2009 New York Giants: New Faces, Same Results

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer ISeptember 28, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 29:  Hakeen Nicks #18 of the New York Giants runs a reception against the New York Jets for a fourth quarter touchdown on August 29, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Injuries, defections, arrests, doubts, criticism. 

You name it, the Giants have been through it.

The football gods are throwing the kitchen sink at the Giants and yet, they won't blink.  Yesterday against the Bucs, the Giants had exactly 45 healthy players to dress for the game. 

Their required eight inactive players did not make the trip. They were all injured and could not play, even if asked.

It didn't matter.

The Giants whipped the Bucs, 24-0, in a game where many "experts" were calling for them to get trapped.

Not this team. Not anymore.

The Giants have seen the peaks and experienced the valleys.  Led by their unflappable, emotionless leader QB Eli Manning, the Giants are operating in an even-keeled manner—not getting too up, nor too down.

They basically bodyslammed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with one arm tied behind their back.

The workmanlike approach for this team is not an option, having had to deal with issues that would sink lesser teams. Their depth, professionalism, and leadership have them pointed towards the postseason once again.

On the surface, they never seem to run out of talented players. When someone gets hurt, another comes right in and does the job without missing a beat.

When an injury hits, the front office is right there with a replacement. The coaches know exactly what they want done and the players understand what the coaches want. Not a bad system for success.

In Tampa yesterday, the Giants emptied their bench in the fourth quarter to give the starters a break on a hot, humid day.  The game had been one-sided for too long and the coaching staff did the right thing.

What they actually did was showcase their depth. The Bucs could still not compete even with the Giants' second string in front of them.

Their receivers have proven that the Giants have moved past the Plaxico and Amani era. Their defense is still healing, but if yesterday was any indication, they are beginning to gel. And Manning has matured into the franchise player the club has always hoped he could be.

We all know that the Giants are at the top of the league as an organization.  But their 3-0 start is not as impressive as some others' because they defeated three flawed teams: Washington, who just lost to Detroit, Dallas, a team that has trouble winning meaningful games, and Tampa, a team in transition.

This week, they go to Kansas City and then host Oakland.  Two very winnable games that, if they win, will put them at 5-0.

The schedule is not so kind after that: The Eagles twice, Dallas and Washington again, San Diego, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Minnesota.

They don't seem to be fazed at all by the prospects of facing those teams. They are the standard, that's why.


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