A myriad of excuses were thrown out in the wake of what appeared to be another November nose-dive for the defending Super Bowl champions. Eli has a tired arm. The running game isn’t what it needs to be. There are too many injuries to key players. Fans and commentators alike were lamenting the demise of the Giant’s season. The NFC East was back in play, with both the Cowboys and the Redskins well-positioned to oust the Giants from their number-one spot.
Not anymore. The G-men dismantled all those excuses in last night’s 38-10 rout of the Green Bay Packers and extended their lead in the NFC East to two games over the ‘Boys and the Skins. Big Blue came storming out of the gate and kept the pressure on throughout the game. The Giants played stellar football, dominating on both sides of the ball. Manning finished the night 16-for-30 with 249 yards, throwing for 3 touchdowns (he also ran for 12 yards, taking the hit at the end of the run instead of the more typical QB slide). Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers finished 14-for-25 with 219 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. He was harassed all night by the Giants’ defensive line- sacked 5 times and numerous drop-backs, hurries and hits.
Though the Giants played well all over the field during Sunday’s game, there were a few standouts that led to their dominant performance against Green Bay.
A much needed bye week. Let us all give thanks to the football gods that Big Blue’s bye week came when it did. It was sorely needed as the Giants were in a tail-spin. The break gave the team time to rest and work through several uncharacteristic issues that had been plaguing the Giants in the weeks headed into the bye.
Explosive run game. Year after year the Giants are hammered for lacking a strong run game. Finishing last in the league last season for rushing yards, the run game has been on and off this season. Last night it was on. Boy, was it ever on. Ahmad Bradshaw had a phenomenal game despite missing practice all week, averaging six yards a carry and plowing through the Packers’ defensive line for a 13-yard rushing TD. Andre Brown again proved his worth to the Giants and registered a TD before leaving the game with a broken fibula (this will hurt the Giants’ run game moving forward, he will likely be sorely missed as the season draws to a close).
Brilliant play from the wide-receiver corps. Hakeem Nicks is injured? No one watching last night’s game would have guessed Nicks is still not at his full fighting strength. It felt like Nicks was all over the field, making big plays, catching key throws and registering the Giants’ only second-half score, a third-quarter TD. Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz also had a solid night, with each picking up a touchdown score.
Fearsome defense. Finally! Giants fans everywhere have been eagerly awaiting the return of our beloved and feared defense. It was alive and kicking last night. Kiwanuka (2), Blackburn, Canty, and Umenyiora all registered sacks last night. Corey Webster added an interception to make up for getting burned by Jordy Nelson early in the game. Amukamara was able to shut down Cobb who had only four receptions, severly limiting Rodger’s options. And lastly…
ELI! Seriously, you didn’t think we’d wrap this up without mentioning Manning’s stand-out performance? Of course not! Despite proving his worth time and time again the Giants’ signal caller continues to come under fire. For Eli though, it ain’t no thang. He just steps out on the field and definitively silences every single critic.