NY Giants 34 Houston 10

The Giants were fantastic!  They outplayed the Texans in all three phases of the game and won convincingly.  There is reason to be excited about the prospects for this team for the first time in a long while.

In the postgame, Curt Menafee noted that this was the first time the Giants won back to back games since early in 2009.  It shows.  Offense.  Defense. Even competency in special teams.  The Giants defense played well vs the Bears, but the Offense struggled.  Versus the Texans, the offense struck early and struck often.  This was a complete TEAM win, and it augers very well for the Giants’ competitiveness the rest of the season.  Glenn analyzed the game perfectly on Friday and called for the win. 

The Good
1) Hakeem Nicks.  Dominant.  Every week it just gets better and better.  Howie Long says he looks like Michael Irvin.
2) OL pass protection.  Gave Eli all day in the pocket.
3) Eli Manning.  When you give this QB time, he will pick you apart.
4) JONATHAN GOFF.  Look folks, defense wins championships, and seeing Goff shoot the gap and make a stop for a loss is the way big defenses play big.  When was the last time you saw a Giants LBer shoot the gap like that?  Maybe 2008 with Pierce?  Or early in 2009 vs one of the dregs we played?  The point is that this is what we were missing.  Also, look at the pass broken up by Goff in coverage, he leaps to get a hand on it, the range you need to be taken seriously as a defender.  If Goff can continue to ascend and improve his play, he’ll tighten this defense immeasurably.
5) Boley.  Solid game.  Makes an early stop for a loss, setting the tone.
6) Osi Umenyiora- 2 sacks, 2 stripped balls, 1 caused a turnover.
7) Sage Rosenfels as the FG holder.  He seemed to calm down..
8) Lawrence Tynes, who went 3/3 on FGs.
9) Giants run defense.  When you shut down the league’s #1 run offense, you are doing very well.  Good control of the gaps.
10) Giant pass rush- 3 sacks, plenty of pressure, doing it with 4 men most of the day.
11) JPP bats down a ball on 3rd down.  Makes the Texans get off the field.  These are big plays.
12) Diehl and Andrews.  We take our shots at Diehl’s slow foot speed vs speed rushers but Mario Williams was virtually silent today.  No news for a lineman is very good news.
13) Matt Dodge- His highs are getting higher, his lows are getting higher.
14) Corey Webster/Terrell Thomas.  I wish they would press more, but these guys are still terrific corners that we have so much confidence in, no matter who they face.  The INT by CWeb was suffocating.
15) Gilbride and Fewell.  Both gameplanned well.  Tony Siragusa noted that the Giants defense seemed to know exactly what the Texans were doing before the snap.  It looked like the Giants had a poker “tell” on what the offense was doing, pass or run.  Excellent.

Bad
1) Eli had 2 INTs in Q3 that were forced and unnecessary.  One was rolling left, where Eli just does not have the velocity on the ball.  After the two mistakes, he adjusted and protected the ball.  
2) Too many special teams penalties.

Ugly
1) Reynaud fumble of a punt in Q1. 

Last year, the Giants got off to a 5-0 start, but we cautioned that the Giants had not been tested yet and we would know much more vs the Saints in W6.  So this season, the Giants were sloppy through 3 games and even their offense and specials were not good in Week 4.  But between the effort of the defense vs the Bears in Week 4 and this total team effort in W5, this team looks better here at 3-2 this season than when they were 5-0 last season.  Why?  Because we are seeing better LBer play.  Because we have Safeties.  Because Hakeem Nicks is now in his second year and is going to be a force.  Because Specials are no longer hemorrhaging.  Because Shawn Andrews is a reliable spotter on the depth chart.  Because Bradshaw is the starting RB.  Because Tuck is healthy.  Because the Giants are playing consistently hard. 

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