Eli Run, Young Man’s Words Lead to Giants Blowout Win
Added by Vin D'Anton on November 27, 2012.
Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Once again, this Eli/Coughlin era of New York Giants football answers the call when we all count them out. I told you last week that the Giants were in danger of losing the NFC East. Could I have been wrong?
After a 38-10 beat down of the Green Bay Packers and their wannabe Chips cast member quarterback, everyone wants back on the bandwagon. Just like they did against the 49ers earlier this season, the Giants came out and said, “we’re going to smack you in the mouth” by running the ball early and effectively. The G-Men netted 147 yards on the ground Sunday Night.
Speaking of running; how about Eli Manning? Even after Mason Crosby missed his fifth straight field goal, there was still worry in the back of Giants fans minds after that 61-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson.
So what did Eli do to amp up the crowd and his teammates? With the score tied 7-7 on 3rd&7 (following an Eli false start), Manning dropped back to pass. Realizing early that everyone was covered, “Easy-E” tucked the ball and ran. When he crossed the first down marker, he didn’t slide, he lowered his shoulder as he drove into Packers cornerback Tramon Williams.
OK fine, he didn’t truck Williams; but what that said was he was here to play and would sacrifice anything to win the biggest game of 2012. The crowd went wild. Confidence was felt all throughout the Meadowlands and Tri-State area as the Giants never looked back.
“I thought it might be close to the first down so I just thought I might have to go get an extra yard,” Manning said. “I didn’t think the guy was running at me, he was kind of stopped in a DB so I just tried to make sure I got the first down. I’m sure I’ll get some heat from it or maybe guys will be proud of me in the meetings tomorrow.”
“Well, it sparked our sideline, that’s for sure,” Tom Coughlin said. “That wouldn’t be recommended on a normal basis, but in that case, to see him do that, I think, sent a message to the rest of our team as well, in terms of whatever you have to do to succeed, do it.”
Three plays later, when all seemed lost on a 3rd&5, Manning threw over the middle and into the endzone to hit Rueben Randle for a 16-yard touchdown.
The rout was on.
The only controversy in the first half came on a 4th & inches when Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy elected to kick a field goal to make it 24-10 after a 9-yard Victor Cruz touchdown a couple of minutes before.
On the next Packers drive, the king of the sack-strip Osi Umenyiora did just that and Jason Pierre-Paul ran the ball to the Green Bay 23.
Two plays later Ahmad Bradshaw scampered 13-yards up the middle for the Giants second rushing touchdown, the first coming from Andre Brown on the opening drive.
Kevin Gilbride needed to do something fresh to kick start the Giants offense. Gilbride did just that on the opening drive with Bradshaw on a play action reverse screen pass that went 59-yards.
That kind of play calling led to a near perfect redzone touchdown percentage; the Giants ranked 27th in that stat coming in. Before the last drive where the Giants couldn’t convert on a 4th down, they were a perfect five-for-five. Three touchdown passes along with those two rushing.
“That was big,” said Eli of the success. “They weren’t all close, a couple of them from the 12 or 13-yard line or third and long situations where we had some big plays. That was very important in getting us the lead and getting us touchdowns during that point.”
Another beautiful thing to see was the Giants playing not to lose. Even in the fourth quarter we saw them passing on second down. Too often, Coughlin doesn’t like to pour on the score. He still didn’t last night by only scoring once in the second half but they called scoring plays.
The so called “dead arm” of Eli Manning came alive last night as the two-time Super Bowl MVP went 16-of-30 for 249 yards and three touchdowns.
“I never thought my arm was tired,” Eli said. “I never felt like it in the last weeks, but after a week off and coming back to practice it felt good. It felt live, the ball seemed to be coming out with a little extra pop on it, so that’s always good. I think naturally after a week off with not throwing much, it definitely needed a little rest.”
To win the way they did, the Giants had to play like Champions. That message was delivered to them by a young boy who is fighting something much tougher than the Green Bay Packers.
“We challenged our team to play,” said Coughlin. Adam (Merchant), a young man who was with us from Make-a-Wish on Friday, said to our team, ‘Play like world champions.’ The message was loud and clear. We had Adam in the locker room after the game as well and had him in the middle. Guys were very appreciative that he was here and really what he said was most meaningful. We picked up on that and that’s basically the challenge that we kept throughout the weekend and on our Saturday night meetings, ‘play like world champions.’”
Of course with every great win comes awful injuries. Andre Brown suffered a broken fibula, an injury even Coach Coughlin said, “it takes a lot off the win.” However, Brown was placed on the IR; designated to return list for now.
Kenny Philips was injured again as he aggravated his MCL that kept him out six weeks. The Giants are hopeful he can play next Monday in Washington.