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

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) felt some progress in his sprained left medial collateral ligament Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Fitzgerald was pretty upset [ More ]

Julius ThomasNov 26 01:23p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited at practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Phil LoadholtNov 26 12:33p

Minnesota Vikings OT Phil Loadholt (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Geno SmithNov 26 12:23p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will return to the starting quarterback role in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, after QB Michael Vick saw only three starts. The [ More ]

Timothy WrightNov 26 10:43a

New England Patriots TE Tim Wright has 23 catches on 26 targets this season. 'Every time we throw to him it's a touchdown - we'll try to find him [ More ]

R. Griffin IIINov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Colt McCoyNov 26 09:43a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has officially been benched in favor of QB Colt McCoy in Week 13. Head coach Jay Gruden informed the team Wednesday, Nov. 26.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 11:43p

The Washington Redskins are planning on benching QB Robert Griffin III for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts in favor of QB Colt McCoy. However, Griffin still [ More ]

Jace AmaroNov 25 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (concussion) is in concussion protocol, according to head coach Rex Ryan, after suffering the concussion in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

R. Griffin IIINov 25 04:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was named the starter for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts Monday, Nov. 24, by head coach Jay Gruden, but he left open [ More ]

Michael BushNov 25 04:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent RB Michael Bush (Bears) and cut RB Kerwynn Williams Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Brandon McManusNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos waived PK Brandon McManus Tuesday, Nov. 25.

Connor BarthNov 25 03:43p

The Denver Broncos signed free-agent PK Connor Barth (Buccaneers) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Nov. 25, after waiving PK Brandon McManus, according to a source.

Reggie BushNov 25 03:13p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he'll be ready to play Thursday, Nov. 27, after missing Week 12 with an ankle injury.

Latavius MurrayNov 25 02:43p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will undergo baseline testing for his concussion Tuesday, Nov. 25, according to a league source. He is feeling good, but he must go [ More ]

Brian HoyerNov 25 01:53p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer was never in danger of being benched in favor of QB Johnny Manziel in the team's Week 12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, according [ More ]

Blake BortlesNov 25 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles went 15-for-27 for just 146 yards and an interception in the team's Week 12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he hasn't tossed a [ More ]

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