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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Martellus Bennett Says He Has Nothing To Show Cowboys In Return To Dallas
Excerpt: "No, Martellus Bennett didn't circle his return to Dallas on his calendar. He doesn't have one, he reasoned.
And no, he doesn't believe he has anything to show the Cowboys organization that let him sign with the Giants without any resistance after four seasons.
Bennett says he's treating Sunday's NFC East battle against the Cowboys like the 15 other games on the schedule. It just so happens that it'll be in Dallas, where he'll get a chance to eat at Pappadeaux, a popular seafood restaurant chain not found in the northeast, with a few old friends.
"I have nothing to show the Cowboys or anything like that," Bennett said. "All my emotions are to this organization and the things we're trying to build, the relationships I'm trying to build here so I have nothing to show them. I have nothing to show outside this organization and myself." Read more...
Ahmad Bradshaw Missed Practice To Prevent Setback With Foot Injury
Excerpt: "Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw said he's feeling "good" but did not practice today because he did not want to suffer a setback in his injured foot before Sunday's game against the Cowboys.
"I just don’t want to go out and get it sore during the week," Bradshaw said. "I don’t want any setbacks or anything prohibiting me from being 100 (on Sunday)."
This was the second straight practice Bradshaw has missed. He expects to practice tomorrow. He was originally supposed to go today, but Bradshaw said it was his call to switch his practice day to Friday to avoid a setback.
Bradshaw has had recurrent foot issues through his career. This recent one popped up after the San Francisco game, in which he said he thinks his foot was stepped on.
"I am going to take it like it is," Bradshaw said, when asked if he'll have to manage this injury like in years past. "I am not having as much pain as I am usually having with it (in the past). I will be practicing tomorrow, which is a good step." Read more...
Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw Sitting Out Second Practice
Excerpt: "Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw is sitting out his second straight practice with a foot injury that appeared on the injury report after the 49ers game.
Coach Tom Coughlin said he hoped Bradshaw would practice today, so his absence is a bit concerning. Bradshaw sat on the stationary bike during the portion of practice open to the media, while his teammates stretched and did drills .
Bradshaw has had recurrent foot injuries through his career but said this latest occurrence happened when his foot was stepped on against the 49ers. Bradshaw practiced once last week, on Thursday, and started against the Redskins after being listed as questionable." Read more...
Giants' Eli Manning Says He Created Bad Habits Early In His Career to Keep Veterans Happy
Excerpt: "The Giants, minus Victor Cruz, have had a carousel of wide receivers due to various injuries. Eli Manning, however, has continued playing at a high level without a blip and is perhaps off to the best statistical start of his career throwing to an assortment of targets.
Manning, who leads the NFL in passing yards (2,109), credits the stable success on establishing a confidence and a comfort level with each of his weapons from Hakeem Nicks on down to rookie Rueben Randle.
"As a quarterback you always want to trust your guys and I tell them that I don't have favorites, I'm not going to force it to one guy," Manning said today. "I’ve got a read and a progression. If you want to know what my progression is, I'll be happy to tell you. And I'm going to stick to that. If you're my first read, it's your job to get open. If you're not, then I'm going on to the next guy. I'm going to stick to those progressions and have faith that if you're the first read that you're going to get open for us." Read more...
Giants' Victor Cruz Says He Won't Consider Holding Out For New Contract
Excerpt: "Victor Cruz is third in the NFL with 50 receptions. His 627 receiving yards place him third. The seven touchdowns put him in a three-way tie for first.
But his salary doesn't rank anywhere near the top. He is making $540,000 this season, the final of his rookie contract. In an interview on WFAN Tuesday, he admitted he would like a new contract by season's end.
He, however, won't consider holding out to avoid risking injury, which he saw was suggested by an NFL analyst on Twitter today.
"I should hold out, right? [It will] never happen," Cruz told reporters. "Because if I'm going to do that I might as well do it in the beginning of the season, and not wait when I'm doing so well, and just hold out. I want to continue to help my team win.
"The team's going to panic if I hold out. That's not me. I just want to go out and play football and continue to be myself." Read more...
Giants' DBs Plan To Play More Aggressively Against Cowboys
Excerpt: "When Corey Webster watches tape of the Giants’ season-opening loss, he sees a Giants secondary that wasn’t primed to stop the Cowboys’ quick passing attack.
“We weren’t aggressive. We weren’t putting our hands on them,” the veteran cornerback said. “I didn’t do it myself, (and) as a team, we were just kind of passive, kind of letting them dictate what they wanted to do to us. That’s not how we’ve been successful around here. That’s not how we’ve been successful the last couple of games around here.”
The stats explain Webster’s point: Quarterback Tony Romo passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns, with a season-best 75.9 percent completion rate. Kevin Ogletree looked like a Pro Bowler, with eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns -- while he has just 134 receiving yards in the five games since.
There were reasons for the Giants’ less-aggressive play in that game. Prince Amukamara was sidelined with a high ankle sprain, and Michael Coe, who started opposite Webster, could not finish the game due to a hamstring injury. Jayron Hosley, the nickel corner, was playing in the first regular-season game of his pro career." Read more...
Giants' Hakeem Nicks Has A "Great" Practice, Says He's A Lot Healthier
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks' numbers in the Giants' Week 1 matchup against the Cowboys suggest rookie Morris Claiborne made a significant impact in shutting the wide receiver down in his first career game.
Nicks doesn't see it that way. He said he was limited to four receptions for 38 yards because he was still transitioning to game speed two weeks after returning from a 12-week layoff due to foot surgery with just a one preseason game under his belt.
Soreness in his right foot limited his burst in and out of breaks as he was testing his boundaries.
"It was the first game and I was coming from foot surgery and I was trying to play it out and see how my foot was," Nicks said. "I don’t think it was nothing that he did or nothing that they did." Read more...
Deangelo Hall Says Redskins Gave Giants 77-Yard Game Winning Touchdown
Excerpt: "Eli Manning and Victor Cruz delivered a thrilling finish to Sunday's 27-23 win against the Redskins, courtesy of their game-winning 77-yard touchdown connection.
A few days later, the Redskins weren't willing to give much credit to the Giants quarterback.
"I don’t feel like he made that play. I feel we gave him that play," Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said, via the Washington Examiner. "We just had one guy set his feet, and one guy not do this. I could have thrown that ball, and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist, and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.” Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Practice Notes: Bradshaw Sits Again
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin's worst fears about Ahmad Bradshaw may gradually be coming true.
The Giants' starting running back did not practice on Thursday during the portion of practice open to the media, and he has yet to practice this week. This marks the second straight week that Bradshaw has barely practiced; last week, he practiced only on Thursday due to a foot injury.
None of this should truly surprise anyone, because the injury-prone Bradshaw spent most of last season barely practicing. That's something Coughlin hoped to avoid this season, something he talked openly about last Wednesday.
"I don't want to go into that one-practice-a-week business that we've had," Coughlin said before Bradshaw missed last Wednesday's session. "So I'm hoping that this is something that he is able to overcome, and we see the end of it."
So far, that hasn't happened. Bradshaw missed both Wednesday and Thursday this week, sitting out pivotal install days for the Giants offense. He was joined by LB Jacquian Williams (knee), who also sat out his second straight day of practice and seems likely to miss Sunday's game in Dallas. " Read more...
Myers: Boy, These Boys Not So Super
Excerpt: "The new Super Bowl video comes out every spring, and somehow each year the Cowboys are not in it.
Once Jerry Jones ran through all the players Jimmy Johnson accumulated for him with clever drafts and the greatest trade in NFL history when he unloaded Herschel Walker on the Vikings, the Super Bowl drought for the former America’s Team began and has yet to end.
Johnson was so good with personnel that he proved Jones right when the owner/general manager said 500 coaches could win the Super Bowl with the players on the Cowboys roster. Barry Switzer, a college coach who could have been no higher than No. 450 on the list, came out of retirement and won the Super Bowl in his second year on the job.
That was the 1995 season when the Cowboys won their third title in four years. That was also the last time the Cowboys made it to the Super Bowl.
That is pretty funny.
I asked Eli Manning on Wednesday if he knew the last time the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl. “With Aikman in the ’90s,” he said. “It’s tough getting there. That is part of football.” Read more...
Nicks Finally Feels Like Himself Again
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks just hasn’t looked like his old self since he added a knee injury to his injured foot in Week 2. But on Wednesday at practice, he finally felt that way, setting the tone for what he predicts “will be a great week for me.”
“I’m a lot healthier now,’ Nicks said. “I feel like I finally got over the little hump. I feel like I got back to myself a little bit. I feel like I was getting in and out of my routes and having that full confidence back.”
Nicks hasn’t been bad since he returned to the lineup two weeks ago after missing there games with his injuries. But in those two games he’s only caught eight passes for 97 yards – a huge drop from the 10 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown he had back in Week 2 in a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers." Read more...
Deck The Hall: Giants Fire Back at 'Skinned Corner
Excerpt: "“I don’t feel like he made that play. I feel we gave him that play,” Hall said. “We just had one guy set his feet and one guy not do this. I could have thrown that ball and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.”
Countered Manning: “I appreciate him giving it to me. Thank you … I didn't think it took a rocket scientist to figure it out, either. We had a guy running open and we hit him.”
And added Justin Tuck: “Well, DeAngelo is not that smart if they gave it to them. I love how DeAngelo plays. He is an awesome player. But to give a person a game-winning touchdown …” Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST.
Eli Mannnig: No More Need To Force Passes
Excerpt: "It was always known or at least suspected that a younger Eli Manning was either intimidated or at least stressed out dealing with the demands and emotional highs and lows of Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey. Manning never has really addressed that situation, until now.
Although he did not name names, Manning yesterday got into a discussion about the democratic way he deals with his receivers, telling them, “I’m not going to force it to one guy ... if you’re my first read, it’s your job to get open and if you’re not, then I’m going on to the next guy.’’
Manning then admitted this wasn’t always the case.
“I think early on we probably had receivers in practice you’d try to force them to get balls so they don’t get down or you keep them happy and I think you create bad habits doing that,’’ Manning said. “As I got older and we got younger, we got new guys in it evolved to doing it the correct way, going through the reads, saying you got to earn the right to get open, it’s all on the reads to make sure I’m doing the right thing.’’ Read more..
Eli Gives Thanks To Hall For Gift TD
Excerpt: "Eli Manning never said he was a “rocket scientist,’’ but that didn’t stop him from outsmarting the Redskins.
Manning said “thank you” in response to Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s contention the Redskins gave him and the Giants the game-winning 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz in the closing minutes of Sunday’s 27-23 victory.
“I appreciate him giving it to me ... thank you,’’ an uncharacteristically whimsical Manning said Wednesday.Hall told reporters covering the Redskins the decisive play was more a matter of what the defense did not do than what Manning and the offense did do.
"I don’t feel like he made that play,’’ Hall said. “I feel we gave him that play. We just had one guy set his feet and one guy not do this. I could have thrown that ball and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.” Read more...
Nicks Finally Gets His Burst Back
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks, hobbled all season, was on the field the last two weeks — at least in body. Yesterday, he felt there in spirit.
“Today was a great practice for me. I feel like I got back to myself a little bit,” Nicks said. “I feel like I’m getting in and out of my routes and having that full confidence back, so I think it will be a great week for me.”
Nicks has endured a disappointing and injury-plagued season, but the Giants’ No. 1 wideout may be on the cusp of re-emerging. In Week 2 against the Bucs, Nicks delivered 10 catches, 199 yards and a touchdown. But in the Giants’ six other games, he’s either been inactive (injuries cost him Weeks 3, 4 and 5) or unproductive (never more than 53 yards, zero touchdowns).
Though he has played the last two weeks, Nicks has still been battling injuries. He underwent offseason foot surgery, and he’s suffered in-season knee woes. Now, he finally feels like himself.
“I’m a lot healthier now, especially over the last couple of weeks. I feel like I finally got over the little hump. The last game, I feel like it broke me in a little bit more,” Nicks said. “Dealing with the knee, my burst wasn’t there.” Read more...
Pumped Up Giants
Excerpt: "They have always reveled in being Home Wreckers, and there is no home Eli Manning and the Giants want to wreck more right now than Jerry Jones’ palatial home. The home where more than 100,000 howling Cowboys fans have been invited and implored by their championship-starved owner to help their desperate team kick Big Blue butts.
The Giants have made it a habit of being Home Wreckers at Cowboys Stadium these past three seasons, but this is the first time they get to strut in there as defending Super Bowl champions.
And for this home invasion that they know can go a long way toward the eventual burying of the Cowboys, the Giants have decided that the best way to keep their eyes on the prize, that precious Lombardi Trophy, is not merely to see no evil and speak no evil, but to hear no evil as well.
Best Team in Football?
Can’t hear you.
“We try our best not to listen to that. You’ll probably see me not responding on Twitter and things like that,” Justin Tuck said Wednesday. “You come to my house, you’ll notice that my TV is never on any news channel as far as ‘SportsCenter’ during weeks like this because I don’t want to hear that nonsense. Because that’s what it is.”You just heard it.
“I know. This’ll be the last time I talk to y’all this week, too,” Tuck said. “So hopefully we understand what we’re getting ourselves in going down there. And everybody tells [the Cowboys], ‘You never beat [the Giants] down here.’ You best believe we’re gonna get their best shot, and I feel as though they’re gonna get ours. That’s why I think it’s gonna be a great football game.” Read more...
Giants' Feeling Good As They Face Hurting Cowboys
Excerpt: "From every precinct reporting in, the Giants are getting stronger, healthier and more complete.
They didn’t stop the run very well the first time they tangled with the Cowboys, but Chris Canty didn’t play in the season-opener and he will be on the field Sunday. They didn’t prevent big plays in the passing game, but Prince Amukamara wasn’t on the scene the first go-round and he will be this time. There were blown scoring chances even with Hakeem Nicks in the first encounter but he was coming off a broken foot and labored; yesterday was his best day all season.
“I saw just a different burst, running differently,’’ Eli Manning gushed about Nicks.
It is all coming together for the Giants, riding high at 5-2 and on a three-game winning streak. They certainly look willing and able to reverse the way they started this season, playing unevenly in all facets in a 24-17 loss. As for the 3-3 Cowboys, well, they are hurting all over. Their two top running backs didn’t practice yesterday. Their starting center is out. They are still reeling from the sudden loss of their top inside linebacker, Sean Lee, who is the heart, soul and brains of the entire defensive operation.
If you are scoring at home, advantage Giants, who, by the way, are 3-0 all-time inside Cowboys Stadium." Read more...
In Big D, Jerry Jones-Ing For RDs To Heal
Excerpt: "Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar could very well be splitting the carries for the Cowboys this weekend.
No wonder Jerry Jones was citing injuries as the main reason for backtracking furiously about his preseason talk of expecting Dallas to contend for a Super Bowl.
The announcement of season-ending toe surgery cost the Cowboys the services of Pro Bowl inside linebacker Sean Lee yesterday, and their top two running backs — DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones — both missed the first practice of the week in preparation for Sunday’s NFC East rematch with the Giants at Cowboys Stadium.
Murray appears likely to miss his second consecutive game with a sprained foot, while Jones is looking iffy to suit up against Big Blue because of a bruised knee. If Jones doesn’t recover enough to practice by tomorrow, the not-so-illustrious combination of Tanner and Dunbar would get the call.
It would feel like a mayday call for Tony Romo, who likely turns into a sitting duck against the Giants’ fearsome pass rush with a running game behind him consisting of a pair of former undrafted free agents, one of whom (Dunbar) is a rookie.
“I’ve said all along that I think this team has an opportunity to be a [Super Bowl] contender, but that one exception that I made was — as we’re seeing right now — injuries can make a difference in the NFL,” Jerry Jones said Wednesday, trying to take the pressure off his injury-ravaged team." Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Sullivan: Giants' Eli Manning Has MVP-type Skills On and Off The Field
Excerpt: "Eli Manning always has stood taller behind his football comebacks than his verbal ones. A lifelong philosophical subscription to the school of actions-speak-louder-than-words guarantees his two-minute quarterback drill always will trump a two-minute interview session. But just because Manning often doesn’t choose to fire back at the slings and arrows of skepticism regularly hurled his way doesn’t mean he has no such weapons in his arsenal.Wednesday afternoon, Manning took a rare verbal swing, and with it, reminded us in a new and different way just what sort of season could be unfolding for the ninth-year quarterback. With every passing week, with every mounting comeback, and yes, with every expression of confidence, Manning isn’t just strengthening his case as an MVP player on the field; he’s building one as an MVP leader, too. When he’s willing to put his aw-shucks voice to the words everyone in the room is thinking, when his disarmingly soft demeanor, floppy brown locks and swallowed words make way for a sharply pointed, if humorous retort, he stands taller than ever.
Here’s how it went Wednesday. Just minutes after Manning had eaten lunch (during which he’d been made aware of comments by Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall in a story in the Washington Examiner), Manning returned to his locker to face questions. Inquiring minds wanted to know what Manning thought of this take on the 77-yard game-winning touchdown to Victor Cruz on Sunday against Washington:
“I feel we gave him that play,” Hall said. “We just had one guy set his feet.… I could have thrown that ball, and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.”
Manning didn’t miss a beat: “I appreciate him giving it to me,” he quipped. “Thank you. I didn’t think it took rocket science to figure it out, either. You had a guy running open and you hit him.”
Football, in its most basic form, is a pitch-and-catch connection that, this season, Manning is performing as well as anyone at his position. Seven games in, Manning deserves to be considered a legitimate MVP candidate. He is leading the league with 2,109 passing yards, 5 yards clear of second-place Tom Brady, but more than any quantifiable statistic is his growing reputation as the game’s most reliable and daring late-game force. Hall and the Redskins just happen to be his latest whiplashed victims, another in a long line of defenders still wondering what the heck happened.
“It doesn’t bother me. If that’s the way they want to put it their heads, then that’s fine,” Manning said. “But the fact is, that was the coverage. If they messed it up, that’s what you have to do as an offense — take advantage of it.”Two Super Bowl wins, two Super Bowl MVP awards, and Manning still leaves opponents from Hall to Clay Matthews lamenting the gifts they gave him rather than giving him credit for taking them." Read more...
Giants' DBs Promise Better Results
Excerpt: " Stevie Brown remembers the looks of disbelief on the faces of teammates and coaches every time the Cowboys made a play to move the chains.
Tony Romo put the football in the air and no matter what the Giants did – especially when the season-opening game was on the line — they could not figure out how to stop Romo and his receivers, even on the simplest of plays.
"Everybody was on the field, watching from the sideline and we're scratching our heads, kicking ourselves because we couldn't figure it out as the game was going on," said Brown, who has emerged as an integral part of the secondary in tandem at safety with Antrel Rolle in Kenny Phillips' absence. "Once we saw what was happening on film, it was so simple what we needed to correct."
The Giants get the opportunity to show what they learned from opening night when they take the field and take aim at Romo again late Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium.
Romo passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns with a season-best 75.9 percent completion rate in the Cowboys' 24-17 triumph at MetLife Stadium.
"They've gotten better," Romo said. "They're doing some stuff that can give you some trouble if you're not prepared for it. We're looking into some stuff we're going to try and do in order to match up. It'll be a good test for us."
The Giants have been much sounder in the secondary in the six games since, with Corey Webster promising the lessons learned from that frustrating Sept. 5 defeat have helped in that maturation.
"We weren't aggressive," Webster said. "We weren't putting our hands on them. I didn't do it myself, [and] as a team, we were kind of passive, just kind of letting them dictate what they wanted to do to us. That's not how we've been successful around here. That's not how we've been successful the last couple of games." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants' Safety Kenny Phillips Returns To Practice
Excerpt: "For the first time since spraining his MCL against the Philadelphia Eagles in week three, New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips returned to the positional portion of practice on Thursday. And although playing on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys remains up in the air, it's a good sign that the veteran is nearing a healthy return.
With Stevie Brown playing so well in his absence, the Giants have no reason to rush Phillips back and risk re-injuring his MCL.
In addition to Phillips, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quad) also returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday. And they were joined by center David Baas, who missed practice on Wednesday due to an ankle injury sustained against Washington." Read more...
Giants' Hakeem Nicks: "I Think It Will Be A Great Week"
Excerpt: "The New York Giants dropped their season opener to the Dallas Cowboy's in disappointing fashion. Although Big Blue has gone on to a 5-2 record through seven games in 2012, there is still a sour taste in their mouths regarding their embarrassing week one loss to their divisional rival. Tony Romoand the Dallas Cowboys offense were able to have their way with a banged up Giants secondary and came away with a win. However, wideout Hakeem Nicks was not at full strength in week one and he feels his impact was missed.
Nicks caught four passes for 38-yards in Big Blue's first matchup with Dallas. However, it was his first full game action after undergoing offseason surgery on a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot. While he was not completely ineffective, Nicks had trouble making plays down the field. However, No. 88 says that after coming back and playing against the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, he is starting to feel as if he can have a bigger impact.
"I’m a lot healthier now. Especially in the last couple of weeks I feel like I finally got over the little hump," Nicks said. "The last game I feel like it broke me in a little more in the foot and the knee. Today was a great practice for me. I feel like I got back to myself a little bit. I feel like I was getting in and out of my routes and having that full confidence back. I think it will be a great week for me." Read more...
Redskins' Deangelo Hall: Giants' QB Eli Manning No Rocket Scientist
Excerpt: "For the most part, the WashingtonRedskins were humble and respectful in defeat. Led by their quarterback,Robert Griffin III, and their head coach, Mike Shanahan, they were were complimentary of the New YorkGiants and the job they had done during a 27-23 victory at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Unfortunately, not everyone on the team got the same memo, and on Wednesday, defensive back DeAngelo Hall took a shot at Big Blue and quarterback Eli Manning.
"For [Eli] to say that in the first half he picked up on it and to not make a play until the last play of the game? I don't know how well he picked up on it," Hall said. "I feel we gave him that play. It wasn't something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible."
When asked about Hall's comment, Manning was appreciative. As the Giants have done so many times before, they were quick to thank the opposing team for once again "giving" them a victory.
"I appreciate him giving it to me. Thank you," Manning said. "[But] I didn't say it took a rocket scientist to figure it out either. You got a guy running open, you hit him." Read more...
Giants' David Baas Injured And More From An Afternoon Tea With Tom Coughlin
Excerpt: "New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin took the podium for his weekly press conference in a worse mood than you would have expected following a divisional win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. But his focus was, as it always is, on the next game. And, in looking back at week one, he says the Giants "didn't deserve to win" because of the way they played, and that he expects much better on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Although opening questions centered around injuries, per the usual, there wasn't really much to cover. The pre-practice injury report was the smallest it has been all season, with only one new addition. It included Rocky Bernard(quad), Ahmad Bradsahw (foot), Hakeem Nicks (knee/foot), David Baas(ankle), Kenny Phillips (knee) and Jacquian Williams (knee).
Of the players listed, Baas, Williams, Bradshaw and Bernard will not practice on Wednesday. Coughlin says Jim Cordle will likely get some snaps at center, and would not detail any further about the significance of Baas' injury. He added that Phillips will "do more on the field" this week." Read more...
Poor Eli Manning: NFL Regular Season Week 7
Excerpt: ""Poor Eli Manning” is a compilation of quotes by both the media and fans aboutNew York Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XLII & XLVI MVP Eli Manning.
Despite his success, negativity and doubt have followed Peyton’s younger brother since the moment he was traded from the San Diego Chargers to theNew York Giants on draft day of 2004. Regardless of what he does or how well he performs – even in a league that lives and dies by the motto, “What have you done for me lately?” – he is questioned and criticized.
In Sunday's 27-23 victory over the Washington Redskins, Manning completed 26 of his 40 passes (65%) for 337 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. And although he led the game-winning drive, which was capped off by a 77-yard touchdown to wide receiver Victor Cruz, he did struggle for most of the game. In fact, he acknowledged as much in his post-game press conference.
After two very solid weeks of football, his struggles on Sunday -and especially his two interceptions- have paved the way for his doubters and detractors to return to the forefront. Additionally, there was some legitimate criticism worked in, but the vast majority were all over Eli just for the sake of being all over Eli. It's precisely why this column will last as long as Eli's NFLcareer." Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants' News NFL Week 8 Predictions: Mikey's Crystal Ball
Excerpt: "While the season has been difficult to predict thus far, for whatever reason Week 7 was a bit easier. Hopefully I can keep the mojo going this week, but just to be safe, you shouldn't use this for the basis for money exchanging hands. Well, unless you really want to.
NY Giants at Dallas--Why in the hell did the NFL only schedule two late games last week and this week? Anyway, Dallas is averaging less than 20 points a game, and Eli Manning is so comfortable in Jerry's house that he'll gladly take any gifts the Cowboys give him the way Washington did. Giants 23, Cowboys 20" Read more...
NY Giants' News and Notes: Hakeem Nicks Getting Healthy, and More
Excerpt: "Good morning, New York Giants' fans. Here is your Thursday morning notebook.
Hakeem Nicks is feeling better than he has since Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when he caught 10 passes for 199 yards. [Full transcript]
Q: How much healthier are you?
A: I'm a lot healthier now, especially over the last couple of weeks. I finally feel like I finally got over the little hump. The last game, I feel like it broke me in a little bit more. First it was the foot and then the knee, today was a great practice for me. I feel like I got back to myself a little bit. I feel like I'm getting in and out of my routes and having that full confidence back, so I think it will be great week for me.
Q: Is this the first time since the knee that you felt that way?
A: Yeah. The first time since the knee because I broke the foot and then after the first game, then had that huge week the second week. Then the knee limited me since then, so I feel like my body is feeling good again. I feel like I can give it a great go.
- See our 'Transcripts' page for other interviews from Wednesday." Read more...
Coughlin: Giants "Didn't Deserve To Win" Season Opener
Excerpt: "New York Giants' coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday that the Giants "didn't play as well as we hoped to play" in a season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys and "didn't deserve to win."
Coughlin is probably right about that. The Giants get there chance to atone for that Sunday when they travel to Dallas, where Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones has promised fans that the Giants are in for a butt-kicking.
The Giants enter the game 5-2 and leading the NFC East. Dallas is 3-3.
[Full Coughlin press conference]" Read more...
THE RED ZONE
Cowboys' Felix Jones Retruns To Practice
Excerpt: "Cowboys running back Felix Jones (bruised knee) returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session, Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports.
Jones was wearing a brace on his left knee as he worked on the athletic cords during the portion of practice open to the media.
Also, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (flu) was seen at practice wearing a jersey but he didn't have his helmet. He left the fields before team stretching exercises Thursday." Read more...
O'Connor: Nobudy Thought Eli Would Be This Good
Excerpt: "Nobody knew Eli Manning would grow into this kind of superstar, not even Eli Manning. In charge of a team fixing to repeat as champs, Manning spent part of Wednesday painting a portrait of a young and insecure quarterback, cracking open an old window on his thoughts that he prefers to keep jammed shut.
Manning almost never invites the public into his huddle, but two Super Bowl MVP awards have a way of compelling even the most private of franchise players to relax and offer an occasional sneak peek. And so it was in the New York Giants' locker room that Manning admitted he was once more concerned about tending to the dueling divas, Jeremy Shockeyand Plaxico Burress, than he was about winning games.
No, Manning didn't name Shockey and Burress, but he didn't have to. Nor did he have to point out this was a bigger problem with Shockey, whom Eli didn't need to win a championship, than it was with Burress, whom Eli most certainly needed on the rocky road to Super Bowl XLII." Read more...
Notebook: Canty Still Fired Up For Cowboys
Excerpt: "Chris Canty has played the Cowboys five times since leaving them in free agency in 2008, but the defensive tackle still has that extra fire when he faces his former team.
"I'm going to be honest with you. That's nothing that time can fix," Canty said. "It's kind of like when you're in your backyard versus your brothers and you always want to compete and show them up. I got a lot of good friends on that football team still, so there's always going to be that competitive fire, playing against those guys and I look forward to it every year."
Canty will get his first chance this season against Dallas when the Giants face their NFC East rivals on Sunday. The defensive tackle played his first game of the season last Sunday against the Redskins after being activated from the PUP list. He had four tackles in the game.
"Definitely, I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Canty said. "It was tough for me to sit back and watch the first game of the season versus a division rival, but now I get to be a part of this and having a chance to face my old football team, this is another big game for us. As coach said, once you win big games, the games after that just become bigger. This is another big game for our football team."
The veteran played 25 snaps against Washington, and head coach Tom Coughlin thinks Canty will play more against Dallas. The coach also complimented Canty for his play, calling him a "big plus." The defensive tackle said the more reps he gets the more it helps him get back into the groove of things.
"It's almost like riding a bike," Canty said. "There's a little rust there but I continue to improve as the week goes on." Read more...
Jerry Won't Be Kicking Tuck's "Posterior"
Excerpt: "Justin Tuck and the Giants know all about Jerry Jones' commentinviting Dallas fans to "watch us beat the Giants' ***" this Sunday.
The Giants defensive end told Dallas reporters on a conference call that Jones can suit up this Sunday if he wants to.
"I don't play Jerry," Tuck said according to ESPNDallas.com. "If he wants to put on a jersey and line up, I'll welcome that.
"But I don't think Jerry is going to be doing any kicking of my posterior."
Outside of having fun and firing back at DeAngelo Hall's comments about gifting Eli Manning's 77-yard touchdown, the Giants pretty much said all the right things today about the Cowboys. " Read more...
Opposing View: Dallas Missing Stars
Excerpt: " As Dallas beat the Giants 24-17 in the opener, linebacker Sean Lee and running back DeMarco Murray made key plays that helped spark the upset.
Sunday, the Cowboy could be without both of their playmakers. Lee is out for the season with a toe injury, and Murray did not play last week and missed Wednesday's practice with a foot sprain. The indication is that the running back will not be in action against the Giants.
Lee, a top linebacker, had the forced fumble on running back David Wilson in Cowboys' territory that sent the rookie to the doghouse for the next few weeks.
"Sean Lee is a great football player. Anybody who watches our team can see that," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said on a conference call Wednesday. "He’s a heck of a young man who loves to play the game, and plays it really well. He’s very good against the run, he’s really good against the pass; leader of our defense, makes the calls. Guys gravitate towards him. They gravitate towards him on defense and really throughout our whole football team. It will certainly be a loss."
Murray rushed for 131 yards against the Giants, his best game of the year, and had a 48-yard scamper on a busted play that proved to be a big play in the game.
"We’re hopeful it will heal up, but we’re certainly taking it slow with him, and like I said, he didn’t practice today and we’ll just see how he progresses day to day," Garrett said of Murray's foot sprain. " Read more...
Nicks On Claiborne: He's A Rookie
Excerpt: "Hakeem Nicks isn't going to credit Dallas or rookie Morris Claiborne for his subpar day in Week 1.
Draped by Claiborne in coverage, the Giants wideout had just four catches for 38 yards, his lowest yardage total of the season so far in Dallas' 24-17 win. Nicks was coming off offseason surgery on his right foot.
"It was the first game. I was coming from the foot surgery, trying to play it out, see how my foot was. I don't think it was nothing that he did or nothing that they did," Nicks said. "They came out and played hard as a team. We a better team than that first game so I think we have to go out there, execute our plays, play great team ball, play as one, we'll be fine."
Finally feeling healthy, Nicks is ready for his second shot against Dallas, and Claiborne, when the teams square off at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. Nicks has played the past two weeks and believes he's finally back to feeling like himself as he practiced fully on Wednesday.
When asked what he thought of Claiborne, Nicks didn't say much.
"I mean, he's a rookie," Nicks said. " Read more...
Week 7 Power Rankings
Except: "1. Falcons (five first-place votes): They’ll have to wait until January to exorcise their playoff demons. For now, they’ll have to settle for another crack at further erasing the memory of Mike Vick.
2. Giants: The schedule gets difficult now, which is good for a team that can’t get focused when it’s time to play inferior foes.
3. Bears: A week after Cam Newton broke out the term “sweetheart,” the Bears could be calling him slightly stronger names.
4. Texans: The blowout of the Ravens was a welcome bottle of Listerine for that mouthful of Limburger.
5. 49ers: The nagging feeling that Alex Smith can’t take this team where it wants to go won’t go away.
6. Packers: With Jacksonville and Arizona heading to Lambeau Field, do the next two weeks qualify as preseason games?
7. Patriots: The Pats are blowing fourth-quarter leads like it’s Super Bowl XLVI. Or Super Bowl XLII.
8. Seahawks: Russell Wilson can take this team a lot farther than anyone realizes. Especially once they get guys who can catch his passes on a consistent basis.
9. Ravens: Joe Flacco really is a top-five quarterback. In his division.
10. Vikings: Enjoy the ride while it lasts. After Bears-Packers-Bears, it’ll be over." Read more...
DeMarco Murray Still On Crutches Wednesday, Reportedly Will Miss Week 8
Excerpt: "DeMarco Murrayinjured his foot against the Ravens in Week 6 and missed the Cowboys victory over the Panthers in Week 7. It sure sounds like he's going to miss Week 8's matchup against the Giants as well.
Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Murray "will be sidelined" for the upcoming divisional matchup in Dallas and that the running back was seen on crutches and was absent from practice Wednesday."Hopefully he's just progressing,” Garrett said. “He's moving around better. He's in the meetings and we'll just see where he is. I don't anticipate him practicing today. We'll just see where he is moving forward."
With Murray missing from the lineup in Carolina, Felix Jones and Philip Tanner split carries for the Cowboys, though neither was particularly effective. Jones totaled 44 rushing yards on 15 carries (and is banged up as well) and Tanner posted 30 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Asked about Murray on crutches during his media session, Jason Garrett declined to rule Murray out, but said the team was "being very careful" and that they wanted to give Murray "more time" to try and recover.
"Oh, I think we're just being very careful about any weight that we're putting on him,” Garrett said. "The more time we give him the better."" Read more...
Giants' Chase Blackburn Making Most Of Second Chance
Excerpt: "New York Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn said the coolest thing that has happened during his eight-year NFL career was getting to take an on-field photo with his family following last season’s win in Super Bowl XLVI.
With the way the Giants (5-2) are playing, Blackburn might soon have the chance to create even more lasting memories after another championship victory. But first, Blackburn and his Giants teammates will try to erase the negative ones created by a season-opening loss to theDallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys picked apart New York in a 24-17 victory. The acclaimed pass defense couldn’t affect Tony Romo(22 of 29 passing for 307 yards with three touchdowns and one interception) or handle wide receiver Kevin Ogletree(eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns). The run defense wasn’t any better with DeMarco Murrayadding another 131 yards on 20 carries.
Ogletree hasn’t duplicated that kind of performance since as Dallas’ third receiver, and Murray will miss the rematch Sunday because of a foot injury. That still doesn’t lessen the sting of what happened in Week 1, and Romo will continue to try to hurt the Giants with play-action and quick passes.
“We were just coming out of training camp and did not execute the way we needed to,” Blackburn told FOXSports.com in a telephone interview. “We’ve definitely grown as a defense since then and as an entire team. We hope we can continue to carry that over and play that way when we face (Dallas) again.” Read more...
Game Locks: Week 8
Jerry Jones: Injuries Could Derail Cowboys' Super Bowl Chances
Redskins WR Garcon Has "Plantar Plate Tear"