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Top 5 Plays of 2016

Posted Jan 20, 2017

In Giants.com's "Top 5" series, we rank the best games, plays and moments from the 2016 season. Here are the Top 5 plays of 2016:

JPP SCOOPS & SCORES

Opponent: Cleveland Browns
Date: November 27, 2016 (Week 12)
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium

Was it an interception? Was it a fumble? Jason Pierre-Paul didn’t care when he caught the ball in mid-air after Johnathan Hankins hit quarterback Josh McCown, returning it 43 yards for a touchdown.

>> FACT OR FICTION: DRAFT STRATEGY

It would eventually be changed from an interception to a recovery, making Pierre-Paul the first NFL player with at least three sacks and a fumble-return touchdown of at least 40 yards in the same game since 1982, the first year individual sacks became an official statistic.

CRUZ IN THE CLUTCH

Opponent: New Orleans Saints
Date: September 18, 2016 (Week 2)
Location: MetLife Stadium

Wide receiver Victor Cruz had only 39 receptions in his return campaign, but he made  most of them count.

After catching the go-ahead score in Dallas the week before, Cruz hauled in a 34-yard pass from Manning down the right sideline for one of the best catches of his storied career.

The play set up a first-and-goal at the 2 and the game-winning field goal as time expired.

ODELL HITS ANOTHER GEAR

Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Date: December 11, 2016 (Week 14)
Location: MetLife Stadium

Late in the third quarter, Odell Beckham Jr. took a short slant from Eli Manning and won a foot race against cornerback Brandon Carr for a 61-yard touchdown. It put the Giants ahead for good and ended the Cowboys’ 11-game winning streak. With the win, the Giants improved to 9-4 in their postseason hunt and locked up a winning record for the first time since 2012.

>> TOP 5 CATCHES OF 2016

ELI TO ODELL X2

Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
Date: October 16, 2016 (Week 6)
Location: MetLife Stadium

After hooking up for a 75-yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter, the Giants needed one more big play out of Manning and Beckham to defeat the Ravens at home. They delivered with a 66-yarder to put the Giants ahead 27-23 with 1:24 left in the game. Manning finished with a season-high 403 yards in that game, 222 of which went to Beckham (also a season-high).

LANDON’S CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

Opponent: Los Angeles Rams
Date: October 23, 2016 (Week 7)
Location: Twickenham Stadium, England

Safety Landon Collins sparked the Giants midway through the second quarter with a 44-yard interception return for the ages. The former high school running back zigzagged his way from the middle of the field where he caught the ball to the right sideline and then to the left side, spinning and plowing his way into the end zone. It was one of two interceptions for Collins, who launched his All-Pro campaign that day.