You have to play 4 quarters to beat the best teams in the NFL. The Giants played great for the first three quarters, lost that urgency in the 4th and the end result reflects that.
Manning and the entire team came ready to play, and a lot of good things came from this game. On the bright side, this was the best performance the Giants gave all season. Yes, 38 warts and all, it was a very good team showing for the Giants, something they can certainly build on.
The Patriots offense is potent on any day, and with the lack of turnovers you need 4 quarters from your offense. When the Giants got the ball in Q4, all of a sudden the wheels came off. A fumbled snap by Manning, a deflected ball at the line of scrimmage, a time out has to be burned (which we could have used in a big way), all within ~3 plays. And then the next possession when we can maintain tempo Manning overthrows his receiver for an INT. But make no mistake, THIS WAS A VERY GOOD GAME FOR MANNING. He showed us what we need to see, and we need to see it for 4 quarters, not three, and more consistently going forward. It is something to build on. It certainly is a performance that he can take into Tampa Bay and go toe to toe with anyone in the NFC in these playoffs. And that goes for the entire team. There were some sloppy moments in the 4th quarter that still irk me, like that 15 yard penalty on the kickoff, the Toomer holding penalty negating a good gain, the embarrassing slowness once again of the hurryup to snap the ball w/o watching the game clock go into single digits. But there were so many positives… Boss played well, Steve Smith was a factor, Hixon has speed on kickoffs (I assume Bradshaw was out.. he was ‘questionable’ w injury). Burress is looking a little better.
Rob points out that Manning was doing well when not blitzed, and when he got blitzed later in the game he had more trouble.
I thought the Giants were not getting breaks on many calls… (1) Ross was pushed off in the end zone by Moss on his first TD grab, should have been offensive pass interference but he is never going to get that call. (2) And speaking of Moss, on a big pass play earlier, he leg whips a defender and does not get called for tripping. (3) Webster also gets called on a marginal interference call when he was ‘tight’ w his receiver. That reverses a big sack too. (4) Wilfork tries to poke Jacobs in the eyes (which he will get fined by the league for but does not get 15 yds for in the game!). (5) Brady ran out of time and they didn’t call it. (6) Umenyiora was held a couple of times in a flagrant manner.
The Giants suffered some injuries in this game, but the bottomline is that if they can play well in all three phases of the game like tonight, they can be competitive. You have to like them next weekend vs TB now, that is an easy takeaway. And the Giants and Bucs players know this.