Dec 152015
 
Share Button


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 122015
 
Share Button
Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (December 6, 2015)

Jason Pierre-Paul – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants at Miami Dolphins, December 14, 2015

THE STORYLINE:
A month ago, the New York Giants were 5-4. Now they are 5-7. Forget the division race. Win a game.

THE INJURY REPORT:

  • LT Ereck Flowers (ankle – questionable)
  • RT Marshall Newhouse (back – probable)
  • DE Robert Ayers (neck – questionable)
  • LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot – out)
  • S Brandon Meriweather (knee – questionable)

NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE:
The 4-3 defense of the Miami Dolphins has not played as well as expected this year. They are ranked 27th overall (22nd against the pass and 30th against the run). However, there are moments and games when the Dolphins’ defense has played well. High-priced free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh started off slowly but has been playing much better lately. When motivated, he can be a nightmare to block. Right defensive end Olivier Vernon has caught the eye of the Giants and has 6.5 sacks. The Dolphins will want to isolate Suh on John Jerry and/or Bobby Hart. Vernon will battle either the gimpy Ereck Flowers (high ankle sprain) or Justin Pugh, who may have to shift to left tackle if Flowers can’t play.

Safety Reshad Jones, the team’s leading tackler, and cornerback Brent Grimes, the team’s best coverman, lead the secondary. The Giants’ offense has devolved to the Eli Manning-to-Odell Beckham connection. If either doesn’t play a near-perfect game, the Giants are in trouble.

The questions remain: Can anyone other than Odell Beckham make a play for the Giants? Can New York’ 29th-ranked ground game do any consistent damage against Miami’s 30th-ranked run defense? Can one of the four running backs break a tackle or make a tackler miss to make a big play? Wide receiver Rueben Randle has had one game where he had over 100 yards receiving and that was in Week 3. In the last three games, he has averaged only two catches per contest. That’s not going to get it done. Someone at receiver has to pick up some slack, be it Randle, Hakeem Nicks, or Dwayne Harris. All of the other receivers were an embarrassing non-factor against the Jets.

Not to sound like a broken record, the Giants have got to get back to getting the ball to Shane Vereen as a pass receiver. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the offense’s inconsistency has increased since the decline in his productivity. He has caught only 10 passes for 42 yards in the last three losses. Given the lack of talent at wide receiver outside of Beckham, Vereen should be getting at least 5-6 pass receptions per game and arguably more.

NEW YORK GIANTS ON DEFENSE:
Prevent the big play and finish the game. Miami’s offense has struggled this year (29th overall, 22nd in passing, 23rd rushing). They are also dreadful on 3rd down (31st in the NFL at 28 percent). But the Dolphins are quite capable of making big plays. They are surprisingly tied with the Patriots and Packers with 51 plays of 20 yards or more (42 of those passing plays). The focal point is wide receiver Jarvis Landry (78 catches) but fellow wideouts Rishard Matthews (15.4 yards per catch), Kenny Stills (17.1 yards per catch), and DeVante Parker (17.5 yards per catch) can stretch the field. Matthews has fractured ribs and is not expected to play as the rookie Parker receives more playing time. The Dolphins also surely noted that the Jets had over 100 yards receiving to backs out of the backfield. Running back Lamar Miller has 39 catches this year, including two for touchdowns. Jordan Cameron (26 catches) is the tight end.

Miami’s biggest problem has been the inconsistent quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Tannehill can hurt teams with his feet. In the last two games, the Giants have made mediocre quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick look like world-beaters. Will that trend continue with Tannehill?

Until last week against Baltimore, the Ravens’ ground game has struggled in recent weeks. Miller gained 113 yards against the Ravens, but had not surpassed the 50-yard mark since Week 7.

While the Giants’ pass rush has slightly improved, the defense is still not finishing games either by stopping game-winning drives or preventing the other team from running out the clock. Since the Giants appear incapable of blowing out another team, the defense will most likely once again be under the spotlight late in the game on Monday. Will history repeat itself or will the Giants’ 31st-ranked defense finally stop the opposition with the game on the line?

NEW YORK GIANTS ON SPECIAL TEAMS:
Jarvis Landry is averaging 9.3 yards per punt return and has returned one punt 69 yards for a touchdown. Miami’s kickoff coverage is solid, being 12th in the NFL. In the last two seasons, the Dolphins have blocked four punts and two field goals. Keep in mind that New York has new long snapper this week and that could be a factor on punts and field goals.

FROM THE COACH’S MOUTH:
Tom Coughlin on his team: “We will win as soon as we deserve to win. And the deserving to win part of it, obviously it comes from being able to finish on a stronger basis than we have. And as you look around, you can find a million reasons why one play has cost us games, and if that’s the case, then each one of us—coaches, players—examine your own conscience, come up with those things that are necessary for us to make improvement, and let’s get it done now.”

THE FINAL WORD:
Two bad 5-7 football teams battle on Prime Time. Flip a coin as to who will win. A Giants’ loss will end any pretense of possibly winning the atrocious NFC East. A Giants’ win will likely only prolong the torture, but all we can really do is hope for the best.