stayed where they were.
According to the source, the Browns were all together as a family on Saturday, and then again on Sunday at the game and on the field after the game.
Molly had told police that the trip came while she and Josh were in the process of getting a divorce. She agreed to go when Josh offered to take her and her children to Hawaii and pay their expenses, though she later called that "a big mistake," according to the police report.
Molly alleged that she was subject to "cutting comments" from Josh on that trip, and that he took her phone and searched through her texts, according to the police report, all before the incident at the hotel occurred. The league source said that the NFL was, obviously, aware of this incident when it decided to only suspend Josh Brown for one game for violating the NFL's domestic violence and Personal Conduct Policy. That suspension was based solely on the arrest of Brown in May, 2015.
Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The NFL and the Giants were both unaware of the new information released in the Josh Brown domestic violence case, and as a result the league has reopened its investigation into the Giants' kicker.
The NFL promised to "thoroughly review the addition information and determine [the] next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy", according to a statement from a league spokesman on Thursday.
Brown had been suspended one game earlier this season for violating that policy due to being arrested in May 2015 on domestic violence charges. But the NFL was unable to obtain any other information about other alleged instances of Brown committing violence against his wife.
The latest round of information, as reported by SNY on Wednesday, were diaries and emails allegedly written by Brown in which he confesses to emotionally, physically and verbally abusing his wife. The league tried to obtain that evidence from the King County (Wash.) Sheriff's Office, but the office refused because they considered their investigation "open."
The NFL, in its statement, did not sound pleased to be left in the dark.
"NFL investigators made repeated attempts-both orally and in writing-to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff's Office," the statement read. "Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff's Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter.
"We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time."
"In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time."
A Giants spokesman said the team was also unaware of the new information and documents that were released, but otherwise declined comment. On Thursday afternoon, Brown was on the field practicing with his teammates. The Giants are scheduled to depart for London on Thursday night. They will play the Los Angeles Rams there on Sunday.
At this point, it is still unclear if Brown will be on that trip.
Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - One day after police released evidence that Josh Brown admitted to physically abusing his wife, the Giants kicker was on the practice field with his team again.
Brown, 37, was stretching and working with the Giants' special teams players on Thursday afternoon during the short portion of practice that is open to the media. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary as the team began its final practice before their scheduled flight to London on Thursday night for their game on Sunday there against the Los Angeles Rams.
At this point, it remains unclear if Brown will be invited to make that trip after SNY reported that Brown, in a journal, wrote "I have abused my wife". Those journals were part of 165 pages of documents released by the Kings County (Wash.) Sheriff's Office, and obtained by SNY. One of the documents was a "contract" signed by both Josh and Molly Brown that included the words "I have physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife Molly."
In one of his journal entries, Josh Brown also wrote that he "became an abuser and hurt Molly physically, emotionally and verbally. I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave."
The Giants, through a team spokesman, said the team was unaware of the new information in the documents obtained by SNY on Wednesday, but otherwise declined comment on the situation. Giants coach Ben McAdoo, in a violation of NFL media rules, is not scheduled to speak to the media on Thursday afternoon, though he is scheduled to do a radio interview before departing for London.
Meanwhile, the NFL has not responded to repeated request for comment, even though Molly Brown alleged that NFL security was concerned enough about Josh's behavior that they helped hide her and her children from Josh at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii last January.
Publicly, the Giants -- specifically McAdoo and co-owner John Mara -- have been supportive of Brown. Back in August, after the initial allegations against Brown went public -- and before some of the ugly details were reported -- McAdoo insisted "I do support Josh as a man, a father and a player." A week later, after insisting "We did our homework" on the Brown case, Mara stood behind his kicker and the team's decision to stick with him.
"Based on the facts and circumstances that we were aware of at that time, we were comfortable with our decision to re-sign him (last April)," Mara said. "Nothing has happened in the meantime to make us question that decision."
It'll be interesting to see if these new revelations are making Mara question that decision now.
Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano
The last time the Giants played the Rams was Dec 21, 2014 in St. Louis. The Giants won the game, 37-27, as QB Eli Manning passed for 391 yards and three TDs, two of them to rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr. Beckham had eight receptions for 148 yards in that game and the Rams' defenders took umbrage to the way he was treating them.
Beckham was hit along the sidelines, a brawl ensued, and several players were ejected. It was an ugly scene but a harbinger of what lie ahead for the young Beckham.
As the Giants and Rams prepare to do battle again, this time in London, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he does not anticipate a repeat of two years ago.
"I thought it wasn't good for the game," Fisher said of the incident. "It's behind us. Hopefully everybody involved learned from it. It was not good for the game and the league is taking steps to avoid those type of situations."
Fisher, in his fifth season at the helm of the Rams, has yet to register a winning season. This year, the move to Los Angeles has seemed to energize the club, but the truth is they are 3-3 and coming off two disappointing losses. Fisher can ill afford to condone any extracurricular activity from his team, especially baiting Beckham into what would actually become an international incident.
"We're going to play between the snap and the whistle and that's it. We've got great respect for their players," Fisher said. "Odell, he's an outstanding competitor and you just look at what he did in the second half to win that game (against the Ravens). No, we're not going there. Our guys are going to play hard and play fast, tackle and have been instructed not to hurt the football team."
Fisher is more concerned with how good the Giants' offense looked last week against the Ravens. If the switch has flipped for this Giants' offense, they can pose huge problems for a defense that has allowed 28 or more points in four of their six games this season.
"Eli's playing well, he's trusting the outside guys. I'm just really impressed with all three receivers," Fisher said. "Sterling Shepard is playing really good inside. If you didn't know, you wouldn't expect him to be a rookie, let me put it to you that way.
"Odell Beckham Jr.'s big game last week with big play after big play. Victor Cruz is playing really well. The offensive line is in sync and not taking a lot of sacks and getting rid of the football. They've got a run game that can put some stress on your defense. It's a well-coached group."
Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , Sterling Shepard , Victor Cruz , John Fennelly
The New York Giants prepare to take off for London to play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Josh Brown's ex-wife alleged that the NFL and some players on the Giants were aware of the kicker's abusive behavior, and the NFL was once concerned enough to take steps to try to protect her and her children.
Those allegations were among the many contained in the 165 pages of documents SNY obtained from the Kings County (Wash.) Sherriff's office on Wednesday. Among the emails and diaries where Josh allegedly admitted to physically abusing his now ex-wife Molly, was a police "follow up" report with more accusations and allegations of abuse.
A significant one allegedly occurred under the NFL's watch at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii last January, according to the police report. Molly told police that while she and Josh were in the process of getting a divorce, Josh offered to take her and her children to Hawaii and pay their expenses. She agreed, but then called that "a big mistake."
Molly alleged that she was subject to "cutting comments" from Josh on that trip, and that he took her phone and searched through her texts, according to the police report. She also alleged that one night he got drunk and pounded on her door so loudly that NFL security and hotel security were called and had to escort Josh away. She also alleged that the NFL eventually put her and her kids up in a different hotel "where Josh would not know where they were," the police report said.
That last part is a damning allegation considering the reason the NFL gave for using only Josh Brown's arrest in May, 2015 when they decided to give him a seemingly light one-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct and domestic violence policy. The league said in a statement in August that while it was aware that Molly had alleged multiple incidents of domestic violence, it "had insufficient information to corroborate prior allegations."
A league spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the NFL helped hide Molly and her children from Josh Brown at the Pro Bowl, or on any of the new revelations in the documents obtained by SNY.
Here are some more allegations from the police "follow-up" report:
- Molly accused several of Josh's Giants teammates of being "aware of the domestic violence in their relationship," but not doing anything to stop it. She claimed other players around the NFL knew, too, though she did not name any players.
- In May, 2014, Molly said Josh came home drunk after a bachelor party and while they were sitting in bed discussing that, he jumped on the bed and stood over her. When she "scrambled" to get away he slammed her into a large mirror that was hanging on their bedroom wall. Molly said her head and arm hit the mirror so hard that the mirror cracked. When she tried to get away again, Josh got on top of her again and held her face down on the floor. Molly said their daughter, Georgia, witnessed the incident.
- Molly was told by police she was under no obligation to talk to NFL investigators after being contacted by a representative of the league. The league rep contacted the Kings County Sherriff's office several times over several months but was told by Robin Ostrum that she "would not discuss my open and active investigation." Molly told Ostrum that she didn't want to speak to the NFL because she feared the league "would only be looking to bury this whole incident and protect Josh."
Tags: Josh Brown
Giants kicker Josh Brown admitted to physically and emotionally abusing his wife and called himself a sex-addicted "deviant" who viewed himself as "God" and his wife as "my slave", according to entries in his own journals, emails to his wife, and a letter he wrote to friends, which were obtained by SNY.
Those damning confessions came from journals and emails turned over to police by Brown's now ex-wife Molly, after the kicker was arrested in May 2015 and charged with a fourth-degree domestic violence assault, and released on Wednesday by the Kings County (Wash.) Sherriff's Office. The incident led to Brown being suspended for the Giants' season opener as punishment for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Brown famously described the incident as "just a moment," even after police documents showed that Molly had accused him of "more than 20" instances of domestic violence. In his emails and journal entries -- part of 165 pages of documents released by the Kings County Sherriff -- he paints an entirely different picture.
"I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man," Brown wrote in one of his journal entries. Just below that he circled the words "I have abused my wife."
Josh went even further in a letter he wrote to friends in March, 2014, apparently as part of his counseling sessions with Molly, saying his issues with his behavior towards women date back to when he was "molested as a young boy (around 6)".
"I have been a liar for most of my life," he wrote. "I made selfish decisions to use and abuse women starting at the age of 7 to fill this void. I objectified women and never really worried about the pain and hurt I caused them. My ability to connect emotionally to other people was zero. My empathy levels were zero.
"Because I never handled these underlying issues I became an abuser and hurt Molly physically, emotionally and verbally. I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave."
In one of the documents, which was apparently signed by both Molly and Josh and called a "Contract for Change" and dated March 28, 2013 -- more than two years before Josh was arrested -- Josh makes it clear exactly how he abused Molly. There are eight items listed in the signed contract, including "I have physically, verbally and emotionally abused my wife Molly," "I have controlled her by making her feel less human than me, and manipulated her with money" and "I have disregarded my step sons' feelings and they have witnessed me abusing their mother."
The contract also said he "viewed pornography on a consistent basis to manage my desire for physical contact." Josh writes several times in the emails and journal about his addiction to sex and pornography. In one email he wrote "I developed into a sexual deviant that viewed sex as a sport all most (sic)."
In many of the emails and journals, Josh seems to be apologetic and often filled with self-loathing for his actions. In an email dated May 11, 2013, he also appears to again admit to physical violence, writing "I am sure there were several moments of panic for the boys and wondering if they were in a safe place with me. I am sure you were afraid to tell me how you truly felt because you feared my reaction. … I have struck fear in your heart and not love, compassion or friendship. From the bruise on your leg when we argued … to the zipper that caught you last April. I am ashamed and disgraced to call myself a husband."
The Giants declined comment on these latest revelations through a team spokesman. Back in the summer, Brown was publicly supported by Giants co-owner John Mara and coach Ben McAdoo, who said he supported Josh "as a man, a father, and a player." It was not immediately clear if either the Giants or the NFL had seen any of these new documents as part of their investigations into Brown's arrest.
Tags: Josh Brown , Ralph Vacchiano
Giants S Nat Berhe was pulled from practice before reaching the contact portion on Wednesday, head coach Ben McAdoo told reporters.
Berhe remains in concussion protocol.
He indicated Monday on Twitter that he had been cleared from concussion protocol.
Berhe has missed the last three games due to a concussion.
He first complained of headaches on Sept.28. After doctors evaluated him he was diagnosed with the concussion.
Tags: Nat Berhe
The Giants released their injury report following Wednesday's practice. The following players are listed...
- Eli Apple (Groin, limited)
- Odell Beckham Jr. (Hip, did not practice)
- Nat Berhe (Concussion, limited)
- Zak DeOssie (Ankle, did not practice)
- Rashad Jennings (Thumb, full participant)
- Marshall Newhouse (Calf, did not practice)
- Keenan Robinson (Knee, limited)
- Darian Thompson (Foot, did not practice)
- Olivier Vernon (Wrist, full participant)
- Trevin Wade (Ankle, limited)
Tags: Eli Apple , Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Odell Beckham, to no one's surprise, was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his 222-yard, 2-TD performance vs. Baltimore.- Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 19, 2016
On Sunday, Beckham was the catalyst that led the Giants' second-half surge in a 27-23 victory against the Ravens. He totaled 11 receptions and 222 receiving yards, eight and 211 coming in the second half alone, and found the end zone twice.
With 1:24 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Giants trailing 23-20, Beckham scored a game-winning 66-yard touchdown.
This is the first time in Beckham's career that he has been awarded the honors.
Beckham has 35 receptions, 581 receiving yards and three touchdowns this season.
Tags: Odell Beckham Jr. , Tim Reilly
When the Giants drafted Justin Pugh at No. 19 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, the selection was met with mixed reviews. He was not the desired size of a franchise tackle and there were questions about where and how the Giants planned to deploy him. Pugh started every game of his rookie season at right tackle and allowed only three sacks. He was back at right tackle the next season, starting 14 games.
In 2015, the Giants decided to try Pugh at guard, where he eventually settled into the position he's at now -- left guard. The move has been a godsend for the Giants' beleaguered offensive line as Pugh, according to the analytical website Pro Football Focus, has become one of the best in the game at his position.
Going into Week 5, PFF wrote, "Pugh has become an All-Pro level guard, and currently leads the rankings at PFF with a 90.4 grade." That week against the Packers, Pugh topped all Giants on offense, earning a 77.8 grade. He followed with a strong performance against the Ravens, Pugh was tops again, grading out at 84.0. According to PFF, Pugh has not surrendered a single sack this season.
"I've been doing some good things. I always say, I don't have the best technique in the world. It's something I always try to work on," Pugh told reporters Tuesday. "Coach Solari is always on me about getting my technique better and better. I'm going to go out there and fight. That's something I always do. No matter what happens, I'm going to go out there and battle. Whoever I'm going across, they're going to know that they were in a football game that day."
This week Pugh will face the challenge of facing Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald, who was selected directly behind Odell Beckham, Jr. at No. 13 in the 2014 NFL Draft. All Donald has done in the first two seasons of his career is be named to the Pro Bowl twice, earn All-Pro honors last year, and recorded 23 sacks in 38 games played. Remember, that sack total is coming from the defensive tackle position.
Pugh knows the furor in which Donald plays, having faced him in college when he was at Syracuse and Donald at Pittsburgh.
"He is one of the best defensive tackles in the football. His get off is incredible, he has great speed and quickness with his hands," Pugh said. "I played against him in college too, so I have played against him a few times. He plays with great leverage. He is not the biggest guy in the world though. When you walk in, you aren't going to be like, 'Oh. That is probably one of the best defensive tackles in football.' You probably wouldn't even think that. But you put on film and he has gotten like 37 quarterback hurries, three sacks -- it has been nice these past few weeks, I have kind of gotten to play guys similar in build and quickness in Mike Daniels and [Timmy] Jernigan. But I think he is the best of the bunch."
Pugh acknowledged that Syracuse won that game but the circumstances were very different than they will be this Sunday in London.
"I was playing left tackle at the time, so he was still really young then. I think he was still a sophomore in college and it was my junior year and I played against him," said Pugh. "Then I remember the first game back playing against him, I think we beat them 14-13, but then I could tell he was going to be a really good player because I never really struggled with guys in college and then that was the first time where I was like, 'Whoa. This kid has got a little something.' So he is definitely a really good player."
Good player in an understatement. Donald (6'0", 285), who was deemed by many scouts as too small to man the trenches in the pros, has proven every single one of them wrong. His quickness, intelligence and savvy have prevailed and the Giants will be battening down the hatches this week. Pugh knows he'll need his "A" game Sunday, but he's been bringing that all year long.
"Thus far I would say he's the best," Pugh said when asked to grade Donald. "Honestly, the wiggle room for the best, there's like five guys that come to mind in terms of defensive tackles. I don't want to say he's the best defensive tackle. Obviously there's some guys that are really good. It's an exciting challenge for us. We have to make sure we go out there and get ready to play a game. They have a front-seven that is up there with anyone else in the NFL."
Donald is a three-technique tackle and will line up over both guards and the center at times. Pugh knows it may take a village to stop Donald this week.
"Obviously it's the one-on-one battles in the middle," Pugh said. "Me and John [Jerry] and Weston [Richburg] just have to go out there and do our job. Give Eli time. You see what 10 and 13, all these receivers can do when they have some time. We have to go out there and give them time. Make sure we're extra discipline this week just because of all the travel. New environment, new place. We're looking forward to that challenge."
It will be a matchup worth keeping an eye on this weekend.
Tags: Justin Pugh , John Fennelly
Giants long-snapper Zak DeOssie was wearing a protective boot on his left foot in the locker room on Tuesday.
DeOssie injured his foot during Sunday's win against the Ravens.
LS Tyler Ott, along with the rest of the practice squad, will make the trip to London with the team.
The Giants will have until Saturday to promote Ott to the active roster if DeOssie cannot play.
The Giants signed long-snapper Tyler Ott to their practice squad. ... Long-snapper Zak DeOssie is nursing an ankle injury.- Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 18, 2016
To make room on the practice squad for Ott, the Giants have cut DB Dorian Grant.
Ott spent the offseason with the Giants, and was in training camp with the team until he was cut on Aug. 29.
DeOssie hurt his ankle in Sunday's win over Baltimore, and his status for this week's game in London is uncertain.
Tags: Zak DeOssie
After yesterday's comments made it seem like he was beginning to grow a bit tired of Odell Beckham Jr.'s antics, veteran QB Eli Manning reiterated to reporters on Tuesday that he and Odell are completely fine.
"Odell and I have a great relationship," Manning said. "We talk about a lot of things. We're on the same page. He knows that I'm always looking out for him and understands that you can say things that can get taken one way. Odell and I are on the same page. I get asked multiple questions about him every week."
Manning attempted to clarify yesterday's comments, saying people seemed to misunderstand what he was trying to say with his 'you can get real sick of it' comment, referring to Beckham's behavior.
"I'm not tired of it," the Giants captain said. "I thought you might be tired of it. That was my comment. Talking about you. I'm fine with it. He's doing a lot of good things and playing the game the right way. He just has to make sure the celebrations and what's going on aren't hurting the team in any way."
To catch up on Manning's comments about Beckham, check out yesterday's feature from SNY.tv's Ralph Vacchiano...<< Read
Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr.
While Eli Manning exploded for over 400 yards in Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens, the offense was once again unable to get the run game going.
Rashad Jennings ran the ball nine times for 15 yards, while Bobby Rainey had six carries for 13 yards. The only Giants running back to find any running room was Paul Perkins, who carried the ball only twice for 10 yards.
"Runs were tough to find," Ben McAdoo told reporters after Sunday's win. "They were good against the run like a lot of teams are in this league. We have to find a way to run it better."
The Giants' struggles in the run game have been consistent throughout the season. As a team, the Giants have run the ball 127 times for a total of 456 yards this year, good for 27th best in the NFL. New York's 3.6 yards per carry is 25th in the league, while the team's 76.0 rushing yards per game is 30th.
In fact, through the first six games of the season, the Giants find themselves 24th in the NFL or worse in every rushing category besides for fumbles.
Jennings looked strong in the season opener against Dallas, rushing the ball 18 times for 75 yards (4.2 ypc). But in the two games he's appeared in since then (he missed three games due to a thumb injury), Jennings has 22 carries for only 42 yards (1.9 ypc), with his longest run going for seven yards.
Rainey has been a great asset catching the ball out of the backfield, with 16 receptions for 135 yards in four games. However he has not been nearly as effective running the ball, as he has gained 57 yards on 15 carries (3.8 ypc).
The one New York running back that has found success carrying the ball this season is Shane Vereen (31 carries for 147 yards, 4.7 ypc), who is currently on the IR with a torn triceps.
The only other running back to show any sort of spark is the rookie Perkins, who has six carries for 27 yards (4.5 ypc) to go with five catches for 101 yards. Perkins has looked quicker and more explosive than the team's veteran backs, but he still needs to improve on his pass protection before he sees a significant increase in playing time.
The final running back on the Giants roster is Orleans Darkwa, who actually ran the ball well during New York's losses to Washington and Minnesota. Darkwa carried the ball 10 times for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Redskins, and had 12 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings' tough defense. But after struggling against the Packers, gaining only 11 yards on seven carries, McAdoo decided to drop the third-year back to the bottom of the depth chart against Baltimore. Darkwa did not play a single snap during Sunday's win, and has 111 rushing yards on 30 carries (3.7 ypc) in four games this year.
McAdoo insists he wants a more balanced offense, even though New York ran the ball only 17 times on Sunday compared to 46 passes. But with no accomplished run-blocking tight ends on the roster, along with no fullback, the Giants running woes are likely to continue. Whether New York adds a proven blocker to the roster, starts using an extra offensive linemen, such as Will Beatty, as a sixth blocker, or goes through some other personnel change, the Giants will need to do something different to get the run game going.
Tags: Orleans Darkwa , Paul Perkins , Rashad Jennings , Shane Vereen , Will Beatty
The Giants made a goal-line stand Sunday during their 27-23 win over the Ravens, stuffing them three times late in the third quarter and on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Leading 17-14 at the time, the Giants got a huge play on fourth and goal from LB Jonathan Casillas, who stopped Ravens RB Terrance West for a loss.
"Yeah, it was an outside toss play and they have a good fullback," Casillas said. "The fullback cut me and I did a good job of using my hands and protecting my legs and it was one on one with me and the back and I made a pretty good play."
Casillas added that the key was having his eyes in the right place before the play.
"If I had been too heavy on the tight end, I would have maybe got sealed by the fullback," he said. "I felt like I had my eyes in the right place and I did a good job in block construction and made a sound tackle on the running back."
The shorter the field, the tighter the Giants' defense becomes. The goal line stand against Baltimore is the new trend. Last year, the Giants allowed opponent to score 53% of the time they entered the red zone. This year, it's down to 42%, which is the fourth-best average in the league. Credit great play up front by the defensive line. They may not be sacking quarterbacks but they are stuffing the run and covering receivers. The play of such players as Casillas and S Landon Collins in the box has also contributed to the unit's stinginess in the red zone.
Tags: Jonathan Casillas
This past offseason, Giants GM Jerry Reese was given a mandate to upgrade the team's bottom-ranked defense, which had run devoid of talent and depth the past few seasons.
Reese went out and spent like a drunken sailor, so to speak, inking free agents in DE Olivier Vernon, DT Damon Harrison and CB Janoris Jenkins to top-of-the-market contracts that raised eyebrows all throughout NFL front offices. He also re-signed DE Jason Pierre-Paul to a $10 million "show me" deal, even though he knew JPP would never be the same player after blowing off half his right hand last July 4 in a fireworks mishap.
As the fog begins to clear on these moves, the Giants' pass rush is no better, but the run defense has improved. The pass defense is functional without an effective pass rush because the secondary has performed exceptionally well. Jenkins has been a stalwart, even though he's been burned a few times, and veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has lived up to the five-year, $35 million deal he signed with Big Blue in 2014.
The Giants have climbed up the defensive rankings this season and are 19th overall (22nd pass, 12th run) and are second in the NFL behind the Miami Dolphins in tackles with 444 through the first six games. They are allowing 21.8 points per game this year as opposed to 27.6 in 2015.
Two of the reasons the Giants are better on defense are the play of OLB Jonathan Casillas and safety Landon Collins. Casillas, a well-traveled, eight-year veteran who was signed as a free agent in 2015, has mostly been a backup and special teams player in his previous stops in the NFL. This summer, he outshone a crowded group of linebackers in camp and won not only a starting job, but the defensive captainship to boot.
After six games, Casillas leads the Giants in total tackles and is 10th in the NFL in that category with 51 total (30 solo). He has transformed into a leader as well as a key performer overnight, it seems.
"He's a guy who, everybody comes into their own at different times," said LB coach Bill McGovern earlier this season. "A lot of the times when you need it, and he's needed right now in our situation."
Casillas turned the corner on career abruptly this summer, perhaps because of the increased competition Reese brought into camp. Perhaps he's always had the ability but never was given the ample opportunity, until now.
"I think he finds a way of getting to the ball," he said. "There's guys that kind of can move around a lot, but, he gets to the football a lot of times. He shows up right where the balls at. He has a good understanding of Steve Spagnuolo's scheme on our side of the ball, he understands what we want to get done and how we want to do it. He continues to get better, he works everyday so it's a positive to have him in the room."
Collins is a different story. He was a highly touted rookie coming out of Alabama in the 2015 NFL Draft and was considered first-round material. Unfortunately for him, all 32 teams in that round bypassed him. Reese, seeking an opportunity to snag a quality safety for his sagging secondary, made a deal to trade up to the top of second round with Tennessee. When the draft resumed, the Giants made Collins the top pick of the night.
Collins had a rollercoaster of rookie season, starting all 16 games. He was asked to do things outside of his skill set, such as cover speedy receivers in space, due to the dearth of talent and onslaught of injuries the Giants were experiencing in the back seven of their defense. He became discouraged and was the face of the Giants' defensive failures last season.
This season, Collins came in a bit lighter and with a fresh approach. Reese added a glut of new faces to the secondary that would relegate Collins back to his natural position of strong safety and place him in the "box" where he is most effective.
Collins is second to Casillas on the club with 49 tackles (41 solo) and is the second-best tackling safety in the league behind Miami's Reshad Jones (51). He also has two sacks.
Collins has shown he is surer of himself this season. Not only can he hold his own, he's able to help his teammates out as well.
"We have confidence in one another to make plays and make sure we on third down," he said after the Giants' win over the Ravens on Sunday. "That's our biggest key. We had problems with doing that last year and getting the ball back to the offense so they can get down the field and score. That's where our mindset it. Make a play and get off the field."
And they've been doing that more consistently this season.
Tags: Jonathan Casillas , Landon Collins
It's a good thing Odell Beckham had a big game, and it's a good thing the Giants won. Otherwise, Eli Manning might already be "real sick" of everything else that comes with the Beckham Show.
The Giants' quarterback made that clear on Monday, during his regular weekly appearance with Mike Francesa on WFAN. When he was asked about his reaction to the "stuff" that swirls around Beckham - like his 15-yard penalty for removing his helmet after the game-winning touchdown and even his odd "romance" with the kicking net -- Manning indicated those were only tolerable because of Beckham's 222-yard, two-touchdown day and because nothing he did spoiled the Giants' 27-23 win.
"I think with the win you can ignore it a little bit easier," Manning said. "Kind of let the coach handle [it]. Obviously we got to be careful about getting penalties late in the game and putting our defense in a bind right there. But he made plays. So it's one of those deals where hey, you can get real sick of it if he's not going out there and making plays, but when he goes out and has a couple of huge catches and 200 yards and a game winning touchdown, you know, you still want him to be smarter, but you accept it a little easier."
Manning's point, of course, is the flip side of that -- that Beckham's antics would play much worse during a loss - especially if his penalty was part of what caused it. It's a point both he and Giants coach Ben McAdoo have been publicly and privately trying to make to Beckham for weeks. It's all amusing and harmless until it costs the Giants a game.
And this isn't the first time Manning made a strong - for him - public comment about Beckham's sideshow. He did it after the Giants' loss in Minnesota three weeks ago when a mini-meltdown by the receiver was part of the team's problem. After that game, Manning said Beckham "has got to play smart" and blamed him for the fact that opponents and officials seemed out to get him "He's kind of brought that upon himself," Manning said.
McAdoo, who said Beckham needs to become "less of a distraction" last month after a Giants loss to Washington in which Beckham went into a rage on the sidelines and famously slammed his helmet into the kicking net, also wasn't thrilled with Beckham's latest actions on Sunday.
Although he did say that after he drew a 15-yards penalty for removing his helmet, Beckham understood he was wrong.
"He came up to me right after," McAdoo said. "We had a discussion about it. Can't have it. He knows that. He went out and wanted to fire up the kickoff coverage and the defense. He knows we can't have it."
As for Beckham's oddly romantic touchdown celebrations with the kicking net, McAdoo said "We need to keep our focus on the ballgame."
The Giants have made that point privately to Beckham. McAdoo, Manning, GM Jerry Reese and both of the Giants' co-owners have had talks with him, as have Victor Cruz and several other teammates. Maybe a few pointed remarks publicly - remarks Beckham will surely be asked about when he speaks to the media on Wednesday - will be the ones that finally get through, before it's too late.
Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr.
The Giants finished third in the NFC East last season with a 6-10 record. There usually aren't many negative consequences handed down from the league for such a dismal season. They ended up with a top-10 draft pick and a third-place schedule as a result. The only negative was that they were designated a trip to London to play another third-place finisher, the St. Louis Rams, who now hail from Los Angeles.
The Giants will pack up this week for their game against the Rams after their Thursday practice and be in London on Friday. The game is set for Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET from Twickenham Stadium -- not Wembley Stadium -- in London. The Giants are the away team.
This will be the Giants' second trip across the pond to play a regular season game. They defeated the Miami Dolphins, 13-10, on October 28, 2007 at Wembley Stadium. The game was the first regular season NFL game ever played out of North America.
There are challenges to playing overseas, most notably jet lag among other distractions. This game either comes at a good time or a bad one. The Giants are a team with a slew of new faces and still gelling as a team. After an inspiring win Sunday, this trip could interrupt all the positive mojo it created.
"We just have to do a great job early in the week, make sure we're getting our preparation," QB Eli Manning said after the Giants' win over Baltimore on Sunday. "Once you take that trip and get over there, things are going to be off a little bit. You're not in your own facility so we have to make sure we have great preparation here in the States. Getting our sleep, getting hydrated. Do all the things we have to do because once we get over there it's going to be different. We have a good team, good leadership and we'll handle that and make sure we're prepared. But we have to know it is a work trip when we get over there. We have to do everything we can to prepare while we're here in the States."
Head coach Ben McAdoo also has to make adjustments this week. He's usually cooped up in his office on a regular week. Now his comfort zone is being disrupted.
"It's going to be a little bit different at the end of the week, for sure," McAdoo told reporters on his Monday conference call. "When we come to finalizing the plan on all three phases, a lot of that will be done on the plane or in London. We'll have the foundation for everything set early. We just have to be smart....Everyone usually gets some type of work done on a plane on a road game. With it being Thursday night, it's still pretty early in the week. We'll have some things we will need to brush up on and tighten up."
McAdoo said the anticipation of jet lag and the time difference is built into his plans for the week.
"We need to do a good job of getting our rest early in the week," he said. "We've pushed back the starting time on Wednesday and Thursday. They'll get the chance to sleep in Tuesday like they always do and today. Just to help catch up on some sleep as much as possible."
As for the plan when they land in London, the Giants will attend a quick media session on Friday and then outside of a few meetings, enjoy the sights until Sunday.
"We'll change some things up on Friday. We'll have our normal Fresh Friday," McAdoo said. "Just make sure we get them moving right away after we sleep on the plane. Get them going and moving. Give them a chance to recover. Get them off their feet.
Saturday, we'll change up the afternoon a little bit. Give them more time to spend with their teammates. If they want to take a nap, give them some time to do that. We will be smart with our meeting time on Saturday."
The Rams are also 3-3 and this will be their second trip to London as well. They lost, 45-7, to the New England Patriots back in 2012 in front of 84,004 spectators at Wembley. Now that they are in L.A., they will be traveling twice the distance than the Giants will be for this game. Whether or not that plays into the outcome remains to be seen.
Both teams will be on bye weeks upon their return to U.S. soil.
Tags: John Fennelly
WR Roger Lewis' first catch of the season -- a 24-yard pass into the end zone from Eli Manning -- cut the Giants' deficit to the Ravens to 10-7 with just over two minutes to go in the first half Sunday.
"He's been doing a good job; he did some good things at training camp and early on," Manning said about Lewis after the game. "He's kind of waited for his opportunity to get in there.
Lewis was active in Week 4 against the Vikings and Week 5 agains the Packers, but didn't make an impact.
"We had some things where he wasn't able to get in anyway with some four receiver stuff, but today he pops in there and all of a sudden -- a good job of knowing the offense and knowing the plays -- not really a play we've run a whole lot, but we put it in this week," Manning continued. "He stepped up and knew what to do and did a good job to beat man coverage and making a catch and getting a touchdown. So a big play at that time with a third down conversion and a touchdown."
Lewis, 22, went undrafted this past April, but signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent shortly after.
Lewis only drew three targets in the game and his one reception was the second quarter 24-yard touchdown on an outside post to the right corner of the end zone in which he beat Ravens backup CB Tavon Young. It was a big play in the game for a Giants' offense that was going nowhere fast and was uncertain of the future availability of Odell Beckham, Jr., who had gone to the locker room with a hip pointer.
Lewis, a UDFA out of Bowling Green whose college career was nearly derailed due to rape allegations (in which he was acquitted) as a high schooler, has an abundance of talent and the Giants are hoping to tap into that further.
Lewis had a solid career at Bowling Green, winning the Paul Warfield Award last year as the nation's top collegiate receiver while also being named a semi-finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award.
Lewis' emergenge could spell less targets for another rookie, Sterling Shepard, and Victor Cruz, although that might not come for some time. But it is good to know the Giants have such depth at the wide receiver position these days.
Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , Sterling Shepard , Victor Cruz
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - In the aftermath of the Giants' 27-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the star of the show was asked an awkward question about the difference between being 2-4 -- as the Giants would have been if they lost -- and 3-3. It wasn't a brilliant question, and Odell Beckham, Jr. said he wasn't sure how to answer.
"I don't know," he said. "You want to win."
That's true. And now that they finally have for the first time since Week 2, the Giants want to do it again. Because, as Beckham said later, that's really the only way to answer all the questions about the Giants, to know if this win was an anomaly or the start of a trend.
"I think we're on the way," he said. "It's only one game. We have to go out next week and do the same thing. That's the only way you're going to be able to tell if you're hitting your stride."
So maybe they'll know more on Sunday morning when they face the Los Angeles Rams in London. But there were some positive signs from their win over the Ravens that show maybe they are hitting their stride. It wasn't all good. It wasn't all pretty. But it's all covered in my 10 takeaways from the Giants' win:
1.) It's hard to say much more about Beckham's performance on an injured hip than I already said in my post-game column. But one thing I did leave out was that Eli Manning explained one reason for Beckham's breakout was that they were getting "looks" from the defense that they hadn't seen in weeks. That may be true, but the Giants can be better at dictating those looks. A great example was the first touchdown when Beckham used his "whirlybird" spin move after faking an inside route. That "lulled the corner to sleep" as Manning said and moved the safety, freeing Beckham to be all alone. I know it's not easy, but Beckham is obviously such a weapon the prime task of the Giants' offense has to be to free him up. He's been the major focus of defeneses since his rookie season and that never stopped the Giants from getting him the ball in position to make a big play. It can't stop them now.
2.) Can we stop the talk of Eli Manning being "in decline" now? He was 32 of 46 for 403 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. One of those came on the last play of the first half as they were desperately trying to get into field goal range, so it did no damage, and the other came when receiver Sterling Shepard fell (and may have been interfered with earlier in his route). Here's the thing about Manning's "decline": It was all based on two bad games on the road where his offensive line wasn't good. Yes, at times he's looked off, but he can still make pinpoint throws and he doesn't appear to have lost any arm strength. So with no signs of a physical decline, it's hard to imagine he's experiencing a mental one at 35 years old. Anyway, except for a slow start, he was mostly brilliant on Sunday. And yeah, so was Beckham, but only one of Beckham's big plays was a short throw where the receiver did the rest. Manning gets some credit for Beckham's day, too.
3.) The pass-protection from the offensive line was definitely better, though the run-blocking left a lot to be desired. One note on the pass-blocking, though: Left tackle Ereck Flowers nearly got Manning killed twice, including on one of his touchdown passes. I know Terrell Suggs is a handful for anyone and it's not exactly fair to grade Flowers' entire game on a couple of plays. But that's the life of a left tackle, especially one who was a Top 10 pick. He's got to be better.
4.) WR Dwayne Harris played two offensive plays. Both were short-yardage runs. Neither worked. He was in there basically as an extra blocker. Now, aside from the fact that the Giants weren't fooling anyone -- as soon as he came in, everyone in the stadium knew it was a run since he hasn't been used in the passing game all year -- Harris is 5-10, 202. The fact that he's the extra blocker in those situations is alarming. It speaks volumes for what the Giants think about the blocking of their tight ends, and it doesn't say anything great about how ready tackle Will Beatty is to get on the field. I mean, Beatty is 6-6, 319 and has six years of NFL experience as a starting tackle. He's really not ready enough to get on the field to block for two basic running plays?
5.) The Giants' lack of a consistent pass rush is still alarming, but overall I thought the defense was much better. Until late, their only touchdown came off a short field following Beckham's fumble. And their goal-line stand was absolutely brilliant. That fourth-down play where they stretched Ravens running back Terrance West out and linebacker Jonathan Casillas shed his blocker to ram West out of bounds was a textbook definition of how to defend that play, especially since little-used linebacker Mark Herzlich was right there, too. The first-down tackle by linebacker Devon Kennard and safety Landon Collins, holding West just short of the end zone was a thing of beauty, too. So was Jonathan Hankins' third-down arm tackle of West trying to leap over the pile. They gave up almost 400 yards and West and quarterback Joe Flacco ended up having good numbers, but I don't think that really tells the story of how effective the defense was.
6.) The pass interference call on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was just … I mean … I've watched it over and over and I don't see anything. Fox's Mike Pereira, the former NFL officiating czar, theorized on Twitter that maybe the officials mixed up offense and defense -- which if true is pretty inexcusable, especially at that stage of the game. But I've looked at it many, many times and I don't see anything. On TV they theorized that DRC has his right arm around the receiver. I couldn't see that either, but there's almost no way that back judge Steve Freeman could've seen it since he had basically the same angle we had on TV. It was just a truly horrible call. … I know some fans were up in arms about the roughing the passer call a little later on Giants DE Owa Odighizuwa. Sorry, that one was good. He took two, maybe three steps after Flacco released the ball and then hit him. It's an easy call.
7.) I don't know why Dwayne Harris is fielding punts inside the 10 yard line. He made fair catches at the 8 and the 7 and fielded one at the 5 that he returned for six yards. Isn't it worth the risk to let the punt bounce? Maybe it goes into the end zone for a touchback. Maybe it bounces forward. OK yes, if he lets it go perhaps the other team downs it closer to the goal line. But if you're already at the 8 or 7, it's not like they can get much closer. The fair catches especially feel like a big waste for me.
8.) Late in the first half, the Giants stopped the Ravens on third down to force a punt and McAdoo called his final timeout, which I liked. It gave the offense a little more time to try to get into field goal range. Yes, they wouldn't have any timeouts left, but there are ways to control the clock when the ball is in your hands. But here's what I don't get: The play ended at 1:19. The timeout didn't occur until 1:09. That's a waste of 10 seconds -- 10 seconds that could've come in handy when the offense ran out of time on their final drive of the half. Their last rushed play was run from the Baltimore 45 with eight seconds left. With 10 more seconds they wouldn't have had to rush and might've had another play left. (And oh, by the way, the officials' whistle can be heard on TV at 1:11, yet the clock kept running until 1:09. Bad job by the officials again there, and someone on the Giants should've been watching that. Every second counts).
9.) Eli Manning and Victor Cruz have looked very out of sync lately. One week after Cruz had zero catches, miscommunications between the two nearly led to two interceptions. On the first, Cruz cut in and Manning seemed to be throwing him an out route. The result was a pass about five yards behind him. On another, Cruz took off on a go-route while Manning threw as if he was supposed to run a slant. He ended up throwing it right into the hands of a defender and it was nearly picked off. Cruz ended up with three catches for 31 yards on seven targets, but they really do look off.
10.) I feel like there should be more positive things to say out of a win, but the story of this game was really Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and the goal-line stand. One particularly negative thing: The Giants' rushing attack. They ran the ball just 17 times for 38 yards. And considering they threw the ball 46 times, it's like they really didn't try to run at all. Keep in mind they played with a lead most of the game and were never down more than 10 points. Yet they call plays like they're down 30 all the time. Or maybe they just don't trust their ability to run. Either way, opposing defensive coordinators can see that, too.
On this week's Giants Goal Line, SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano looks back at Odell Beckham's incredible performance vs. the Ravens. Later, John Fennelly of SNYGiants calls in to discuss the game, and where the team is headed now that they are back to .500.
The Giants defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 27-23, on Sunday to even their record to 3-3 and keep them afloat in the suddenly competitive NFC East.
The win was the 700th in franchise history, making them the third NFL team to reach the milestone, after the Bears and Packers.
Big Blue continues to play cliffhanger-type games. Of the six games played this year, Sunday was the fifth game decided by seven points or less. The Giants' other victories were by one and three points over Dallas and New Orleans respectively. They lost a two-point game to Washington and by seven last week in Green Bay.
Two big plays made by Odell Beckham, Jr. led the Giants to victory in a game that saw them on the raw end of several poor calls by the officials (read all about the "phantom" pass interference call against CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from SNYGiants Insider Ralph Vacchiano).
At the 9:50 mark of the third quarter, the Giants were in a third-and-goal situation on the Baltimore three yard line. QB Eli Manning tossed a pass to WR Roger Lewis, Jr. in the left side of the end zone. Ravens CB Shareece Wright mugged Lewis, who could not rein in the pass. The play was a clear example of pass interference. No call was made. The Giants, who were down, 10-7, at the time, had to settle for a game-tying field goal after a 15-play, 72-yard drive.
The offensive outburst came against a Ravens defense that was missing several of its top players. Their top LB. C.J. Mosley (hamstring) did not dress and DE Terrell Suggs (biceps) and CB Jimmy Smith (concussion) both left the game early with injuries.
The offensive line was excellent in pass-protection -- one of the reasons Eli was able to throw for 403 yards and three TDs. They allowed just one sack and two QB hits. The running game went nowhere again. They gained only 38 yards on 17 carries, a paltry 2.2 YPC. Orleans Darkwa did not even see the field on Sunday.
The defense was facing a Ravens offense that was missing two key offensive linemen (G Marshal Yanda and T Ronnie Stanley) and its best WR in Steve Smith. Still, the Giants' defensive line could not take advantage. They sacked QB Joe Flacco twice and hit him six times in total but Flacco still threw for 307 yards.
LB Jonathan Casillas continued to shine, with 11 combined tackles, including a key fourth-down stop on RB Terrance West. But it was the secondary that carried the defense on Sunday.
"The Giants' secondary was a feature throughout this game, both in a positive and negative light," wrote Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus. "Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was heavily involved from the outset with a pass break up and two stops on the Ravens' opening drive and so that story remained the same until the final drive where Rodgers-Cromartie broke up the hail Mary as time ran out. The trio of Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins combined to allow three plays of 20 yards or more in coverage but broke up four passes (two each for Jenkins and Rodgers-Cromartie) while Collins racked a game high five defensive stops, sniping around the line of scrimmage against the run and closing quickly on short passes."
The Giants punted only four times in the game, electing to go on fourth down three times, converting all three.
QB Eli Manning had a strong game Sunday as the Giants beat the Ravens, 27-23, completing 32 of 46 passes for 403 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
One of his interceptions came with time expiring in the first half and the Giants trying to get in to field goal range.
Manning connected on two long touchdown passes with Odell Beckham, Jr. while his other was a 24-yard strike to Roger Lewis.
"I thought I had some good plays," Manning said. "When we had some guys open, hit the plays that we needed to. Still some things to clean up and get better but thought I made some good decisions, threw the ball accurately and made the plays that were needed to win the game."
Manning was coming off a performance against the Packers in Week 5 where he went 18-for-35 for just 199 yards and one touchdown. That followed his game against the Vikings where he went 25-for-45 with no touchdown passes.
The 35-year-old Manning has completed 64.8 percent of his passes this season, totaling 1,788 yards, while throwing eight touchdowns and six interceptions.
Manning had a modest first half, going 14-for-22 for 107 yards and the one touchdowns pass to Roger Lewis, Jr. for a 71.6 QBR. He and the offensive line got into a groove as the offense switched to an up-tempo format. In the second half, the Giants only punted once and scored on four of their six possessions.
The three biggest pass plays all came in the second half after the Ravens lost DE Terrell Suggs, and CB Jimmy Smith exited the game due to injury. All three were to Beckham, and two went for touchdowns.
Eli finished the game with a 100.2 QBR, completing 69 percent of his passes. He stepped up big time in reuniting with Beckham at a time when the Giants' season could have been brought to the point of no return.
Tags: Eli Manning , Odell Beckham Jr. , John Fennelly
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - This is why the Giants put up with everything else that comes with Odell Beckham Jr.
For anyone who ever wondered why they look the other way as he racks up fines, why his personal fouls have never been enough to get him a seat on the bench, or why they tolerate everything else that comes along with him, it was all crystal clear on Sunday afternoon. Just when the Giants needed it most, with their season heading towards an undeniable tailspin, he exploded for eight catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns - with, ridiculously, all but 11 of those yards coming in the second half.
And he played that second half with a "bad" hip pointer that hurt so much he told rookie Roger Lewis to be ready in case he couldn't finish the game. And that all happened after he opened the game with a fumble on the first play from scrimmage that put the Giants in a deep 10-0 hole.
"I think it was on full display this afternoon," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said after his team's 27-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens. "(He's a) very talented young man. He's been humbled in some instances. He pushed through some tough times and some injuries today and he really made us a better football team.
"He's a lightning rod for us. He's a great energy source for this team."
Or to put it another way, as Victor Cruz did on the field to SNY: "That No. 13, he's a bad man!"
Yes he is. And this was his reminder that when he's this bad … or good … he's easily one of the Top 5 receivers in football, right up there with Julio Jones, A.J. Green and Antonio Brown and whoever else you want to throw in there. He is, as linebacker Jonathan Casillas said, "a game-changer". He was having what everyone had agreed was a sub-par start to the season (despite some Pro Bowl worthy numbers). He had been a low-impact player through five games. His attitude and behavior was compounded by a seeming lack of production.
And then came this.
"That was fun," Eli Manning said. "That's what we expect him to do. It was good to see him make some big-time plays at crucial moments."
The two biggest plays were also spectacular plays. The first came in the third quarter on a 75-yard scoring pass that started with Beckham running 5 yards down field and appearing to set up for a short pass in front of Ravens cornerback Will Davis. That's when, as Manning said, "he lulled the corner to sleep and did a little whirlybird out of it." He spun back towards the sidelines, took off, caught the pass and never stopped.
On the second, he caught a simple slant as the corner covering him fell, and he turned on the jets to turn it into a 66-yard touchdown ("(Number) 13 in open space?" said left guard Justin Pugh. "There's no one that can cover him.")
But it was the moment that made that one so jaw-dropping. The Giants looked as if they had just blown the game on a phantom pass interference penalty called against cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that set up a go-ahead touchdown run by Ravens running back Terrance West. The Giants were in trouble too. It was fourth-and-1 at their own 34.
And then …
"I didn't anticipate Odell being Odell in that specific moment," Cruz said. "It's always good to see Odell be himself, to be the Odell we're accustomed to seeing. Some of the plays we saw today are exactly what we're used to seeing from him."
Of course, there is still the other side of "Odell being Odell". He spent the final 20 yards or so of his first long touchdown pointing at the Ravens' safety, which certainly could have been called taunting. After he scored, he mimicked a triple jump in an enthusiastic celebration - something that certainly could've been flagged for "excessive" under the NFL's new and erratic rules. And then after the last touchdown he did get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for removing his helmet in the field of play, even though he was clearly off the field when he did it.
Since the Ravens still had 1:24 remaining, that penalty could've been costly. As it was, Baltimore returned the kickoff to its 32 and Joe Flacco drove the Ravens to the Giants 24 before time expired.
"I already know what was coming if we had lost," Beckham said.
He's probably right. It would've been another week of questions about his antics, angst about his emotions, and wondering if he's worth all the trouble.
But instead, he showed why he absolutely is.
"I'm going to go out there and play the same way every time," Beckham said. "I don't think I really played any different besides being injured. It was the same passion."
Sure, the Giants want him to control that as much as possible. But when it's working right, they keep hoping that he'll never change.
Tags: Odell Beckham Jr. , Ralph Vacchiano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did everything he was supposed to do, everything he's been taught as he covered Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman. He nearly picked the ball off, too.
And then he saw the flag.
"I was like 'Maybe it's offensive pass interference,' Rodgers-Cromartie said. "Then I he called it on defense and I was like 'Aww, nah, not at this time of the game. Don't do me like that.'"
But the officials did, calling a phantom penalty against DRC with 2:14 left in the game and the Giants holding a 20-16 lead. Without the flag, the Giants would've forced the Ravens into a 4th-and-4 from the Giants' 38. Instead, the 30-yard penalty put them at the 8 and three plays from a touchdown and nearly cost them the game.
Yes, the Giants ended up pulling out a 27-23 win. But it was close enough to going the other way that after the game they were clearly furious about that call.
"Anger. Resentment," receiver Victor Cruz said, when asked what he felt when he saw the flag."Just trying to figure out where was the pass interference on that specific play."
"He had tremendous coverage on him," linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. "It was a terrible call."
Several Giants players declined comment, adding that they didn't want to criticize the officials and end up getting fined. Giants coach Ben McAdoo declined to address it too, saying only "We'll take a look at it on film and if we don't agree with it, we'll send it in (to the league)."
The fans at the Meadowlands made their feelings on the call loud and clear with loud, sustained boos and more than a few insults hurled at the officials. They likely won't feel any better about the explanation Rodgers-Cromartie got from the officials, who claimed the interference came earlier in Perriman's route not at the end.
If that's true, the call likely should've been defensive holding, not pass interference. That would've saved the Giants 25 yards.
"See, when I'm running with him, he's battling for me to get into position and I'm fighting with him and he's looking at the ball. That's legal," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "You can do that. That's what I was always told. That's what I know. I'm not sure what he got off that. He said he got it in the beginning. That should've been a hold or something, definitely not a pass interference."
But Rodgers-Cromartie handled the bad call like a pro. He argued only briefly with the official. Then - knowing there was still plenty of time left and the Giants weren't done yet -- he just let it go.
"Initially, I wanted to take my helmet off and throw it," he said. "But I can't argue calls. I've never been one to argue calls. Even though it was a crucial call, I've got to live with it because that's the decision that he made. No matter what I do, he's not going to overturn it, so I just chilled."
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's a tale as old as time. Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. … It apparently works the same if the girl is actually a kicking net, too.
The long, strange saga - and romance? - of Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the kicking net reached what we can only hope was a conclusion on Sunday with the oddest marriage proposal in NFL history. Beckham, who has had a hate-love relationship with the net in recent weeks, celebrated his first touchdown of the Giants' 27-23 win over the Ravens on Sunday by laying down and pulling the net down over him.
After his second touchdown, he got down on his knees and proposed marriage to the net. Then he turned around and apparently screamed "She said yes!"
Asked about it after the game - because … well, why wouldn't we ask him about that? - Beckham opened up about their budding relationship.
"Well, our relationship is growing," he said. "I thought we might as well make it serious. I proposed and she said yes. Me and the net are going to get married sometime soon. Hopefully it all works out. I'm 23, so I don't know much about marriage. She seems like a pretty nice gal."
Told by a reporter - and I swear it wasn't me - that the two of them would have interesting children, Beckham said "It'll be nice. Blonde-nettish."
Give Beckham this much: He's had quite a sense of humor about the kicking net which he slammed his helmet into late in the Giants' loss to the Washington Redskins three weeks ago. That caught-on-camera moment - in a game against his nemesis, Josh Norman - sparked the latest round of stories about Beckham's antics and attitude.
He held no grudges, though. Last week, against the Green Bay Packers, he celebrated a touchdown by kissing the net. Then he moved it to the next level - and hopefully the last level -- on Sunday afternoon.
Tags: Odell Beckham Jr. , Ralph Vacchiano
Odell Beckham, whose fumble led to a first-quarter Baltimore touchdown, caught two long touchdown passes in the second half as the Giants rallied twice for a thrilling 27-23 win over the Ravens Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants (3-3) rallied from a 10-0 deficit and led 20-16 in the fourth quarter before Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco led Baltimore on a nine-play, 75-yard TD drive that ended with Terrance West's second short TD of the afternoon.
Eli Manning and Beckham responded, hooking up for a 66-yard TD with 1:24 to go. Flacco drove the Ravens from the Baltimore 32 to the Giants 24 before the clock ran out.
Late in the third quarter, Manning hit Beckham for a 75-yard score that gave the Giants a 17-13 lead. Beckham had eight catches for 222 yards.
Manning (32-for-46, 403 yards) threw three TD passes overall (one to Roger Lewis) and was intercepted twice, one of which led to a field goal. Flacco was 26-for-47 for 307 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but a win is a win and the Giants finally got untracked on offense in a big way, even though they didn't get a first down until midway through the second quarter.
This promised to be a close game, and it was, even though the Ravens were missing many of their top players and committed an inexcusable amount of penalties (15 for 111 yards).
The officials were bad Sunday, no question, especially with the bogus pass interference call on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the non-call on WR Roger Lewis in the end zone. But the Giants managed to fight through them and held off the Ravens' last ditch effort with seconds to go.
The Giants finally figured out what was wrong with their offense..they were moving too slow. They sped things up Sunday and ... Voila! The big-play offense was back in business.
On offense: Eli with a big game after coming out flat but then finding his groove by hitting nine different receivers for more than 400 yards. Beckham showed what a star he could be by making big plays in big spots after fumbling away his first reception snd then leaving the game with a hip pointer. Lewis scored his first NFL TD... good to see the depth at WR.
Rushing game was ineffective again...just 38 yards on 17 carries. The protection was finally sufficient, however. Eli was sacked only once. Giants went 4-14 on third down, but converted all three fourth down conversions.
On defense: held on at the end of the game to close it out...nice to see. Ravens only made five of their 18 third-down conversions. Jonathan Casillas made a huge fourth down stop of Terrance West. Landon Collins also had a big game with 12 total tackles, two for losses and a sack. Got loads of pressure on Joe Flacco...Jon Hankins had three tackles for losses and a sack.
This was the Giants' 700th franchise victory and Manning became the seventh QB in NFL history to throw 300 career touchdowns.