Nov 5, 2006

Wheeew... That was close - Giants Recap

'The Giants saw the piece of cheese, reached out their hand, and just before taking it, backed off, leaving the cheese for the next victim.'

They escaped the trap. Barely.

The Gmen are lucky their reserves are so good, and the Texans have a knack for turning the ball over. I'm now going to stop referring to Lavar Arrington as a starter, so today, the Giants were missing only 6 starters: Osi, McKenzie, Plaxico, Madison, Strahan and Short. (Strahan left in the 2nd quarter with a foot injury. McKenzie had a migraine and never played.) The injuries nearly cost the Giants the game. In the first half, it felt like players were dropping like flies. Kiwanuka, Whitfield, Carter, McQuarters, Awasom and Wilkinson filled in (mostly) admirably. Whitfield was disappointing, allowing Mario Williams to dominate him at times. Carter caught just one pass (for 15 yds).

Kiwanuka had the only sack - which was more a case of David Carr just falling down. McQuarters did a fine job. Awasom did fine for a 3rd stringer. And Wilkinson did quite well, even forcing a fumble (the lone Giants takeaway of the game).

David Carr is very good. He made a few passes that were absolutely perfect - despite great coverage by the DB, Carr threaded the ball inches out of their reach to complete the pass to the receiver (often for a 1st down). He also is extremely mobile, racking up 24 yards on 5 carries (with a TD). It's easy to see why he was the #1 pick in 2002. Andre Johnson is also very good. A big, strong, fast receiver who catches everything (and doesn't act like an idiot, ala TO). Mario Williams was dominant at times today. He was almost singlehandedly responsible for keeping points off the board during a drive at the end of the 1st half. He sacked Manning once, and then forced a fumble. Those 2 plays pushed the Giants back about 20 yards. Of course, he was going against backup tackle Bob Whitfield, the 35-year-old, 15 year veteran. If Kareem McKenzie's in there, the Giants are probably looking at points on that drive.

The Giants just could not stop Houston's 4-5 WR set. I don't know why Houston ever went away from it. The D stopped the run well, but were very susceptible to Houston's West-Coast passing game. But in the end, Tiki, Big J and Shockey were too much for Houston's defense. Tiki had his 1st TD of the season! And Shockey had a season high 8 catches in Plaxico's absence.

The Play of the Game was easy to determine this week: Gints up 14-10, a short pass to Houston's FB late in the 4th quarter, 3rd-round-pick (and former Yellowjacket) Gerris Wilkinson makes a fumble-causing hit, Corey Webster recovers it, and 3 first downs later the game is over.

Huge game next Sunday vs. 7-1 Chicago. The winner holds the best record in the NFC.

14-10 Giants - (2 game lead in the division, thanks to Dallas upsetting Washington)

3*: Tiki, 20 touches, 155 yds, 1 TD
2: Shockey, 8 catches, 66 yds, 1 TD
2: Eli, 17-28, 179 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT (end of the 1st half hail-mary)
1: Kiwanuka, 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 QB hit
1: McQuarters, 5 tackles, 2 pass deflections
1: Wilkinson, 3 tackles, 1 (huge) forced fumble

PS: I'm really getting sick of Sinorice Moss' quad injury. What the hell could have happened in training camp causing a rookie to miss at least 7 games? The Gmen really could have used him today.

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