Giants Get First Win of 2018 Season! Eli Manning Got his Groove Back!
Written by: Alexander George
Eli Manning (25 for 29, 297 yards, 2TDs ZERO INT (QTR Rating 132.3) threw a 7 yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard (6 REC out of 7 targets for 80yds, 1TD, Long 23 yds) with 2:08 left in the game to extend the lead to 12 points. Although the Texans scored a touchdown with one second left in this game. It was too little tool late. The touchdown catch by Shepard sealed the win.
In the first half, the New York Giants scored in all of their first half possessions. They did manage to score 13 points in the first 3 possessions while consuming between 5 to 6 minutes in each possession. At one point in the first half, the Texans only managed to accumulate 11 yards in 3 successive possessions after a 23 yard field goal by Texans kick Ka’imi Fairbairn to go up initially 3 – 0. The Giants scored the next 20 points culminating in a 16 yard touchdown reception by tight end Rhett Ellison (3 REC for 39 yards & 1 TD).
Odell Beckham Jr.(OBJ),9 REC out of 10 targets for 109 yards long 30 yds, lead all Giants receivers in yardage and for the 2nd time in three games caught over 100 yards this season. Opposing defenses though have effectively prevented him from scoring any receiving touchdowns. Regardless, Manning’s 3rd down conversion to OBJ for his longest reception of 30 yards, and a first down, was critical in setting up the Ellison’s touchdown recpetion with under a minute and a half left in the 2nd quarter.
Saquon Barkley (82 Rushing yds, 35 receiving yards, 1TD) set the tone of the 1st half with a 15 yard rushing touchdown right after the Texans scored on the initial drive of the game. Although Barkley was not as dominate in the receiving game as last week’s 80 yard performance against the Cowboys, he did catch a critical 21 yard pass on a 3rd and 2 play which resulted in a first down and set up the next series of downs in which the game winning touchdown was thrown by Manning.
The Texans offense in the first half struggled immensely as DeShaun Watson threw for only 71 yards, in which over half of his yardage was gained on one 39 yard pass play to his tight end Jordan Thomas, and Lamar Miller (10 ATT for 10 yards) rushed for only 9 yards. The one saving grace for the team for most of the game was their kicker, Ka’imi Fairbairn, who was a perfect 3 for 3, including a 28 yard field goal with no time left in 2nd quarter and a 54 yard field goal in their first possession of the 2nd half.
DeShaun Watson (24 for 40, 385 yards, 2TDs & 1INT; 5 ATT for 36 rushing yards, including 2 times for 10 yards), tried to attempt a comeback in his last 2 touchdown scoring drives of the game. He accounted for all of the yardage in those drives with 142 yards passing and 20 yards running. His 2 touchdown passes went to receiver Will Fuller (5 REC for 101 yards, 1TD) and running back Lamar Miller (5 REC for 41 yards, 1TD).
The Giants played their best game on defense limiting the Texans running game to under 59 yards on the ground. As Tony pointed out, after the first two weeks of this season, the Texans were the number one rushing team in the NFL. Credit Snacks Harrison and the guys up front Davlin Tomlinson, Kerry Wynn, and BJ Hill for doing a fantastic job. They sacked the quarterback more this game, 3 times, than the previous 2 games combined. Restricting their scoring to only 3 field goals in the Texans first 6 drives, the following Texan drives, resulting in a Donte Deayon fumble recovery and an Alec Ogletree interception in the end zone, maintained Big Blue’s 2 score cushion until late in the 4th quarter.
J.J. Watt (8 tackles w/ 4 solo, 3 sacks, 3 TFL and 4 QB hits) was the Texans defensive player of the game He prevented the Giants on converting 2 third down plays, by sacking Eli Manning, limiting Big Blue to just a field goal and a punt in critical drives. Defensive end Angelo Blackson has the only other sack for the team in this game.
The most damaging statistic for the Texans was their penalties as they were penalized 7 times for 50 yards. Right tackle Julie’n Davenport accounted for 4 penalties including a holding call which negated a Texan touchdown.
Despite the New York Giants victory, not all the news is good as their number one tight end, Evan Engram, injured his knee on his only reception of the game. His status for the next game and beyond remains uncertain.