New York Giants News & Notes: Leading the NFC East Edition

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 16: Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants celebrates a one yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on October 16, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Good morning, fellow Giants fans. It's a happy Monday for us as the Giants gained some ground back, beating the Bills on Sunday to achieve a 4-2 record heading into the bye week. That's good for a half-game lead in the NFC East, as the Redskins lost to the Eagles to drop to 3-2, while Philadelphia is now 2-4. The Cowboys lost to New England (talk about a brutal schedule, at least early in the season) and are 2-3. Now it's time for a week off, while sitting atop the NFC East and enjoying the view before facing the Dolphins on October 30. The win is important for two reasons--one, it was a gutsy performance against what is considered an elite team in Buffalo; and two, it temporarily erased some of the sting of losing to the Seahawks last week. Here are some of the other bits of news floating around to start your week....

NY Giants' Corey Webster has two huge interceptions that may be looked back on as season savers
Now what happened Sunday wasn't in the same stratosphere as winning the Super Bowl, of course, and wasn't anywhere near as important as the interception that set up the Giants' winning field goal to send them to Super Bowl XLII. But there are some dots to be connected here. The Bills were on another potential game-winning drive Sunday. Webster made the big interception with 4:02 left. And the Giants' 27-24 victory just may have saved their season from spiraling out of control after last week's loss to the dreadful Seahawks.

Amen to that. Webster indeed came up huge on Sunday and helped prevent what would have been an ugly, sour 3-3 taste in our mouths.

Giants Hang On to Beat Bills, 27-24 - NYTimes.com
Near the end of every Giants practice, as the players’ shoulders are drooping and their legs are dragging, a familiar refrain can be heard from the coaching staff. The coaches shout: It is the fourth quarter now. This is the end. We cannot lose the fourth quarter. We can’t. We have to finish.

That's a good thing to preach, considering what happened last December 19.

New York Giants QB Eli Manning playing at elite level - ESPN New York
His stats already said it, but with no interceptions to muddy the picture the eyeball test confirmed it again Sunday: Eli Manning is playing like one of the top three or four quarterbacks in the league and he's carrying the New York Giants right now. Even on a day like Sunday, when he didn't throw a touchdown pass, Manning's playing so well he's lifting the Giants no matter who the defense is missing or when their running game sputters. Manning makes you forget how the Giants are playing with an overhauled offensive line, or the unproven replacements they've plugged in after losing two old standby receivers.

In-freaking-deed.

Sports | Giants DE Justin Tuck vows to play after bye week | Seattle Times Newspaper
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck expects to be back for the New York Giants' next game in two weeks. Tuck has been sidelined for three games and has no intention of missing a fourth.

Giants' defensive line stands tall against Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick | NJ.com
Fewell reasoned, if his normally hard-charging pass rushers couldn’t bring down the Bills quarterback, they knew they would have to get their hands up and make sure he couldn’t get the ball over them. On the Bills’ final drive, it worked to perfection as 6-5 defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul knocked down Fitzpatrick’s pass at the line of scrimmage to seal the Giants’ 27-24 victory at MetLife Stadium.

D'Alessandro: Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw rants, and the offensive line responds with a big day against Bills | NJ.com
Whether they are wallflowers or finger-pointers, very few running backs get away with trashing their linemen — the ones who do tend to finish the season in traction — but Bradshaw’s invective was both timely and necessary, and the Giants may be a better team because of it today.

Backup QB Sage Rosenfels back with Dolphins, ready if needed
Sage Rosenfels doesn't know if or when the Dolphins might call on him to relieve or replace Matt Moore at quarterback. He does know he's happy to be healthy enough to play football again. Maybe even as soon as tonight against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Saints' Payton Coaching With Broken Leg - NYTimes.com
Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh will get most of the headlines for their postgame altercation, but Sean Payton is making a case that he is the toughest coach in the N.F.L. Saints Coach Sean Payton after he broke his leg in a sideline collision. Payton is coaching from a seat on the New Orleans bench against Tampa Bay after he broke his tibia, his kneecap and tore his M.C.L. in a first-quarter collision on the sideline.

Seriously, that is pure toughness and I know I speak for most BBVers when I say we wish Payton the best and a speedy recovery.

And around the NFC East.....

Redskins’ Rex Grossman has made the QB decision for Mike Shanahan - The Washington Post
This has been building for weeks. It became clearer with every poor throw and head-scratching decision. The only question was whether Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan would eventually make a quarterback change, because Rex Grossman hasn’t been very good. On Sunday, Grossman left Shanahan no choice. The necessary move was obvious, and Shanahan made it, benching Grossman, whose awful four-interception performance was the biggest factor in the Redskins’ 20-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ah yes. It makes you wonder, though--who was that guy who looked like Joe Montana on opening day against the Giants?

Eagles take first step in a long journey back | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/17/2011
If there were reasons to be encouraged, and there were, the final score may have been the least of them. Yes, the Eagles absolutely had to beat Washington here Sunday. They did, 20-13, in a game that was messier than Andy Reid's shirt at a rib joint. The Eagles looked, for the first time in too long, like a bona fide NFL team. It says much about how bad things had gotten that this felt like cause for celebration.

Andy Reid's shirt at a rib joint? Now that is funny.

Cowboys Test Brady, but He Has an Answer - NYTimes.com
The Cowboys went conservative on their final possession, running the ball three straight times to wind down the clock before punting the ball back to New England. Brady got the ball with 80 yards to go and 2 minutes 31 seconds left, and he swiftly moved the Patriots downfield for the winning touchdown and a 20-16 victory.

I realize we have to face the Patriots on the road in a few weeks and it's going to be difficult to beat them, but seeing the Cowboys lose is always sweet. Anyway, let's enjoy Big Blue's win as our team heads into the bye to rest up and maybe get some injured players back. Have a great Monday fellas....

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