Once again, the Giants had the chance to ruin an undefeated team’s perfect season, and once again they came up just short. The final score was even the same, 38-35. Even though the Giants weren’t able to come away with the win, they came through with a strong effort and well-played game to bounce-back after a brutal loss to the Saints on Monday Night Football last week.
Luckily, the Dallas Cowboys also lost to the Arizona Cardinals so the Giants remain only a game behind them in the NFC East, making next week’s showdown that much bigger.
A few observations from the game:
-Congratulations to Victor Cruz for reaching 1,000 receiving yards! Cruz came into the game with 957 receiving yards and his 43 yard reception in the first quarter put him over the 1,000 yards mark. He now has 1,076 on the season. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted, huh?
-Cruz hinted earlier this week that he was planning on using double moves to take advantage of Woodson aggressiveness and draw penalties and it showed.
-Speaking of Woodson, it seems like he can’t tackle any of the Giants running backs without getting run over. Every time I see him, I think of Brandon Jacobs bowling him over in the infamous 2008 NFC Championship game in Green Bay, and Bradshaw knocking him over in the fourth quarter was eerily similar.
-We all know that the Giants have had to overcome a ridiculous amount of injuries again this season, and with David Bass and Will Beatty hurt, today’s game marked the fifth different offensive line combination used this season. That just makes the season that Eli Manning is having that much more impressive.
-Chase Blackburn solidified his welcome back with a huge interception of Aaron Rodgers deep in Packers territory. He looked pretty good in pass coverage too, an area where most of the Giants linebackers have struggled this year. But between Michael Boley and Blackburn’s returns to the lineup, they looked much better in that respect than they did last week (not that that was hard to do).
-What was up with those two plays that Coughlin challenged? It was very clear that neither of those plays were getting overturned and he wasted both of his challenges and two timeouts. Coughlin is normally one of the best coaches in the NFL when it comes to winning challenges, but he’s now lost his last four.
-Kenny Phillips left the game with a sprained knee- the same one that cost him his season last year- and did not return. Is it too much to ask for the Giants to make it through one game without someone getting hurt?
-Another monster of a game from Jason Pierre-Paul. New York needed him to set up in a big way with Osi Umenyiora out and he did just that. It’s hard to believe that he doesn’t even have two full NFL seasons under his belt. Imagine what a dominate player he’ll be in a few more years.