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Ben McAdoo hands play-calling duties to Giants OC

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Desperate times call for desperate measures. The winless New York Giants have taken those measures.

After calling plays under ex-coach Tom Coughlin and during his first season as head coach, Ben McAdoo handed over offensive play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for Sunday's 23-10 win over the Denver Broncos.

McAdoo said after the game that he will revisit the decision this week, but intimated that Sullivan will call plays going forward, saying, it "looks like a pretty good plan."

Sullivan is in his second stint with the Giants. After coaching receivers and quarterbacks in East Rutherford from 2004 to 2011, he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their offensive coordinator under Lovie Smith. After Smith was fired in 2014, he returned to be McAdoo's QB coach in 2015 and was promoted to OC last season.

Sullivam set the tone on New York's first drive of the night against arguably the league's best defense in Denver. The Giants held the ball for over seven minutes, marched 69 yards down the field in 13 plays and, with a field goal, became the first team all season to score points against Denver on their first possession. In the victory, the Giants ran for 148 yards, nearly a season-high, and kept Eli Manning's attempts to his inexperienced receiving corps to a minimum; the QB finished with just two completions to receivers, a stat Manning was happy to see.

"I thought [Sullivan] did a good job sticking with the run. Knew it was going to be that game. Got a little lead and staying with it," Manning told reporters. "I know as a coordinator as a quarterback you want to throw it. They're playing a lot of man to man, subzero, you want to take a shot. But just with the way things are going and the matchup and the way our defense was going it was best to stick with it and play conservative."

The Giants kept this news under wraps all week, as those on the periphery were more concerned with defensive back drama (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's ban and Eli Apple's benching) and a litany of wide receiver injuries.

Entering Sunday night's game, the Giants offense was struggling, to say the least. New York ranked 28th in PPG, 30th in rushing YPG and 31st in big plays per game. Plus, the Giants are without Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard, Dwayne Harris and Paul Perkins, or, in short, all of their offensive weapons.

Many speculated whether McAdoo would last the rest of the season in his current position. By eschewing one of his primary responsibilities, the embattled skipper might just save his job.

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