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    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
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    Nov 2006







    "So after Sunday
    night’s victory
    , what do the Giants need the rest of the way to win the NFC
    East? Here’s the breakdown:

    -- A better record than the Cowboys over the final three weeks.

    -- The same record as Dallas the rest of the way AND a victory over
    the Cowboys on Jan. 1. That would give the Giants the head-to-head

    -- Wins over the Redskins and Jets AND, should the Cowboys beat
    Tampa Bay and the Giants, a loss by Dallas to the Eagles on Christmas Eve. The
    Giants would win the tiebreaker because of a better record in common games.

    -- Any other scenario except the ones listed above would mean the Cowboys win
    the NFC East. Tiebreakers in division record and conference record would favor
    Dallas in a few scenarios.

    -- Now, the one caveat to all of this is if the Eagles tie the Giants,
    Cowboys or both at 8-8. Philly would win the division because of a better
    divisional record than the Giants and the head-to-head tiebreaker over


    "I had a rare late-morning flight today. Usually, I’m on the first jet out of a
    place. I can’t recall why I booked the one I did.

    But anyway, the later flight meant I had to do my game review before I left.
    Otherwise, it would be later tonight before I got it done. But truth be told, I
    also got this thing done early because I couldn’t wait to get back into this

    I feel like John Mara when he
    says he’d love for an easy game
    but doesn’t quite mean it. This season, no
    matter how it ends, has certainly been eventful. Win or lose, the Giants have made it fun to watch their
    games. There’s enough bad football going around for me to appreciate a team that
    provides solid entertainment.

    And to think, we still have three more games to go, including one more
    against the Cowboys. …

    * * * *


    Coach Tom Coughlin. I trust, after he did a great job benching
    Ahmad Bradshaw to maintain his consistency
    in that regard and called the
    perfect timeout, I won’t be hearing the name Bill Cowher in connection with the
    Giants today.

    DE Jason Pierre-Paul. We’ve covered all of the big stuff --
    two sacks, the safety, the blocked field goal, the stop on second-and-5 along
    with Chris Canty
    -- so I won’t be able to add much more there. There’s one
    new thing I can add to best sum up the motor this guy has, and it’s actually a
    play on which he missed a tackle. It was the second snap of the game for Dallas
    and he was unable to get a hold of RB DeMarco Murray. But the
    fact he was even in position to make that play is what’s amazing. He was lined
    up at right end and it was a pitch to the defensive left. LB Chase
    was over the center. Both he and Pierre-Paul were untouched
    and neither hesitated from the moment the ball was snapped. Blackburn doesn’t
    make the play because Pierre-Paul collided with him. That’s right, Pierre-Paul
    beat Blackburn to the point of attack. And this is by no means a knock on
    Blackburn; rather, it’s a nod to the hustle, determination and ability of
    Pierre-Paul, who doesn’t stop from snap to whistle. He did virtually the same
    thing when he came from his spot at right end to strip Cowboys RB Felix
    late in the second quarter. He only makes that play because his
    right arm is long enough to get around Jones and knock the ball free. So in
    short, for all those who criticized the Giants for taking a guy “who does back
    flips” instead of C Maurkice Pouncey, I believe that argument
    has officially been nullified.

    QB Eli Manning. Until this season, he hadn’t led two
    touchdown drives in the final five minutes to overcome a two-score deficit. He’s
    now done it twice: against
    the Cardinals in October
    , when the Giants erased a 10-point deficit to win
    by 4, and Sunday night. Manning now has 14 fourth-quarter touchdown passes this
    season, tying his brother Peyton and Johnny Unitas in the NFL record books for
    most in a season. Among the most impressive throws he made was the 23-yarder to
    WR Hakeem Nicks late in the first quarter on a “sail” (or
    “flag” or “corner” or “seven”) route on the left sideline over CB Mike
    and under S Gerald Sensabaugh. Manning slid to
    his left (following a tremendous chip by RB Brandon Jacobs on
    NT Jay Ratliff) and laid that one in there beautifully while
    moving ever so slightly to his left. Great, great throw.

    Jacobs. Jenkins was right. He is a “bully.” And Jacobs is right when he says
    that’s a compliment. He kept his feet moving on nearly every run, particularly
    on a 19-yard rush in the fourth quarter on which he broke two tackles.

    Nicks. Last week, WR Victor Cruz said the Giants saw opportunities
    to take advantage of “the middle” of the Cowboys’ secondary
    . We saw it right
    away with Nicks’ 64-yard catch midway through the first quarter. I don’t
    understand what was going on with the Cowboys’ coverage there. Sensabaugh does a
    pirouette to the single-receiver side instead of the three-receiver side. He
    appears to be playing the deep half, but there’s nobody in the other deep half.
    It seemed to be a blown coverage. Either way, Nicks got inside CB Alan
    for the bomb to set up K Lawrence Tynes’ first
    field goal.

    TE Jake Ballard. It was pretty clear the Cowboys’ plan was
    to mug him coming off the line. Every time I looked at him live and on the
    replay, he had a guy hitting and grabbing him (sometimes illegally) while
    getting into his route. He was still able to make the plays when it mattered.
    One caveat, and I’ve said this before, is his run blocking needs to improve. He
    and TE/FB Bear Pascoe still struggle at times in that
    department. Ballard was tossed by LB Anthony Spencer on a
    third-and-2 on the opening drive of the third quarter.

    FB Henry Hynoski. This is two weeks in a row he’s brought
    the wood. I’m sure Cowboys LB Bradie James has a Hynoski-sized
    welt on him today because those two met in the hole a bunch of times. Hynoski
    won the majority of those matchups. He also had a big block on LB Keith
    on the game-winning touchdown. But don’t ignore what extra TE
    Jim Cordle did on Cowboys DE Kenyon Coleman on
    that play, either.

    Tynes. His career-high for touchbacks coming into the season was eight. He
    now has 33 this year. Yeah, it’s the extra 5 yards but the way he’s booming it
    out of the end zone makes me wonder why the Giants had him directionally kicking
    so much over the past few years.

    LG Mitch Petrus. He had a great block on the 2-point
    conversion. When asked if he got some cardio work on those final two drives, he
    replied, “I sure did, didn’t I? I went to go congratulate Jake after the one
    catch and they were like, ‘Man, you’ve got to get back on the line.’ We’re
    no-huddle here.”

    DT Chris Canty. A timely sack (see below) and a big stop for
    no gain to help get the ball back in the fourth quarter (see below also).

    Cowboys QB Tony Romo. I’m not the biggest fan, in large part
    because he comes up small in the clutch. However, he was great under pressure
    Sunday. He deserved better. The overthrown ball to WR Miles
    could’ve been better, but Austin could’ve also made that play by
    laying out for it. (See below.)

    Jones. Big-time performance for him and the Cowboys badly needed it when
    Murray got hurt.

    Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson. He’s a great route runner when
    he can get into those routes. He showed why on two long passes Sunday night,
    both of which came against rookie CB Prince Amukamara.

    * * * *


    WR Mario Manningham. His 47-yard touchdown was about as easy
    as it gets. I have no idea what was going on with the Cowboys’ defense there.
    Obviously, one of the two blitzing safeties -- Barry Church or
    Abram Elam -- should’ve dropped into coverage instead of
    blitzing. Somebody missed a call there. As for why Manningham’s in this section,
    well, the drop on the near-TD on the game-winning drive was nearly a killer. You
    have to make that grab.

    Cruz. His two drops and his poor decision to draw an unnecessary roughness
    penalty on Manningham’s TD were gasser-worthy. But he saved himself late. By the
    way, I know offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said last week
    Cruz hasn’t been seeing many double teams. Well, Cruz certainly saw them late in
    this game. He had two guys lined up over him or was doubled with the safety up
    high for practically all of the Giants’ final two drives.

    LB Jacquian Williams. For all of the mental mistakes he’s
    made, he’s still playing aggressively. And that’s admirable. Among the plays he
    made on Sunday night was a big stick on Cowboys FB Tony
    on Dallas’ second drive to fill the hole and make a stop for
    a gain of only 1 yard (that was one play before Pierre-Paul’s safety) and made a
    nice open-field tackle to stop on a screen pass on the next drive. His night
    wasn’t perfect. He over-pursued on one play early and had an illegal-contact
    call against him. But he continues to play fast. There was also one play where
    he did a good job of getting to the outside on a run. It was an 11-yard gain, so
    it sounds kind of funny to praise him for this one but you could tell he knew he
    had outside contain and fought to get his head and left arm to the outside. The
    run went inside him, where Blackburn was supposed to fill. Blackburn got blocked
    to the ground, which is why the play went for 11. But Williams wasn’t sound on a
    run fit on an 80-yarder against the Bills earlier this year and hesitated on the
    play, so the Giants will surely be encouraged by his rapid decision-making in
    this one.

    Cowboys LB Sean Lee. His interception negated what was
    proving to be a brutal second half for him, tackling-wise. I had him down for
    four missed tackles in the final two quarters. Then again, he is playing with a
    brace on his left hand, so that’s why I can’t kill him for the missed tackles.
    But he did give up Ballard’s touchdown, so I’m taking his game ball back.

    Austin. His touchdown reception was on the same play the Saints ran for a
    score a few weeks ago. It was a sprint-out to the right and once again CB
    Aaron Ross seemed to get a late jump, thus giving the outside
    to Austin on an out cut. Austin also came up big on the Cowboys’ final
    would-be-tying drive. But the negatives are a potential missed block in a key
    spot (see below) and a failure to lay out for the ball Romo threw just out of
    his reach on third-and-5 to give the Giants the ball back for the winning score.
    He has to dive there, though Romo said after the game Austin told him he lost
    the ball in the stadium's lights.

    * * * *


    Bradshaw. No excuse at this point in his career for him to miss curfew by
    enough to be benched. None. But he at least seemed to handle it well.

    Amukamara. I was going to give him a free pass but he was being hard on
    himself in the postgame locker room. Though he was trying to enjoy the victory,
    it was obvious he was upset with his play. On the 74-yard pass in the fourth
    quarter, that wasn’t man coverage. Rather, it was a zone in which he dropped
    deep, and the Cowboys had a good call on there because they drew the safety
    forward. Amukamara said he realized he should’ve adjusted and run with Robinson
    there. It’s a tough adjustment to make for a guy playing in only his fourth
    game. Also, earlier in the game, he allowed a 40-yard pass to Robinson to set up
    a field goal for Dallas that gave the ‘Boys the lead heading into the half. I’ll
    have to disagree with Cris Collinsworth, who said Amukamara
    “did his job.” Yeah, it’s a Cover-2, but he let Robinson get an outside release
    to the sideline, which pretty much makes it impossible for the safety to get to
    the ball, especially since Romo did a good job of looking him off. Plus,
    Amukamara then sank even though he didn’t have a threat underneath. He has to
    know the situation there. Again, this is the kind of stuff you’d expect from a
    rookie in his first month of play, but Amukamara wasn’t about to give himself a
    pass. More from him coming later today or early Tuesday. Stay tuned.

    S Antrel Rolle. What is he doing on that 50-yard touchdown?
    He has to stay deep there, no question about it. I don’t know why he looked back
    at CB Corey Webster because he was the one clearly in the
    wrong. He had the deep half. That’s a crucial mistake that could’ve sunk this
    season. Rolle did have a couple of good decisions early in the second half. One
    was to not light up a defenseless WR Dez Bryant on a deep ball
    that had been overthrown (good non-call by the officials) and the other was when
    he impeded Robinson on a quick slant a few plays later to force an incompletion
    on a third-and-3. Had Rolle made contact, it would’ve been a penalty. But he
    didn’t, so that’s a nice play that forced a field goal instead of a touchdown.
    Credit to Collinsworth for calling it “amateur-ish coverage.” As I’ve said in
    the past, Collinsworth pulls no punches.

    Cowboys P Mat McBriar. It didn’t really hit me until I saw
    this morning just how bad his 33-yard punt was. That gave the Giants the ball a
    few yards closer to the game-winning touchdown.

    Dallas LB DeMarcus Ware. I can’t even give him a free pass
    because he had two extremely untimely offside penalties -- one on each of the
    Giants’ two final touchdown drives. The second negated what would’ve been a
    12-yard loss on a bad snap by C Kevin Boothe. So instead of
    second-and-22 at the 49, it was first-and-5 at the 32. Big, big difference. So a
    night on which Ware harassed Manning, (I counted five pressures for him) ended
    in a couple of huge mental mistakes.

    ‘Boys CB Frank Walker. This guy drove the Giants nuts by
    getting flagged when he played for them. He was called for holding to negate
    what would’ve been another left-handed incompletion for Manning. What should’ve
    been third-and-10 at the 24 was rather first-and-10 at the 19.

    Sensabaugh and Cowboys CBs Terence Newman and Ball. Do these
    guys every have good games against the Giants? Because I’m having trouble
    remembering any right now. Newman’s dropped interception in the first quarter to
    negate an easy pick six was awful.

    * * * *


    I don’t know that we paid enough attention to Nicks’ 24-yard grab and
    everything that went into it. First of all, Manning rolls away from pressure
    from Spencer. Then, he gets more from Ratliff but still manages to throw a great
    ball off one foot. At that point, Nicks makes the grab and is able to control it
    extremely quickly. He had to because he needed to get both feet down quickly.
    And with those mitts, that ball didn’t move a millimeter from the time it hit
    his hands. Great catch.

    Apparently, the officials thought it was even better. Even though Nicks
    stepped out at the 10-yard line, they spotted it at the 8. Those were two big
    yards because Ballard barely broke the plane for his touchdown to cut the lead
    back to one score.

    * * * *


    My other candidate for this play was going to be the stop for no gain by
    Pierre-Paul and Canty on second-and-5 before the failed deep ball to Austin that
    gave the Giants the ball back. Looking at that play again, it seemed Austin
    might have missed his assignment. He started to crack back on Pierre-Paul but
    then peeled off and went for Rolle. That allowed Pierre-Paul to get 2 yards of
    penetration. Had Austin blocked Pierre-Paul, Fiammetta would’ve met Rolle
    instead. Again, that’s just a guess on my part because I don’t know how the play
    is drawn up. But if Austin did as told, that’s bad design.

    * * * *


    If you didn’t like the call on the draw play to Ware on third-and-goal from
    the 4 in the first quarter, I’d say you should direct your ire at the blocking,
    not the decision by Manning to check to the play. The overhead view showed that
    was the right call; it just wasn’t blocked well. Ware simply beat his buddy LT
    David Diehl and Petrus didn’t seem to have a grasp for which
    defender to block. Petrus let Brooking get to the ball carrier unimpeded.

    You couldn’t really tell from the NBC replays, but there was a replay of the
    Cowboys’ first touchdown on the monster screen in the stadium that showed Dallas
    G Montrae Holland got his hands on Williams’ face mask as he
    was blocking him. The officials, who had just called illegal hands to the face
    on LB Mathias Kiwanuka one play prior, missed that one.

    Somebody needs to explain to me why the Giants ran a play with 1 second left
    before the 2-minute warning in the first half. It was a 4-yard completion to the
    right side and would’ve had the clock running with under 2 minutes to play. The
    Giants were at the Cowboys’ 43-yard line, so they had tons of time to score. But
    by snapping the ball, they stopped the clock instead of letting it run a bit or
    forcing the Cowboys to call a timeout before a third-and-4 that failed. Dallas
    wound up getting the ball back with 1:38 to play. (Pierre-Paul stripped Jones,
    so the Cowboys didn’t get to do much with the ball.) NBC got a shot of Coughlin
    right before the play and he seemed like he wanted things to hurry up. In that
    case, they have to chill and understand the clock is their friend.

    This officiating crew did an okay job. Just okay. The one call with which I’d
    take exception was the pass-interference on Webster late in the third quarter.
    But Dallas didn’t score on that drive, so no harm, no foul. However …

    … they missed what could’ve been a crucial one. On Jones’ 6-yard catch on
    Dallas’ final drive, his knee is down. In bounds. Well before the ball hits out
    of bounds. That clock should’ve been running. There were 24 seconds left and, by
    the time Dallas lined up, there would’ve been a lot fewer. But Romo had plenty
    of time to huddle up and hit Austin for 23 yards. Head linesman Tom
    was right there and he missed the call. Had this game ended
    differently, we’d be talking about that play all day today.

    * * * *


    You couldn’t see from any of the NBC replays but TE Jason
    was wide open on a deep cross early in the third quarter. Romo
    seemed like he started to see him just as Canty was getting a hold of him. That
    would have been a huge play if Canty hadn’t sacked Romo. The Cowboys settled for
    a field goal on that drive to extend their lead to 5.

    LB Michael Boley made a real nice play to stop Austin for
    only 5 yards on an end around in the third quarter. While backpedaling, Boley
    maintained outside leverage on C Kevin Kowalski and forced
    Austin to stumble by refusing to give up either the inside or outside. It wasn’t
    a big factor in the game, just a very impressive play.

    Al Michaels kills me when he tries to talk cool: “a deuce”
    instead of two or “totes” instead of carries. It’s as annoying as when he used
    to give the wink-wink when a late garbage-time score helped a team cover or
    pushed the total to the over. Sometimes he needs to be told when to back it down
    and just call the game.

    Michaels said of the 15-yard catch by Manningham on fourth-and-3, “If the
    Giants win, we’ll look back on that as a key play.” Who would’ve imagined that
    catch, which came with just over 8 minutes to play, wouldn’t have factored into
    the outcome at all? That’s because, three plays later, Manning was intercepted
    after his screen pass to Ware was tipped.

    The Giants finally ran a successful fake on the wide-receiver screen to Ware.
    It went for 17 yards after Ball bit up on the pump to Ware. Nicks ran the wheel
    route there. That play set up the third-and-5 on what wound up being
    Manningham’s touchdown. Again, I have no idea what happened on the coverage on
    Dallas’ end on the Manningham TD.

    Blackburn’s second game wasn’t
    nearly as productive as his first
    . He got caught up in the wash way too

    The Cowboys rushed only two on a pair of plays on the Giants’ game-winning
    drive. Those plays were completions for 8 and 18 yards. Manning delivered great
    balls on both of them because the extra men in coverage clogged the secondary

    And finally, this was something I
    noted on Twitter during the game
    but it needs to be reiterated because it
    illustrates Pierre-Paul’s impact. Of the seven drives by the Cowboys that
    followed their opening series, they scored on four of them. The three drives
    that didn’t end in points ended with a play by Pierre-Paul: the safety, the
    forced fumble and the sack on third-and-9 in the third quarter. That’s
    incredible to see a defensive end have an impact on a game like


    "Yes, well. Is there anything else Eli can wreck before he leaves town?

    If this doesn’t settle the argument in the NFC East, if this isn’t the one
    that makes Eli Manning the most hated guy in Texas since Sam Houston opposed
    separation from the Union, then football isn’t quite as important as we thought
    it was around here.

    There is no adequate way to describe what the Giants managed to accomplish here after
    trailing by 12 points with 5:41 to play, other than to say that this should
    change a lot of opinions with regard to whether Tom Coughlin’s team can handle a
    gut check when the entire season is riding on it.

    And there’s no longer an adequate description for Manning’s fourth-quarter
    genius, which tore the hearts out of 96,000 witnesses last night, who have had
    the same lesson pounded into their skulls so many times before.

    For auld lang syne, he showed them again. This is a quarterback with a rare
    faculty of remaining calm under great responsibility and in moments of frantic
    excitement. In times such as these, his eccentricities seem to disappear — his
    mind never seems so clear, his confidence never so strong, his spirit never so
    inspiring as it is in the cauldron of some fierce struggle.

    Let Brandon Jacobs explain it: “We have a great quarterback that can make
    plays,” the earth-mover said after the
    Giants’ exhilarating, 37-34 triumph at Cowboys Stadium

    “If you ask me, he’s the best in the business when our backs are against the
    wall and we need a score. He’ll never let you down. I believe in him. I believe
    in our offense, in our coaches, and we got it done.”

    There was no shortage of heroes in this one — there is usually an abundance
    of them in epic games such as these — and Jacobs was one of them. He grabbed an
    opportunity to start and be the feature back, and he
    produced a 101-yard, two-touchdown game
    that included the winning score with
    46 seconds to go.

    Then there was Jason
    Pierre-Paul, who literally made four defensive stops by himself
    — a safety,
    a forced fumble, a timely sack, and a blocked field-goal attempt that preserved
    the three-point lead with just one tick left.

    But before, after, in-between, and along the way, there was Eli.

    On a night when the defense was rolling over for Tony Romo and Felix Jones,
    Manning brought his team back from four deficits, and rallied his team just when
    you thought it had no rally left in it.

    “We’ve been in these situations before,” Manning said. “It’s nothing new. I
    don’t like being in these situations. It’s becoming a habit — a bad habit — but
    we find ways to overcome it. It’s a fun way to win, but I’d like to have a lead
    and try to hold onto one for once.”

    Odd, but it looks like he enjoys it just fine.

    An interception off a deflection did not faze him — even after it led to what
    looked like the clinching TD — Romo to Dez Bryant — with 5:41 left, which gave
    Dallas a 34-22 cushion.

    So Manning responded to that by going 80 yards in 2:27 before finding Jake
    Ballard with a 9-yard scoring pass — putting the pressure back on Romo to get
    the clinching first downs with 3:14 still left to burn. The Giants got the
    three-and-out they needed, and Manning took over again.

    This one was just as easy. A dropped touchdown by Mario Manningham on the
    next drive with just 87 seconds left did not faze him, either — he put it right
    in Mario’s mitts, but the receiver flubbed the potential 24-yard score.

    “You don’t dwell on it, you don’t think about it,” Manning said. I didn’t get
    worried — I said, ‘Hey, we still have plenty of time.’?”

    Indeed, the Giants got a gift defensive holding call on second down — still
    at the 24 — and Manning pounced again, hitting Jake Ballard with a bullet at the
    1-yard line to set up the final score by Jacobs.

    Look again: He went 58 yards in 81 seconds.

    “I don’t think I ever feel pressure when I play football. I know my
    assignments, I’m trying to read the defense, I’m trying to make plays — trying
    to get the ball in receivers’ hands, the backs’ hands. It’s exciting. It’s

    And it’s also a habit.

    This isn’t the first time Manning has come into this giant building and acted
    like he owned the joint. He, better than anyone else in this league, knows how
    to wipe that smug visage off Jerry Jones’ mug when they come around here.

    In January of ’08, the Cowboys looked like a lock for a Super Bowl bid,
    winning the division with a team-record 13 victories, before they belly-flopped
    with 11 penalties in a 21-17 Giants upset.

    In ’09, the Giants were chosen to open this $1.2 million Postmodern Salute to
    Plastic (the exterior, anyway — inside it’s quite nice), and Manning ripped the
    joint apart for 330 yards and left town with his autograph emblazoned on the
    visiting locker room wall.

    And last year, Eli bludgeoned them for four TDs while Michael Boley knocked
    Romo out in a game that was over by the middle of the third period.

    This time, the damage was 27-for-47, 400 yards, two scores.

    They needed every last yard, and every last point.

    “We find ways to win,” Manning said. “We’ve had some wild games here over the
    years, and probably none wilder than this one.

    “It was just a great job by our guys, hanging in there, not getting down or
    frustrated, and always believing that we’re able to score two touchdowns at the
    end there. That’s what we expected to do, and that’s what we did.”

    Romo could make the same claim — he scored six out of the first 10 times he
    touched the ball. The only mistake he made was leaving time on the clock for Eli

    And Eli burned it up, again, with another fourth-quarter comeback.

    Suddenly, the Giants’ season has come in out of the cold."


    Excerpt: "The drumbeat in the Giants’ facility
    over the past couple of weeks has been to play like Jason Pierre-Paul — hard,
    fast and relentless.

    The Giants defensive end continued to set a tremendous example in Sunday
    night’s 37-34
    victory against the Cowboys
    with a safety and forced fumble in the first
    half, and another sack and the game-saving blocked field-goal attempt in the

    On the block, Pierre-Paul showed just how relentless he could be. Before
    coach Tom Coughlin called timeout, Pierre-Paul had been stuffed by the Cowboys
    line. So he took a different path.

    “The second one, I was like, ‘I have to push through the center and at least
    try to get the blocked kick.’ I gave great effort and blocked the kick,” he
    said. “I stepped left and went through the center and the ball was right

    Pierre-Paul recorded the safety — the first for the Giants defense this year
    — when he beat right tackle Doug Free on a bull rush and then a move to the
    outside. He got only a piece of Tony Romo at the 2-yard line, but it was enough
    to get Romo spinning backward and falling into the end zone. The play made it
    2-0 Giants early in the first quarter.

    Pierre-Paul then made a big play late in the second quarter when he forced a
    fumble on the first snap of a drive by the Cowboys that began with 1:38 left in
    the half. The ball popped out of Felix Jones’ hands and into the air, allowing
    Deon Grant to snatch it. The Giants turned that into a field goal that gave them
    a brief 15-14 lead.

    Then, late in the third quarter, Pierre-Paul beat Free once again. He moved
    inside of him and even got past guard Montrae Holland, who tried to provide some
    late help. Pierre-Paul’s sack, which came on a third-and-9, forced a punt. That
    drive was only the second in six possessions by Dallas in which the Cowboys
    didn’t score. The other one was the forced fumble by Pierre-Paul.

    “He’s a great football player. He’s huge. He makes plays,” defensive tackle
    Chris Canty said. “He’s a guy that makes plays wherever they put him on the
    football field. To be in only his second year, he’s playing at an All-Pro

    Said Justin Tuck, "JPP for President. He can't do anything wrong." Read more...


    Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin didn’t lie. He was mentally preparing himself for an extra period
    after Tony Romo had moved his team down the field.

    Little did Coughlin know the second icing of the Dallas Cowboys’ kicking unit
    in as many weeks was about to help save the
    chaotic season. Dan Bailey’s 47-yard field goal was good for only a
    moment. Coughlin’s timeout before the snap had negated it.

    The second attempt was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul with 1 second remaining,
    allowing the Giants to hold on for a 37-34 victory and move into a tie for first
    place in the NFC East.

    “When the kick was blocked, it was the idea we had won the game,” Coughlin
    said. “You can’t help it. Your mind races toward overtime. But you shore it all
    up for that one play, that one burst to try to block the kick. He got a finger
    on it and that was enough.”

    Pierre-Paul, who took a different route after getting stood up on Bailey’s
    attempt that was negated by the timeout, got more than a finger on it. He
    estimated he had slapped half of the ball with his left hand. It surely stung.
    But there was no better feeling.

    “It felt good,” Pierre-Paul said. “I looked at the sideline and everybody was
    just going crazy, so I knew something had happened.”

    Yeah, the Giants’ season had just been revived and they had matched the
    Cowboys’ record at 7-6."


    "Given a chance to carry the load, Brandon Jacobs made the most of it.

    Jacobs became the focus of the
    running game throughout the first half of last night’s 37-34
    victory over Dallas
    when starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw was benched
    for what was termed a violation of team rules. Though Jacobs didn’t start —
    third-down back D.J. Ware played the first snap as the Giants opened in a
    shotgun, three-receiver set — he played big.

    With Bradshaw stuck on the bench for the first half, Jacobs seized the role
    of featured back. By halftime, he had run the ball 13 times for 62 yards and a
    touchdown, nearly matching his season highs of 18 attempts, 72 yards and one
    score. He finished with 19 carries for 101 yards and two TDs for his first
    100-yard game in almost a year — since Dec. 13, 2010, when he ran 14 times for
    116 yards and a touchdown in a 21-3 victory over Minnesota. He capped his big
    night by crashing over the right side from 1 yard for the winning touchdown with
    46 seconds left.

    “I felt great,” Jacobs said. “The line … moved people, so then I made contact
    and tried to move them, too.”

    Combined with last week’s eight-carry, 59-yard game against Green Bay, Jacobs
    has averaged 5.9 yards per attempt for the past two weeks, dwarfing his previous
    season average of 3.1.

    “That’s really two weeks in a row he’s pounded the ball up in there,” Giants
    coach Tom Coughlin said, referring to last week‘s eight-carry, 59-yard game
    against Green Bay. “He’s really given us what we needed.”

    Jacobs’ run as the lead dog ended at halftime. Bradshaw made his first
    appearance in the opening drive of the third quarter and shared the work from
    there, alternating series for the first four possessions and switching every two
    plays in the next.

    Bradshaw refused to talk to the media after the game. Coughlin declined to
    comment on Bradshaw’s violation, saying it was “strictly in house.” Asked when
    he found out Bradshaw wasn’t going to start, Jacobs said, with a straight face,
    “Ahmad didn’t start? I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything about it, to be
    honest with you.”

    Bradshaw’s benching was not a first for Giants coach Tom Coughlin. He twice
    sat troubled receiver Plaxico Burress for a quarter, against San Diego in 2005
    and Pittsburgh in 2008, and held cornerback Aaron Ross out for a half against
    the Jets in 2007. On two of those occasions, the offending player came back
    strong — Burress caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown against the
    Chargers, and Ross burned the Jets with an interception return for the winning

    Bradshaw was not so fortunate, as Jacobs clearly was the more effective
    runner. Bradshaw managed a mere 12 yards in eight rushes, while Jacobs rumbled
    for 38 yards on four second-half runs, including a 19-yard run in which he
    crashed though a hole and carried defenders for extra yardage.

    The 6-4, 264-pound bruiser displayed impressive speed and agility from his
    first carry, when he turned an inside draw into a race toward the left sideline,
    outrunning Dallas linebacker Anthony Spencer on the edge and hurdling safety
    Gerald Sensabaugh on his way to a 13-yard gain.

    “I’ve never done something like that,” said Jacobs, who bounced outside on
    four of his 13 first-half runs and picked up 38 yards. “… I didn’t know if he
    was going to hit me low or whatever, but I just thought I’ll jump as high as I
    can to clear him no matter what he does. I actually surprised myself.”

    Jacobs carried the ball six times in the 10-play, 80-yard drive, including a
    1-yard burst for the score that gave the Giants a 12-7 lead.

    “That’s our kind of football,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. “We expect
    then to be on the field eating up the clock. We’ve got all those big guys on the
    line who do a good job of mashing their opponents. That’s what we’re used to




    has been saving games for the Giants all year. This time he saved
    their season.

    The Comeback Quarterback did it again when he led the
    Giants to their most important come-from-behind win of the season. Manning led
    the Giants to two touchdowns in three minutes, 14 seconds, including the
    go-ahead Brandon Jacobs TD
    run with 46 seconds remaining, to lift Big Blue over the Dallas Cowboys,

    It wasn’t over, though, until the final second when Manning got a
    huge assist from Giants defensive end Jason
    , who rose up and blocked Dan Bailey’s second
    attempt at a game-tying, 47-yard field goal. Bailey’s first attempt was good,
    but it came after the Giants had called timeout.


    his retry failed, the Giants were officially back in first place in the NFC

    “We’ve had some wild games here over the years — none probably
    wilder than this,” Manning said after the Giants snapped their four-game losing
    streak. “It was a great job by our guys not getting down, not getting frustrated
    and continuing to believe.”

    They believed because, as Manning said,
    “We’ve been in these situations before.” This was the fifth time this season
    he’s led the Giants back from a fourth-quarter deficit to a win, and the 20th
    time he’s done it in his career. It also might have been his most important
    since Super Bowl XLII, because had the Giants (7-6) lost, their road to the
    playoffs would have been nearly impossible.

    Instead, they return home
    tied with the Cowboys (7-6) atop the division, but holding a temporary
    tie-breaker advantage. They are also still in play in the NFC wild-card chase,
    if necessary, where they trail the Detroit Lions (8-5) and the Atlanta Falcons
    (8-5) by one game.

    Most importantly, though, they headed home with a win
    — a feeling they hadn’t had since they won in New England on Nov. 6.

    needed a locker-room celebration,” Tom Coughlin said.
    “We’ve been starving for that. I was so happy for our players that they won. It
    won’t be such a bad trip home.”

    Like most of the Giants’ games this
    season, that wasn’t clear until the final moments despite another stellar effort
    by Manning (27-of-47 for 400 yards, two touchdowns and one interception). As he
    usually is against the Cowboys, he was locked in quite a duel with Tony
    , who <NO1>threw<NO>passed for four touchdowns and 321
    yards. For a long time, the Giants couldn’t stop him or Felix Jones, who
    replaced the injured DeMarco Murray
    (broken ankle) and rushed for 106 yards.

    But the Giants — who played
    without Ahmad Bradshaw for
    the entire first half because Coughlin benched him for a “violation of team
    rules” - matched the Cowboys score for score and were even up 22-20 heading into
    the fourth quarter. But Romo broke it open, first with a 74-yard pass to Laurent Robinson
    that set up a 6-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin, and then
    — after Manning was intercepted on a screen pass that was tipped at the Cowboys’
    21 - with a 50-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Dez Bryant.

    that point, Coughlin admitted “it didn’t look very good.” That “historical”
    collapse that Justin Tuck had warned
    about last month seemed to be on the horizon. But on the sidelines, offensive
    coordinator Kevin Gilbride
    simply turned to Manning and said, “Hey, we need two scores. Go do

    And Manning did, first with an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake
    with 3:14 remaining to cap an eight-play, 80-yard drive in 2:27.
    Then, after Romo overthrew a wide-open Austin on a third-down pass that would
    have sealed a Dallas win, Manning led a 58-yard drive that ended with Jacobs’
    go-ahead touchdown and a two-point conversion run by D.J. Ware. There were still
    46 seconds left on the clock, though, and the Cowboys moved quickly into
    Bailey’s field-goal range.

    His first kick was good, but Coughlin had
    called timeout just before the ball was snapped. That forced a re-kick and
    allowed Pierre-Paul to change his strategy and rush over the center instead of
    the guard. This time, he got through, blocking the kick and sending the Giants
    into a frenzy, that included a primal scream of relief and joy from co-owner John
    up in the press box.

    “We needed a play,” said defensive tackle
    (and former Cowboy) Chris Canty. “And we
    had somebody rise up and make that play."


    Excerpt: "
    Tom Coughlin saved the
    Giants season and may have saved his job with the best timeout of his coaching
    career. It ended the Giants’ demoralizing four-game losing streak, put them back
    in control of the NFC East with three weeks to go and set off a wild party deep
    in the heart of Cowboys Stadium late Sunday night.

    “We needed to have a locker room celebration,” Coughlin said after the
    dramatic 37-34 victory over the Cowboys. “We've been starving for that.”

    Coughlin’s timeout to ice rookie kicker Dan Bailey's 47-yard
    field goal attempt in the final seconds prevented the game from going into
    overtime as Bailey’s first attempt was perfect.


    , who played a magnificent game with a sack of Tony
    for a safety and later forced a Felix Jones fumble,
    didn't know Coughlin had called time and thought the game was headed to OT.

    On the do-over, instead of trying to run over the guard whom he couldn’t
    outmuscle, Pierre-Paul went over the center. He got both hands up and got half
    the ball with his left hand. The ball fluttered to the turf. It set off a wild
    celebration on the Giants sideline.

    “I gave great effort and blocked the kick,” he said. “It felt good.”

    “JPP for president," Justin Tuck said.

    The Giants had turned their 6-2 start into another second half collapse,
    leading to speculation whether Coughlin would be able to survive a third
    straight non-playoff season. But now the Giants are tied with Dallas for first
    place in the NFC East with 7-6 records and are ahead on the head-to-head
    tiebreaker with the rematch coming Jan. 1.

    “We're No. 1 in the NFC East right now and that’s the only thing that has
    changed,” Tuck said. “We’ve
    still got a lot of stuff to correct if we expect
    to keep this going. To get a win down here when both teams needed it, to beat
    Dallas like this, it feels good.”


    It could have been disastrous. And Ahmad Bradshaw was
    glad that it wasn’t.

    In the biggest game of the Giants’ season, Bradshaw, the team’s most
    dangerous runner, was stuck on the sidelines during the first half. Bradshaw had
    violated team rules, and as punishment, he sat out the first half of Sunday’s
    37-34 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium.

    “It happens,” he said. “All I can do is come in the second half, play my
    game, help out as much as I could. I just wanted to use my enthusiasm and
    talents and help the team win.”

    Bradshaw admitted he violated team rules. It was reported that he violated
    team curfew, although neither Bradshaw nor Tom Coughlin would
    confirm that.

    “Strictly in house,” Coughlin said. “Violation of team rules. That’s all I’ll

    Bradshaw added that he later apologized to the team.

    It marked the fourth time in Coughlin’s tenure that he had benched a player
    for disciplinary reasons. The coach benched cornerback Aaron
    for the first half of a win over the Jets in 2007 for breaking curfew.
    He also benched wideout Plaxico Burress
    twice — once in 2005 and once in 2008. Both of Burress’ benchings lasted for the
    first quarter only.

    This time, it was Bradshaw. Just one game after making a dynamic return and
    nearly sparking the Giants to a victory over the Packers, he could do nothing
    but watch from the sidelines.

    Third-string tailback D.J. Ware started the game for the Giants, touching the
    ball on the first two plays. Brandon Jacobs would
    shoulder the load for the rest of the half. The tailback who Cowboys corner Mike
    had called a “bully” midway through last week, ran like a man
    possessed, rumbling for 62 first-half yards and an early TD on his way to a
    season-best 101 yards and two scores.

    “He was a beast,” Bradshaw said after his backfield mate had bailed him out.
    “He ran hard today. And you know all I can do is give him my enthusiasm and he
    took it and ran with it.”

    Bradshaw did start the second half, and he hoped to provide instant

    “When I came in the game, we were down, 15-17,” he said. “All I can do is use
    my talents to help us come back and win.”

    But an out-of-sync Bradshaw struggled to run with his typical burst. He
    rushed for just 12 yards on eight carries, although he was satisfied because the
    Giants escaped with the victory.

    “I did what I had to do,” he said." Read more...


    Excerpt: "Yes, the Giants’ secondary left Cowboys Stadium with a 37-34 victory, as Big
    Blue regained its spot atop the NFC East.

    But the secondary made a series of dangerous mistakes that forced Eli
    to make another late comeback. And Antrel Rolle knew that
    the victory could easily have been a fifth straight loss.

    couple touchdowns, I think we definitely gave it to them,” he said.

    Crucial mistakes by the secondary led directly to 17 Dallas points. With 1:03
    left in the first half, rookie corner Prince Amukamara
    allowed Dallas’ Laurent Robinson
    to dash past him, catching a 40-yard pass down the sideline, setting up a Dan
    field goal that gave the Cowboys a 17-15 halftime lead.

    The rookie was also beaten by Robinson on a 74-yard completion early in the
    fourth quarter, a play that set up a Miles Austin TD

    Then, with less than six minutes to play and Dallas facing a second-and-11
    from its own 50, Corey Webster and
    Rolle miscommunicated on coverage, allowing Dez Bryant to sneak
    behind the defense and score an uncontested 50-yard TD that gave the Cowboys a
    34-22 lead.

    “I think we played good at times,” Rolle said. “At times, I think we
    definitely had some mental busts. It’s something that we know can’t happen down
    the stretch.”

    Rolle said he was satisfied that the defense came together in the final
    minutes of the fourth quarter and didn’t allow another score after Bryant’s TD —
    but he knows the mistakes can’t continue to happen over this final, crucial
    three-game stretch.

    “Everyone has to be in tune,” he said. “I can’t speak for anyone else, but we
    have to definitely make sure everyone is on the same page at the same
    time.”


    Excerpt: "Eli Manning did it again, this time with a huge assist from Jason Pierre-Paul,
    and just like that the reeling Giants are back on top of the

    Their remarkable, 37-34 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday
    night put them back in control of their own destiny and had them feeling great
    after finally snapping their four-game losing streak. The Giants (7-6) and
    Cowboys (7-6) are technically tied atop the division, but the Giants have at
    least a temporary hold over the tie-breaker.

    That means if the Giants
    win out – including their finale against the Cowboys at the Meadowlands –
    they’ll win the division. And in case they need it, their win insured that the
    NFC wild-card is still in play, too (they trail the 8-5 Lions and Falcons by a
    game each).

    Maybe more importantly, the Giants gave themselves something
    to feel good about when Manning led them to two touchdowns in the final 3:14,
    including the go-ahead Brandon Jacobs touchdown run with 46 seconds remaining.
    Then came Jason Pierre-Paul’s shining moment, when he rose up and blocked Dan
    Bailey’s second attempt at a game-tying, 47-yard field goal. Bailey’s first
    attempt was good, but it came after the Giants called time out.

    That set
    off a wild celebration, which included quite the whoop in the press box from
    co-owner John Mara.

    “We needed a locker room celebration,” Tom Coughlin
    said. “We’ve been starving for that. I was so happy for our players that they
    won. It won’t be such a bad trip home.”

    You can read much more on this
    game on the Daily
    News Giants page
    , where stories will be posted throughout the night and
    they’ll all be up by Monday morning. The bottom line is the Giants desperately
    needed the win. Their road to the playoffs would have been nearly impossible had
    they lost."



    Excerpt: "The Giants are in first place because the right arm of Eli Manning and the
    left hand of Jason Pierre-Paul
    put them there.

    Manning brought the Giants back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and
    Jason Pierre-Paul ensured there would be no overtime on this wild night,
    blocking rookie Dan Bailey’s 47-yard field-goal attempt with one second
    remaining to allow the Giants to escape Cowboys Stadium with a stirring and
    exhausting 37-34 victory.

    Somehow, the Giants found a way to end their four-game losing streak and find
    their way into first place in the NFC East with, no doubt, plenty more twists
    and turns before this adventurous season concludes.





    “I can’t remember a season like this where almost every game is right to the
    wire,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said. “I was happy because we needed to have a
    locker-room celebration. We have been starving for that.’’

    This has to be seen to be believed. Tony Romo got the ball back with 46
    seconds left and before long Bailey was drilling a field goal to force overtime.
    But just before the kick, Coughlin called a timeout to ice the kicker.

    “I was right beside him and he was just waiting,’’ Justin Tuck said. “It was
    like Coach Coughlin had the best get-off of all get-offs because it seemed like
    he saw the twitch of the ball and he called the timeout. It was pretty

    It proved to be a game-saver. On the next kick, Pierre-Paul changed his rush
    angle, moving over to attack the center instead of the guard. He got the
    penetration he needed, stuck his long left arm into the air and felt a thud when
    the ball smacked off it and onto the turf, igniting a Giants celebration .

    “JPP for president,’’ Tuck said.

    “I gave great effort, I stepped left and went to the center and the ball was
    right there,’’ Pierre-Paul said. “Felt good. I looked on the sideline and
    everyone was going crazy.’’

    Why not? The Giants trailed 34-22 with 5:41 remaining when Tony Romo fired
    his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this one a far-too-easy 50-yarder to a
    wide, wide open Dez Bryant. It looked as if the Giants’ season was about to come
    crashing down.

    “They kept fighting the whole time,’’ co-owner John Mara said. “I think that reflects on the coach and
    on the leaders of this team, like the quarterback.’’

    The quarterback completed an 80-yard drive by hitting tight end Jake Ballard on an eight-yard
    touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 34-29. The Giants’ beleaguered defense then
    got what it needed — a three-and-out, giving Manning the ball back with 2:12
    remaining on his own 42-yard line.

    A 21-yard pass to Ballard got things cooking and an 18-yarder to Ballard put
    the Giants on the 1-yard line. Brandon Jacobs, completing his best game of the
    season (101 yards), crashed into the end zone with 46 seconds left to make it
    35-34. D.J. Ware ran in the two-point conversion to give the Giants a
    three-point lead.

    “The best thing is we got our season back tonight,’’ Mara said.

    Despite going more than a month between victories, the Giants (7-6) have
    maintained what every team craves: control. The Giants and Cowboys are now tied
    atop the NFC East, but the Giants for the moment hold the tie-breaker edge.

    The pathway to the playoffs is now clear for the Giants: win two of their
    last three games, just as long as one of those victories comes against the
    Cowboys on New Year’s Day. The Giants face the Redskins (4-9) and the Jets (8-5)
    before meeting up again with the Cowboys in what could be a glorious way for
    them to ring in 2012.

    This should quiet, at least for a week, the murmurs about Coughlin’s job
    security as the Giants halted their losing streak, a month’s worth of losing
    that caused them to plummet from a commanding lead in the division.

    “We find ways to win,’’ Manning said. “We’ve had some wild games here this
    season. None probably wilder
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  2. #2


    great news today Roanoke, thanks much!

    Eli must be considered in the top 5 category, at least this season.

    what a great comeback last night!

    JPP is a legit "BEAST".

  3. #3
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    great news today Roanoke, thanks much!

    Eli must be considered in the top 5 category, at least this season.

    what a great comeback last night!

    JPP is a legit "BEAST".


    I would think so now. You can't deny his record.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  4. #4


    [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    great news today Roanoke, thanks much!

    Eli must be considered in the top 5 category, at least this season.

    what a great comeback last night!

    JPP is a legit "BEAST".


    I would think so now.* You can't deny his record.
    [/quote]Great Day to be a Giant! I think this team learned something about themselves in that Green Bay Game.

  5. #5
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    [quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    great news today Roanoke, thanks much!

    Eli must be considered in the top 5 category, at least this season.

    what a great comeback last night!

    JPP is a legit "BEAST".


    I would think so now. You can't deny his record.
    [/quote]Great Day to be a Giant! I think this team learned something about themselves in that Green Bay Game.[/quote]

    Where you been, big fella?
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  6. #6


    coordinator Kevin Gilbride
    simply turned to Manning and said, “Hey, we need two scores. Go do

    This begs the question: do we really need Killdrive? He is definitely holding Eli back. Look what happens when he gets out of the way and lets Eli do his thing.

  7. #7


    [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    great news today Roanoke, thanks much!

    Eli must be considered in the top 5 category, at least this season.

    what a great comeback last night!

    JPP is a legit "BEAST".


    I would think so now.* You can't deny his record.
    [/quote]Great Day to be a Giant! I think this team learned something about themselves in that Green Bay Game.[/quote]

    Where you been, big fella?*
    [/quote]Still around, but Like in 07---I was very frustrated with our team. Last night made me very happy, but this team still has alot of work to do.

  8. #8
    Moderator RoanokeFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    [quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="BigBlue1971"]

    great news today Roanoke, thanks much!

    Eli must be considered in the top 5 category, at least this season.

    what a great comeback last night!

    JPP is a legit "BEAST".


    I would think so now. You can't deny his record.
    [/quote]Great Day to be a Giant! I think this team learned something about themselves in that Green Bay Game.[/quote]

    Where you been, big fella?
    [/quote]Still around, but Like in 07---I was very frustrated with our team. Last night made me very happy, but this team still has alot of work to do.[/quote]

    No question, but that was some game last night, as you say.
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  9. #9
    Veteran britishblue2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    County Durham. England


    Wow...whata game RF...WHAT A GAME !!

    Got to sleep at 6am...woke up at 7.30am....im gonna sleep well tonight tho.

    Thanks for todays news mate ... a pleasure as always.

    Next up .... its time to gut Washington and skin em 37 - 13 i feel will be the final score

  10. #10
    Veteran britishblue2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    County Durham. England


    Wow...whata game RF...WHAT A GAME !!

    Got to sleep at 6am...woke up at 7.30am....im gonna sleep well tonight tho.

    Thankls for todays news mate ... a pleasure as always.

    Next up .... its time to gut Washington and skin em 37 - 13 i feel will be the final score

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