Originally written on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 6/21/14
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Adam Carman, BGB Assistant Editor

Giants-Cardinals games have always had dramatic finishes. Going all the way back to when Arizona/Phoenix was bewilderingly part of the NFC East (makes as much sense as Dallas, I guess) and played them twice a year, it never mattered how good the Giants were or how bad the Cardinals were, the games were close, hard-fought and dramatic. The Cardinals helped fuel the embarrassing collapse in 2009, but we beat them narrowly in 2008, the year they went on to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Sunday's game was no exception. After being dominated for the first three quarters and trailing by ten points at two different times in the 4th, the Giants rallied to stun the Arizona Cardinals 31-27 behind two touchdown passes in fifty-eight seconds by Captain Comeback, Easy Eli Manning. You can find the official recap on www.giants.com, but suffice it to say it wasn't easy. Manning overcame two bad turnovers (both fumbles, one by himself and one by Bradshaw) that gave the Cards ten points. Still he threw for 321 yards and 2 scores with no INTs. Without further ado, the CAP-Boom summary.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Has to go to Eli Manning again. He kept his cool, regrouped his team and won the game pretty much singlehandedly.

RUNNER-UP: Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz combined for 16 receptions and 260 yards. Both made keys plays to keep drives alive and Nicks scored the winning touchdown. Another possibility is Osi Umenyiora who seems to have no rust at all.

DUD OF THE GAME: Special teams. Returns were awful, kickoffs barely hit the endzone, coverage was spotty at best and Weatherford's leg is even weaker than Feagles'.

TURNING POINT: Hard to say for sure. On the game winning drive, Victor Cruz caught a pass from Manning in the flat. He fell to the ground, then got up and set the ball down causing a flurry of Cardinal players to jump on it because he had never been contacted. The refs ruled that he had given up on the play and gone down of his own accord. To any but a diehard Cards fan, this was obvious. He had three guys charging him, he slid down, and if the Cardinals knew he wasn't down, why didn't they contact him? Their very behavior suggests that they believed the play was over. At any rate, the challenge was rejected and a few plays later Nicks caught the game-winning touchdown pass.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Osi Umenyiora's hitting the ground running.

BIGGEST LETDOWN: The run defense just wasn't there and the o-line still has a ways to go.

PROGNOSIS: A gritty, hard-fought win in front of a tough crowd and it showed real resilience, the stuff of greatness. Great teams don't always win pretty, but they always find a way to win and that's what the Giants are doing. Now 3-1 and in a statistical tie with Washington for first since Dallas and Philly both lost (Redskins do have the tiebreaker though), the Giants look forward to a three-week homestand against the underachieving Seattle Seahawks, the recently-dethroned Bills and the woeful Miami Dolphins. It's about to get exciting, folks! The o-line will continue to gell and the d-line will get healthy. We still need some serious work on special teams but the Giants are hitting their stride. Bring on the season!




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