Thank goodness the Junior Varsity portion of the New York Giants' schedule is complete. I love winning, and I love total domination of the opposition. But, the Giants have barely been challenged for three weeks now and I am ready to see them match up with real NFL competition.
That will happen next weekend when the Giants travel to the Big Easy to taken on the New Orleans Saints. We will have all week to talk about that game, though, so let's not get ahead of ourselves.
For today, let's focus on Sunday's 44-7 pasting of the utterly inept Oakland Raiders. The best way to do that? Our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review, of course, so let's get on with it.
Kudos to ...
- Eli Manning: After a week of wondering if he would play due to his plantar fasciitis, Manning was terrific. He led the Giants to four quick scores, then got out of the game to rest while David Carr and his teammates continued to beat up the Raiders. A 'kudos' to Tom Coughlin, too, for getting Eli out of there quickly and letting him rest.
- Ahmad Bradshaw: Do we need to have an argument now about which guy is actually the best Giants' running back? Sunday was a great day for Bradshaw with 110 yards and two TD on 10 carries, plus a 55-yard catch and run on a perfectly executed screen pass (see, it is in KG's playbook!). Bradshaw has clearly been better than Brandon Jacobs thus far in 2009. The numbers don't lie. Bradshaw (58 carries, a team-high 375 yards, a 6.5 yards per carry average and 2 touchdowns. Jacobs (100 carries, 355 yards, 3.5 yards per carry, 1 touchdown). Clearly, when the Giants need a big play from their offense Bradshaw has to be on the field.
- Justin Tuck: I think you can safely say Tuck is recovered from his shoulder injury. He was dominant Sunday with six tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
- Mathias Kiwanuka: Maybe Kiwi piled up some of his numbers mopping up for Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, but he had a nice day and showcased his athleticism. Five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Pretty good for a 'backup' defensive end.
- Terrell Thomas: So, between a healthy Aaron Ross (you do remember him, right?) and Thomas who is the better player? My vote -- without question -- goes to Thomas. Yeah, the Raider offense is pitiful, but don't let that take away from how good Thomas was Sunday. The second-year corner back was all over the field, with a sack and forced fumble, a beautiful breakup of a long pass attempt, and four tackles.
- Dave Tollefson: The ex-Raider practice squadder had a huge special teams tackle and absolutely crushed JaMarcus Russell for a sack. Yeah, he's not good enough to be on the Raiders' 53-man roster.
- Jonathan Goff: Two or three huge hits by Goff on special teams. He is becoming quite a weapon on the coverage units for the Giants, joining guys like Chase Blackburn and Bryan Kehl in helping to turn a unit that used to be a weakness into a Giants strength.
- Steve Smith: What was that about Smith not being able to catch the deep ball? That incredible catch he made on a 43-yard deep ball Sunday might put on end to that. He is having a Pro Bowl type season thus far.
- Hakeem Nicks: A 17-yard touchdown catch, and four receptions for 49 yards. The No. 1 pick is quietly becoming a big piece of the Giants' passing attack.
- Lawrence Tynes: Can't forget to give some props to the beleaguered kicker. After his struggles thus far in 2009, it was nice to see Tynes go 3-for-3. The kicks were of the short to mid-range variety -- 25, 33 and 37 yards -- and it was nice to see him make those comfortably. Hopefully, he can build on that and put his early-season misses behind him.
There are probably a bunch of other deserving players here, too. I can't go on forever, though, so this will have to be it.
Wet Willies to ...
- Sinorice Moss: Gave the Raiders their only opportunity of the day with a completely bone-headed fumble on a punt he never should have tried to field. Even when he catches the ball, Moss' speed seemingly never translates into big plays on returns. I can't wait until the Giants get healthy enough to get him out of that role.
- Gartrell Johnson: Hey, Gartrell, going the wrong way and slamming into Carr is not the impression you want to leave on TC with Danny Ware almost ready to return from his elbow injury.