Eli Manning, at least on this day, realized his potential playing with a level of poise and composure, not often exhibited by the Giant’s quarterback. He assumed the persona of a military general, commanding the field as he deployed his willing troops in a manner that would make Douglas MacArthur proud. I suggested in an earlier blog that Eli would have to be at his efficient best for the Giant’s to have any chance of succeeding. On this Sunday, in the hostile environs of Philadelphia, Eli would silence his critics, as he piloted the Giants to a convincing 29-16 victory, throwing for 4 touchdowns, over the anointed, can’t be beaten, “future champion” Philadelphia Eagles.
The secondary was stellar, limiting yards after catch and punishing the receivers each time they made a catch. Aaron Ross, perhaps finding new enthusiasm for the game of football, performed on a level that was expected of him when he was selected as a first round pick out of Texas. He competed on every play, made tackles and was rewarded with 2 picks. Just another day at the office for the mercurial Ross.
Receivers had to step up and step up they did. Did we just witness the birth of a new star or is Victor Cruz a one hit wonder? Travis Beckhum not withstanding, the receiver corp ran precise routes, gained separation, and afforded Eli sight lines to complete passes. And they hung onto the ball! Perhaps one of the more satisfying completions was the one to Jake Ballard on a waggle for a 15 yard
gain. Augmenting the receivers, the running backs did a terrific job including the wheel route to Jacobs and the delayed screen to Ahmad Bradshaw, both resulting in TD’s.
The offensive line had moments of chaos as Manning was sacked 3 times, but kept their wits, battled on every down, and did a yeoman’s job of neutralizing the vaunted Eagles defense. Will Beatty had his hands full trying to contain the speed and power of Trent Cole, but once the dust settled it was obvious that Beatty, if not winning the battle, held Cole to a push. Linemen were getting to the second level, opening seams and creases for the “little engine that can” Ahmed Bradshaw, resulting in 86 yards on only 14 carries, a gaudy 5.7 yds /carry. Brandon Jacobs did a much better job in short yardage, providing the needed push in those situations. His run from 1 yard out for the 2 point conversion showed a grit and determination that is sometimes lacking.