Week 17 Game Recap: New York Giants 30, Oakland Raiders 21
What you need to know
TE Jeremy Shockey did not play because of an ankle injury.
The Giants had a lot riding on this game. A win would mean the NFC East title and a home playoff game next weekend. The key to their game: get Tiki Barber the ball as often as possible. Barber came into the game leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage, and didnít waste any time showing why. Barber ripped off a 95 yard TD run on his third carry and never looked back. He finished the game with 34 touches for 263 yards from scrimmage and a TD.
QB Eli Manning was not particularly sharp but found Barber and Plaxico Burress enough to finish 12 of 24 for 204 yards and a long TD to Burress on a short slant route.
The other key for the Giants: Their fantastic run defense. With Lamont Jordan on the sidelines with a turf toe injury, the Giants were able to shut down the Raidersí rushing attack. For the game, they held the Raiders to just 25 yards on 17 carries. Their big moment came late in the fourth quarter when they held the Raiders out of the end zone four times from the one yard line to give the Giants the big win.
The Raiders came into the game with nothing to play for, having scored only 30 points and only three touchdowns in the last four games. Given their 4-11 record, it might have been QB Kerry Collins and Coach Norv Turnerís last game with the Raiders.
RB Lamont Jordan did not play because of a turf toe injury, and tackle Robert Gallery left the game in the first quarter with an injury to his right fibula and did not return. Between those key injuries and a very aggressive New York run defense, the Raiders were unable to run the ball. Zack Crockett was limited to just 27 yards on 15 carries. His longest run was only seven yards.
Despite their lack of running game, Kerry Collins was still able to move the team. He had an outstanding game for the Raiders, finishing 26-48 for 331 yards and three TDS. He spread the ball evenly between his three receivers Jerry Porter (12 targets), Randy Moss (11 targets) and Doug Gabriel (12 targets) and even Randal Williams received a lot of attention (nine targets).
Even though he looked way less than full speed, Randy Moss finished as the Raidersí leading receiver with seven receptions for 116 yards and two TDS. Doug Gabriel has eight receptions for 100 yards and a TD as well. Jerry Porter finished with six receptions and 76 yards receiving. Randall Williams finished with just three receptions for 26 yards despite nine targets. He had several key drops including one in the end zone near the end of the first half.
Although the Raiders never led in this contest, they never seemed to go away either. They scored late in the second quarter to pull the game to within six points at the half, and when the Giants scored again, taking a 27-14 lead late in the third quarter, Oakland came right back two plays later with a 44 yard TD strike to Randy Moss. Had they been able to score from the one yard line late in the fourth quarter, they could have won the game with a field goal.
What you ought to know
|QB Eli Manning, Pass: 12 - 24 - 204 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0|
Manning was not particularly impressive in this win. Aside from the 78 yard catch and run by Plaxico Burress in the second quarter, Manning was downright pedestrian in his performance. However, he did not turn the ball over, and he kept the clock moving. He looked for Burress 50% of the time, and used Tiki Barber out of the backfield for several long gains as well. In the end, Manning only needed to get the ball to Barber to insure a win for New York.
|RB Tiki Barber, Rush: 28 - 203 - 1, Rec: 6 - 60 - 0 (7 targets)|
Barber took his third carry of the game 95 yards for his eleventh TD of the season. That set a Giant record as the longest run from scrimmage and also set a Giants record for the most rushing touchdowns in one season. The run was great, but the downfield blocking by the Giantsí wide receivers kept Barber almost untouched the entire way. He finished the first quarter with six carries for 121 yards.
For the game, Barber had 34 touches for 263 yards and the TD. It was his third game with over 200 yards rushing this season, and he locked up the highest total yards from scrimmage for the year.
Jacobsí TD run in the third quarter was set up by a great 58 yard punt return from Chad Morton. He spelled Tiki Barber a few plays during the game, but he only finished with three carries, ten yards and no passing targets.
Cloud had one carry for no gain.
Finn was mostly used as a blocker. He had one target for the day.
Manning hit Burress on a short crossing route where he was able to split the secondary and take it 78 yards to break the game open 17-7 with just under ten minutes to go in the second quarter. He was the main target for Manning the entire evening, with 50% of the passes coming his way. His downfield blocking also helped Barber score on his TD run.
Toomerís big contribution to the Giantsí offense came on Barberís TD run. His downfield blocking helped keep Tiki Barber unmolested all the way to the end zone. Toomer had two targets on the evening, but did not have a reception.
With starting TE Jeremy Shockey on the sideline the entire game, Shiancoe was the main TE option for the Giants in this game. He was only targeted three times, and had just one reception for 16 yards.
Despite a wet field and poor conditions, Feely was a perfect three for three on extra points and field goals. His long field goal for the day was a 47 yarder to put the Giants up by nine points early in the fourth quarter.
The Giants' run defense was the key to the Giantsí victory. With Lamont Jordan on the sidelines with a turf toe injury, the Giants unloaded on backup Zack Crockett early and often. They held the Raiders to just 25 yards on 17 carries for the day, and their longest run was for only seven yards. The biggest set of plays for the Giants came late in the fourth quarter where the Raiders had first and goal from the one yard line. The Giants stuffed the Raiders four times (Crockett 3, Collins 1) to put the game away for New York and give them the division title.
With the Raiders locked into passing the ball, the pressure was on the Giantsí pass defense. They performed well enough to win, but by no means should they feel good about it. Kerry Collins torched them for 331 yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders keyed on four guys (Moss, Gabriel, Porter and Williams) and targeted each of them more than nine times. The Giants only recorded three sacks for the day and did not have an interception.
|QB Kerry Collins, Pass: 26 - 48 - 331 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
Collins started out well completing seven of his first ten passes including a 15 yard TD strike to tie up the game at seven. With Lamont Jordan on the sidelines, Collins was forced to throw the ball a ton. He kept the Raiders close the entire game, and led them to the one-yard line late in the fourth quarter where they could have pulled the game to within three points. The inability to run the ball ultimately cost the Raiders the game, despite Collins finishing with 331 yards passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
In his second start for the Raiders for the injured Lamont Jordan, Zack Crockett was completely ineffective. His longest run from scrimmage was just seven yards, and he finished the day with just 27 yards on 15 carries. Late in the fourth quarter, with the Raiders in need of a score, Crockett had three shots to get the ball into the end zone from the one yard line. He failed and the Raiders lost the game.
Fargas was a non-factor in this game.
Gabriel was one of the key reasons that the Raiders stayed in this game. He was a frequent target of Kerry Collins, especially in the first half when he finished with seven receptions on seven targets and a great sideline TD catch with 24 seconds left in the second quarter. In that final two minute drive, Gabriel was targeted for five of the nine passes that Kerry Collins threw. Gabriel finished the game with 100 yards receiving and a TD.
Moss has his first multiple touchdown game since October 2004 (28 games). He was a frequent target of Collins (11 total) and had seven receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest disappointment for Moss was that he was on the sidelines during those four tries from the one yard line in the fourth quarter.
Porter started out the game very strong with four receptions for 46 yards in the first quarter. He was targeted the entire game, but only managed two additional receptions after that. He finished the game with just 76 yards.
Williams was filling in for the injured Courtney Anderson. He was targeted often, but had several key drops including an easy touchdown catch at the end of the second quarter. Williams displayed good speed and route-running ability, but just dropped too many easy receptions.
Whittedís one reception came with under four minutes to go in the game.
Foschi was a total after-thought in this game. Between Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Doug Gabriel and Randal Williams, Foschi only saw two passes thrown in his general direction.
Janikowski converted all of his extra points, but did not have a field goal attempt. His kickoffs were shorter than usual because of the wet conditions on the field.
Even if you took away Tiki Barberís 95-yard TD run, he still finished with 27 carries for 108 yards (4.0 YPC). Backup RB Brandon Jacobs chipped in another ten yards and a TD bringing the Giant rushing total to 211 yards rushing and two touchdowns. While there were several times when Barber and Jacobs were held to a one or two yard gain, Barber frequently broke runs of six yards or more. As the Giants were playing with the lead for most of the game, it was a very long day for the Raiders run defense.
The Raiders pass defense came into the game with a league worst five interceptions. They didnít improve on that mark against the Giants, but aside from the big 78 yard touchdown catch and run by Plaxico Burress, the Raiders held the Giantsí receivers in check. Burress was the only Giant WR to have a catch, and TE Visanthe Shiancoe only had one reception. The Giants finished with just 204 yards passing and the one TD.