(Sports Network) - Eli Manning and Co. will be trying to prolong perfection this week, sort of. The former Super Bowl MVP passer is 1-0 in his career against the Texans. He enters the week 351 yards away from 20,000 for his career, which would make him the second Giants QB (Phil Simms) to reach that milestone. NFC Offensive Player of the Week Ahmad Bradshaw had a personal highlight reel away from the defense last week, carrying the ball a career-high 23 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging 95.5 yards per game through four weeks. Alongside, recently maligned big man Brandon Jacobs has been a successful horse as well through the years, with his teams going 11-2 in games where he carries at least 21 times. As for the air, wideout Hakeem Nicks had a career-high eight catches for 110 yards against the Bears and is tied for the conference lead with four TDs. Also, Steve Smith has 42 catches in his last six games with AFC foes, while Mario Manningham has gone 20 yards or more on five of six career scoring plays.
As for Houston on defense, the good news is there are few places to go but up. As mentioned, the Texans enter the week last among 32 teams in yards allowed and are an only slightly less unseemly 26th of 32 in points allowed – having given up 24, 27, 27 and 24 in four games. Still, the 102 points have translated into three wins and a first-place perch upon the return of Cushing, who forced two fumbles, intercepted four passes and made 86 tackles in his initial 16 games as a pro last season. Playing the role of impact rookie this season is the aforementioned Nolan, who stepped in for the gimpy Wilson and grabbed two passes. He could be called on to reprise that role with Wilson still listed as questionable on the mid-week report. Among the healthy holdovers, former No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams has five sacks in his last five home games and 44.5 in 68 career games. Also, fellow end Antonio Smith tied a career-high with two sacks against Oakland.