New York Giants: Top 5 Performances in Week 9 Victory

Louis Musto@LouisMustoContributor IIINovember 8, 2011

New York Giants: Top 5 Performances in Week 9 Victory

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    The New York Giants, led by quarterback Eli Manning, mounted an impressive comeback with 15 seconds left to upset the New England Patriots in familiar fashion in Gillette Stadium, 24-20.

    The victory was one few expected and helped to keep the Giants on pace for a playoff berth and the NFC East lead with a 6-2 record. The Giants’ play was not pretty all afternoon, but ultimately turned out to be enough to defeat one of the top teams in the NFL.

    Here is a look at the New York Giants' top performances for their Week 9 victory against the Patriots.

5. Victor Cruz

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    Victor Cruz is having a breakout year for the New York Giants, and that breakout year did not stop in Week 9.

    Cruz did a phenomenal job getting open all game, especially on broken plays when Eli Manning was flushed out of the pocket. He broke off from his routes and caught a desperation pass from Eli on more than one occasion.

    Cruz has had no trouble taking over where former Giant Steve Smith left off and is the perfect guy to pull coverage off of Giants stud receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Cruz’s 91-yard performance on six receptions kept the former UMass Minuteman on pace for 1,000 yards receiving for the season.

4. Deon Grant

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    Deon Grant was a key player in the Giants’ 24-20 Week 9 victory over the New England Patriots.  Grant did a great job in coverage for Big Blue, intercepting Tom Brady once early in the third quarter, then nearly picking him off again a few drives later.

    Grant swarmed all over the field, finishing the game with four tackles and that third-quarter interception. The interception was the first of the season for Grant and added to the already strong campaign Grant is having this season for the Giants.

3. Brandon Jacobs

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    The Giants needed Brandon Jacobs to have a good game for them out of the backfield, especially with all the bad stuff that’s been floating around the media about Jacobs and the Giants.

    Jacobs gladly delivered on that need, running with a purpose and bruising the Patriots defense on every run. With the Giants short a running back due to Ahmad Bradshaw being out with injury, Jacobs was efficient carrying the load for the Giants, finishing Week 9 with 18 carries for 72 yards and a third-quarter touchdown that help put the Giants up 10-0 at the time.

2. Jake Ballard

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    Who knew Jake Ballard would make Giants fans forget about Kevin Boss so quickly?

    Ballard played David Tyree for the Giants in the final fourth-quarter drive with a circus catch that took Giants fans back to beautiful memories of their Super Bowl XLII upset of the New England Patriots.

    The former Ohio State tight end has earned his place as one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets, showcasing hands not even Ballard knew he had coming into the season.

    Ballard finished the game with four receptions for 67 yards, including that spectacular circus catch on the game-winning drive and the game-winning touchdown reception from Eli Manning with 15 seconds left on the clock.

1. Eli Manning

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    For close to 58 minutes, Eli Manning’s Week 9 performance against the New England Patriots was anything but spectacular. Eli struggled mightily against the NFL’s worst pass defense and threw a costly interception in the end zone that let the Pats back into the game rather than put them away.

    But when crunch time came, Eli did what he does best—he got the job done.

    With 1:36 left in the game and the Giants trailing by three, Eli led Big Blue 80 yards right back down the field to connect with tight end Jake Ballard for the game-winning touchdown with just 15 seconds to spare.

    Against a team like the New England Patriots, most would have shut down in a situation like the one Eli Manning was faced with. Eli didn’t. He didn’t wilt under pressure. He never does.

    The Giants are 6-2 and Eli is the main reason why. This season has been his best to date with Eli on pace to throw for a career-best 4,754 yards and 30 touchdowns.

    Eli Manning’s performance in Week 9 is an positive statement for a quarterback with a lot playing against him. If the Giants find themselves in a rough spot, as they have done quite often already this season, Eli will have no trouble pulling them out of it.