So many great comments yesterday.. we'd need 3 blog posts to recap them all.
1) I liked Dallas to win the game on Sunday, especially if Kenny Phillips could not play. Thankfully we did not see a lot of CC Brown. Given how important Phillips was (even playing HURT!), is there anyone who thinks we win that game WITHOUT him?!
2) The two things that held me back from calling for a Cowboys victory were:
(a) the road warriors. One blog commenter emailed with a remark that Eli Manning's 5 best games have come on the road. This is just a guess, but I'll hypothesize that this is indeed logical because Eli is the un-QB, the guy who is so laid back that you have to check to see if he has a pulse. Maybe when he is on the road he has to focus more on running the team, crowd noise and all. Remember him playing the Chargers in Qualcom 4 years ago, to all of the venom and noise from the crowd that did not take well to being spurned at the Draft Altar? That was his first whale of a game. Lambeau field in the playoffs? He just seems to focus more in the hardest playing conditions.
(b) Wade Phillips. If you flipped a coin a week before the game and gave this guy his pick of either team to coach, he could lose it for either side you gave him. When was the last time you felt his team overachieved? Simply stated, you are never out of it when he is on the other sidelines. Right now he seems inexorably tied to the misfortunes of Romo, but maybe it is the other way around.
3. The crew at ESPN (Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Ditka, Johnson and Carter) had a little bit of a lovefest for the Giants last night. But this is where you have to appreciate the national perspective. They noted how the Giants got ripped to shreds on both sides of the line of scrimmage, but were stepping over themselves to point out how the Giants know how to win. This was a hallmark of the Parcells teams. They talked about the "look" of Eli on that last drive, that you just knew he was going to take the team down the field. I'll tell you who else "knew" ... Marvelous. He sends an email to three people as the final drive is beginning: "We have 2 plays to make 6 yds. Giants will NOT kick if we are stopped on 3rd down. NOTE--Giants are GOING to WIN this game." Sometimes you just know.
4) A few words on the good teams finding a way to win. How many times were we on the losing end of that kind of game where we win everything EXCEPT the game? You take these games and YOU MOVE ON. How many of you remember a game the 1990 Giants played against the Cardinals in Week 6? The Dominant Giants were 5-0, playing the 2-3 scrubs of Phoenix. Except the Giants came out as flat as a pancake, working so hard to be 5-0 and then about to lose to schtick dreck, at home no less, 19-10. It was ugly, pathetic. But out of nowhere with very little time left the Giants drive down the field and score to make it 19-17. They need the ball one more time, somehow they get their hands on it and make a 40 yarder with ~no time left on the clock to win the game. The Giants had NO BUSINESS WINNING THAT GAME, yet they did. The Giants got whooped for the first ~55 minutes and somehow pulled it out. Far be it for us to draw too many parallels between that game and this one two nights ago. We'll leave it with the understanding that teams that win championships will win games like this along the way.
5) Defense wins championships. Is Sheridan going to be able to fix it, coach these guys up? As long as you are winning now and improving, you can get into the playoffs and hopefully be playing the best football at that time. The Indianapolis Colts in 2006 had a garbage defense but won enough with Peyton to get to the playoffs.. then Sanders came back just in time to help fix the defense and the rest is history. We need our players back/healthy and then we'll see if they can gel.
6) The play-as-you-go payment plan is still in effect. We now play 3 teams that are 1-5 (and the one win coming from 2 of the teams playing one another). If anyone saw the destruction that the Saints delivered to the Eagles, you'll know that Week 6 is where this season really begins and we can start truly assessing what is under the hood.
7) The question posed by Nature on (who is all around better than Osi at) Defensive End is answered by Wonder:
Justin Tuck, Mario Williams, Julius Peppers, Jared Allen, Schobel (BUF)...REAL underrated...John Abraham, WHEN HEALTHY, is a STUD...Ogunleye (CHI), and so far Odom (CINC) has been a BEAST...Avril is "on his way" in another year or two...love Freeney's motor... Ty Warren MUCH BETTER RUN STUFFER and can pash rush if in a 4-3...still like SEYMOUR better all-around...also, Vandenbush is REALLY GOOD...and Jason Jones is Titans' "next up and coming stud DE."
Abraham is not my guy, he disappears too much. Schobel was on TV last Monday night vs NE, he is stuck in that no-name market; if he were in NY he would be Knighted. So interesting to see Wonder single out the 3-4 DEs who would have such an easier time as a 4-3 end. Playing anywhere on the DL in a 3-4 is the most thankless job. Speaking about DL, did you guys see how NT Jay Ratliff roasted us alive on Sunday night? He could not be stopped, he took our OL to school. The Giants have trouble with these disruptive NTs. If it starts at the DL, then the DL starts at NT.
8) Eli brilliance was worth revisiting. Wonder asks us- how many times did Brady get sacked on Sunday? Zero. How many times did Eli get sacked? Zero. But look at how Eli had no happy feet, completely calm, confident. Wonder could not stop raving about how well Manning played. In this blogger's opinion, some of the Eli over Brady comparison from W2 is a Wade Phillips vs a Rex Ryan blitz. Ryan has that unpredictable 'Ravens' scheme. Mike Martz broke down the film and compared Eli's calm leadership of the offense to that of Kurt Warner. We'll throw one last bone to Bradshaw- look at how he picks up the blitz perfectly on this drive.