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Film Review: Full team effort in Week 15 win

The Giants defeated the Dolphins, 36-20, on Sunday at MetLife Stadium to break their nine-game losing streak.

* It was a slow start for the Giants offense. The Giants got the ball to midfield on their first drive but eventually stalled after Sterling Shepard was called for offensive pass interference on a play where there was very little contact as he caught a 24-yard pass from Eli Manning. On third down, Manning as the Dolphins got home with a T-E twist.

* The second drive got off to a fast start with a tight end Kaden Smith 27-yard catch down the seam and a 12-yard run from Saquon Barkley where he showed some nifty change of direction. The Giants had to punt after slot cornerback Jomal Wiltz knocked away a slant intended for Golden Tate on 3rd and 5.

* The Giants scored on their next drive. A defensive pass interference call on cornerback Nate Brooks on a deep pass to Darius Slayton extended the drive and put the ball on the Giants 49-yard line. Slayton beat Brooks off the line and got behind him. Manning put it perfectly over Slayton's outside shoulder with the single high safety coming over and Brooks had to grab Slayton to prevent the catch. On the very next play, Manning attacked the Dolphins' cover three zone down the seam to Golden Tate. Cornerback Nik Needham came over and committed a defensive pass interference penalty by grabbing Tate. Needham also tipped the ball in the air in the process. Tate managed to maintain focus, tip the ball to himself, and avoid safety Adrian Colbert for a 59-yard touchdown.

* The Giants started their next drive at their own one-yard line and moved the ball out of the shadow of their own end zone with three straight well-blocked runs that gained 12 yards. A combination of Barkley runs and short Manning passes moved the ball to the 41-yard line before a Will Hernandez holding penalty on a screen pass made it 2nd and 12. The Dolphins lined up five men at the line of scrimmage, with all but one standing up as potential pass rushers. They ran a zone blitz, with two cornerbacks coming off the edge and three of the stand-up players at the line dropping into coverage. Vince Biegel, who was lined up as a rusher over Nate Solder, dropped into zone underneath Sterling Shepard running his slant. Shepard ran his route behind Biegel, and Manning's pass was picked off. 

* The Giants had one more chance to score in the first half but only had 39 seconds and one timeout remaining when they started on their own 25-yard line. As time expired, Manning threw a desperation ball into coverage near the sideline in an attempt to get into field goal range, but it was intercepted. The Giants didn't have one three and out in the first half, but they only managed 152 total yards and one touchdown. It was a balanced attack with 10 rushes, 14 passes, and four different receivers catching passes.

* The Giants started the second half with a deep-out to Slayton, who used his speed to threaten Brooks deep and forced him to flip his hips. Slayton created separation by breaking toward the sideline. Manning made the throw into the gusting wind for a 26-yard gain. The Giants converted a 3rd and 3 on a square-in to Cody Latimer that turned into a 21-yard catch and run. Two plays later, Manning ran a play action pass and got great protection that allowed Slayton to break outside after running a slant for an easy five-yard touchdown catch.

* The Giants got the ball next on the Dolphins 33-yard line after recovering a Ryan Fitzpatrick fumble. They ran a pass after run action to the right on 3rd and 1. Manning moved to his left to try to hit Latimer on a slant in one on one coverage, but linebacker Jerome Baker did a great job dropping into the passing lane to pick off the pass. 

* The Giants punted on their following drive after only one first down. They started their next drive on Miami's 40-yard line after a safety and Da'Mari Scott's 34-yard return of the free kick. Manning completions of 15 and 24 yards moved the ball to the one-yard line. The 24-yarder was a great pass from Manning on the move that hit a covered Shepard in stride on a corner route. Barkley ran it in from a yard out on the next play.

* The next drive was a nice mix of runs and passes that went 66 yards on eight plays. The big play was a deep comeback by Shepard after he wasn't open going deep. Manning was given excellent protection on the play. Barkley finished the drive with a walk-in touchdown around left end, behind a great cut block from the pulling Nick Gates, who took out two Miami defenders.

* The Giants scored one more time on their next to last drive. On 3rd and 8, Manning hit Shepard perfectly in stride for a 22-yard gain on a slant and run after the catch. Buck Allen, in the game for Barkley, bounced a run around right end, broke a tackle and gained 19 yards to the one-yard line. He punched it in on the next play off right tackle to give the Giants a 36-13 lead.

* Barkley had his best rushing game since Week Two. He displayed his ability to cut in either direction with quickness, speed and power. His vision was good, bouncing runs when he should and dropping his shoulders to gain tough yards up the middle when it was appropriate. He had no issues in pass protection. There were a couple of runs where he was one broken tackle away from being off to the races. His 143 scrimmage yards are a season high. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Barkley had 61 rushing yards after contact.

* Aside from the two interceptions to Dolphins linebackers, Manning played well despite gusting winds. He was accurate and got the ball out quickly. He challenged down the field, completing three of five passes for 101 yards that traveled 20 or more yards in the air, according to PFF. He also forced a defensive pass interference on a deep throw. Giants receivers had 100 yards after the catch because Manning hit them in stride. He was particularly effective in play action, completing 9 of 11 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.

* The offensive line allowed only one sack and one quarterback hit. Nick Gates played well in place of Kevin Zeitler at right guard. According to PFF, Gates did not allow a quarterback pressure throughout the game. He also made several good blocks in the run game. Barkley did not have one negative run in the game, a credit to the offensive line.

* Shepard had his best game of the season with nine catches on 11 targets for 111 yards and multiple chunk plays in the pass game. 

* The Giants were in 11 personnel on 57% of their snaps, which is well below their season average, according to PFF. They featured two tight ends on 30% of their snaps. Barkley ran his best out of 11 personnel, with 14 rushes for 74 yards. He had eight carries for 27 yards out of 12 personnel.

* The Giants defense allowed the Dolphins on their first possession to drive 39 yards to the Giants 31-yard line with a combination of runs and short passes. On 3rd and 9, Michael Thomas successfully face-guarded tight end Mike Gesicki without making contact to force a field goal attempt. Jason Sanders missed wide right from 49 yards into the wind.

* The Dolphins' next drive went 52 yards on 10 plays but the defense made a stop in the red zone in order to keep points off the board. On a 2nd and 9 from the 18, rookie corner DeAndre Baker knocked away a back-shoulder pass intended for DeVante Parker in the end zone. The Giants rallied to the ball to hold Albert Wilson to an 8-yard gain on 3rd and 9. On 4th and 1, Dalvin Tomlinson drove center Daniel Kilgore into the backfield to force running back Patrick Laird to Julian Love, who had crashed around the right tackle, for a three-yard loss and turnover on downs.

* The Dolphins started their third drive on their own 11, but quickly moved the ball to the 26-yard line on a simple pass to the flat to tight end Clive Walford. Two plays later, Ryan Fitzpatrick evaded Leonard Williams and ran one yard for a first down. The Dolphins used the short pass and took advantage of Giants missed tackles to move the ball down the field. The big play came on 3rd and 3, when Fitzpatrick hit Wilson in the flat. Love had him lined up but couldn't bring him down, leading to a 21-yard gain. On the next play, the Giants were in a cover one with Antoine Bethea playing single high safety. Fitzpatrick looked to his right and held Bethea on the right hash mark. To the left, Parker got open down the seam on the left side of the field. Fitzpatrick turned quickly and delivered for a touchdown.

* Baker knocked away a pass intended for DeVante Parker on 3rd and 2 to force a punt on the next drive. Parker ran a square-in, and Fitzpatrick threw it slightly behind him, which allowed Baker to knock the ball away to force the punt.

* The Giants defense was put in a tough situation on the next drive. After a Manning interception, the Dolphins took over on the Giants 28-yard line. Wide receiver Isaiah Ford let a ball go through his hands and ricochet off his facemask in front of Sam Beal. Two plays later, Beal tackled Allen Hurns a yard short of the first down and Miami had to kick the field goal.

* After a first half where the Dolphins gained 234 yards but only scored 10 points, the Giants defense settled down. Miami had just one first down and 24 yards in the third quarter. The Giants defensive front was the biggest difference as it forced Fitzpatrick to rush his throws.

* The defense forced a turnover on the Dolphins' first possession of the third quarter. Fitzpatrick scrambled away from a Lorenzo Carter rush and tried to run for the first down. Alec Ogletree put a big hit on him and Leonard Williams stripped the ball.

* The Dolphins started their next drive on their own 49-yard line after Eli Manning's third interception. They only gained one first down on the drive on an 18-yard run by Laird before kicking a field goal from 47 yards away. The Dolphins were able to get in scoring territory for much of the game, but the Giants defense did an excellent job keeping them out of the end zone.

* Miami's next drive started on its two-yard line after a penalty on a punt and a false start on first down. B.J. Hill got penetration up the middle on a Laird run and forced him to bounce outside and into the arms of Beal, who made the one on one tackle for a safety. Hill got off the ball quickly, beating offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb inside.

* The Dolphins went three and out on their next drive when a Love blitz and Markus Golden pass rush forced Fitzpatrick to throw an incomplete pass as he was going to the ground. By the time the Dolphins offense got the ball back, they were down 30-13 and in comeback mode. Miami got the ball down to the Giants 39-yard line after a Myles Gaskin 27-yard run, but the Giants made another big play. On 3rd and 5, the Giants blitzed six and played man to man with a single high safety behind the pressure. Fitzpatrick had nowhere to go with the ball and the Giants held a team meeting at the quarterback with four players piling on for the sack.

* The defensive front came up with a big play on a third down on the Dolphins' next drive. On 3rd and 10, Markus Golden beat the right tackle and tripped Fitzpatrick, forcing him to step up in the pocket. While he was stumbling, RJ McIntosh finished the play and earned the sack.

* The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their final drive to make the score 36-20. Parker got inside of Baker on a deep route and went up and made a play on the ball in front of him. Baker played one of his better coverage games of the year for a second straight week. According to PFF, he allowed only three catches on seven targets for 51 yards and the one touchdown.

* The interior of the Giants defensive line had a dominant game. Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence all got penetration at different points to disrupt the Dolphins. Linebacker David Mayo was strong in the run game. Golden was the team's best edge rusher with a half sack and three quarterback hits.

View the best photos from Giants vs. Dolphins


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