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3 things we learned about the Giants

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After a pair of agonizing defeats to open the season, the New York Giants finally got to enjoy a laugher Thursday night.

Converted two takeaways into 14 points, the Giants rolled to a 32-21 win over the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium.

New York twice picked off Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was 30-for-49 for 315 yards with one touchdown pass. Cornerback Prince Amukamara made the first interception in the first quarter, and linebacker Uani’ Unga grabbed a tipped pass in the third quarter.

“The first one I thought the corner made a great play, he jumped the route,” Cousins said. “The second one, I’m just trying to find a completion and get it to a safe spot. So you can call it whatever you want.”

New York quarterback Eli Manning completed 23 of 32 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle, who was invisible the first two weeks of the season, finished with seven receptions for 116 yards and one touchdown.

Randle, who entered play Thursday with four receptions for 28 yards while filling in for the injured Victor Cruz, received extra encouragement this week.

“I felt like for a couple weeks he has been coming on and carrying more and more like himself,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “I told him that I thought he would have a big game for the night, and obviously he did. So I’m happy for Rueben — let’s hope he comes out of this thing and gives us more.”

Also having a nice night for the Giants in the passing game was receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who added seven catches for 79 yards and a score.

What we learned about the Giants:

1. The pass defense, missing starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, held up just fine. For the third week in a row, the opponent went after the Giants’ shaky pass defense, missing Rodgers-Cromartie, who was inactive due to a concussion sustained last week.

“I think (cornerback Jayron) Hosley did a great job,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said of Rodgers-Cromartie’s replacement. “I don’t think he saw a lot of action his way, the middle of the field and my side was getting most of the action. I think he did a great job, I think he’s coming into his own.”

2. Receiver Rueben Randle never lost faith in himself. Despite his struggles during the first two games of the season, Randle bounced back with a seven-catch, 116-yard, one-touchdown performance, the yardage total being the third-highest mark in his four-year career.

“It was frustrating at times, but I don’t think it was hard for me to keep my spirits up,” Randle said. “It’s a long season. My job is to stick with it no matter what the situation may be and make a play.”

Fellow receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said, “He’s capable of doing that every single time. It was great to be able to see him get in the end zone tonight and be able to see him out there.”

3. The events and outcomes of the previous two games gnawed away at quarterback Eli Manning more than he initially let on.

“I felt bad,” he said. “I felt bad for the first two games, we were right there. Games we could’ve easily won. Had leads in the fourth quarter and did not hold on to those and were not at our best in the final minutes of the game. It’s frustrating.”

Manning admitted the win over Washington was a huge relief and that the Giants are looking for more.

“I think it gives us confidence,” he said. “Hey, it’s a long season, there’s a lot of football to play. Our division, it’s too early to know, and we can’t run away with it right now. But hey, you’ve got to get one win and just keep going.”

Etc.

–FB Nikita Whitlock received some second-half snaps at defensive tackle, the position he played in college. Whitlock said the snaps were unplanned, and he credited veteran DE Cullen Jenkins with helping him with that part of his game.

–LB Jon Beason, who made his 2015 debut after missing the first two regular-season games, estimated he played in about 24 snaps, all of which were specific to certain personnel packages. Beason, who wore a brace on his ailing left knee, said he came out of the game just fine and was looking forward to an increased role next week against Buffalo. He wasn’t credited with a tackle.

–DE Kerry Wynn made his first career start at left defensive end. Wynn, in his second season, was solid against the run, stuffing RB Matt Jones for no gain on a third-and-1 in the first quarter. Wynn tied for second on the team with eight tackles (three solo).


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