Eli Manning played just five offensive series, but by the time his day was done the New York Giants had a 28-0 lead over Oakland. David Carr replaced the game's highest-payed player in the first half and helped the Giants hold on for a 44-7 victory. New York improved their record to 5-0, the first time they have started a season with at least five straight victories since 1990. The Giants went onto win their first 10 games that year then beat Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV.
Manning caused concern among Giants fans when he left last week's victory over Kansas City with a right heel injury. He missed multiple practices over the course of the week but ultimately felt well enough to start his 83rd straight game.
Manning not only started, he played "perfectly." In the NFL passer rating system, a score of 158.3 is considered perfect. Manning's numbers - 8/10 passing, 173 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions—were good enough to attain that feat. He is the first quarterback to have a "perfect game" this season and only the fourth New York Giant to do so (Y.A. Tittle, Fran Tarkenton, and Kerry Collins).
Despite the gaudy numbers from Manning, the star of the day was running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw, who possesses a build similar to former Giants fan favorite David Meggett, ran for 61 yards in the first quarter and finished the game with 110 yards on the ground and a pair of scores. He came into 2009 with one career 100-yard game but now has two in the past three weeks.
As anticipated by many, the feeble Oakland offense was no match for the mighty New York defense. The Giants forced and recovered three fumbles from quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Oakland gained just 124 yards and seven first downs on the afternoon. The Giants stopped the Raiders on 10-of-11 third-down opportunities.
On tap for next week is a much-anticipated collision between that dominant Giants defense and the high-powered offense of the New Orleans Saints (4-0) at the Superdome. The game will feature two of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the NFL in Manning and Saints signal-caller Drew Brees.
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