Wow! It's a winning streak. Two victories in a row for the first time since the Giants started the 2009 season 5-0.
So much to feel good about today, including the fact that the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Tennessee Titans. Let's get on with the 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
Kudos to ...
- Giants fans in Houston: Giants fans stepped up in a big way Sunday at Reliant Stadium, and I suspect many of those Big Blue faithful in attendance are folks who visit Big Blue View. Hats off to you guys for representing the Giants. Oh, and congrats to Jim and Co. for running what I heard was a great 'meetup' in Houston Saturday night.
- Hakeem Nicks: The second-year wide receiver had a tremendous night with 12 catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Could have been even better, though, if he had not dropped what would have been a 51-yard touchdown pass and stepped out of bounds at the one-yard line when he could have scored with a little bit of a lean. Still, great performance.
- Defensive line: Three sacks, four passes batted down, seven hits on Houston quarterback Matt Schaub and a huge part in holding Arian Foster to a piddling 25 yards on 11 carries. I will single out some individuals, but it's safe to say no one in this group played poorly.
- Osi Umenyiora: Two sacks and two forced fumbles for Osi. I have had my issues with Osi, but when he gets the corner on an offensive tackle and heads for the quarterback he is as dangerous as any defensive end in the game.
- Justin Tuck: Six tackles, a sack and a nice drop actually dropping out of the pass rush and into coverage on a couple of zone blitzes.
- Corey Webster, Antrel Rolle and Terrell Thomas: Webster got the first-quarter interception that helped the Giants establish a big early lead. I though all three of these guys played well, and Rolle deserves particular mention for his run support.
- David Diehl: We have been killing the guy for most of the past two seasons, so we have to give him credit today. How many times did you hear Mario Williams name Sunday? Not many, and he was hardly ever anywhere near Eli Manning. In the first quarter Diehl did a great job getting out in front of Hakeem Nicks on a wide receiver screen, and also absolutely pancaked Williams trying to come off the edge and get to Eli. Really, I thought the offensive line was excellent as a group, but Diehl deserved to be singled out.
- Brandon Jacobs: Ten carries, 41 yards, one touchdown and lots of hard, straight-up-the-field with no messing around running from Jacobs. That's what we want to see from the big man, and what the Giants need.
- Jason Pierre-Paul: An innocent-looking stat line of two tackles and one pass deflected, but JPP's physical presence was undeniably felt. Both of those tackles came on special teams when he simply blew down the middle of the field on kickoffs and made plays. As a pass-rushing defensive end he did pressure Matt Schaub a couple of times. The guy is a physical monster and you have to think his role is going to increase as the season progresses.
Chase Blackburn: For being in the right place at the right time and recovering Darius Reynaud's muffed punt.
- Ramses Barden: Only one catch for eight yards. 'Kudos' to Barden, though, simply for working his way back past Victor Cruz on the roster and getting himself a uniform -- and playing time -- on Sunday.
Tom Quinn: I am not a Quinn fan, but the kickoff and punt coverage was much better this week and there were a couple of hints of opportunities on both kickoff and punt returns. Plus, the decision to replace holder Matt Dodge with veteran Sage Rosenfels was a smart one, as well.
- Kevin Gilbride: I have not actually gone in and read the comments from any of you in the Game Thread, but I'm sure some of you found stuff in Gilbride's play-calling to complain about. If you did, you're nuts. Great mix of run and pass, deep shots, screens to wide receivers, backs and tight ends. If you are complaining about Gilbride, other than to ask why he isn't this good every week, then you are just making up phantom stuff to be unhappy about.
- Tom Coughlin: Gotta give it up for the Giants head coach. Does this look -- or sound -- like a football team the head coach has 'lost'? Hardly. This looks like a football team that is getting better, and that is buying into the message Coughlin is preaching. Only time will tell how this season will turn out, but you have to feel much better than you did a couple of weeks ago. And you have to give Coughlin some credit for getting this ship pointed back in the right direction.
A reader sent in this photo from 'Wet Willie's' in Savannah, Ga. Thought you would
get a kick out of it before we moved on to this week's 'Willies.'
Wet Willies to ...
- Brian Jackson: Seeing his first action as a professional, the rookie defensive back got in on three special teams tackles. He had a pair of penalties, though, one for a horse-collar tackles and the other a foolish block in the back.
- Adam Koets: Couple of bad shotgun snaps from Koets this week, and a silly leg-whip penalty.
- Darius Reynaud: Some improvement returning the ball this week, when he remembered to catch it first. Blackburn bailed him out big-time by recovering the punt he muffed at the Giants 15-yard line.
Kwillie to ...
- Eli Manning: Eli did a lot of great things Sunday, and would have ended up with close to 350 yards passing if Nicks had not dropped that sure touchdown pass. But, what the heck was he doing in the third quarter? It sure looked like he was bored with an easy victory, and was trying to keep Houston in the game. An awful throw when he was scrambling and should have just thrown the ball away led to one interception. Then, a terrible decision when he could clearly see the double coverage that led to another pick. He went 27-for-42 for 297 yards and three touchdowns, but both interceptions were on throws that were completely unnecessary.
- Matt Dodge: Four punts for an average of 49.3 yards per kick. Still not enough hang time on a couple of those boots, but the rookie punter from East Carolina did look a little better this week.