By Brad Carroll
While this New York Giants season was over long ago, there is nothing but optimism for the future with the way the team has played the last three weeks. The Giants have gotten amazing performanes from their young players, namely Odell Beckham Jr., Andre Williams and even Rueben Randle. Plus, there's the improved play of quarterback Eli Manning, who is still key to the Giants future success.
In a 37-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams Sunday night, the Giants got 100-yard games from all three of those young players, plus a nearly 400-yard game from Manning. They even got a tremendous game from rookie defensive end Kerry Wynn.
The Giants improved to 6-9 with their third straight victory and get a chance to equal last year's mark if they can beat the just-eliminated Philadelphia Eagles next week at home.
Here are the players that deserve Game Balls for their performances against St. Louis and a pair of Giants that get saddled with Game Falls for their roles in the unfortunate brawl that took place in the second quarter after a late hit on Beckham Jr.
Eli Manning: The Giants quarterback completed 25-of-32 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 148.8 and didn't turn the ball over. Manning led seven scoring drives and picked up 514 total yards of offense. For the first time this season, Manning got both of his wide receivers involved in the game, as Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle combined for 280 receiving yards and three scores. For anyone who had any doubts about Manning's future with the team, they were fully erased with this performance.
Odell Beckham Jr.: He needs to keep his calm on the field, and probably could do without all the off the field stories, but Beckham Jr. keeps destroying opposing defensive backs. Beckham Jr. had eight catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns. He went over 1,000 yards for the season, in 11 games, and broke Jeremy Shockey's rookie record for receptions in a season. There was negatives, however, including his taunting penalty and kicking Rams' Alec Ogletree after getting hit late out of bounds. But Beckham Jr. has been nothing but great on the field for the Giants.
Rueben Randle: He needed this game like nobody else, as Randle may have just saved his job by catching six passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. It's been a rough season for Randle, which included a three-game stretch where he was benched for the first quarter in two of the games, but Sunday showed what kind of potential he has. Randle made the Giants decision this offseason of what to do with the wide receiver a whole lot harder.
Andre Williams: He might not be the team's future feature back, as he's struggled more than he's shined, but Williams had his second impressive game of the season against St. Louis. Williams picked up 110 yards on 26 carries, including a 45-yard run that showed his ability to get past the first wave of defense. The Giants are a better team when Rashad Jennings is carrying the load, but Williams is doing his best to prove he can handle the role going forward as well.
Kerry Wynn: The rookie defensive end had the best game of his young career against the Rams. Wynn pulled off the tri-fecta on defense, recording a sack, fumble recovery and interception. He added three tackles, one for a loss, a pass knockdown and a quarterback hit.
Preston Parker and Damontre Moore: The pair of Giants were ejected from the game for their role in the brawl on the sideline after a late hit on Beckham Jr. Yes, the hit was unnecessary and late, but there was no excuse for an all-out brawl to take place, with Parker and Moore obviously going overboard on the reaction. Moore may have come into contact with an official, which could result in a suspension. They both surely will be fined for their roles in the fight.