Great win by a flat Giants team that played fantastic football in Q2 and Q4 to win a nailbiter! Ecstatic.
Somebody pinch me! Quick, hurry. I had this nightmare that the NY Giants didn’t show up in Q1, and were going to blow the prettiest opportunity to capitalize on chokes by the Cowboys and Eagles. Down 27-17 with ~ 5 mins left and the nausea was seeping in. But Gilbride and Eli piloted the Giants quickly down the field to make it a 3 point game, and there was hope.
Hope was answered in an AZ 3-and-out, followed by one of the most controversial calls of the season. Victor Cruz catches the ball, gets by a defender, then flops in front of two other defenders and leaves the scene. Except no one has touched the rising WR star and the ball is left there, a fumble. My heart sank- we just blew the game. It was going to be ruled a turnover. Somehow, the officials called the ball dead, ruling that Cruz “gave up,” and that Whisenhunt could not even challenge the play. I never heard of such a thing! Pereira, a former official agreed, tweeting that the officials blew the call. This huge break changed the outcome of the game, as the Giants scored a TD immediately thereafter on yet another pretty Nicks catch, and then sealed the game on a Webster deflection of a pass intended for Fitzgerald. GAME OVER. Get off the field before the officials change their minds!
1) This Giants win! Cashing in on the mishaps in Philadelphia and Dallas, when both of those teams were at home, up 23-3 and 27-3 and blowing those games, was amazing. I watched those two games on NFL Red Zone, and both teams were killing the Niners and Lions. It took some Romo INTs and PHL missed FGs to blow those games. HUGE CHOKES. SO FOR THE GMEN TO ‘REVERSE CHOKE’ and win a game they could have easily lost, this was a great day. Bank it. Next.
2) OSI STRIP SACK in Q1! If not for that play, the Giants would have had too big a hole to dig out of, and a flat Giants team would lose. My half-serious analysis is that Osi only makes that play because he’s the only one who did not empty vs Philly the previous week.
3) CRUZ. NICKS. BALLARD. Words cannot describe the lift these 3 give for us as Giants fans. They came to play, which was a lot more than many other NY Giants. They are young, they are rising, they are the future, they are the present, they were a present for us today. Nicks 10 catchs for 162 yards, Cruz 6 for 98, Ballard 3 receptions. Every catch/route these guys made was solid gold.
4) The Giants defense bent but did not break in H1. AZ 0-3 in the red zone in H1 was what kept this game within reach.
5) Gilbride playcalling was good in spurts. It looked like the Cardinals loaded the box and smelled run a little more than I am comfortable with, but you could see some good playcalls that got the team moving in Q2 and Q4. RBs and TEs had 10 receptions. Your coordinator is doing something right when you can score 14 points in ~50 seconds, when it needs it most. Some will remark that the offense needs more of that rhythm from the no huddle. We agree. Separately, loved how we got 7 and the win on the final drive instead of thinking pussy FG for OT.
6) Eli 27/40, 321 yards, 2 TDS (should have been 3), 0 INTs. Eli was great in Q4.
7) Osi and Tollefson both with 2 sacks.
1) Boothe filling in for Baas at Center, Eli sacked and fumbles away the game. Or so we thought. Whew, hoping Baas not hurt.
2) Osi could not contain the edge on running plays. Hey, it was his first game back, and Osi was never a good runstopper. Kiwi, Webster, and others were also deficient here. But there should be no way that Cardinal OL manhandles the gmen on run the way they did. Poor tackling. Wells had 138 yards. (The Giants had 57 yards rushing, not good either.) Thank goodness the final AZ drive was limited by time- otherwise, I do not know if we would have had an answer for the run.
3) Grant simply cannot allow for Fitzgerald to steal the ball from him. He is a veteran. We know #11 is a star, but that INT swing into a pass reception was a killer.. almost.
4) Mario and Eli, shorten the route tree. Everyone in America knows the Giants are better with Cruz ahead of Mario on the depth chart.
1) The Giants came out flat and rescued themselves by playing the last ~50 minutes. The dropped pass, the Bradshaw fumble.. are part of that stupor, that lack of readiness to play. Do not do that again. Play 60 minutes or else you will underachieve.
2) The Cruz brain fart. PROTECT THE BALL! Still remarkable how the entire game could have been over with a different officiating interpretation.
COLLECT THE WIN AND MOVE TO NEXT WEEK. GREAT JOB IN “FINISHING.” These wins give great confidence. The Giants have won 3 straight. Build on this. Correct mistakes, get better. If Aaron Rodgers were to suddenly disappear for a few months, the Giants and about 10 other teams would all have as much of a shot at this season as anyone else. The entire league is terrible, as evidenced by all of these wacky games. Just improve each week. Two weeks of good Gilbride playcalling is a real lift too. Quinn’s specials seem to be okay. Fewell’s passing schemes are spotty but Rolle made that huge pick while playing centerfield. Anything can happen when you finish games. We are 3-1 and the Eagles are 1-3. Life is good!