Just like that, the New York Giants sit atop the NFC East. After beating up the San Francisco 49’s the Giants, led by Eli Manning, pulled another Miracle out of the hat. New York had their hands full all day with dynamic rookie Robert Griffin III and rookie running back Alfred Morris, but then as we’ve seen him do so many times before in the fourth quarter, Manning connected with Victor Cruz on a 77-yard touchdown to go ahead wit just over a minute to go.
Every game for the Giants seemingly gets bigger and tougher, and it will only continue with divisional games against Dallas (this week) and another game against Philadelphia and Washington. Also on that list is New Orleans, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, etc. If the Giants are going to get a chance to defend the Super Bowl in the playoffs, they will have certainly earned, playing just about every powerhouse the NFL has to offer.
We all have seen what they have been able to do, lets see what the experts have seen:
Befuddled most of the day by RG3 and the Redskins, the Giants still somehow managed to win. It’s what they do. (Graziano)
The Giants since Eli Manning has come into his own have really rallied when their backs are up against the wall, just look at their two most recent Super Bowls. The concern is are the Giants getting too comfortable with “come from behind” mentality. If they truly are it could very well end up haunting them in the postseason. There are teams in the NFC that are very capable of stomping them out upon building a lead (anybody seen the Packers the last two weeks?). The Giants need to find more consistency. While Washington is a good, young team, there is no reason they should have taken the Giants down to the wire like that. The Giants are a more talented and more experienced team.
Fox Sports 4(5)
Eli Manning’s 23rd fourth-quarter comeback came on a 77-yard catch-and-run to Victor Cruz. To put that into perspective, Tom Brady has 25 fourth-quarter comebacks. (Billick)
That’s a pretty unbelievable statistic when considering Brady has been in the league longer, played in an inferior division and for the majority of the years had a more explosive offense than Eli. One of the most intriguing parts of that stat is three of those comeback wins have come against Tom Brady and two of them were on the biggest stage in football, the Super Bowl. Where many will argue that Manning is not the best QB in the league, or even playing the best in the league, no one can argue that there is another QB a team would rather have in the fourth quarter.
CBS Sports 4(5)
They have to get out of the habit of playing down to the competition, especially at home. That defense still has some major problems. (Priscoe)
Whatever it is, the Giants do seem to have a lot of trouble playing 1 o’clock games at home. This goes back a couple years. You saw it last year against inferior teams (Seattle, Miami, Buffalo) and you’ve seen it this year against the Redskins and the Buccaneers. Whether it is the lack of spotlight this is an issue that really needs to be corrected. New York has more games at home slated for 1 o’clock. The Giants’ defense only has one major issue and it’s injuries. I think the defensive front is starting to take form. It’s a difficult task defending a guy like RGIII, no one in the league has been able to do what he can do (Vick has never even been close to this guy). Washington clearly got a steal with Alfred Morris, especially when combined with Head Coach Mike Shannahan, who traditionally rings every ounce of talent from his running backs.
The upcoming game against Dallas is the biggest game of the Giants season and New York feels they have something to prove.
Check back next week for more rankings.