- Odell Beckham Jr. feeds the team.**
The first-round draft choice added to his phenomenal rookie campaign in Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins with 12 receptions for 143 yards and all three of the Giants' touchdowns.
"This guy feeds the entire team," safety and defensive co-captain Antrel Rolle said. "He fills the stadium. He's an exciting guy to watch. He's a hell of a player. He goes out there and he makes plays when given the opportunity. He plays beyond the X's and O's, for sure. We love to have him as a part of the Giants."
2. Beckham: There is a lot to look forward to.
For various reasons, the Giants find themselves at 5-9 and outside of the playoff picture with two games left in their second straight losing season. But the team's rookie class, which is headlined by Beckham, is reason to be optimistic about the future.
"Like I said earlier in the year, we have potential to be one of the best, if not the best, offense," Beckham said. "There is no reason for you not to think that. Anybody on the team should think that we should be the best. That is just how it is. There is a lot to look forward to going into next year being realistic. You know you are not going to the playoffs. You look into next year and you look into the team and you watch how these guys play their last couple games and you get a feel for how each man plays."
3. Referee Jeff Triplette explained the final play of the first half.
There was an unusual ending to the second quarter on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III had apparently scrambled eight yards for a touchdown as time expired, but after an official review, the play was reversed and ruled that Griffin lost control of the ball and fumbled out of bounds for a touchback. Instead of the Redskins taking a 17-7 lead into halftime, they led the Giants by just a field goal at that point.
"If there were two seconds when he crossed the plane, because he doesn't have possession of it, the clock continues to run until he hits out of bounds," Triplette said after the game. "When he hits out of bounds, then it's zero time on the clock at that point."
4. The onside kick changed the game.
The second layer to the oddities of halftime was the ejection of Washington wide receiver Santana Moss, who argued with the referees as the teams went back to the locker room and was dismissed with unsportsmanlike conduct. The result of the penalties was the Giants kicking off at the Redskins' 35-yard line to start the second half. That's when Josh Brown successfully converted an onside kick, which the Giants recovered and turned into a field goal to tie the game.
"It definitely helped us out, that's for sure," Rolle said. "They got a good play on us going into halftime. Unfortunately he couldn't hang on to the ball, which is a plus in our eyes. We were able to capitalize on it coming out and getting the onside kick, which was a phenomenal call, by the way. Defense was playing resilient and offense was doing what they're doing."
5. Preparing for two QB's helped the Giants.
The Giants faced two quarterbacks on Sunday, and they were ready for it. Because of Colt McCoy's neck injury that lingered through the week, the Redskins didn't definitively name him the starting quarterback. So the Giants had to prepare for him and Robert Griffin III in case McCoy didn't play. Well, McCoy started on Sunday but lasted only one drive until Griffin relieved him because of the neck injury.
"I think we did a great job of preparing for both quarterbacks because we didn't know who we were going to face this week," said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who had 2.5 of the Giants' seven sacks. "[Defensive coordinator] Perry [Fewell] did a good job of communicating with us and we did a great job executing plays in practice from Monday through Friday. We did a great job and sure enough McCoy went out and RG3 came in, but we were already prepared for it. Anytime you prepare for both quarterbacks, you're good.'
6. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie knew he had a chance to catch Andre Roberts.
A 61-yard play is never a positive for a defense, but Rodgers-Cromartie chasing down Roberts midway through the third quarter to prevent the touchdown was a key play. Instead of the Redskins taking a 17-10 lead, they had to settle for a field goal, and the Giants took the lead on the ensuing possession with Beckham's second touchdown.
"I mean, I played with him at Arizona," Rodgers-Cromartie said of Roberts. "I know his speed. I definitely thought he was going, but the more I kept running, I realized I had a chance."
7. Special teams outfit was key.
From Steve Weatherford downing four punts inside the 10-yard line to Brown's onside kick and Preston Parker's 45-yard kickoff return, the Giants fed off their special teams on Sunday.
"Special teams has done well," coach Tom Coughlin said. "They've basically improved from one week to the next all year long, so I was pleased with that. As I said, I thought our kickoff returns were really good today. We faced an exceptional punter with tremendous hang time and the ability to put the ball way up in the air. I thought we might be able to have some punt return success today. Not quite as much, as I said – we had established field position with kickoff returns, we covered kicks very well and did a nice job covering punts."