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D shines as Giants close in on playoffs

Giants receiver Odell Beckham snags Eli Manning’s throw with one hand and takes it in for a 4-yard score with 5:20 left.

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Giants receiver Odell Beckham snags Eli Manning’s throw with one hand and takes it in for a 4-yard score with 5:20 left.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Defense wins championships, and right now the Giants are convincing many that they might be the NFL's best.

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Forget that they are ranked in the middle of the league. In the past two games, Steve Spagnuolo's group has held division leaders Dallas and Detroit to a total of 13 points, including Sunday's 17-6 win over the Lions.

Add another Odell Beckham one-handed touchdown catch and the Giants inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2011 with a win that snapped the Lions' five-game winning streak.

"This is really exciting. I don't even know the word to use," linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. "It's starting to be a beautiful thing. Thirteen points the last two weeks, we like where we're at now."

The Giants (10-4) won their eighth in nine games and have their best record through 14 games since 2008, when they were 11-3. The winning formula was the one they have followed in coach Ben McAdoo's first season: just enough offense and a stingy, pass-rushing defense.

Eli Manning threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard on a 75-yard opening drive, then iced the game with a 4-yard scoring pass that Beckham caught with his left hand with 5:20 to play.

"Norm," veteran receiver Victor Cruz said of the catch. "The norm. I wasn't even surprised."

Beckham said catches like that "just kind of happen" for him. "You practice it and practice it," he said. "That's why you practice right-hand layups and left-hand layups."

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D shines as Giants close in on playoffs 12/18/16 [Last modified: Sunday, December 18, 2016 8:37pm]
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