New York Giants News & Notes: Giving It Up Edition

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02: Wide receiver Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants falls to the ground untouched after a reception against the Arizona Cardinals during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants defeated the Cardinals 31-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Good morning fellow Giants fans. It doesn't matter where you live, the sun is shining on the Big Blue universe this morning after a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the desert over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, 31-27. Having to give us heart palpitations is something these Giants seem to do with regularity, but it's unlikely any of us have ever seen something like the play from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz, or at least it's unlikely we've seen a call like this go our way. I threw my remote one more time and then watched in disbelief as referee Jerome Boger called Cruz' apparent fumble a finished play--that even though Cruz wasn't touched, he "gave himself up," and that the play could not be challenged. At first I thought we'd gotten away with one, but if you watch the replay, Cruz gets up, thinking the play is over. And even though Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison said before the Jets/Ravens game that players and coaches are taught that a slide constitutes "giving yourself up," and not what Cruz did, Boger called it within the rules of the rulebook as Ed posted on Sunday night. It's just that last time this happened to us (Eli Manning against the Eagles), it didn't go our way. Whew. Regardless, this was a beautiful win that has the Giants tied for first place with the Redskins at 3-1.

Giants vs. Cardinals: NFL okay with no fumble call on Victor Cruz | NJ.com
Mike Pereira might not have agreed with the call on Victor Cruz's non-fumble in the Giants' 31-27 victory against the Arizona Cardinals, but his successor did. Carl Johnson, the NFL's vice president of officiating, agreed with the call made on the field when Cruz was ruled to have declared himself down, according to someone informed of Johnson's review of the play. The person requested anonymity because the league didn't release any information on Johnson's review of the play.

Giants Blog - ESPN New York
"I thought I was touched and the ref called it down," Cruz said. "I was a little scared to be honest with you because I was looking at the replay [on the big screen and] it looked like somebody touched and it looked like they didn’t. You never know with those plays, it can go either way. I was a little scared but we ended up on the good side of that ball."

Fumble or No Fumble? Giants Catch Late Break - NYTimes.com
Given a reprieve, Manning promptly found Nicks streaking toward the left corner of the end zone on the very next play — the same corner where Plaxico Burress caught the winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII — and the Giants’ comeback from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit was complete.

Just like everyone remembers the Manning-to-Tyree play in this building, and not so much the winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, everyone will remember Victor Cruz "giving himself up" and not the brilliant throw and catch from Manning to Hakeem Nicks that put the Giants ahead for good.

Vintage Osi in season debut - Giants Blog - ESPN New York
Osi Umenyiora made his season debut on Sunday and just in time. After missing the first three games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, Umenyiora collected two sacks and had one patented forced fumble to help the Giants beat the Cardinals. With an injured Justin Tuck watching from the sideline, Umenyiora helped key the Giants’ game-sealing final defensive stop when he sacked Kevin Kolb for a 10-yard loss on a 2nd-and-one at the Giants’ 29 with 1:14 to go.

The heat is on for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb
The Cardinals' 31-27 loss to the New York Giants at University of Phoenix Stadium was the third consecutive game that the team blew a second-half lead. The losses have been by a combined eight points, and in two of them the Cardinals were ahead with fewer than three minutes remaining. This team can't close the deal, and until it figures out how, the heat will fall on quarterback Kolb.

Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald sets another record in loss
Maybe the Cardinals will win soon, and Fitzgerald actually will be able to enjoy his personal accomplishments. Fitzgerald became the Cardinals' all-time leader in receiving yardage Sunday. He had eight receptions for 102 yards, giving him 8,565 yards for his career and moving him past Roy Green into first place.

I have to say it--this guy is absolutely sick, and probably one of the top five receivers in the game.

Arizona Cardinals-New York Giants play of the game
The Cardinals opted for a screen. But quarterback Kevin Kolb, in the shotgun, was sacked by Osi Umenyiora. The Cardinals lost 10 yards, and it was 3rd and 11 at the 39 with 1:14 left. All they had to do was convert on 2nd and 1.

I'm glad this is what the Arizona newspaper is focused on, and not whining about the Cruz play, because the way the Giants' defense looked at times Sunday, shutting them down on that final drive was no gimme.

NY Giants slept through early part of game vs. Cardinals, but Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks wake them
Before this season, even though the Giants didn't do anything to address their big free agent losses, Reese had said the 2011 Giants were a playoff-worthy group. That prediction looked farcical as injuries decimated the secondary and crippled the receiving corps and the Giants lost the season opener to Washington. But after three straight victories, including Sunday's 31-27 come-from-behind win over Arizona (1-3) that kept the Giants (3-1) in a first-place tie with the Redskins in the NFC East, Reese is vindicated.

New York Giants team report: Tuck may need extended rest - NFL - Sporting News
Tuck made the trip to Arizona but was not feeling strong enough to play. It appears Tuck will need an extended period of rest to help his condition, but that means the Giants have to decide whether they want to shut down their defensive captain and best defensive lineman.

I know none of us wants to hear the words "Tuck" and "shut down" in the same sentence. Yikes. We will continue to monitor this one.

Eagles looking like an expensive mistake | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/03/2011
The only thing worse than a bad football team is a bad, expensive football team. After their appalling effort and miserable performance Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, the Eagles are just that. Ultimately, that may prove to be Andy Reid's undoing.

Tony Romo is Lions' MVP; Cowboys lose in historic collapse, 34-30 | Dallas Cowboys News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW
Matthew Stafford took the final snap, dropped to a knee and tucked the ball under his jersey for safekeeping. He wanted a souvenir to remind him of his first NFL game in his hometown — not that he, or anyone else involved, is likely to forget this one. A week after turning a 20-point halftime deficit into an overtime win, the Lions provided further proof they're a legitimate contender by turning a 24-point, third-quarter deficit into a 34-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Wow, it really was a near-perfect day for Giants' fans. Let's soak this in and then turn our attention to the Seattle Seahawks, a team that almost pulled off a huge upset against Atlanta Sunday.

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