The New York Giants squished the New Orleans Saints’ playoff hopes with a dominant 52-27 win Sunday.
Going into the weekend, the Giants knew that the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys were nipping at their heels. Any slip up and their playoff hopes would be in jeopardy. Worse still, there are several teams clogging the wild card spots.
Early in the game, the Giants knew their division foes had secured wins.
To normal teams, the heightened pressure could spell doom. Not for the Giants. They haven’t had too many easy games this year. In fact, they have played only four losing teams this year. Yet, they are 8-5.
So, the Giants do what they do best in December; they treated the game like a playoff game and won again. And, they found it from the most likely unlikely source – first round draft pick, David Wilson.
No one outside the practice field has heard from David Wilson since a week one fumble. Against the Saints, Wilson became the first man in NFL history to return for 200 yards and rush for 100 yards. In a game where every opponent is sliced and diced in video review sessions and breakouts are rare, Wilson came out of virtually nowhere. The Saints were left tackling his smoke as he raced by time and time again.
In total, Wilson had 327 all-purpose yards. To put it in perspective, New York only averages 370 offensive yards per game this year.
It begs the question, was Coach Tom Coughlin hiding Wilson in reserve to unleash him later?
It makes sense. The Giants had tired legs in their running game with Ahmad Bradshaw frequently playing hurt and Ryan Torain being ineffective. By bringing in Wilson during the playoff push, Coughlin injects a new dimension into the Giants strategy. Wilson brings pure speed. And as many fantasy owners know, speedy running backs don’t last long. That means saving him in reserve; means avoiding injury.
Unless, Coughlin has been holding a grudge against Wilson. That makes little sense for someone crafty like Coughlin. Rather, I can see Coughlin clasping his hands together ‘Monty Burns style’ saying “release the dogs” and pressing a button to alert Wilson. Wilson will be the spark that sparks the Giants annual December/January catalyst. Period. Write it down. Be afraid.
What does this all mean? Well, the Giants maintain their one game lead over the Redskins. They keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks (who kapowed the Arizona Cardinals) and the Chicago Bears (who limped to another loss).
Most importantly, New York picks up a win before the rest of their tough schedule rolls on. They still face the Atlanta Falcons (11-2) and Baltimore Ravens (9-4). Both teams are trying to secure important home-field playoff advantage. They only get relief during the final week against the deflated Philadelphia Eagles. They needed this win to give them some breathing space.
By the time the Eagles come to town, the rest of the NFL will be scrambling to get tape on David Wilson. Their only hope is that any tape can capture Wilson’s speed… because the Saints certainly weren’t fast enough.
Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch and at www.facebookcom/craveonlinesports.com.
Photo Credit: Getty