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Top 5 Takeaways of 2016


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

Opponent: Los Angeles Rams
Date: October 23, 2016 (Week 7)
Location: Twickenham Stadium, England
Situation: Second-and-5 at Rams 30, 7:10 remaining in second quarter

Safety Landon Collins sparked the Giants midway through the second quarter with a 44-yard interception return for a touchdown.

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 in London while launching his All-Pro campaign.


Opponent: Cleveland Browns

Date: November 27, 2016 (Week 12)
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium
Situation: Second-and-19 at midfield, 11:08 remaining in fourth quarter

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. 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.


Opponent: Dallas Cowboys
Date: December 11, 2016 (Week 14)
Location: MetLife Stadium
Situation: Third-and-6 at Cowboys 28, 2:25 remaining in fourth quarter

In two games against cornerback Janoris Jenkins and the Giants, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was held to two receptions for 28 yards. On one of them, Jenkins forced Bryant to fumble and Collins recovered to seal the Giants' second victory over Dallas. Earlier in the game, Jenkins grabbed a rare interception off Dak Prescott. The pass was intended for Bryant.


Opponent: Washington Redskins
Date: January 1, 2017 (Week 17)
Location: FedEx Field
Situation: First-and-10 at Giants 43, 1:27 remaining in fourth quarter

With nothing to gain or lose in terms of seeding, the Giants played to win in the season finale against a desperate Washington team trying to make it to the postseason. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ended those hopes by intercepting Kirk Cousins twice, the second of which sealed the victory with under two minutes remaining.


Opponent: Detroit Lions
Date: December 18, 2016 (Week 15)
Location: MetLife Stadium
Situation: First-and-10 at Giants 11, 11:03 remaining in second quarter

The hallmark of the Giants this year was their defense in the red zone, and you can see why on this play. With the Lions knocking on the door and trying to take the lead, veteran defensive back Leon Hall tackled Zach Zenner and forced the running back to fumble. Defensive end Olivier Vernon recovered in the end zone for a touchback, and instead of going down by three points, the Giants made it a 10-3 lead by kicking a field goal on the ensuing possession.

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