Giants Rip Chiefs: Game Balls and Game Notes
Note that he said that after they moved to 16-3, on the road, so I can only imagine what he’d say about their 18-3 record. Shaz Bagl!
- While I was typing up this article, I accidentally knocked my laptop off of my desk, sending it hurtling towards the ground. But no worries. Before it hit the ground, Steve Smith made a diving catch for a big first down.
- As if there was any doubt, the offensive game ball goes to Mr. Steve Smith, who has not only been the best Steve Smith in the NFL, but also the best wide receiver in the NFL. Smith had 11 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
He now has 34 receptions for 411 yards and four touchdowns through four games, putting him on pace for a ridiculous 136 receptions, 1,644 yards, and 16 touchdowns. Most importantly, he leads the NFL in 134-yard receiving games with two.
- The only concern I have with Smith's game is the fact that he was absolutely leveled on a number of occasions. Eleven receptions means he was probably hit at least 11 times, and Smith goes over the middle often. The Chiefs were flagged for hitting Smith when he was defenseless, and the trainers actually used smelling salts on Smith at one point.
- Eli Manning had another big game, completing 20 of 34 passes for 292 yards, three touchdowns, a fumble lost, and an interception that bounced off Mario Manningham’s hands. Manning exited the game in the fourth quarter after injuring his heel on a non-contact play. He stayed in the game to throw a short screen to Hakeem Nicks, which went for a 54-yard touchdown.
- Speaking of Nicks, it’s good to see the rookie wunderkind back on the field. He took a short pass and used his deceptive speed and overall shiftiness to turn it into his first career touchdown. He got some good blocking, but he also made two guys miss him on the play. Congrats on the first of many touchdowns.
- Travis Beckum is going to be, at worst, a nice player to have on the roster. He made a great catch on his only target of the game for a 15-yard reception. There was speculation that he might be used as an H-back, but he’s seen some time lined up as a receiver. If he continues to make plays the few times his number is called, I expect to see him get on the field at least a bit more.
- Kevin Boss gets a gold star for hobbling to the line after his 24-yard reception set up a Lawrence Tynes field goal as time expired in the first half. Boss hurt his leg on the play, but he toughed it out, with help from Rich Seubert, and got back to the line so the Giants could spike the ball and stop the clock.
- Speaking of Tynes: another game, another missed field goal. This time it was a 38-yarder that stayed right. At least he contributed a special teams tackle on a kickoff return.
- Kudos to Kevin Gilbride for calling a direct snap to Ahmad Bradshaw on 4th-and-3. Manning sold the fake well, and Bradshaw gained nine yards. The Giants usually don’t do trick plays, perhaps to a fault. They are good enough that they don’t need to rely on gimmicks or wildcat formations, but a trick play every now and then keeps the defense on its toes.
- Why was Brandon Jacobs in the game at the end of the fourth quarter? I know he wanted to prove to Tony Siragusa that he’s still got it, but there’s no reason to risk getting injured with the game all but over. And there’s no reason to feel the need to prove anything to the Tony Siragusas of the world.
- An MRI on Manningham’s hands confirmed that he has a case of the butterfingers.
- Despite the way the receivers have stepped up lately, I still think the Giants miss Domenik Hixon. With Smith, Manningham, and Nicks all viable targets on offense, Hixon can be relegated to a fourth receiver role. This will allow him to take over full return duties from Sinorice Moss, and that could lead to a huge boost in field position. Moss again failed to do much of anything as a returner.
- Michael Boley is everywhere! He’s in my raccoon wounds! Five tackles, four for a loss (four tackles for a loss!), two passes defensed (aka two dropped interceptions), and one sack. For the reasons stated above, he is awarded this week’s defensive game ball.
- Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Rocky Bernard also contributed one sack each, giving the Giants a season-best five sacks. Tuck in particular had a great day, with five tackles, one for a loss, and a pass deflected that was almost intercepted by Fred Robbins.
- The special teams game ball goes to Bryan Kehl for his big contributions on the first play of both halves. Kehl recovered Jamaal Charles’ fumble on the opening kickoff, giving the Giants great field position, which led to Steve Smith’s first touchdown. He also had the awareness to come up and recover the surprise onside kick attempt to start the second half.
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