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Notes from Giants Win: 33-31

Overcoming all obstacles on the road in Dallas’ spanking new stadium – the Giants were able to grind out a win with a last second field goal to spoil the party for Jerry Jones and the rest of the Dallas fans on hand Sunday night. Who could have thunk it? Well… some of us here at Giants Gab did for starters.

The incomparable Mike Francesa said last week of tonight’s test:

“Anybody can win the easy games. It’s the great teams that find a way to win the tough games.”

In that vein, Eli Manning had a stellar night with 330 yds passing and 2 touchdowns. In terms of shouldering the entire Giants offense tonight, Eli Manning and his young receivers put on a clinic while the running game was a non factor, surprisingly. Frankly I don’t think I’ve seen so many miserable runs up the gut for 1 yard in my life, but the upside from that stubborn run routine was Eli’s sales job on the playaction fake – a huge return on investment there.

Both Steve Smith and Mario Manningham had 10 receptions and a touchdown apiece, with “Super Mario” reaching 150 yards on the night, while “Mr. Third Down” Steve Smith manufactured 134 yards… both had absolutely crucial receptions throughout the night in a real nail-biter on the road. Kevin Boss only had one reception for 13 yards and it came relatively late in the 4th quarter, I seriously wonder about minimal touches for Boss in this game when the Giants went 0/4 in the RedZone… even though the Giants were able to come away with a win. As far as the Giants touchdown woes go from inside the RedZone, I am officially out of ideas. They couldn’t run it in, and they couldn’t pass it in either… frustration all around inside the 20 for the Giants leaves me scratching my head. The only suggestion I can think of is bring in a RedZone specialist as a consultant — the fundamental idea down there needs to change because it’s obvious they need a perspective shift in the form of outside help.

The Cowboys by comparison went 4/4 in the RedZone and clearly had no trouble running the football with 251 yards on the ground. Marion Barber left the game early with what seemed like a hamstring injury after ripping off a 35 yard designed cutback run – setting up the Cowboys for another easy score. You can sum up Dallas’ RedZone attempts with one word — effortless. On two of the four scores for the Cowboys, the Giants defensive line was so spread out it seemed they were trying to let a score in on purpous. The Cowboys passing game did not have an impact, however, as Tony Romo only threw for 127 yards and one score, while Romo helped keep the Giants in the game with 3 interceptions.

Speaking of interceptions — the first interception of the night came off an incredible changeup dealt by Antonio Pierce, he was able to read the play and get his secondary adjusted to the pass right before the snap and Bruce Johnson came away with a huge pick-6 early in the game. Kenny Phillips was able to rack up two more INT’s and keep Dallas’ offense off the field.

While Tony Romo could not get anything started with the air game at home, even against a banged up secondary and defense where the Giants sat out 8 starters due to injuries… the Dallas rushing attack was consistently able to put the pressure back on the Giants. The Cowboys could not be contained on the ground. Ultimately, Eli Manning was able to engineer a scoring drive within the closing minutes of the game and cement himself as master of game management, especially in the 4th quarter. There’s something thrilling about the Giants operating out of a no-huddle offense, typically success is imminent when Eli Manning takes control… and like my father told me on the phone tonight after Tynes sealed the deal:

“Eli Manning just earned his paycheck”

He’s absolutely right. Eli Manning led the Giants to an uncharacteristic win exclusively via the passing game, and he did it on the road, with the deck stacked against the Giants in every regard, 8 starters injured on the sidelines — and they still pulled out the win… what more can be said other than:

“Wow”


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3 Responses to “Notes from Giants Win: 33-31”

  1. only1eli says:

    I think the green zone solution may be right under our noses. If Gilbride allowed Eli to call the plays, or at least give him schemes that are adaptable to more audibles when the Giants get inside the 20, I think the Giants could be more successful. Eli can read defenses as well as anyone and Gilbride has a tendency to make flat, predictable calls. We couldn’t possibly be less effective as of right now (which carries over from last season), so why not give our ace some of what his brother enjoys in Indianapolis.

  2. fine, Eli can be the one to pull the trigger — it still needs to come down to executing a called play that works.

    if you look back at whats consistently worked before for the Giants, you’d be amazed at the variety of plays not called in the red zone these past weeks that have worked time and time again for the Giants in other seasons with the same players and same line.

    I’m working on a list, will have it up soon.

  3. Russo757 says:

    Andrew,
    Good point but u have to think that because those handfull of plays did work for us in the past that other teams are now wise to those plays and formations. I like playing from the shotgun in the red zone. You can still run, pass, or draw. You can argue that you can acomplish the same otherwise, but we always have the same look. Stacked line, one wideout, and Jacobs or Bradshaw 5 yards behind the line.

    Regardless I think that for as much as people praise our O-Line and our HUGE RB that we should be able to punch in for a 3-1 even if there is a flashing arrow pointing to the lane we are about to charge.

    We have gotten off to a very slow, and alarming start to our run game this season. If we cant run in the open field, its going to be tough to do it in the red zone with a more compact D. Both issues need to be resolved if we are going to be superbowl contenders again this year. Lucky for us we have a few easy games coming up to test the waters if need be.

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