By Brad Carroll
The New York Giants continued their sudden resurgence this season, beating the Atlanta Falcons 30-20 to win their third straight game. The current win streak follows a two-week stretch to open the season where the Giants looked like they would be picking in the top five of the draft. But the team has put those thoughts behind them and a playoff berth is the only goal now.
Here are the players that stood out best against the Falcons, and are given our Game Balls, and even some who didn't play as well, getting saddle with Game Falls. Read our Giants-Falcons breakdown right here.
Odell Beckham Jr.: Yes, Giants fans, he exists and he made sure to make his debut one to remember Sunday afternoon. After missing training camp and the first four games of the season with a hamstring injury, Beckham Jr. finally took the field against Atlanta Sunday and showed everyone what he could do. Beckham Jr. caught four passes for 44 yards and the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Falcons. The Giants and Eli Manning suddenly have another weapon to work with.
Johnathan Hankins: He came up with the biggest play of the game on defense. With 4:40 to go in the game and trailing by seven, the Falcons had the ball at their own 29 facing a fourth and one. Atlanta coach Mike Smith decided to go for it, putting the game in the hands of his quarterback. But the Giants, and specifically Hankins, didn't even give Matt Ryan a chance on the play. Hankins sacked Ryan for a nine-yard loss and gave the ball back to the Giants. The sack finished off another impressive victory by the Giants. Hankins had four tackles, a pass deflection and two quarterback hits to go along with the sack.
Andre Williams: He only averaged 3.3 yard per rush, but the rookie from Boston College controlled the game after Rashad Jennings left with a knee injury early in the third quarter. Williams rushed 20 times for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. He also caught two passes for 18 yards. If Jennings is forced to miss time with injury, Williams has proven he can step in and take over his role. Notice too, the Giants are getting big performance from younger players.
Jason Pierre-Paul: He continues to work his way back to being one of the defensive players in the game. He was part of a defensive front that kept the pressure on Ryan all game long. Pierre-Paul had two of the Giants' eight quarterback hits. He had five tackles and a pass deflection.
Jacquian Williams: The Giants needed someone to step up in place of the injured Jon Beason, who was inactive for the third straight game. That player was Williams, who had a team-high 14 tackles, including a game-high 10 solo stops against the Falcons. Williams added a tackle for a loss and a pass defensed.
Eli Manning: The Giants quarterback was 19-for-30 for 200 yards with a pair of touchdowns. His second was the game-winner to Beckham Jr. with just over 10 minutes to go in the game. Manning didn't turn the ball over for the second time this season.
Preston Parker: He had three catches for 61 yards, but had a costly fumble on a kickoff return. Right after the Falcons tied the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter, Parker fumbled the ensuing kick and the Falcons recovered. Atlanta turned it into a field goal and took the lead. Luckily for Parker, the fumble ultimately didn't cost the Giants the game.
Larry Donnell: Hopefully the Giants tight end didn't start himself in fantasy football again, because this week he would have made the right move. A week after Donnell said he benched himself in fantasy, and then went off for three touchdowns, the tight end was shut out completely Sunday, ending with zero catches.
Victor Cruz: He was targeted six times in the passing game, but came down with just three passes for 22 yards.