Rookie cornerback, Aaron Ross, who sat out the first half as punishment for violating an undisclosed team rule, contributed two fourth quarter interceptions, as the Giants defense continued to carry their struggling offense.
Brandon Jacobs, who returned after missing three games with a knee injury, began the team’s first–half woes, by fumbling on a third–and–one, at the Giants 17. Jet cornerback Kerry Rhodes recovered, and ran it into the end zone, for the first score of the game.
Eli Manning, had a horrible first half, completing only three of ten passes for 22 yards, and throwing one interception, which translated into a quarterback rating of zero.
Thankfully, Eli rebounded in the second half, to finish with 13 completions out of 25 attempted passes. Jeremy Shockey scored his first touchdown in an astounding ten months, and Plaxico Burress scored a touchdown on a gorgeous, 53 yard, catch and run.
Unfortunately, Amani Toomer did not catch a pass for the first time since 12-31-05. However, it was great to finally see Shockey score a touchdown. I have no idea why Shockey does not average five catches a game. Shockey now has 18 catches after five games.
Brandon Jacobs rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries, and became the first Giant, other than Tiki Barber, to rush for 100 yards, since Ron Dayne did it for the Giants in 2001. Derrick Ward continued to impress me, and perhaps the Jets, by scoring a powerful touchdown, on an eight–yard–run, after he appeared to be stopped on the five. It was the first rushing touchdown of Ward’s four year career.
The defense played reasonably well, and only gave up ten of the Jets 24 points. The Jets best offensive play of the day, was a 98 yard kickoff return by Leon Washington. Osi Umenyiora, the NFL Defensive Player of the week, got the Giants only sack of the game, but it was their three interceptions, that beat the Jets. Jet quarterback Chad Pennington summed up it splendidly:
“believe me, it makes you sick to your stomach.”
Giants Will Win Super Bowl XLII
The Falcons replaced starting quarterback Joey Harrington with Brian Leftwich, during today’s loss to the Titans, but neither one was effective. The Falcons only converted 4 of the 18 third downs they faced during this game.
The Falcons lost, despite five Titan turnovers, and this is a game that should be easy for the Giants to win.
The Giants have shown that can psyche themselves up for their division–rivals, the Eagles, and for their (former) crosstown rivals. Will they come to play on Monday, or will they get distracted by the lovely Falcons cheerleaders?
If the Giants can step up, and stay focused next week, they might just be able to beat anyone.