Jobu reviews weeks eight and nine for the New York Giants.
Apologies for not doing this last week, but Super Storm Sandy kind of threw a wrench into the blog plans for the week. We’re back to full strength this week, so I figured I’d just loop the last two weeks worth of Giants games into one post. In week eight, the Giants took on the hated Dallas Cowboys in Dallas. They then traveled back to New York to wait on the Pittsburgh Steelers in week nine. Here’s how they did.
By a Nose: Giants 29, Cowboys 24
Actually, the Giants didn’t win this by a nose. They won it by a couple of fingers. The game was all Giants early, as they capitalized on several Cowboy mistakes to build a 23-0 lead. in the first half. Tony Romo threw three first half interceptions (the Cowboys turned the ball over six times overall in the game) to set up all of the Giants’ points. Lawrence Tynes started the game with two Field Goals to give the Giants a 6-0 lead, and then Andre Brown ran it in from one yard out to make it 13-0. After another Tynes FG, Jason Pierre-Paul ran one of those Romo interceptions back for a touchdown and a 23-0 lead. The Giants wouldn’t score again until the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys finally found their rhythm near the end of the second quarter, as Felix Jones ran for a four yard score and Dan Bailey kicked a 51-yarder to cut the Giants’ lead to 23-10 at the half. Romo took over in the second half. He finally started finding the Giants’ end zone for a change, running for a one yard score and throwing to John Phillips for another to give the Cowboys a 24-23 lead. That’s right, the Giants completely blew a 23 point lead. The Giants retook the lead with 10:20 to go on another Tynes Field Goal, and extended it with yet another Tynes Field Goal with 3:31 to go.
The real crazyness happened on the last Cowboys drive. They got the ball back with just 44 seconds to go in the game, and Romo went to work. He completed passes to Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Witten again to pull the Cowboys to the Giants’ 41 yard line with just 16 seconds to go. Romo then threw a deep ball to Dez Bryant, who inexplicably got behind all of the defenders (I mean seriously, how does that happen with under 20 seconds to go in the game?) and appeared to make a leaping touchdown grab with a little over 10 seconds left in the game. Bryant went up in the air and was hit, which turned him on his side before he came down. The first thing to land was Bryant’s left hand, and his fingertips were on the white line. The great catch was called back, and the Cowboys couldn’t get in the end zone after that, which sealed the Giants win.
It wasn’t pretty. The Cowboys basically spotted the Giants that big lead with all their mistakes. After they blew the lead, they were fortunate that Bryant didn’t come down two inches further from the line in the back of the end zone, or they would have lost the game. However, a win is a win is a win, and we’ll take it.
Most Valuable Giants:
Lawrence Tynes: 5-5 FG (41, 37, 26, 43, 37), 2-2 PATs
Stevie Brown: 8 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FR
Giants Defense: 6 Forced Turnovers
Another Blown Lead: Steelers 24, Giants 20
There was a familiar pattern in the Giants’ week nine matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Giants took advantage of mistakes made by the opposition to build a sizable lead, then watched that lead completely disappear late in the game. The only difference here was that, unlike in week eight against the Cowboys, the Giants weren’t able to retake the lead against Pittsburgh, and they took a tough loss at home.
The Steelers struck first, taking a 7-0 lead in the first on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Emmanuel Sanders three minutes into the second quarter. The Giants scored the next fourteen points. Andre Brown ran one in from one yard out (something that’s becoming his specialty of late) to tie the game, and Michael Boley returned a Roethlisberger fumble 70 yards for a touchdown. The play was a bit contested, because it seemed Roethlisberger had the ball under control as his hand came forward (Phil Simms was initially all up in arms), but replays showed that the ball was knocked out of his hand and then kind of rested on his fingertips as his arm came forward. The one bad call on that play was a non-call on a clipping penalty by Jason Pierre-Paul on the return. Oh well. We’ll take it.
The Steelers creeped a little closer on a field goal by Shaun Shuisam to end the first half, but the Giants came out hot in the second half and added to their lead with two Lawrence Tynes field goals. At 20-10 with just one quarter left to play, the Giants were sitting pretty. Unfortunately, Roethlisberger got hot and the offense went ice cold. The Giants, who had scored in every fourth quarter this season, had three consecutive three-and-outs. The Steelers, meanwhile, scored on a 51-yard touchdown catch and run by Mike Wallace with 14:05 to go and on a one yard run from Isaac Redman with 4:02 to go, and the Steelers had a 24-20 lead. After the third three-and-out, the Steelers got the ball with just over three to go, and they wouldn’t relinquish it.
This was truly a disappointing loss. First of all, they blew another sizable lead. Second of all, it was at home and they could have beaten a very tough opponent in the Steelers, but the squandered everything away late again. The special teams allowed about 250 return yards, which helped the Steelers score a lot of their points. The Giants really need to work on that for their next game.
Also, Eli has now looked pretty terrible in consecutive weeks. Against the Steelers, he managed only 125 passing yards, completing only 10 of his 24 attempts and throwing a terrible interception. He needs to shake this funk that he’s in soon, or the Giants could end up in trouble. Overall though, the G-Men came inches away from two losses, so a split in these two isn’t the worst thing ever… I guess we’ll have to see what happens next week against the Bengals…
Most Valuable Giants:
Michael Boley: 8 Tackles, 70 yard fumble recovery TD
Justin Tuck: 2 Sacks
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