John Fennelly

John Fennelly has been covering the New York Football Giants on the Internet since 1997. He has been published on dozens of prominent websites and in major periodicals and has been heard on sports talk radio stations all over the dial. Before embarking on his career as an accredited NFL journalist, John held several management positions in a successful 25-year career in the financial industry.

 (Mark Hoffman)
(Mark Hoffman)

John Fennelly, SNY.TV:

Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, who face off Sunday in Green Bay, have a long history together. 

McAdoo worked under McCarthy in Titletown for eight years and also in two previous stops -- San Francisco and New Orleans.

Over that period, McAdoo learned what it takes to be a head coach in this league, learning first at the side of McCarthy and then Tom Coughlin in 2014 and 2015 as the Giants' offensive coordinator. McCarthy has left more of an impression on McAdoo than Coughlin, which is not a bad thing...

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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (James Lang/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (James Lang/USA Today Sports Images)

John Fennelly, SNY.TV

The New York Giants knew who they wanted to replace Tom Coughlin after they fired him last January. Even though they interviewed a slew of candidates as required by the league, their plan all along was to promote offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to have him steer the ship toward the future. 

What happened next wasn't exactly what they expected.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Sterling Shepard, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

John Fennelly, SNY.TV:

There's no question that Dallas Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott has had a banner season. So much so that he is likely headed to the Pro Bowl along with fellow rookie teammate, RB Ezekiel Elliott.

Prescott entered Sunday night's game against the Giants with staggeringly efficient stats. He had a 10-game streak in which he threw for more than 225 yards while registering a QB rating of over 100. He also had a seven-game streak in which he completed 70 percent of his passes and had tossed just two INTs in the first 12 games.

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Dec 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs after a catch as Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) defends during the first quarter at Heinz Field.  (Charles LeClaire (USA Today))
Dec 4, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs after a catch as Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) defends during the first quarter at Heinz Field. (Charles LeClaire (USA Today))

Upon their arrival in Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Giants' running game had been gaining a head of steam. A small head, mind you, but they were on a streak where they had gained over 100 yards on the ground for three consecutive games.

That all ended in their 24-14 loss to the surging Steelers at Heinz Field, a game in which the Giants gained just 56 yards rushing and 234 total yards, their second-lowest output of the season. Granted, they only rushed the ball 14 times, but the narrative is that their running game was ineffective once again.

They did gain 4.0 yards per attempt on the plays they decided to dial up a run, with rookie Paul Perkins gaining 38 yards on seven carries with a long of 18. Their running game works if they choose to commit to it. The issue is, they haven't chosen to make it a focal point of the offensive attack on a consistent basis.

The Giants ran only 55 plays on Sunday, which is unusually low for an NFL offense. They threw 39 times, completing 24. None of those targets went to WR Victor Cruz, who for some reason was either left off the field in favor of rookie Roger Lewis, or just completely ignored by QB Eli Manning.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, John Fennelly
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 (Jeff Hanisch)
(Jeff Hanisch)

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Kerry Wynn, Olivier Vernon, John Fennelly
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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor makes a touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor makes a touchdown reception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants defense will have its hands full with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr., a 6-foot-4, 240-pound dual threat wide receiver.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins, John Fennelly
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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Here's a hypothetical question: What scares you more -- going on the road to play an 11-0 team or going on the road and playing an 0-11 one?

This Sunday, the Giants will visit the 0-11 Cleveland Browns. In the nine decade history of the franchise they have never faced a team that was 0-11 or worse.

The closest they have come was back in 1960 when they hosted the Dallas Cowboys at Yankee Stadium. That game ended in a 31-31 tie and was Dallas' only non-loss in their 0-11-1 inaugural season.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants have gone 6-for-11 on fourth downs this season, and the risks rookie head coach Ben McAdoo has taken over the past several games have largely paid off.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants' run 00:01:00
Giants look to continue to improve on both sides of the ball before their Week 12 tilt with the Cleveland Browns.

The Giants may be 7-3 and are possibly headed for a postseason berth, but they are far from a complete team -- sitting at 31st in the NFL in rushing after 11 weeks. Only the Minnesota Vikings are worse, but they have an excuse. They have been without star RB Adrian Peterson all year and are missing several starters on the offensive line. The Giants' excuse? Well, they don't have one.

Yes, the Giants ran for over 100 yards on Sunday for the second straight game, but they could not run the ball in the second half when they needed to. After coming out in the second half and scoring touchdowns on their first two drives, they punted on their next five, which included three three-and-outs. Their other two drives lasted just five plays each. With the weather changing in the Northeast, they have to do better than this.

Tags: Jerell Adams, Justin Pugh, Paul Perkins, Rashad Jennings, Weston Richburg, Will Tye, John Fennelly
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There's a difference between the pretenders and the contenders in the NFL. The pretenders tease their fans with weekly dalliances with victory while the contenders find ways to close out opponents and seal those victories. As much as the 2015 Giants were pretenders, the 2016 Giants have taken on the identity of contenders.

The transformation began at the end of last season, a year in which the Giants saw six fourth quarter leads evaporate en route to a 6-10 finish. The defense was decimated by injuries and could not log in 60 full minutes of work and the letdowns were of historic proportions. The mandate from ownership was to fix the defense.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Devon Kennard, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Sterling Shepard, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Giants' defense is noticeably better in 2016 than they were a year ago when it seemed like they collapsed on a weekly basis. The personnel is better for sure and the injuries have been kept to a serviceable minimum.

The addition of veterans such as Olivier VernonJanoris JenkinsDamon Harrison and Keenan Robinson, along with the emergence of safety Landon Collins, have some people comparing this defense to the great Giants' units of the past. But is it Super Bowl caliber?

Tags: Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, Keenan Robinson, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: Giants 00:01:29
The Giants don't seem worried about the trash talk coming from Bears defensive end Pernell McPhee.

Though the Chicago Bears are 2-7, are decimated with injuries and just lost their star wide receiver to a four-game suspension, Ben McAdoo and the New York Giants are not overlooking them on a short week.

 

Tags: Chicago Bears, John Fennelly
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New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) celebrates with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) after running for a game-ending first down against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) celebrates with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) after running for a game-ending first down against the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

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

The Giants have been scratching their heads all season trying to figure out why they haven't been able to run the football, sack passers and put teams away in games.

Against the Bengals on Monday night, they finally saw progress in those first two areas but still haven't solved the third. Perhaps they will do that in their back-to-back games against two of the league's worst teams (Chicago and Cleveland).

Here's a quick rundown of the positives that came out of victory over Cincinnati on Monday night.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Jerell Adams, Jonathan Casillas, Larry Donnell, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, Will Tye, John Fennelly
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New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) celebrates in from of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) after catching a touchdown pass at AT&T Stadium. (Erich Schlegel)
New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) celebrates in from of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (30) after catching a touchdown pass at AT&T Stadium. (Erich Schlegel)

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

The Giants' 21-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night completed a clean sweep for the NFC East this weekend. All four teams won close ballgames to keep the order in the division for at least another week. The NFC East is the only one of the NFL's eight divisions where all four clubs have winning records.

First place Dallas (8-1, 2-1 in the division) won their eighth straight game, a thrilling 35-30 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 114 yards with two touchdowns, including the game-winning 32-yard score with nine seconds remaining and had 95 receiving yards with a touchdown.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, John Fennelly
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

The Giants' offense this season has appeared to struggle on the majority of drives. They are ranked ninth overall in offense and are averaging 5.6 yards per play, which is 15th best in the league. So why does their offense look so out of sync most of the time?

The Giants have gone three-and-out on 19 of their 93 drives this season (just over 20 percent), which is 17th in the league at the moment. There are actually 15 teams who have more three-and-outs than they do, including the Cardinals, Steelers, Broncos, and Patriots.

This week, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan tried to explain why his unit has been experiencing so many negative plays.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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Jun 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) rushes New York Giants center Brett Jones (69) during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 6, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) rushes New York Giants center Brett Jones (69) during organized team activities at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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

When the Giants signed center Brett Jones in February 2015, all parties knew there would be a steep learning curve for the young Canadian Football League star.

Jones was fresh off a Grey Cup victory as a member of the Calgary Stampeders, and in his first two seasons had earned not only a championship ring but also Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named the league's top offensive lineman in 2014.

Tags: Brett Jones, Weston Richburg, John Fennelly
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Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) is key to the success of the Cincinnati offense. (Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sportsis (Jason Bridge)
Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) is key to the success of the Cincinnati offense. (Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sportsis (Jason Bridge)

The Giants defense will face a red zone challenge in Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert in Monday's matchup.

Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, John Fennelly
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New York Giants free safety Andrew Adams tackles Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants free safety Andrew Adams tackles Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser/USA Today Sports Images)

Despite entering the season with a restocked secondary, the New York Giants needed another safety to pair with Landon Collins, a second-year player out of Alabama who was hoping to restore his confidence after a rocky rookie season. Scrambling for a healthy option, enter Andrew Adams, an undrafted free agent from UConn who did not make the team out of training camp.

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Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. New York Giants defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32-18. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants' much-maligned offensive line may not be as bad as many people think. For years now, they have been the poster children for the Giants' woes, but in actuality, they haven't been as bad as their press.

They have three top draft picks in their starting lineup. LG Justin Pugh and LT Ereck Flowers were first-round selections and C Weston Richburg was a second-rounder. Free-agent pickup John Jerry has been a steadying presence in the middle of the line.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Fennelly
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New York Giants tight end Will Tye (45) catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 24-10. (Bruce Kluckhohn)
New York Giants tight end Will Tye (45) catches a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 24-10. (Bruce Kluckhohn)

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

Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was a tight ends coach for the majority of his Green Bay Packers coaching career. He holds the position in high regard. When he came to the Giants to become their offensive coordinator in 2014, he inherited a unit that consisted of Larry DonnellDaniel Fells and Adrien Robinson. Not exactly a dynamic bunch.

The school of thought was that Donnell was the best of the bunch with Fells a solid all-around option as his backup. Robinson had been a bust since the day he arrived in 2012 and was only on the roster because GM Jerry Reese hangs on to his draftees in hopes they suddenly blossom.

Tags: Jerell Adams, Larry Donnell, Paul Perkins, Rashad Jennings, Will Tye, John Fennelly
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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

The Giants have signed WR Kevin Norwood to their practice squad, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Norwood will serve as insurance if Victor Cruz (ankle) is unable to play this coming Monday against the Bengals, notes Rapoport.

Tags: Victor Cruz, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Safety Landon Collins continued his stellar play for the Giants during their 28-23 win over the Eagles on Sunday.

Collins had 12 tackles, an interception, and a sack, and leads the team in all three categories this season.

He had two interceptions on Oct. 23 against the Rams in London during the Giants' last game.

Tags: Darian Thompson, Landon Collins, Nat Berhe, John Fennelly
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Eli Manning (10) prepares to throw a pass against the Eagles during the second half at MetLife Stadium.  (William Hauser - USA Today)
Eli Manning (10) prepares to throw a pass against the Eagles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser - USA Today)

The Giants won their third consecutive game on Sunday. It was another nail-biter, but one in which they led all the way. They are 5-3 after eight games and are in second place in the NFC East, two games behind the 7-1 Dallas Cowboys.

The victory gives the Giants a 2-1 record in the division, with wins over Philadelphia and Dallas, and a loss to Washington. The Giants are currently the fifth seed in the NFC.

What to be pleased about....

The Giants' five victories have been by a combined 20 points. Last season, eight of their ten losses were by margins of six points or less. This year, with an improved defense, they are preserving those leads and finding a way to win.

The Giants jumped out in front early. They scored their first touchdown 2:33 into the game on a 20-yard pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham, Jr. It was their earliest touchdown since Nov. 25, 2012, when Andre Brown scored on a 2-yard run after just 2:22 had elapsed in what became a 38-10 rout of the Green Bay Packers. The Giants have been deferring when winning the opening toss and it has been backfiring. Sunday, the Eagles won the toss and deferred. Perhaps the coaches will re-examine their strategy going forward.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., John Fennelly
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 (William Hauser)
(William Hauser)

After nine weeks, the Giants are 5-3 and the emperor is fully clothed in East Rutherford. The Giants and their fans are forgoing all of their shortcomings and enjoying the fact that they have a winning record halfway through the season.

The Giants beat the Eagles with the same formula they've employed all season. They got the lead and the defense made it hold up. Their five wins have been decided by seven points or less. They are walking a thin line, but it sure beats the past few seasons when they were on the losing end of such contests.

Last season, the Giants were 5-4 after nine weeks but would go on to win just one more game the rest of the year. This season has a much different feel, with more confidence and much more talent and depth on defense.

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Sep 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) watch the action from the sideline at MetLife Stadium.  (Ed Mulholland - USA Today)
Sep 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) watch the action from the sideline at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland - USA Today)

One of the objectives over the bye week for the Giants was to figure out how to jumpstart their mysteriously underperforming offense. To date, they have averaged just 19 points per game with a unit that has a future Hall of Famer at QB, a once-in-a-generation receiver and high draft picks scattered throughout the offensive depth chart.

First year offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, a longtime Tom Coughlin assistant held over by new head coach Ben McAdoo, had some insight into what needs to happen.

"From a scheme standpoint, I think it's no mystery; we would like to run the ball better, we need to run the ball better," Sullivan told reporters Thursday. "There's situations in terms of the red zone area of the field where we've had opportunities and we've got to a better job getting touchdowns, getting points. And then of course the turnovers."

The Giants are -7 this season in turnover ratio and some of those turnovers have come at the most inopportune times. Sullivan said the team is sorting through every possible way to ignite the offense.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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The NFC East is going through a metamorphosis this season, or is it a renaissance? Either way, there are new faces abound in the division. 

The Giants have a new head coach in Ben McAdoo and a retooled defense. The first place Cowboys have been driven by two rookies: QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. Washington added controversial CB Josh Norman and the Eagles are in full post-Chip Kelly mode.

Philadelphia made a bold pre-draft trade with Cleveland to get to the No. 2 spot this past spring for the right to select one of the two franchise QBs in the draft. The Rams selected Cal's Jared Goff first overall pick, leaving North Dakota State's Carson Wentz for the Eagles. Thus far, Goff has not taken a snap in a pro game while Wentz is flourishing under new Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

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New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo addresses the media at press conference at the Syon House prior to Game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo addresses the media at press conference at the Syon House prior to Game 16 of the NFL International Series against the Los Angeles Rams. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles have played each other 167 times in the regular season and postseason since 1933 in one of the NFL's longest rivalries. But this time, two first-year coaches will lead each team.

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, John Fennelly
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New York Giants safety Landon Collins (21) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)
New York Giants safety Landon Collins (21) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)

The Giants' defense has been highlighted by the play of second-year safety Landon Collins, who, after a trying rookie season, has become a Pro Bowl talent.Collins leads the Giants in tackles and is sixth overall in tackles in the NFL with 57. He is the leading tackler among all safeties this season. He also has two sacks and two interceptions. One of those interceptions against the Rams in London, was retuned spectacularly for a touchdown and could be up for the play of the year award."Still hearing about it. I'm ready to continue to keep making more plays," Collins said on Monday. "That's not just one thing I could do, one great thing I could do. I can do a lot more."

Tags: Darian Thompson, Jonathan Casillas, Landon Collins, Nat Berhe, John Fennelly
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Statdium. (Kirby Lee)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Rams during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Statdium. (Kirby Lee)

The Giants are having an unusual season here in 2016. They sport a winning record at 4-3 after seven games, but have deficient in many major aspects of the game. Here are several statistical areas they will improve upon in the second half of the season.Sacks. With only nine sacks in the first seven games, the Giants are next to last in the league. Pittsburgh, believe it or not, is last with eight. The pass rush has not been getting home but they've been getting close. Both Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon are among the leaders in QB pressures. It will come. They had a franchise-low 23 sacks last season without these two, so the prediction is they surpass that by a bunch, meaning they get around 20 in the final nine games. With three sacks in their last game vs the Rams, things could be about to change.Rushing Yards per Game. The Giants have just 492 rushing yards this season, a average of 70.3 yards per game. With Rashad Jennings healthier and Paul Perkins poised to get more touches, the Giants should raise that average. Head coach Ben McAdoo has vowed to run the ball more, so their fortunes almost have to change here.

Tags: Eli Apple, Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jerell Adams, Olivier Vernon, Paul Perkins, Rashad Jennings, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Giants head coach Ben McAdoo wants the Giants to run the ball more, he told reporters Monday after practice."The first thing we need is more plays," McAdoo said. "So if we have more plays, then we can run the ball more. We want to be a physical, heavy handed football team. So we need to run the ball better, run the ball more. I need to call more and we need to execute more."

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 (Steve Flynn)
(Steve Flynn)

The Giants gained ground in the NFC East this weekend simply by standing still. They entered their bye week at 4-3 and in last place in the division. After Sunday's action, they find themselves heading into Week 9 in second place.The Washington Redskins (4-3-1) are in last now after tying the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-27, in London. The Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) fell to the division-leading Dallas Cowboys (6-1), 29-23, on Sunday Night Football.The Giants hold the tiebreaker over Philadelphia by virtue of division record, 1-1 vs. 0-2, so the Giants are in second place, two games behind Dallas. The Giants defeated the Cowboys in Week 1, so the lead is basically a game and a half.

Tags: Darian Thompson, Eli Apple, Marshall Newhouse, Nat Berhe, Odell Beckham Jr., John Fennelly
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Eli Manning drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner - USA Today)
Eli Manning drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner - USA Today)

SNY's John Fennelly breaks down the facts and figures as the Giants come off their bye week and start to prepare for the Eagles next Sunday.

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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

Trades in football aren't as commonplace as they are in other team sports, but they do happen -- although in-season deals are rare. With the trading deadline approaching this coming Tuesday, it is unlikely many teams are prepared to dump players, but you never know.The Giants could certainly use help in a few areas. Offensive line, fullback, tight end and defensive depth are all areas of need, but GM Jerry Reese is not one to part with his draft picks -- not the high ones, anyway. The Giants would have to trade a player and perhaps a mid-to-late round draft pick to get anything of value in return. ESPN's Jordan Raanan believes if the Giants do swing a trade, it may include WR/KR Dwayne Harris, who he sees as a very expensive piece to carry in the future:

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New York Giants' Eli Manning warms up before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)  (Matt Ludtke/AP)
New York Giants' Eli Manning warms up before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke) (Matt Ludtke/AP)

Though the New York Giants are in last place in the NFC East heading into the bye week, there is the possibility they can enter Week 9 in second place.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Giants allowed 420.3 yards and 27.6 points per game in 2015. This past offseason, they spent wildly to upgrade at all positions and thus far, the strategy is working.This season, they are holding teams to 361 yards and 20 points per game. They are playing better defense in the fourth quarter, allowing six points opposed to a league-high 8.8 in 2015.Their second-half defensive numbers are also much improved, with them allowing just 8.9 point. Last season, they averaged 14.1 points allowed in the second half.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Devon Kennard, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Owa Odighizuwa, Trevin Wade, John Fennelly
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Eli Manning drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner - USA Today)
Eli Manning drops back to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner - USA Today)

The Giants are 4-3 after seven games and they know they could easily be 5-2 or 2-5 entering the bye week. They have done some things well, but have huge problems in critical areas that could doom them in a season that is crucial to the well-being of many key executives and players.Here are five things the Giants need to improve on if they are to get to nine or ten wins, which may or may not put them in the playoff hunt.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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 (Steve Flynn)
(Steve Flynn)

The Giants were available for one last media session before heading out on their bye week. They will not be back at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center until next Monday. QB Eli Manning has been going through an odd season, one in which he's thrown for a lot of yards but not many touchdowns. The offense, which features a slew of explosive players, is scoring just 19 points per game. He was asked what he felt needs to be fixed to unlock the struggling offense.

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Victor Cruz, John Fennelly
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Eli Manning (10) hands the ball off to Rashad Jennings (23) during the third quarter of the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium. (Steve Flynn)
Eli Manning (10) hands the ball off to Rashad Jennings (23) during the third quarter of the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium. (Steve Flynn)

The Giants are in the hunt as they embark on their bye week here in Week 8 of the NFL season. At 4-3, many consider them a tad overrated and their aren't fooled by their winning record.From WalterFootball.com: "The Giants definitely do not deserve to have a winning record. They only won in London because the Rams wrecked themselves with dumb mistakes, and they probably wouldn't have prevailed against Baltimore had the Ravens not lost Jimmy Smith and Terrell Suggs in the second half. Prior to that, the Giants were not competitive against the Vikings or Packers. It would make more sense to me if they were 2-5 right now, as they can't block, run the ball or get to the quarterback."All of those things are true, and if you watch the Giants you come away with a feeling they aren't going in the right direction. The offense is sluggish, the defense is surviving and there doesn't seem to be any type of rhyme or reason or direction in their game plan. Their execution is shoddy and they lack identity on both sides of the ball.

Tags: Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: Ben McAdoo 00:00:57
Ben McAdoo discusses the Giants need to improve on both sides of the ball and winning the turnover battle.

The Giants enter their bye week at 4-3 and just as easily could be 5-2. Then again, they easily could be 2-5. Their four wins came by margins of one, three, four and seven points. Two of their three losses came by two and seven points.Bing Blue has won two straight and can continue their winning ways if they just improve slightly in some key areas. Here are some numbers that they need to reverse in the final nine games.-7 … A negative number, which is their turnover ratio so far in 2016. They had four INTs against the sloppy Rams, giving them six on the season but they have only fumble recoveries to go with that. This is not a category they can control, however. Head coach Ben McAdoo says turnovers sometimes come in bunches. Let's see if that is true going forward.70/30 … The Giants' run/pass ratio over the past three games. No team can seriously compete with such an unbalanced offense - especially when the passing game is a horizontal one. The Giants are averaging 70.3 yards per game on the ground. They are only rushing the ball 21 times per game and are gaining just 3.3 yards per carry. The lack of a running game takes away the play-action pass and those third down draw plays fool no one in this day and age.

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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

The Giants' offensive line is not opening enough holes for the running game this season and the offense has been sputtering along as a result. They also have lost the confidence of the coaches and the quarterback in pass-protection situations. That has led to a reluctance to throw the ball deep, which has hindered them even further.They have tried to upgrade their offensive line the best they could, bringing in several high draft picks, but the unit is still not producing as a whole. Perhaps it time to employ some outside help.Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that two veteran tackles -- San Francisco's Joe Staley and Cleveland's Joe Thomas -- could be available before the NFL's Nov 1 trade deadline.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, John Fennelly
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GEICO SportsNite: Collins' pick 00:01:23
Landon Collins, Eli Manning and Odell Beckham remark on Collins' spectacular interception return for a touchdown in London.

The Giants made the trek to London for the second time in franchise history and, like in 2007, came back victorious with a 17-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams. In 2007, the Giants' 13-10 win against Miami across the pond served as a galvanizing event for the Giants, who would find themselves knocking off the undefeated New England Patriots several months later in Super Bowl XLII.Whether or not this win affects the team the same way remains to be seen. One would have to say it probably won't if you consider this team's shortcomings. The Giants have found ways to win four of their first seven games without a productive pass rush, an anemic rushing game, a -7 takeaway ratio, curious play calling, shoddy execution, negative time of possession and allowing opponents to covert on third downs 43 percent of the time.Sunday, the Giants turned the tide on some of those alarming stats. The offense did not click early but did enough to put up 10 points, which the defense made stand.The sacks finally came, three of them, and so did the turnovers - four INTs altogether. The penalties were down, only three on the week, a category in which they had been averaging over six per game this season.

Tags: Eli Manning, John Fennelly
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New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Giants still find themselves at the bottom of the NFC East despite beating the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, John Fennelly
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Josh Brown's status remains unclear as the Giants return home from London. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Josh Brown's status remains unclear as the Giants return home from London. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

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

The Giants may have won a key 17-10 victory over the Rams in London on Sunday, but upon their homecoming back to the States, they will still have the Josh Brown situation to deal with.

Coach Ben McAdoo, trying to enjoy the victory that brought his team above .500 at 4-3, couldn't avoid the looming questions about Brown after the game.

Tags: Josh Brown, John Fennelly
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

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...

Tags: St. Louis Rams, John Fennelly
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Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (41) and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (52) and safety Landon Collins (21) break up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) on the final play of the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (41) and linebacker Jonathan Casillas (52) and safety Landon Collins (21) break up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta (88) on the final play of the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Tags: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple, Landon Collins, John Fennelly
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Kicker Josh Brown has been placed on the commissioner's exempt list. (Kim Klement)
Kicker Josh Brown has been placed on the commissioner's exempt list. (Kim Klement)

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 PK 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.

Tags: Brad Wing, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Josh Brown, Victor Cruz, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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

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.

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, John Fennelly
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New York Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) blocks Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Deandre Coleman (62) in a game at MetLife Stadium.  (William Hauser - USA Today)
New York Giants offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) blocks Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Deandre Coleman (62) in a game at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser - USA Today)

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.

Tags: Justin Pugh, John Fennelly
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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.

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