Dec 152015
 
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NEW YORK GIANTS 31 – MIAMI DOLPHINS 24…
The New York Giants ended their three-game losing streak on Monday night by defeating the Miami Dolphins 31-24 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Garden, Florida. With the win, the Giants improved their overall record to 6-7, keeping pace with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East.

In a wild game that featured five lead changes, the stars of the contest for New York were quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham. Manning only missed on four passes, completing 27-of-31 attempts for 337 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Beckham caught 7-of-9 passes thrown in his direction for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Dolphins received the ball to start the game, but quickly turned it over on the third offensive snap. Safety Landon Collins forced tight end Dion Sims to fumble the ball, which was recovered by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul at the Miami 36-yard line. The Giants gained 19 yards to set up a 35-yard field goal by place kicker Josh Brown.

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (December 15, 2015)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

On their second possession, the Dolphins responded with an 11-play, 74-yard drive that culminated with a 14-yard touchdown run by running back Lamar Miller. Miami now led 7-3. After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants regained the lead 10-7 with a 9-play, 70-yard effort that ended with 6-yard touchdown pass from Manning to wide receiver Rueben Randle on 3rd down.

Back came the Dolphins as they quickly went back on top after a 7-play, 67-yard drive. Miller scored his second touchdown of the game, this one an impressive, tackle-breaking 38-yard run. Miami 14 – Giants 10.

After both teams exchanged punts, the Giants turned the ball over at their own 25-yard line when running back Andre Williams botched a hand-off from Manning. The Dolphins were forced to settle for a 36-yard field goal, however, and extended their advantage to 17-10. With just 1:52 to go before halftime, the Giants drove the length of the field in 68 seconds to tie the game. The big play was a 45-yard strike from Manning to Beckham. Two plays later, Manning hit tight end Will Tye for a 5-yard touchdown.

At the half, the game was tied 17-17.

After the Giants went three-and-out to start the second half, the Dolphins scored their last points by driving 61 yards in just six plays to go ahead 24-17. Wide receiver Kenny Stills beat cornerback Prince Amukamara for a 47-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-7.

The Giants tied the game 24-24 on their second possession of the half with a 9-play, 80-yard affair that ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Beckham. The play was originally ruled incomplete but overturned as Beckham did a marvelous job of keeping his feet in bounds.

Miami struggled to move the ball the rest of the contest. The Dolphins’ final four possessions of the second half only gained 55 yards and three first downs, as each drive ended with a Miami punt.

The Giants had a chance to go up by a field goal late in the 3rd quarter after a 51-yard drive, but Brown missed his 48-yard field goal attempt and the game remained tied. Nevertheless, on New York’s ensuing possession which began at their own 4-yard line, the Giants scored their game-winning points. On first down, running back Rashad Jennings gained 12 yards. On the very next snap, Manning found a wide open Beckham for an 84-yard score and a 31-24 lead that would hold up as the final score.

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (December 15, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Miami’s last serious scoring thread came on the following possession. The Dolphins gained two first downs and reached the New York 31-yard line. But a holding penalty and three incomplete passes stalled the drive.

Both teams then went three-and-out. With 4:39 left in the game, the Giants were able to successfully run out the clock by gaining 35 yards and three first downs.

Offensively, the Giants gained 429 total net yards (92 rushing, 337 passing), were 5-of-11 on 3rd down (45 percent), and were 3-of-4 (75 percent) in the red zone. Aside from Beckham’s big night, Randle, wide receiver Dwayne Harris, and Tye had five catches each. Jennings carried the ball 22 times for 81 yards.

Defensively, the Dolphins gained 363 total net yards (128 rushing, 235 passing), were 7-of-16 on 3rd down (44 percent), and 1-of-2 (50 percent) in the red zone. Defensive end Robert Ayers had the Giants’ only sack of the game.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Left tackle Ereck Flowers re-injured his high ankle sprain in the 4th quarter and did not return. Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn suffered a knee injury in the 3rd quarter and did not return. Left guard Justin Pugh and right guard John Jerry suffered burners in the 2nd quarter but returned. Wide receiver Odell Beckham missed the first drive of the second half with cramps, needing an IV, but returned. LB J.T. Thomas tweaked his ankle but returned. Defensive end George Selvie left the game in the 4th quarter, being evaluated for a concussion.

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • RB Rashad Jennings (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham (Video)
  • WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • TE Will Tye (Video)
  • LG/LT Justin Pugh (Video)
  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Video)

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee), WR Geremy Davis, DE Stansly Maponga, OG Adam Gettis, OT Emmett Cleary, and CB Tramain Jacobs.

GIANTS-VIKINGS FLEXED TO SUNDAY NIGHT…
The NFL has flexed the New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game in Minnesota on December 27 from 1:00PM to 8:30PM EST. The game will now be televised on NBC.

DAMONTRE MOORE CLAIMED BY DOLPHINS…
Defensive end Damontre Moore, who was waived by the New York Giants on Friday, has been claimed off of waivers by the Miami Dolphins.

ARTICLES…

Dec 102015
 
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Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot) did not practice on Thursday. Kennard was spotted in the locker room wearing a boot on his right foot. It is unlikely that he will be able to play on Monday against the Miami Dolphins. Flowers appears to be no longer using crutches but may be a longshot to play as well.

RT Marshall Newhouse (back) and S Brandon Meriweather (knee) were limited in practice.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Thursday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday and hold physical recovery cycles on Saturday in advance of Monday’s away game against the Miami Dolphins.

Dec 062015
 
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Josh Brown, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Josh Brown Misses Game-Tying Kick in OT – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK JETS 23 – NEW YORK GIANTS 20 (OT)…
In pattern far too commonplace this season, the New York Giants lost a heart-breaker, 23-20 in overtime, to the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. Once again, there was a questionable late-game coaching decision and the team surrendered another double-digit 4th quarter lead. The Giants had a chance to tie the game in overtime but place kicker Josh Brown, who had been perfect all season on field goal attempts, missed from 48 yards out.

With the defeat, the Giants fell to 5-7 overall. It was the fifth time this season the Giants have lost a game in the final two minutes – tying a single-season NFL record.

Statistically, the Jets out-gained the Giants in first downs (28 to 14), total net yards (463 to 355), net yards rushing (90 to 74), net yards passing (373 to 281), and time of possession (38:31 to 29:56). The Giants were 0-for-3 in red zone opportunities  and 4-of-15 (27 percent) on third down opportunities.

Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

After both teams went three-and-out and exchanged punts on their first possessions, the Jets went up 3-0 after an 11-play, 78-yard drive that set up a 24-yard field goal. Both teams then gained one first down before having to punt. The Giants went ahead 7-3 when wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown.

The Jets and Giants exchanged punts again. The Giants got the ball back when linebacker Jasper Brinkley forced a fumble that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recovered. Despite beginning the possession at the Jets’ 10-yard line, the Giants were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Brown to go up 10-3. Running back Andre Williams was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Odell Beckham, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Jets then proceeded to tie the game by driving 79 yards in nine plays, with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hitting running back Bilal Powell for a 25-yard catch-and-run touchdown on 3rd-and-15. However, the Giants regained the lead on the third snap of their ensuing possession when wide receiver Odell Beckham sprinted for a 72-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-2. Giants were now up 17-10.

The Giants’ defense forced three-and-out with 1:42 left in the half. The Giants were able gain 50 yards in six pays, primarily on tight end Will Tye’s 45-yard catch-and-run, to set up a successful 35-yard field goal with 30 seconds left.

At the half, the Giants led 20-10.

Neither team scored in the 3rd quarter. After both teams punted, the Giants began a marathon, 17-play drive that continued midway into the 4th quarter and took an astounding 11 minutes and 21 seconds off of the clock. The turning point in the game came at this moment. Facing a 4th-and-2 from the Jets’ 4-yard line with 8:50 left in the game, Head Coach Tom Coughlin decided to go for it instead of attempting a short field goal that would have put the Giants up by 13 points. Manning’s pass intended for wide receiver Rueben Randle was intercepted and returned to the Jets’ 14-yard line.

The Jets then proceeded to cut the score to 20-13 by driving 80 yards in 12 plays to set up a 24-yard field goal with 4:24 left to play. Needing to run some time off of the clock, the Giants could not and were forced to punt after a three-and-out.

The Jets started their final drive in regulation at their own 29-yard line with 2:40 left to play. Just like the other five late-game collapses, the defense could not hold. The Jets drove 71 yards in 10 plays to tie the game 20-20. On this drive, the Jets converted on 4th-and-6 when Fitzpatrick scrambled for 15 yards. The game-tying touchdown was a 9-yard pass from to wide receiver Brandon Marshall with 27 seconds left.

The Jets won the toss in overtime and drove 61 yards in 13 plays to set up what would be the game-winning 31-yard field goal. Per the new overtime rules, the Giants were given one opportunity to tie or win the game. After a 43-yard kickoff return by Harris, the Giants could only pick up one first down on a 4th-and-6 pass to Beckham that gave the Giants the ball at the Jets’ 34-yard line. But the Giants could only gain four more yards before Brown’s 48-yard game-tying field goal attempt. That kick went wide left.

Offensively, Manning finished the game 18-of-34 for 297 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Beckham caught 6 passes for 149 yards and 1 touchdown. No other receiver caught more than three passes and no running back rushed for more than 23 yards.

Defensively, while the Giants accrued 3 sacks and 9 quarterback hits, Fitzpatrick completed 36-of-50 passes for 390 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Both wide receiver Brandon Marshall (12 catches for 131 yards) and Eric Decker (8 catches for 101 yards) had over 100 yards receiving. Powell also caught 8 passes for 91 yards at running back for the Jets.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Left tackle Ereck Flowers was carted off of the field with a left ankle injury in the 3rd quarter and did not return. He was spotted in a boot and on crutches after the game.

Quarterback Eli Manning had x-rays after the game on an undisclosed body part but claimed he was OK. “Everything’s good,” said Manning. “Just to see if anything was broken, but all good. You can ask Coach about it.”

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were TE Larry Donnell (neck), RT Marshall Newhouse (back), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot), S Brandon Meriweather (knee), DE George Selvie, WR Geremy Davis, and OT Emmett Cleary.

Rookie Bobby Hart started at right tackle.

Six of the New York Giants’ seven losses have been by a total of 18 points.

This was the third time this season the Giants led by at least 10 points in the fourth quarter and were unable to close out their opponent.

Quarterback Eli Manning increased his career yardage total to 43,073. That moved him past Hall of Famer Dan Fouts and into 11th place on the NFL’s career list.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had his fifth consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards. He is the first Giants receiver in history to do that in a single season. Beckham has 169 career receptions, the highest total in history by an NFL player in his first two seasons. Beckham has scored 10 touchdowns for the second consecutive season.

Wide receiver/returner Dwayne Harris is the third player in Giants’ history with kickoff and punt return touchdowns in the same season, and the first to do it in 60 years.

JAMES MORRIS PROMOTED TO 53-MAN ROSTER, LEON McFADDEN CUT…
On Saturday, the New York Giants signed linebacker James Morris to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad. To make room for Morris, the team waived cornerback Leon McFadden.

ARTICLES…

Dec 042015
 
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Jerry Reese, New York Giants (August 22, 2015)

Jerry Reese – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Larry Donnell (neck), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot), and S Brandon Meriweather (knee) have been officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

OC Weston Richburg (ankle) and RT Marshall Newhouse (back) are “questionable” for the game.

“(Richburg has) gotten a little bit more work each day and he’s pretty positive,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We’ll see tomorrow morning.”

“Hopefully I’ll be able to go,” Richburg said. “I’m looking forward to being out there again. I think (coach Tom Coughlin) wants us all out there. Tomorrow will be a big day.”

“(Newhouse is) feeling better,” said Coughlin. “I think we need to see him do some football-related things, which the way we’re working now, we’d get a chance tomorrow morning to do that.”

“It’s up to me,” Newhouse said. “If I feel like I can go and contribute, than I’m going to play. I feel okay; I’ve made incremental steps. That’s a positive, and we’ll go from there…I am optimistic.”

FB Nikita Whitlock (not injury related), LG Justin Pugh (concussion), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand), and DE Robert Ayers (toe) are “probable” for the game.

REPORT – JERRY REESE SAFE, TOM COUGHLIN NOT…
According to The New York Post, “a well-placed source familiar with the club’s thinking” has said that while New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese is safe from being fired after this season, Head Coach Coughlin is not if the team does not make the playoffs. That said, no decision has been made on Coughlin yet according to the article. The 5-6 Giants are currently tied with the Washington Redskins for first place in the NFC East.

PAT FLAHERTY INTERESTED IN RUTGERS JOB…
According to NJ.com, New York Giants Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty is interested in the head coaching vacancy at the University of Rutgers. Flaherty has been the team’s offensive line coach since Tom Coughlin became head coach in 2004.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Transcripts and video clips of media sessions with Tom Coughlin are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ODELL BECKHAM ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with WR Odell Beckham is available at ESPN.com.

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the New York Jets on Sunday.

Dec 032015
 
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Devon Kennard, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Devon Kennard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
FB Nikita Whitlock (not injury related), TE Larry Donnell (neck), RT Marshall Newhouse (back), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot), and S Brandon Meriweather (knee) did not practice on Thursday.

Newhouse has yet to practice this week. “(Newhouse is) not going to work today,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He may have some kind of shot or something, so they wouldn’t work him until that’s taken care of.”

Kennard practiced on Wednesday, but apparently suffered a setback. When asked if Kennard came through practice OK, Coughlin responded, “No, he didn’t. He won’t work today.”

OC Weston Richburg (ankle) was limited in practice.

LG Justin Pugh (concussion), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand), and DE Robert Ayers (toe) fully practiced.

“Pugh did okay (on Wednesday); he’s going to do more today,” said Coughlin. “We’re going to try to get Richburg with some more snaps today as well.”

GIANTS WORK OUT BARRY COFIELD AND TOM BURGESS…
NFL.com and ESPN.com are reporting that the New York Giants worked out defensive tackle Barry Cofield on Thursday. The 31-year old Cofield, who was originally drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft, played for the Giants from 2006-10 and the Washington Redskins from 2011-14.

ESPN.com is also reporting that the Giants worked out English rugby player Tom Burgess at tight end.

TOM COUGHLIN AND THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Instead of practicing, the Giants will hold a “recovery day” on Friday. The players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority. Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

The Giants will also have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the New York Jets on Sunday.

Nov 132015
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 8, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Larry Donnell (neck), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

“(Amukamara) keeps improving and getting better,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “The medical people have got a strong hold on his position…Prince exceeded the time span by starting earlier. But we started him earlier so he would have his legs and things of that nature in position when he did get the green light. So that’s the way it is with him.”

NJ.com is reporting that Cruz had a second platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in his left calf about three weeks ago. “It helped (the second time),” said Cruz. “Even after a couple days I could start to feel it. It really helps in advancing the healing process in whatever area you need it in. It helped me a lot.”

NJ.com says that Cruz is expected to run routes versus air on Saturday to test his cutting and ability to plant his foot. Cruz hasn’t fully practiced since injuring his calf muscle in mid-August. The belief is that the left calf muscle injury was caused by overcompensation for the right patellar tendon injury Cruz was recovering from. “I think I’ll play it a little bit safer,” Cruz said. “If there is any pain, I’ll shut it down. You don’t want to wake up anything. If there is any soreness, we shut it down. We kind of make sure we’re staying under the radar as the training staff likes to call it.”

CB Leon McFadden (groin) is “questionable” for the game; LG Justin Pugh (illness) and RG Geoff Schwartz (ankle) are “probable” for the game.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Tom Coughlin are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the New England Patriots at home on Sunday.

Oct 152015
 
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INJURY REPORT – PRINCE AMUKAMARA OUT 2-4 WEEKS…
WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), WR Victor Cruz (calf), LB Jon Beason (concussion), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (calf), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) did not practice on Thursday.

The bad news on the injury front is that Amukamara could miss a month with a pectoral injury. He has already been ruled out of Monday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. “They’re saying two-to-four (weeks),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He has a partial tear of the pec, and it occurred in the (49ers) game. It’s most unfortunate, he’s made a lot of plays this Fall but we’ll continue on and we will get him back.”

“(The pectoral muscle is) still attached,” said Amukamara. “It gives me a chance to rehab it and we’ll do another MRI in a couple weeks to see if progress has been made and we’ll go from there.”

Beckham did not practice, but he did do some running. “We’ll see (if Beckham can practice later this week),” said Coughlin. “Today he can’t go. He’s day-to-day, but today he can’t go.”

“Day-by-day thing, with the game being Monday, so won’t really be able to tell until Monday,” said Beckham.

WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE George Selvie (calf), and CB Trumaine McBride (groin) practiced on a limited basis.

“I’m fine,” said Randle. “Today I tried to test (the hamstring) a little bit so it felt pretty good. It’s a little sore now, but it’s getting better, so as long as I’m progressing, I’m pretty positive about it…Just trying to rehab it as much as possible, strengthen back up, and see how it feels Monday night…I don’t see myself sitting out this game. It’s enough time for me to heal up enough to play, so we’ll see how it goes.”

LG Justin Pugh (ankle) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The New York Giants have signed offensive tackle Xavier Proctor and cornerback Brandon McGee to the team’s Practice Squad. To make room for these two players, the Giants terminated the Practice Squad contracts of tight end Dominique Jones and offensive guard Adam Gettis.

Originally a defensive tackle, Proctor signed with the Orlando Predators of the AFL out of college in 2013. He signed with the Detroit Lions in August 2013 and spent the year on the team’s Practice Squad. The Lions moved him to offensive tackle in 2014 but waived him in September 2014.

McGee was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He played in 15 games in 2013 and two games in 2014 with no starts, accruing 18 tackles. He missed most of 2014 with a foot injury. In 2015, the Rams waived him in September, signed him to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster, and then waived him in October. McGee combines decent size with very good speed and quickness.

Jones was signed by the Giants to the Practice Squad on October 7 after spending time with the Broncos and Ravens in 2015. The Giants signed Gettis off of the Practice Squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers in December 2014.

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY…
In addition to previously-reported wide receivers Terrell Pryor, T.J. Graham, and A.J. Jenkins, the following players worked out for the Giants on Wednesday:

  • QB Bryn Renner
  • WR Devin Gardner
  • WR Antwan Goodley
  • WR Mike Williams
  • LB Philip Wheeler
  • CB Brandon McGee
  • CB Garry Peters
  • CB Greg Reid
  • CB Dax Swanson

As reported, the Giants signed McGee to the Practice Squad.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Thursday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday and hold physical recovery cycles on Saturday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sep 302015
 
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INJURY REPORT – VICTOR CRUZ SUFFERS SETBACK…
TE Daniel Fells (ankle), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), and LT Will Beatty (pectoral – on PUP) did not practice on Wednesday.

WR Victor Cruz (calf), RB Orleans Darkwa (knee), LT Ereck Flowers (ankle), DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), and DT Markus Kuhn (knee) practiced on a limited basis.

Cruz tried to practice for the first time since August 17, but apparently suffered a setback. “Victor came out and tried to do individuals,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He felt the calf again and that’s all he did.”

“(Cruz) did some individual stuff, ran a few routes and that was about it,” QB Eli Manning said. “We’ll see how it goes…Hopefully, it’s just minor.”

“It sucks, to say the least,” said WR Rueben Randle. “We could see a little limp in him a little bit once he tried to turn up and run. We could tell that he wasn’t quite ready yet to play full speed. I’m pretty sure if we needed him to play he could play, but he still can sit out a little bit and rest up…We were just running routes in individual, it wasn’t a play. We could just see once he tried to turn up a little bit, he kind of looked a little gimpy, kind of holding back a little bit. I don’t think he’s too far away, but I don’t think he’s quite there yet.

“He wasn’t the Cruz that we know. That’s what we want to see, we don’t want to rush him back and hurt it even more. We were trying to tell him, ‘Don’t try to stress it too much, take as much time as possible,’ because we didn’t want him to hurt it even worse than what it is and have to be out even longer. As his teammates, we care for him and want him to come back as healthy as possible.”

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion) fully practiced.

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES…
The Giants have terminated the Practice Squad contracts of WR Julian Talley and OG Vinston Painter. The team also signed QB G.J. Kinne and WR Tavarres King to the Practice Squad.

Kinne was on the Giants Practice Squad for a week earlier this month. Kinne was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the New York Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Jets (2012), UFL – Omaha Nighthawks (2012), AFL – Antonio Talons (2013), and Philadelphia Eagles (2013-15). After spending two years on Philadelphia’s Practice Squad in 2013-14, the Eagles converted him from quarterback to wide receiver and running back. Kinne lacks ideal size for a quarterback but he is a very good athlete with a decent arm.

King was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He has spent time with the Broncos (2013), Panthers (2013-14), Jaguars (2014), and Buccaneers (2014-15). King was waived by the Buccaneers in early September. King lacks ideal size, but he is a fast receiver who can get deep. He is not a physical player and is best suited as an outside receiver.

WORKOUT TUESDAY…
As normal, the New York Giants held workouts for a number of unsigned players on Tuesday. But this week, there were a number of high-profile players in attendance including WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Wes Welker, and TE Chris Cooley. The only workout player signed was WR Tavarres King.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

The audio of radio interviews on Tuesday are also available at ESPN Radio and WFAN Radio:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Buffalo Bills.

Sep 252015
 
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HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Friday:

We’ve talked to our team this morning and we’ve had a chance to look at the tape, and we did a lot of good things and we left some things out on the field that need to be corrected. I spent some time, obviously, congratulating our team and telling them that the effort for the most part was outstanding, and that’s got to remain right where it is. The passion, the effort, the believing, the rallying around each other and realizing the importance of the game, not only the divisional game, but just to get on the board here to become hopefully relevant. But once all those things were pointed out, I did spend some time talking about the end of the game, and how I realize we’re under construction, but the patience factor is really—we’re into our third game here. We do need to understand how to finish better than we did. I pointed out that with 11 (minutes) and some seconds left in the fourth quarter with a 25-6 lead, the Washington team ran something like 39 plays, our offense ran 10. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. You’d like to think you can finish the game with the ball in your hands and we would certainly like to erase the kickoff return against.

But that having been said, we did do a good job against the number one rushing team in the NFL, and we played solid defense. We took care of the ball, we were plus-three, we got a punt block for a safety which was an outstanding play, we got Rueben Randle involved in the offensive scheme. We had some rushes that we thought were going to come right out the other end, but the ball carrier was tripped up and didn’t advance as far as we had hoped we would have. We did hold the ball longer than the number two team in the league in time of possession, which was a good thing. We ran the ball 31 times, which was something I was glad to see. We threw it 32 and ran it 31, I liked that balance completely. We were not sacked, our offensive line did a good job. Justin Pugh in a midstream-type adjust type thing went out to left tackle and did a nice job. I thought Marshall Newhouse against a very, very good outside rusher in Kerrigan did a good job as well. So that having been said, we were pleased with a lot of the contributions made by a lot of people on the defensive side of the ball on a night in which we had to rise up and play well. Their play action pass game was outstanding off the run, and they opened the game up opening and breaking some formations, going to empty and doing some things that they hadn’t necessarily shown. We did a pretty good of adjusting to that.

Q: What about Victor Cruz’s status coach?

A: He’s improving and we’re hoping. He’s running. He’ll be running all weekend and we’re hoping that there’s nothing but straight ahead positives in all his activities and we’ll see next week if we can get him on the practice field.

Q: Tom, right after the two-minute warning, you guys faced a third down and Eli threw the ball downfield. The Redskins did not have any timeouts left. Looking back, should you guys have maybe run the ball and drained the clock with an 11 point lead?

A: No. We threw a ball on third and 10 for a touchdown in the series before that. We ran the ball twice, we milked as much of the clock as we could. I wanted a first down that we might keep the ball even longer, and I felt confident that we would be able to achieve that. We put the quarterback in as safe as possible position. We ran a very conservative route with Odell Beckham. It just didn’t work out. I think the quarterback probably had to release it a little bit earlier than he wanted to. I understand the strategy you’re trying to get at just as much as you do. Believe me, it went through my mind, but we’ve got to get this thing flipped around a little bit. We’re going to have to play to keep the ball as much as we can in those situations and not just punt the ball back to the defense.

We did have an 11 point lead, as you said. It’s not as safe as earlier on when we had a 16 point lead and they couldn’t touch us with two touchdowns, or at least it would have been very difficult. We’re trying to win the game and keep the ball, and have the ball at the end of the game. I weighed all of those things and I felt like this is the way we should play it. As I said, we had thrown a touchdown pass—a much-needed touchdown pass—prior in a third and 10 situation as well. You ask a strategic question, which certainly is something that should be considered, and I did consider it, but I did not agree that that’s the way we should play. I would want this offensive team to feel more responsibility. We’ve been in this situation before this year. There’s something about shifting gears and playing like that, it bothers me. If you can dominate the run, it’s very difficult this day to do that because you’re going to face eight, nine people in the box, it’s going to be very hard to run. The four-minute concepts that you and I both had 10 years ago, those things have pretty much come and gone. It’s most difficult to do just that.

A few years ago, the naked bootleg was a part of the four-minute package and gave you a chance to throw the ball as safely as you possibly could. I still agree with that to a certain extent. If you make a mistake and they come off the edge on you and you’re unprotected there, that can be disaster, too. But there does come a point in time, I think, today where you change formations and you open up a little bit—as safe as you can be—don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about some foolish throw, I’m just saying you want to end the game with the ball in your hands, you don’t want to keep putting your defense in a position where they have to make stop after stop when you know what’s coming. People are opening up and just throwing the ball all over the place trying to get back in the game. So I mean, that’s just the way I feel about it. I normally would entertain any thought you might have about that, I do understand it’s a strategy call, but I don’t bat an eye about what we did last night and I would defend our actions to anybody.

Q: In a relatively short period of time, how far do you think Landon Collins has come?

A: You can see him improve in confidence and play each week. You can see him become more aggressive, you can see him more confident in communicating with the other members of the secondary each week. So from that standpoint, I think he’s made progress each and every time he’s played. I think he gets a little bit better at his position each week.

Q: How did you determine the rotation between Jon Beason and Uani ‘Unga? Is that going to change going forward?

A: You know, I don’t know. They’re both outstanding players and we need them both. We had personnel combinations that we had Jon in, and Uani was in other combinations. And Jon was coming back for his first actual playing time, and we wanted to make sure that he was extended and got a chance to line up next weekend in anticipation of some more snaps. We have a young player that’s made two outstanding interceptions, that’s athletic, that is fast, and is growing into the position. And we have a veteran that is so extremely well-thought of, he’s voted captain of the defensive team, and we feel like we’re fortunate in that we’ll be able to utilize both of these players.

Q: Your run defensive is obviously something you wanted to improve this offseason. What did you see yesterday that made it so effective, and why has it been so much improved this season in general?

A: Well, it was the number one thing we had to stop, and we knew that. So that’s our number one objective, there were many objectives, but that was number one. And our guys rose up against a very, very good offensive line. They had their runs, but we did a good job. The guys in there did a nice job, whether it be Selvie, whoever it might be. The guys did a very, very nice job. Hankins did a nice job, Bromley did a nice job. Guys that were rolled in there in those roles, Kerry Wynn did a nice job. The linebackers, Kennard did an outstanding job at the point of attack. We dressed eight people on the defensive line and we dressed seven linebackers and there was a reason for it.

Q: I’m curious, when you brought the players together, did you observe a sense of relief or change in mood?

A: No, not really. Not really. I think that most players, the day after a game, certainly when you win, they’re reinforced and they feel very good about that. But they are intent on listening to what you have to say about the evaluation of the game and they did look forward to that today again. Fortunately, we could compliment a lot, but we also had a chance to do some teaching, and we did.

Q: Going back to Cruz for a second. When he’s ready, when he’s healthy enough to play, will there be less emphasis on Rueben Randle such as there was last night or can all three of them play?

A: Oh, all three of them can play. There wouldn’t any less of anything, I hope. I hope we’d have more.

Q: One in the slot and the other two split?

A: For the most part. They all move around, they all get in different spots.

Q: Victor talked about his goal of being ready for this week. Is that the way you guys are looking at it as well?

A: I hope so. That’s what we’re being told.

Q: We also saw DRC doing some running. How is he? Is he cleared?

A: Yeah, he’s going to be okay. He’s going to be fine.

Q: Is Prince alright today?

A: Yeah.

Q: How about Flowers while we’re talking about injury guys?

A: Well, we’ll see. We’ll see. Hopefully this will be a good weekend for him in the training room.

Q: You don’t find many 250-pound defensive tackles anymore in the NFL. Is Nikita Whitlock a legitimate player there or is he a desperation player there?

A: No, no, he’s legitimate. He played defensive line in college. He’s a tremendous energy player who’s very quick, very difficult for these offensive lineman to just be in position and stay with because he does have the spin moves and the acceleration and those types of things. In a limited capacity, he is an excellent change of pace, and you saw that he can generate some pressure.

Q: What did you think when you saw him play on film?

A: Pretty much just what I said. He had a couple pressures and he plays hard in there. He’s fast, he’s very energetic, and he has outstanding quickness. So that’s what people have to contend with.

Q: Was there a point, and I ask this good-naturedly, when you had to kind of get over the fact that you could play him on the defensive line but he that doesn’t weigh 300 pounds?

A: No. As a matter of fact, we had him in pass-rush circumstances during camp. Everybody wanted to see more, the defense wanted to see more. So we’ve extended a little bit as we’ve gone along here, not to a great extent, last night was the most. But he does have that unique ability, and you know what, he plays so hard on special teams. As a fullback, he’s very physical, throws his body around up in the line of scrimmage. He can wear different hats.

Q: You said before you didn’t sense a difference in the mood of the team. But don’t you feel more alive today?

A: Well, I didn’t say that part of it. I thought I was trying to answer a question, I don’t know what I was trying to answer, but I was not trying to tell you they’re not excited about having won and they’re not excited about winning a game and having a weekend off. No, they’re very much that way. I just tried to say that they present themselves in the meeting at first knowing full well we won, and looking forward to the comments that the coaching staff would make. I’m not trying to take anything away from how they react, this is certainly a lot more fun than it’s been the last couple weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say we didn’t enjoy our meeting time today.

Q: I’m guessing you’ve gotten out of Brad Wing what you hoped to get when you acquired him?

A: Well he’s gotten the ball of quickly. You saw last night we were under pressure a couple of times and he got the ball away, which was outstanding. We had a ball downed at the one-yard line two weeks in a row. His hang time has been good, his get-offs have been good, his location has been outstanding. He’s giving people a real interest in flying the field and being in position. So yeah, he’s helped us.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts or audio of Friday’s media sessions with the following players:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Saturday and Sunday and there will be no media availability to the Giants this weekend. The Giants return to work on Monday in preparation for next Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Sep 202015
 
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Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 20, 2015)

Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ATLANTA FALCONS 24 – NEW YORK GIANTS 20…
The New York Giants squandered another 10-point fourth-quarter lead and fell to the Atlanta Falcons 24-20 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Giants fell to 0-2. It’s the first time in team history that the Giants have started three seasons in a row 0-2. It is also the first time in NFL history that a team has lost its first two games after leading by 10 points or more in the fourth quarter. The Giants have lost their last four home openers.

Each team moved the football to start the game but was forced to punt. The Falcons then went up 7-0 after a 13-play, 86-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter. The Giants responded with a 10-play, 45-yard drive early in the second quarter that resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Josh Brown. Falcons 7 – Giants 3.

The Falcons immediately followed that field goal drive with one of their own as Atlanta went 56 yards in 11 plays to set up a 42-yard effort. The Giants quickly tied the game on a short slant pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide out Odell Beckham who turned on the burners en route to a 67-yard touchdown play. The game was tied 10-10.

Neither team was able to move the football for the rest of the half until the Giants last possession before intermission. The Giants drove the ball 30 yards in six plays to set up a 44-yard field goal that gave New York the lead at halftime 13-10.

The Giants received the opening kickoff of the second half and moved the ball 69 yards in nine plays to go up 20-10. The big play on the drive was a 37-yard pass to running back Shane Vereen on 3rd-and-5. Three plays later, Manning hit tight end Larry Donnell for a 10-yard score on 3rd-and-4.

Eli Manning, New York Giants (September 20, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The Giants defense forced a three-and-out and the Giants offense then let a golden opportunity to put the Falcons away slip through their fingers. After a 35-yard run by running back Andre Williams and a 12-yard run by Vereen on 3rd-and-7, the Giants were able to drive deep into Atlanta territory. But on 3rd-and-2 from the 8-yard line, Manning was sacked and fumbled the ball away to the Falcons. Instead of being up 27-10 or 23-10, the score remained 20-10. Worse for New York, after this mistake with less than five minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Giants offense basically shut down for the remainder of the game.

The Falcons immediately took advantage by driving 91 yards in 12 plays to cut the Giants lead to 20-17 with under 13 minutes to play. The 10-yard touchdown pass to wideout Leonard Hankerson came on 3rd-and-9. The Giants did reach the Falcons 38-yard line on the ensuing drive but running back Rashad Jennings’ 3rd-and-2 run was stuffed for a loss and the Giants punted.

The Giants defense held after giving up a couple of first downs and the Giants received the ball back with 4:24 to play. But New York could not pick up one first down and was forced to punt. Worse, on this series, the Giants were called for delay of game after an Atlanta timeout.

The Falcons then quickly drove 70 yards in seven plays for the game-winning touchdown with 1:14 left to play. The Giants had a glimmer of hope after a 30-yard defensive pass interference penalty against Beckham gave them the ball at midfield with 1:02 to play. But the game ended after four straight Manning incompletions, including two drops by tight end Larry Donnell and wide receiver Preston Parker.

Offensively, the Giants accrued 19 first downs and 388 total net yards (97 rushing, 291 passing). The Giants were 10-of-17 (59 percent) on 3rd down conversions. Manning finished 27-of-40 for 292 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. But his fumble on the goal line was very costly. Beckham caught seven passes for 146 yards and a touchdown while Vereen caught eight passes for 76 yards. Williams was the leading rusher with six rushes for 43 yards. Jennings was limited to 12 yards on nine carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed 25 first downs and 402 total net yards (56 rushing, 346 passing). The Falcons were 11-of-17 (65 percent) on 3rd down conversions. New York did not force a turnover. Defensive end Robert Ayers and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins each had sacks and the Giants were credited with eight quarterback hits.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie suffered a burner early in the game, later returned, but then suffered a concussion that ended his game. Left tackle Ereck Flowers re-injured his ankle and did not return. “(Rodgers-Cromartie) has to go through the protocol,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Flowers, I hope it’s not going to be a continuous thing that bothers him all year long.”

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and various players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), TE Daniel Fells (foot), LB Jon Beason (knee), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (foot), S Cooper Taylor, and OT Bobby Hart.

QB Eli Manning increased his career passing yards total to 40,240, which moved him one yard in front of Johnny Unitas (40,239) and into 14th place on the NFL’s career list. Manning is the 15th player in history to pass for at least 40,000 yards.

WR Odell Beckham increased his career reception total to 103, which is an NFL record for the first 16 games (a full season) in a career. Beckham set the mark in only 14 games.  It was the fifth time in his last six games dating back to last season that Beckham totaled at least 130 receiving yards.

ARTICLES….