wayne gallman giants
Al Bello/Getty Images

Despite Daniel Jones’ hamstring injury, the New York Giants are now in first place with a big Week 12 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ryan Honey

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones sat on the sideline for a good portion of this game, unfortunately. The second-year player exited in the third quarter after a hamstring injury came at the expense of a scramble up the middle. He tried to return and make it work, but on-field comfort was unattainable, and so veteran backup Colt McCoy finished out the game.

Nonetheless, it’s a team sport, comprising of many individuals other than either quarterback. And luckily for the Giants, a number of those players stepped up in what was a crucial 19-17 victory for Big Blue.

Beginning with the offensive side of the ball: The Giants possessed a significant request of Wayne Gallman, especially later on in the game when Jones exited. And simply speaking, the fourth-year running back delivered.

Gallman finished with 94 yards — a career-high — on 24 carries with a touchdown (his sixth in the last five games).

As soon as McCoy entered, it was clear the Giants needed to rely heavily on Gallman to help close this game out in the final quarter, and the former Clemson back proved even further that he deserves a number of opportunities in this league. The kid runs hard and employs superb field vision; you can’t deny that.

The kicking game — led by the almost automatic Graham Gano — was another huge factor in this game, contributing to 12 of the Giants’ 19 total points.

Amid this victory, Gano portrayed why the organization inked him to a three-year extension pretty much right after the Week 10 win over Philly, connecting on 49, 40, 39, and 32-yard attempts, with the latter trio of conversions coming in the second half.

He’s stepped up for the Giants all year long and didn’t slow down on Sunday, even after testing positive for COVID-19 almost two weeks ago.

And finally, Big Blue’s defensive unit took major pressure off McCoy, and instead applied it onto Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen in the most crucial of moments.

As the Bengals possessed the ball near midfield down by two with no timeouts and around a minute left in regulation, Giants defensive end Jabaal Sheard was able to get to Allen on first down, knocking the ball out of his hands and eventually into those of Leonard Williams. The play sealed the deal on New York’s victory.

But it wasn’t just that singular instance.

Logan Ryan underwent a fantastic game, racking up five total tackles along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Jabrill Peppers was seemingly all over the field, having notched six total tackles on the day.

And rookie defensive end Niko Lalos, elevated from the practice squad for this game, recorded a diving interception after a Darnay Holmes deflection in the third quarter.

It takes an entire team to close out a game, and amid an injury to Jones, the Giants proved that in a big win over Cincinnati.

With the victory, the Giants move into first place in the NFC East at 4-7. What a weird season (and overall 2020) this has been.

Onto Seattle for Week 13.