GSTV breaks down the Giants 5-0 start.
How terrible are the Raiders? Or perhaps more accurately, how good are the Giants? It’s hard to tell when a really good team destroys a really bad team just which piece of the equation matters the most. Sunday, and though the first five games for that matter, with the exception of Dallas, it’s been tough to assess if the Giants are that dominant, or the competition just that pathetic.
Sunday’s thrashing of the Raiders showcased the balance, depth and talent on the Giants roster. Big Blue came in banged up, beat up a bad team, and came out in pretty good shape. With any luck some guys will get back healthy this week, and the team can build off of an impressive performance and bring its best down to New Orleans next Sunday.
Let’s take a look back…
There’s always a lot to love when a team wins 44-7, and hey, let’s face it, this game could’ve been 51-0 if the refs did not discount C.C. Brown’s red zone fumble recovery for a touchdown. Here’s what stood out from Sunday’s dominant performance:
Eli Manning – Eli’s day was done before half-time and in his limited work, Eli was perfect. He had a perfect QB rating of 158.3, highlighted by two PERFECTLY touchdowns to Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks and another PERFECT deep ball to all-round legitimate beast Steve Smith. Eli is off to the best start of his career. Accordingly, the Giants are off to their first 5-0 start since 1990.
The Wide Receivers – Manningham, Nicks and Smith all performed very well against Oakland. Smith led the team in receiving yards, and through five weeks, still leads the league in receiving yards and receptions. Manningham bounced back from a drop-alicious performance against KC to haul in his third touchdown of the season and Hakeem Nicks continues to find his rhythm in the offense. His non-catch against Asomugha down the sidelines was especially impressive.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Derrick who? Bradshaw had his second 100 game of the season, and only needed 11 carries to do it. He found the end zone twice and added 55 yards receiving. He has quickly confirmed that the Giants running game will be the same monster to contend with as it was last season, despite the departure of 1,000 yard-rusher Derrick Ward.
“Russell back to pa…SACK!!” - After tallying only 3 sacks in its first three games, the vaunted Giants pass rush seems to have arrived. With 11 sacks in the last two games, six against Oakland, including 3 that forced fumbles, it’s looking like the Giants defensive line is in fact as talented as many were saying it was. Credit goes to the players up front for some outstanding play and the coordinator on the sidelines for some outstanding play-calling. It should not be overlooked that two of yesterday’s sacks came from the secondary.
DE Dave Tollefson sacks Jamarcus Russell in the second half of Sunday's game.
Back-up TE’s – Tight end is one of the few spots on the Giants roster where depth is a concern. With Kevin Boss missing the game due to injury, back-up Darcy Johnson and rookie Travis Beckum both saw a lot of the field and performed nicely. As both young players get much needed experience, they should continue to evolve into reliable back-ups, or even compliments, to Boss.
Special Teams – The Giants back-up linebackers are some Special Teams studs! With Bryan Kehl out recovering from a surgically-repaired finger, I was not sure how the coverage units would perform. Jonathan Goff stepped up and had a huge game on Teams, along with Chase Blackburn, Zak DeOssie and rookie Clint Sintim. Those guys were all over the field…reflecting their talent as well as an outstanding job by the coaching staff.
Tynes – 3 for 3! Attaway!
There really isn’t much to complain about, but there was only one reason why we could not get the shut out Sunday:
Sinorice Moss – Domenik Hixon and Danny Ware can’t get back on return duty soon enough. If not for Moss’s bone-headed play on a punt return, Oakland never gets the ball at the 15 yard line and never comes close to scoring. I like the Moss’s attitude, but his erratic decision-making on return duty will not fly when the competition gets tougher.
Everybody played very well, but if a few individuals are worthy of special attention, they are as follows: Eli Manning, the Wide Receivers, Ahmad Bradshaw, Justin Tuck (6 tackles, 2 sacks and a FF), Jonathan Goff, Terrell Thomas (did you see that pass defensed?) and Bill Sheridan.
I apologize for the abbreviate version, but I gots thangs ta do! Post a comment if you’d like more explanation or have other nominees.
When the Giants Go Marching In
Sunday’s win was a great momentum-builder for Big Blue heading into their much anticipated contest with the Saints next Sunday. The game will be a great measuring stick for both teams, and I will take a closer look at the NFC showdown later in the week.
If the past few weeks are any indication, and the Giants play with the same precision and physicality they’ve showed off in the early stretch of the season, they will use their measuring stick to whip same Bayou behind. I smell 6-0…
Will Drew Brees be next?
Sack Count: 14
Take-away Count: 10
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