<
>

Rapid Reaction: New York Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the New York Giants' 24-13 victory over Washington on Sunday at MetLife Stadium:

What it means: The Giants will finish in third place in the NFC East and, at 5-9 with two games to go, still have a chance to match last season's 7-9 record. They have won two games in a row after losing seven straight.

Stock watch: Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, UP. He had 2.5 sacks to increase his walk-year total to 9.5 -- the most he has had in any season but his 16.5-sack 2011 season. Pierre-Paul appeared to hurt his left shoulder on one of the sacks but stayed in the game and wreaked havoc, especially once Washington left tackle Trent Williams left the game with a shoulder injury of his own. Pierre-Paul has six sacks in his past three games and is making a push to persuade the Giants to give him the lucrative long-term contract he seeks as a pending free agent.

JPP has company: The Giants' defensive front as a whole is on an impressive run. After recording just 19 sacks in their first 11 games of the season, the Giants have 22 in their past three games, including the seven they got Sunday. Impressive second-year defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins had 2.5 of his own Sunday. Reigning NFC defensive player of the week Devon Kennard had another half-sack and batted down a pass. The Giants knocked Washington quarterback Colt McCoy out of the game early and stayed after Robert Griffin III even after his impressive start.

Game ball: Redundant though this may be, rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was quite simply the best player on the field. The target of intense defensive attention and physicality by the Washington defense, Beckham still finished with 12 catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns. His 35-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter gave him 904 receiving yards for the season and broke Jeremy Shockey's Giants rookie record. Beckham is now up to 972 yards for the season and will need only 28 in his final two games to become the first Giants rookie with 1,000 receiving yards. This was only Beckham's 10th game, as he missed the first four after a preseason hamstring injury.

What's next: The Giants travel to St. Louis for a 4:05 p.m. ET game against the 6-8 Rams on Sunday afternoon.