Sunday's victory over the Oakland Raiders wasn't pretty, but the New York Giants haven't exactly been earning style points so far this season.
The game was off to an inauspicious start for New York as return man Jerrel Jernigan fumbled the opening kickoff and the Raiders’ Andre Holmes recovered the ball at the 5-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Terrell Pryor powered through the line for a one-yard touchdown scamper.
Big Blue’s special teams unit would redeem itself from its opening gaffe as defensive end Damontre Moore blocked Oakland’s ensuing punt and safety Cooper Taylor scooped up the football and returned it 22 yards for a score.
After a 33-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski put the Raiders ahead 10-7, the Giants assembled a 11 play, 90 yard drive; capped by a five yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Reuben Randle.
New York’s defensive stood tall on Oakland’s next offensive possession and gave Manning and company a chance to extend their lead heading into halftime.
As they have all season long, turnovers haunted the Giants as Manning slung a pass intended for Victor Cruz but cornerback Tracy Porter stepped in front and galloped 43 yards into the end zone. With the momentum shifted dramatically, the Giants entered the tunnel at halftime trailing Oakland 17-14 and their season hanging in the balance.
The Raiders opened the second half scoring as Janikowski booted through a 24-yarder to swell the lead to six. Oakland had a golden opportunity to build a double digit advantage as it had the ball 1st-and-goal from the one-yard line on its next offensive possession. After New York stymied running back Rashad Jennings on first down; a false start penalty backed the Raiders up to the six-yard line. Big Blue’s defense would make a goal line stand and shut Oakland out for the remainder of the contest. In his first game back after fracturing his leg in the preseason against the New England Patriots, running back Andre Brown rumbled 115 yards on 30 carries including a score.
The Giants’ defense held Oakland to just 213 yards of total offense and just 1-for-3 on red zone attempts. New York will host the Green Bay Packers who will be playing without All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers who fractured his collarbone last Sunday night against the Chicago Bears. New York is inching its way toward the .500 mark, but they have plenty more work to do before even thinking about getting back into playoff contention.