After ruining everybody’s Thanksgiving the other week (turkey will forever have the tainted taste of the Giants’ performance that night), Big Blue followed that inept and sleepy showing (was it the tryptophan?) with a spirited, come-from-behind effort yesterday, beating their archrivals, 31-24. They were gritty and tough, and showed more emotion and fortitude than we’ve seen in a while. And don’t count out the hatred angle, as shown by this Brandon Jacobs quote:
“Dallas is a team that I just absolutely can’t stand. I’ve hated Dallas ever since I knew anything about football.”
So there you go. The Giants hate the Cowboys. And the feeling is mutual. And then you add the antics of Flozell Adams into the mix. When he’s not tripping Justin Tuck, he’s shoving him from behind. And when he’s not pulling those pranks, he’s giving out purple nurples, hertz doughnuts, flat tires, Indian burns, dead arms, noogies and pantsing opposing linemen - anything to avoid a legal blocking technique.
The Giants were grasping at straws to try and save their season, when Tom Coughlin and Bill Sheridan made a number of personnel moves on defense. And now they look like a couple of geniuses. Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora teamed up for a forced fumble/recovery that changed the momentum of the game. Jonathan Goff had eight tackles in his first start as middle linebacker, rookie Clint Sintim recorded his first sack and Aaron Rouse led the team with 12 tackles and notched a sack of his own. Tony Romo, Jason Witten and company controlled the ball for most of the game, but the Giants’ D held Dallas to a measly 45 yards rushing.
The Giants’ offense, on the other hand, had a field day with big plays and quick strikes. The one-play drive of Jacobs’ 74-yard catch and run could be the moment that turned their season around. The fact that he was able to make it all the way down field surprised everyone - even Jacobs. But that could be the signature play everyone will look back on if the Giants do make the playoffs. The offense’s other touchdowns came on four-play drives, one with a heads-up shovel pass from Eli Manning (not a particularly good game) to Kevin Boss as the QB was about to get sacked. Hakeem Nicks made a crafty move on his TD. And Domenik Hixon finally broke through (with some nice blocking), returning a punt 79 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
It wasn’t a complete game for the Giants, but all three phases of the team chipped in and produced. With only four games left, the Giants have a lot of work to do, but yesterday’s win does one thing - it keeps their playoff hopes alive. And it may give them some momentum going into their next bloody divisional matchup on Sunday night vs. the Eagles. It didn’t look like it in Denver, but after yesterday’s inspired victory, the Giants are still breathing.