The New York Giants have been slowly, but surely regaining their respect in the NFL week by week. This week’s win came over the Green Bay Packers at home in Metlife Stadium by a final score of 27-13, improving their record to 4-6 on the year. The turning point in the game came in the beginning of the fourth quarter when the Packers had an opportunity for a touchdown drive that would potentially tie the game at 20. In the huddle, Jason Pierre-Paul told his defense that he was going to intercept the next pass from Tolzien and take it back for a touchdown. Somehow, someway he stayed true to his word. The very next play from scrimmage the Packers ran was read beautifully, intercepted and taken to the house by the athletic phenomenon who wears number 90 on the Giants defense. When Justin Tuck was asked about the play, his response was told in amazement: “We really needed a big play then and he stepped up and did something I’ve never seen before in my life; he actually called it in the huddle before they even came out of their huddle and told me he was going to pick this one off. I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.”
I would equate Pierre-Paul’s play to the likes of a major league baseball player confidently pointing his bat over the centerfield fence when the game is on the line, and actually taking the pitcher deep for a home run to win the game on that pitch; it really was remarkable. The Giants had two other interceptions on the day, made by their two leading defenders on the team, safety Antrel Rolle, and possibly the best free agent signing in a decade, Jon Beason. Beason was also tied for the team lead in tackles with eight, bringing his total to 36 in only five games. In his post-game press conference, Coughlin had high praise for Mr. Beason saying, “He’s done an outstanding job. He is very focused. He brings that to the table and other people have to join him in that focus.”
Some keys to the game that led New York to victory Sunday were, first and foremost, their tremendous defensive effort to hold the Packers sensational rookie running back Eddie Lacy to only 27 yards rushing. Big Blue’s defense held the Packers to a 25% success rate on third down, which is something of a weak point for this team and a very encouraging sign. Eli Manning looked much better; his numbers on the day were 25-35/279/1 with an interception. The lone interception was not Eli Manning’s fault though; Louis Murphy ran the wrong route. He was supposed to run it to the inside, and instead, opted to the outside on a play where that wasn’t an option. Andre Brown pitched in doing his share by tallying up 66 yards on 18 carries.
Next up is a home showdown against their long time division rivals- the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are coming into Metlife stadium this week fresh off a bye sitting at 5-5 on the year. If the Giants can figure out a way to win their fifth straight game this coming week, they would be tied for second place in the division and only one game out of first to the Eagles who are 6-5 and have their bye this week. As long as the Giants can stay focused on each individual task at hand every week and continue progressing as they have been, the NFC East is destined for another tight race that comes down to the last play of the regular season. For now, Big Blue needs a solid week of practice and to bring their best game Sunday, because Dallas is coming into East Rutherford this week starving for a victory.