2) We said it all week, the Giants OFFENSE needed to step up and score 40 points to win this game… they did and the team won.
3) Eli Manning was outstanding. Akin to the Bengals game, the AZ defense gave the Giants a lot of 8 man fronts. The Giants were not going to run for 200 yards today, so Manning and the passing game had to answer. He answered emphatically. End of midseason malaise. The stats will not do Manning justice. He managed every single phase of the offense beautifully. He was 26/33, but of 7 incompletions at least 3 or 4 were dropped by his receivers. One of the things that is always there in Eli’s game is his control over everything. He knows exactly what he wants. Granted he had problems with crowd noise early, but he managed that too. And then there is the way he steps into the pocket when the pass rush is coming. It buys him that extra split second and that means the difference between winning and losing in the NFL.
4) The officiating was horrendous. This is such an old story in the NFL this season. The point here is this is why the Giants need to strive to eliminate ALL mistakes… because these refs are so terrible that you do not want to let their arbitrary decisions cost you the game. So the Giants won despite more than a few bad calls. Good for the Giants.
5) Manning took a beating on a handful of plays. There were a few times where he got driven into the ground WORSE than the horrendous call when Tuck was flagged for a personal foul (against Dallas 3 weeks ago). The hypocrisy is incredible.
6) The Giants run defense was never challenged.
7) Carney is gin on the short FGs, but his lack of leg is hurting the Giants’ kickoff coverage.
8) Before anyone gets too excited about this Giants win, please remember that the Giants got TWO turnovers from Kurt Warner (resulting in +10 points for the gmen) PLUS one failed onside kick attempt (+3 points) PLUS two fantastic Hixon kickoff returns of 68 and 83 yards (+10 points). So those little nuggets added up to 23 points of the Giants 37 total scored. Yes, they all count, but the message is that down the road the offense is going to need to keep scoring on offense because opponents like the Cardinals (and other teams with good QBs) will score. CONTINUE TO USE THAT OFFENSE TO WIN GAMES.
9) Lots of players need to be singled out in the game. Of course Hixon pulled another performance like that against Seattle. Give him the minutes (on the offense AND on kickoffs) and he is an impact player, period. Phillips looked very good out there today. His speed in the secondary allows him to cover a lot of ground, and you see that when he closes in on plays, either stopping a TD (Fitzgerald, Q1) or containing plays and eliminating yards after catch. (Daryl Johnston did a good job of pointing out how the Giants defense did a great job of containing YAC.) And then there are the players you simply do not hear from, like Corey Webster. The silence is deafening. He is anchoring the entire secondary right now because he is quietly shutting it down. Against the best. Of course there is Pierce, who as traffic cop, according to Goose, was calling Arizona’s run and pass plays before the snap, as well as (according to Johnston) calling for Thomas to move over to a certain position before the snap, which led to his INT.
10) Gilbride. He still is predictable in the second down and 10 yards or less after a first down pass play… you know a run is coming. But that said, he called a very good game because (a) he went away from the run when the Cardinals were loading up at the line and (b) he did NOT go into the prevent offense with 4:02 left. Excellent. He and Coughlin respected Arizona’s offense enough to know that they had to demand enough of their offense to WIN the game instead of asking the defense not to lose it. And win it they did, by driving 30 yards to the AZ 16 yard line for the FG.
11) It is almost not worth noting, but I will post the obvious. Everyone in tomorrow’s media will be glowing about how the Giants won without Jacobs and Burress. For many on this blog, we know that the success of the Giants and the offense in particular this season has not been about those two players. So when one or both were a threat not to be in the game today, there was EXACTLY ZERO alarm this week from this corner because the Giants are so browning loaded at RB and WR that this team was not going to miss ANYTHING. I for one was actually salivating at the thought of guys like Hixon and Bradshaw getting more minutes. These guys are not only ready for primetime, they ARE primetime. So let the media fawn over the Giants winning on the road w/o the “name” stars of Jacobs and Burress… the real name stars who are indispensable are Diehl, Seubert, O’Hara, Snee, McKenzie and Manning. When the Giants win without those 6 guys, we can gush.