2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Wilson sparks Giants to key win over fading Saints

By TOM CANAVAN - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-10 04:23

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - When the New York Giants made their run to the Super Bowl a year ago, a 99-yard touchdown catch and run by Victor Cruz against the Jets seemed to be the ignition point.

It was a play that woke up an inconsistent team and turned it into a power.

If the 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday turns out to be the victory that gets the Giants (8-5) going again, everyone is going to point to rookie David Wilson's 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as the play that sparked the run.

Wilson re-energized the Giants with his electrifying run just 15 seconds after New Orleans returned an interception for an early score, and he didn't stop there. The first-round pick from Virginia Tech also ran for 100 yards and two more scores and piled up a team-record 327 all-purpose yards in a breakout performance that allowed New York to maintain a one-game lead over Washington and Dallas in the NFC East with three games to play.

``He made some huge plays today when we needed it the most and some were unexpected,'' said Cruz, who added eight catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. ``We would watch him in practice just do amazing things, whether it be breaking plays or making some cuts that we only see guys that are Hall of Famers make. He's definitely the most athletic on the team and he made some big plays today.''

It's been a long time coming. Wilson showed potential in training camp but fumbled in Dallas territory in the season opener and spent much of the last two months in Tom Coughlin's doghouse. His role is probably going to pick up with Ahmad Bradshaw now iffy with an injury to his left knee.

``To come up and have a breakout game like this is an excellent feeling,'' said Wilson, who became the first NFL player to have 200 yards in kickoff returns and 100 yards rushing in a game. ``You want to have a good game every game. I went out there and my teammates went out there and we played great.''

Wilson wasn't the only one. Eli Manning chipped in with four touchdown passes. The defense forced four turnovers by New Orleans (5-8), including two interceptions by Stevie Brown, and the kickoff return team accounted for a team-record 287 yards.

``A win is always good and a win is always a confidence booster and for us to go out there and play a full, dominant game with all three phases of the game, I think that speaks volumes for this team and what direction we're headed,'' safety Antrel Rolle said.

The performance came hours after Washington and Dallas rallied to win, requiring New York to win to stay in first place.

The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8), who dropped their third straight game and had a three-game winning streak against the Giants snapped.

``We've shown the resolve and the resiliency to never give up,'' Saints cornerback Jabari Greer said. ``We're not going to go that. This is football and sometimes you fall down. We fell down hard today. We're going to fight and never give up.''

Manning had TD passes of 6 yards to Martellus Bennett, 5 yards to Domenik Hixon, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 10 yards to Cruz. Wilson scored on runs of 6 and 52 yards and hit 100 yards on only 13 carries for the biggest day of his short career.

The 52 points are the most for the Giants since scoring 55 against Green Bay in 1986. It also was the most given up by New Orleans, whose defense is run by former New York coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

``I wouldn't say we're fragile,'' said linebacker Jonathan Vilma, whose fate for the balance of the season might be decided Tuesday when former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue hands down a decision on his Bountygate suspension appeal. ``I wouldn't know what to call it. We're accustomed to finding ways to win. This year, we're just not good enough to overcome a lot of the mistakes. We have to be more conscious in games and more detail oriented in practice about how we handle our business on Sundays.''

Darren Sproles scored on a 13-yard run and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Brees late in the third quarter, cutting the Giants' lead to 35-27.

However, Jerrel Jernigan returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to set up Manning's touchdown pass to Cruz. New York iced the game when Brown went 70 yards with his second pick to set up Lawrence Tynes' 39-yard field goal.

The afternoon seemed to take a bad turn for New York when Dallas rallied for a 20-19 win over Cincinnati and Washington beat Baltimore 31-28 in overtime despite losing Robert Griffin III to a knee injury. Elbert Mack then intercepted Manning in the left flat and returned it 73 yards to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.

Wilson turned it all around in a mad dash.

``Our concern for the next three weeks is the New York Giants and that's all we can focus on,'' said Manning, who completed 22 of 35 for 259 yards.

Brees, who had never lost to the Giants and had eight TD passes and no interceptions in the last two games, finished 26 of 43 for 354 yards.

NOTES: Hixon held the Giants single-season record for all-purposes yards at 303 in 2009. ... Wilson also set a single-season record for kickoff return yards with 1,301 yards. ... Brown has broken the Giants single-season record for interception return yards with 259 on seven interceptions. The old mark of 251 was set by Dick Lynch and Emlen Tunnell. ... Patrick Robinson had the Saints' other interception of Manning. Joseph Morgan has two catches for 106 yards for New Orleans.

--

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group