Jon Beason. Peyton Hillis. John Conner.
A few weeks ago, this would have looked like a list made up of NFL players who have plummeted from the positions they once occupied in the limelight. Now, it appears to be a list of players who have helped save the New York Giants‘ season. The G-Men have won their last two games, bringing their record to 2-6, just two games out of first place in the staggeringly weak NFC East.
The Giants acquired Beason from the Carolina Panthers in early October in hopes of boosting the talent along their starting linebacking corps, which had previously been made up of Mark Herzlich, Keith Rivers and Spencer Paysinger.
Beason has played in New York’s last three games and has recorded a total of 25 tackles. He’s played an integral role in stopping the run as the Giants have given up just 78 total rushing yards in the last two weeks. Oh yeah, in the last two weeks, the Giants have faced Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy.
About two weeks ago, New York signed Hillis, who was a free agent at the time. Andre Brown, David Wilson and Brandon Jacobs had all gone down with injuries, leaving rookie Michael Cox in an awfully lonely backfield. In two games as a Giant, Hillis has compiled 106 rushing yards, eight receptions, 60 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Hillis is not a dominating player by any means. However, he has given the Giants a much-needed lift in several areas of their offense. He is a physical player who blocks well in the passing game. And while he’s no longer going to dominate a game on the ground, he runs downhill and picks up valuable yards. Hillis has also given Eli Manning a receiving option out of the backfield, which the Giants sorely lacked.
After Henry Hynoski fractured his shoulder in the Carolina loss, the Giants were left without a fullback. The team signed John Conner, previously known as “The Terminator” during his time with the New York Jets.
Conner has been very good as New York’s lead blocker, especially considering that he’s playing behind a struggling offensive line and a running game that is decent at best. He’s also proved to be a good receiver out of the backfield, catching four passes. In case you forgot, Hynoski had hands that might as well have been made of stone and smothered in butter.
It’s hard to believe the Giants have two wins and are still thinking about the playoffs. Once thing’s for sure: they would still be pursuing their first victory of 2013 if it wasn’t for Beason, Hillis and Conner.