What a difference a week makes. Seven days ago, the New York Giants were seen as an embarrassment. They had just come off of a pathetic 31-21 loss to the then winless San Francisco 49ers. There were accusations that the team had quit, and that the “tank” was fully on to get the highest pick possible in the 2018 NFL Draft. Those accusations have since been silenced. The Giants came out in Week 11 against the leaders of the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs, and showed the NFL that they are still here to play. Here are the Week 11 New York Giants takeaways from their 12-9 win over the Chiefs.
The Defense Has Not Given Up
A majority of the criticism last week after the loss to the 49ers was aimed at the Giants defense. Many pointed to two plays by All-Pro corner Janoris Jenkins that supposedly showed that he and the rest of the defense has quit on the season. If they have quit on the season, apparently no one told them.
Jenkins had five tackles, one pass deflection and one interception against Kansas City, and he possibly would have had another if not for a questionable pass interference call. All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison also had himself a day. He did an excellent job stuffing the run and also came up with a huge interception early in the game to swing the momentum in the Giants favor. Jenkins and Harrison came up with two interceptions on Alex Smith, a quarterback who had only thrown one all season up to this point. The rest of the defense held the Chiefs top five NFL scoring squad to nine points.
Besides statistics, the heart of the defense was fully on display. Both Olivier Vernon and Harrison got injured during the plays in the game that required the medical staff to escort them off the field. Both returned, with Vernon showing clear signs of pain, but they both fought on, helping this team get a must needed win.
The Offensive Deserves Some Love
Although the offense only scored 12 points in five quarters of play, what they did was enough for them to win the game. The offensive line didn’t allow a sack and kept the pocket pretty clean for Eli Manning. Manning, in return, didn’t force any terrible passes and didn’t record a single interception.
With Sterling Shepard out and Evan Engram having an off day, Roger Lewis, Tavarres King and Travis Rudolph all stepped up to help the offense. None of them had fantasy football like statistics against the Chiefs, but they all had a big moment here or there to help the Giants pull out a win, especially Lewis’ insane circus catch in overtime to set up the game winning field goal.
It Hurts to Know What They Could Have Been
Although a win feels great for the Giants and their fans, it must hurt to know that they could have been much better this season. The Giants went out against a team in Kansas City, who is a contender for the AFC Championship game, and came out with a win. That’s without their three best receivers, their number one draft pick not having his best game, and without their two best offensive lineman. The argument that the Giants didn’t have enough talent to contend this year is no longer valid. They had the talent to hang with, and beat Kansas City even with a depleted roster. The Giants first win since week seven should be celebrated, but that underlying thought of what 2017 could have been will always be there.
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