Just as UPS does, running back Andre Brown delivered for the Giants and did so in precise timing. Brown entered Sunday’s game as the fifth starting running back for the Giants this season after missing the first nine games due to breaking his left leg for the second time. Sunday Andre exploded. He carried the ball 30 times for 115 yards and one touchdown (inches away from having two on the day). Do the New York Giants actually have a solid running back? Looks that way. It was amazing that for someone who has not played for so long have fantastic ball hold. The most notable plays he made was with 3:30 minutes to play in the game. Brown picked up the two first downs that sealed the victory for Big Blue. Without a doubt he was the MVP of the game. Certainly deservedly of the game ball. With his outstanding skills at running back the Giants for the first time ran the ball more than passing.
The Giants jumped out of the gate sloppy. Jerrel Jernigan fumbled on the return that led to the Raiders Touchdown. However, what the Lord “Giants G-ds” giveith he takith away. On the Raiders first punt, rookie Damontre Moore blocked it and rookie Cooper Taylor scooped it up and ran it to the end zone. After the game Moore talked about how he and Taylor bunked together during training camp. So for them to have collectively execute a play that has not been done by the Giants since September of 1988, got them “extremely pumped up.” Although special teams made up for their first blunder, between them and the Giants turnovers, it cost the G-men 17 points. Something Tom Quinn must get fixed ASAP in order for the Giants to have a shot at moving up in their division.
The Giants primary reason for all of their victories goes to the defense. They only allowed one touchdown Sunday, after not allowing one in the past 10 quarters. That one touchdown came off of Jerrel’s fumble on the punt to begin the game. Giving the Raiders the ball at the 5-yard line. They only allowed the Raiders star runner in QB Terrelle Pryor to a measly 19 yards. Sacking him four times. This is their second game in a row with four sacks. Going into week 8 they had a total of six sacks and were giving up 34.8 yards a game. Their game has changed dramatically. What once consisted of a defensive line just being interior, is now playing well outside and inside. Pressure came from every player.
The momentum shifter in the game that favored the Giants came from an interception made by Terrell Thomas. In the Giants last game against the Eagles in week 8, Terrell was named defensive player of the week in the NFL. He is showing no signs of having three ACL surgeries on the same leg. Entering the game in the third quarter on the first snap he piked off Pryor, nearly taking it the distance. He took it 66 yards to the 5-yard line. The decision by Jerry Reese to keep both Thomas and Brown on the team with the injuries they sustained was of pure brilliancy. Reese had trust and confidence on their returns being successful. He is now being considered a genius with his call, because any of the other 31 teams would have dropped them. Reese said Brown would be back week 10. Andre did, and did it in fashion. Thomas is not only causing turnovers, he brings pressure that scares even the backup quarterback on the opposing team sitting on the bench.
The runner up for MVP came from the two time pro-bowler Antrel Rolle. He lead the defense with 12 tackles and one sack. In the third with the Raiders up 17-14 on a second and three at the Giants seven, Rolle stopped Rashad Jennings at the one. What should have been a touchdown was rejected on a goal line stance, leaving the Raiders to only put up three. Rolle said after the game “Our team is filled with fighters. We know what hole we are in, but we play week by week and our goal is to win the next seven games.”
The only Giants player that did not show up was Eli. He was victimized by his third pick six of his career and seems to have nothing going. Where did the two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback go? With all other pieces coming together, Eli has to step up. Even the penalties were under control. If someone was to say that the Giants only had one penalty for five yards, one might laugh and say “Stop lying.” The Giants are just getting by right now and there will be no way for the Giants to continue their winning streak without the old Eli back.
The Giants coming out of their bye have three straight home games. Next is the Packers, who will be playing without the future hall of fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers or Green Bay’s back-up Seneca Wallace. The Giants will face third-string Scott Tolzien. With the “D” playing the way they have been playing recently, this coming Sunday should be a win for Big Blue. Finally some weight has been lifted off of their shoulders in their 24-20 victory over the Raiders. Giants are now 3-6.