Eli Manning up, Landon Collins down in Giants' loss to Patriots

Ad Pro Test Clip 203 - March 2017 (1:45)

Ad Pro Test Clip 203 - March 2017 (1:45)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A look at some New York Giants players who were "up" and a few who were "down" in Sunday's 27-26 loss to the New England Patriots:


QB Eli Manning. He's just playing at a very high level right now. Without a running game, without much protection, Manning is throwing the ball with extreme precision and giving the Giants a chance to win any game they play. He was 24-for-44 for 361 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday. He came agonizingly close to a third touchdown that would have put the game away. As he always seems to, he outperformed Tom Brady in a game in which that was the Giants' only chance to win, and he couldn't have done any more than he did.

LB Jasper Brinkley. It took injuries to middle linebackers Jon Beason and Uani Unga to get Brinkley on the field, but he's been a revelation since taking over that starting role. He brings an element of speed that the other two did not, and Sunday he had 12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble... basically was right in the middle of an inspired Giants defensive performance, and the breakdowns in the second half weren't his fault.

WR Dwayne Harris. Yes, his special-teams gaffe on the Danny Amendola punt return was unfortunate. But as a slot receiver, he's allowing Victor Cruz to take his time healing. Harris had 82 yards and a touchdown on six catches and seems to be able to make and hold onto the toughest and most important third-down catches in the games.


S Landon Collins. Like Odell Beckham, who dropped the aforementioned near-touchdown pass, Collins had the game in his hands and dropped it. He went high to pick off a Tom Brady pass on the final drive, but he hit his head when he landed and lost the ball, allowing the Patriots to continue on their way to their game-winning field goal. Collins owned up after the game and said he needs to make the catch. He was right.

RB Rashad Jennings. Just 39 yards on 11 carries. No run longer than six yards. And he was the Giants' leading rusher by far. The Giants continue to rotate Jennings, Andre Williams and Orleans Darkwa, but none of them can get any consistency going, and Jennings is the one who's supposed to be able to help put games away in the second half. They can't run the ball for first downs, can't run it at the goal line, and it's forcing Manning and the passing game to be perfect.

OT Ereck Flowers. The rookie left tackle had a rough day against Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who upped his league-leading sack total to 10.5. With left guard Justin Pugh out sick and center Weston Richburg leaving in the third quarter with an ankle sprain, the offensive line was banged up, and Flowers didn't have the help he usually has. He's had an up-and-down rookie season, but Sunday felt like a down day overall.