Led by Eli Manning, the New York Giants (6-2) had the second-best offense in the National Football League in the first half of the season. They ranked No. 2 in passing and No. 9 in rushing. But how did the individual offensive players perform through the team's first eight games? Here are my mid-season grades for Big Blue's key offensive players. Feel free to leave your marks below.
Eli Manning (QB) -- Manning is coming off a poor game against the Dallas Cowboys, otherwise he has been very reliable this season. He's led two big comebacks (against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns) and thrown for an NFL sixth-best 2,301 yards. Furthermore, he's completing more than 62 percent of his passes and has thrown 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Grade: B+
Victor Cruz (WR) --Cruz set the bar high last season with a franchise-record 1,536 yards receiving. Naturally, he's going to have a difficult time repeating those numbers, as opponents roll coverage in his direction. Still, Cruz is on pace for a 1,300-yard season and already has seven TDs, only two fewer than all of last season. Look for more of the same in the next eight games. Grade: B+
Hakeem Nicks (WR) --Nicks, who has been hampered by foot and knee injuries, missed three of the Giants' first eight games. Thus, he only has 380 yards receiving (199 of them came in week two) and one touchdown. In the previous two seasons, Nicks had at least 1,000 yards receiving and a total of 18 touchdown. If he gets healthy in the second half, his numbers will pop. Grade: C
Ahmad Bradshaw (RB) -- The hard-nosed Bradshaw has four touchdowns and is on pace for a 1,000-yards rushing despite missing a game and playing with injuries. Frankly, most of us wouldn't report to work with the pain Bradshaw plays in. His toughness and leadership qualities are invaluable. Grade: B
Martellus Bennett (TE) -- Bennett, who is in the midst of a career-best season, has filled a huge void at tight end. He already has a career-high 334 yards and three touchdowns, one off his career high. Manning loves throwing to his tight ends, so expect more from Bennett moving forward. Grade: B+
Offensive line -- The O-line has been outstanding since week two. The keys have been Sean Locklear, who stepped in for David Diehl, and the return of Will Beatty. Behind their hogs, the G-Men have allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL (seven) and rushed for a league seventh-best 917 yards. Remember, the Giants were last in the league in rushing in 2011. Grade: A
Other noteworthy players:Henry Hynoski (B+), Andre Brown (B), David Wilson (B), Domenik Hixon (B), Rueben Randle (C), Ramses Barden (D+).
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.
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