Let us start by saying that we’ll always give credit where credit is due (well, not ALWAYS…you’ll get none and like it, Western PA). The New York Football Giants are 8-1 so far this season, and dating back to last December, they are on a 15-3 streak. Obviously, that includes a Super Bowl win as heavy underdogs to an undefeated Patriots team. So, mad props to the G-Men.
However, that aura of dominance has not been on display this year when Eli & Co. have met up with AFC North teams. They are 2-1 against the Ravens’ division, but they have hardly dominated. Let’s take a look back before we gear up to look forward to B’More’s date at the Meadowland’s on Sunday…
September 21 – Giants 26 Bengals 23 (OT)
The G-Men needed an extra period to hand the Bengals their 3rd consecutive loss to start the season. This game featured 6 lead changes, and the Bungles led 13-10 at the half. They also led 20-16 with under 5 minutes to play, but could not hold, as Eli led his troops 68 yards on 9 plays to retake the lead, before the Bengals were again able to tie the game as time expired in regulation. The Associated Press’ recap of the game had this tidbit, which Cam Cameron and the Ravens may want to take to heart:
“The key to the [Bengals’] success was Palmer’s ability to hit quick swing passes, crossing patterns and flanker screens against an all-out pass rush that sacked him four times in the first half — and six times overall.”
October 13 – Browns 35 Giants 14
The Browns were able to rekindle some hope in this lost season of theirs when they drubbed the G-Men in a Nationally Televised Monday Night game in Week 6. Derek Anderson threw for 310 yards, Jamal Lewis racked up 88, and the Browns defense picked Eli off 3 times as Cleveland outscored New York 18-0 in the 2nd half. Based on the directions these 2 teams’ seasons have went with the obvious exception of this particular game, it seems pretty safe to say the final score was “fluky” at best. Perhaps the Giants and Browns just happened to play their worst and best games, respectively, on the same night in the same city. Still though, it should make a team that beat down those same Browns twice this season at least take a little notice.
October 26 – Giants 21 Steelers 14
This time the Giants were on the receiving end of the “fluky” win. While here in B’More, we could care less how they beat the Squealers, as long as they did it, this was a game that the G-Men really should have lost. Pittsburgh led 14-9 going into the final quarter, and if not for losing their long snapper to an injury during the game, they probably would have won it. Emergency snapper James Harrison, though, launched one over the punter’s head and through the end zone, opening the door for New York to score it’s only touchdown of the day, a 2-yard pass to TE Kevin Boss with 3:11 to go.
This one was a defensive struggle all around. Baby Ben threw 4 interceptions and was sacked 5 times, while the Steelers vaunted pass rush failed to get to Eli even once, but still kept the Giants out of the end zone until the waning moments. The key was that New York controlled the clock (34-25), as they always do, and Pitt’s D was gassed for that final drive.
Moral of the Story:
The defending Champs have been extremely resilient against the AFC North this year in winning 2 of their 3 contests to date. However, they have been anything but dominant.