Originally posted on Big Giants Boom  |  Last updated 10/30/11


Frank Gray BGB Editor
The New York Giants faced off with the Miami Dolphins in New Jersey today. In a game that everyone, including the staff here, predicted would be a blowout, the Giants earned a hard-fought 20-17 win.
Early in the week, Miami receiver Brandon Marshall guaranteed a win for his winless Dolphins. He almost came through. The Giants came out flat. The receiving core could not catch the ball. That led to multiple 3rd and long situations. The defense had an early pass interference call that set up a Miami TD. The Giants trailed 14-10 at the half.
The one constant today was the play of Eli Manning. His 25 yard TD pass with under six minutes to go in the game was the culmination of his high level of play this season and his performance today.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Eli Manning was the man today. He threw for 349 yards and two TDs. He went 31 for 45 with a 106.6 passer rating. Under pressure and with the game on the line, he was cool and calm.

RUNNER UP: Corey Webster gets the slight nod over Victor Cruz here. While Cruz had 99 yards receiving and the winning TD, it was Webster that made the bigger impact. Week in and week out, he faces the opposition's number one receiver. This week, he held Brandon Marshall to just 55 yards while accumulating four tackles and the game clinching INT.

DUD OF THE GAME: Brandon Jacobs did a lot of talking this past week. I think his play led to a slice of humble pie with a shut upcicle on the side. He carries the ball four times for just 10 yards. He had one catch for zero yards. He had a drop and a fumble that he recovered. For someone who complained about not getting the ball enough, he certainly did not take advantage of his opportunities. He needs to stop talking and play better.

TURNING POINT: The Giants had just scored the go ahead TD in the 4th with some time left for Miami. Enter the Giants defense. Matt Moore, who had been making them look bad all day, was finally stifled by the ferocious pass rush that we all expected. Back to back sacks by Osi Umneyiora and Mathais Kiwanuka led to a hurried throw on the next play. Corey Webster picked it off to essentially end the game.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: The return of the return game was a surprise. Though it did not net any points, Devin Thomas did a solid job of getting the offense in good starting position. He had 78 yards on three returns. All three were a block or two from being six points. That explosiveness is something the return game has lacked.

BIGGEST LETDOWN: The running attack once again was ineffective. This week, they faced a team that ranked 19th against the run. They had a golden opportunity to take advantage of that and get the rushing game back on track. They failed miserably. They had a total of 23 carries for 58 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw's 55 yards are the only thing that kept that stat respectable.

PROGNOSIS: The Giants (5-2) enter the week still in sole possession of first place. How many games they will lead by will depend on the Redskins game against Buffalo (they are losing to the Bills 13-0 at the half as I am writing this) and the Cowboys/Eagles game tonight.
The Giants next test is a tremendously tough one. They travel up the interstate to Boston and Foxboro to take on the powerful offense of the New England Patriots.
Tom Brady is one of the elite QBs in the game and one the media pushed Eli into comparing himself to earlier this season. However, the Pats defense is tremendously suspect and Eli is backing up his talk on the field. It could be a great game. One that the Giants come out on top in.
Tom Brady will be having nightmares of the 2007 Superbowl all week long and in case he manages to shake those memories off, the current Giants defense will be more than happy to reacquaint themselves with him early on in the game. It should be fun.

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