New York Giants 37 Dallas Cowboys 34
Be honest Giants fans, how many of you turned off the TV when Eli threw that fourth quarter interception on an attempted screen pass? And for those die hard fans who kept watching, how many turned it off after the wide open touchdown pass Romo threw to Dez Bryant? I fell in the second category. After swearing at my mother, kicking the dog and brushing my teeth (ok I really only did one of those things) I had calmed down enough to turn it back on. After realizing the G-men were only down two touchdowns with five minutes to play I put my faith in the fourth quarter kid and he delivered a 37-34 road victory.
It is amazing how close the playoff race has become and how difficult it is to differentiate between contender and pretender. Last week all five teams battling for playoff spots (Falcons, Lions, Bears, Cowboys and Giants) all lost winnable games and this week, save the Bears and Cowboys, they all won. The Giants did all the things that they need to do to compete come January and took the first, and probably most important, step towards insuring a post season berth. Manning led a game winning drive with some huge throws to Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Jacons busted loose for 101 yards and two touchdowns, while Jason Pierre Paul and Chris Canty combined for three sacks of Romo.
It wasn’t all good for Big Blue. Tackling was extremely suspect in the run defense as Felix Jones looked like Marion Barber in his prime. The defense still gave up 34 points and has looked extremely porous outside the pass rush at times, but the top teams in the league all suffer from a similar deficiency. The question seems to be who will take care of business down the stretch.
The Giants looked like a motivated team last night. They excel where the Cowboys lack follow through. As much as fans have been infuriated with the Giants coaching staff, they know how to manage the clock and run an efficient two minute offense. Despite the inexperience on the line and in the receiving core, the team has absolute faith in Eli to take over the team and march down the field. The defense finally made the stop they haven’t been able to pick up and allowed the offense to make the game winning drive.
Last night was the coming out party for JPP. The dude was an absolute monster with two sacks, including a safety and when Dallas kicker Dan Bailey
attempted the game winner it was the long arms of the Giants defensive end that got in the way preserving the victory. Phil called it preseason and now the nation has witnessed his prowess.
With the win last night the Giants went from outside the playoff picture to first place in the NFC East. Dallas will have a chance for revenge in the last week of the season and that game may very well decide the division. Next week the Redskins come to the Meadowlands after an impressive loss to the Patriots. The following week it will be a test against Gang Green. Big Blue will have to take it one game at a time as neither one will be easy. The Redskins handed the Giants a loss in week one and the Jets have looked impressive the past few weeks. Limiting turnovers and continuing to get pressure on the quarterback has always been the formula for success for this Giants team and that is what they will need to ride into the post season.
Oh yes and it appears there is a post script: add a dash of Manning to Nicks all day.
Can the Giants use this momentum? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.