First Impressions on Giants Touchdown-less Victory

In games like this, you always must remember Eli Manning’s mantra from years ago.

“It’s not about stats, it’s about winning games.”

And while the Giants offense moved the ball well at times throughout the game, they were unable to punch it in the endzone… a red zone issue that has persisted since the preseason.  It’s not for lack of trying, either — Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks just haven’t yet connected on that fade pattern they’re used to executing routinely.  Victor Cruz was suplexed by two Eagles and left the game for a while in a pretty scary moment for Giants fans – but returned and showed the kind of toughness that allowed the GMEN to gut out a tough win.  Josh Brown came up huge going 5/5 on field goals.

There were a couple of stats that point to how the Giant were able to not score a TD on offense and still win pretty convincingly.  Zero turnovers, and namely:

THE DEFENSE.

For the second game in a row the Giants defense has not allowed a single TD.  Granted they were playing Josh Freeman’s Virgin Vikings and Mike Vick / Matt Barkley’s reeling Eagles — but the Giants have shut down the enemy’s offense completely with what Tom Coughlin is always saying… Stop the run.  Don’t turn the ball over.  Force them to turn it over.

And they’ve done it well the past two weeks, as well as anyone in the league has been playing in fact.  Don’t tell this defense they are out of the playoff race — the D is playing like they’re IN the playoffs. What are the reasons for this turnaround?  Let’s name them:

The DT’s.  Linval Joseph, Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, Jonathan Hankins, Shaun Rogers.   The defense this year was completely remolded to stop the run, that is the Defensive Line’s strength right now and they are a top 5 run stopping group in the league after trailing the pack a year ago.  Justin Tuck and JPP have been incredible in run defense, say what you want about the pass rush.  They did register 4 sacks yesterday though.. Speaking of run stopping…

Middle Linebacker Jon Beason.  What a 180 this team has done with a legitimate MLB leading the defense.  The Panther fans have been talking about him for years as an impact linebacker and we’re seeing first hand what a healthy Jon Beason does for a defense.  Good luck running the ball, good luck getting a shallow catch and run by Beason.  And good luck trying to block him.  The guy isn’t just sideline to sideline good, he is legitimately great.  And he’s loving it here in NY and you can tell right now we’re going to have to re-sign him next year, damn the costs.

Strong Safety Will Hill. This isn’t about his game clinching INT, although that was quite the cherry on top.  No, Will Hill has brought an intensity and physicality to the defensive secondary that lets everyone else do their job.  What he has, you can’t teach… and he fits right in here like a young Kenny Phillips once did. I can’t wait to see more from this young man.

Prince Amukamara and Trumaine McBride.  These are my starting corners from now on.  The second Corey Webster went in there the Eagles went right after him and drove right down into scoring position throwing to his side of the field.  I’ve seen enough, McBride is my #2 CB for the rest of the season… a guy you saw flashes from all preseason and just knew he had it in him. I could care less about the close call on the punt, he’s such a better corner than Webster right now that gets a pass for me. CWebb needs to be restructured next year, big time.  The Giants are going to need that money to retains guys that are proving it on the field.

Free Safety Antrel Rolle.  Talk about going to the land of the believers, Rolle has another INT and a forced fumble since proclaiming he’s going to play Antrel Rolle football from here on out.  I love it, the guy has led by example and I couldn’t be happier that he’s got his defense playing lights out right now.


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