Here are some quick thoughts following the New York Giants' 38-10 thrashing of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
WHAT IT MEANS: First and foremost, it means we don't have to talk about November swoons for the next week. More importantly, this means the Giants now have a two-game lead over the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys as they head to Washington next Monday.
ELI IS ... NO. 1: Perhaps Phil Simms is just jealous with his not elite talk. Manning threw three touchdown passes Sunday, giving him 200 for his career and breaking Simms' franchise record for touchdown passes. This was a good game for Manning. He threw some wobblers early, but was crisp as the game wore on.
WHY THE GIANTS WON: There are several reasons, really.
- Offensively, they took advantage of a weakened Green Bay defense missing two Pro Bowlers and three overall starters and did pretty much whatever they wanted.
- Defensively, the Giants dominated the line of scrimmage and did not give the Packers' receivers free released off the line.
- The Giants contained Randall Cobb. The terrific receiver/kick returner was never able to make a mark on the game with any explosive plays.
- The Giants went 5-for-6 in the red zone, scoring touchdowns the first five times they got inside Green Bay's 20-yard line.
- Hakeem Nicks had a huge night. He caught five balls for 77 yards and a touchdown, but had a much bigger presence that that. Defenses are designing ways to slow Victor Cruz now, and Nicks made Green Bay pay for that.
CREDIT THE COORDINATORS: Kevin Gilbride on offense and Perry Fewell on defense had great nights. Gilbride mixed formations, changed some tendencies, reached a little deeper into the playbook and had the packers' defense off-balance all night. Fewell, with Kenny Phillips back in the lineup, dialed up all sorts of different blitz packages, had his corners playing aggressively and used Mathias Kiwanuka exclusively on the defensive line.
INJURIES: Phillips left after apparently aggravating the knee injury that cost him six weeks, Andre Brown suffered a leg injury and David Diehl left with a burner.