New York Giants News & Notes: Staying Focused Edition

Good morning, fellow Giants fans. It's Friday, two days before the next game (how in the heck is it Week 4 already?), and the Giants are 2-1 as they prepare to face the Cardinals in Arizona. This will be the team's third road game, and if you ask coach Coughlin if getting to 3-1 with three road games, including two division games on the road, would have been acceptable before the season began, he'd surely take it. But right now, he would say he's only focused on Sunday, and that's the attitude the entire team should have. This is not the same Cardinals' team that reached the Super Bowl after the 2008 season, but there is plenty of talent on that roster, and taking them lightly would be dangerous.

Giants aim to avoid letdown against Cardinals after big win over Eagles | NJ.com
Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and a few veterans admitted they’ve never experienced such an emotional victory in the first three weeks of the season as this team enjoyed in Philly on Sunday — not even the Week 2 overtime victory there in 2006, which was followed the next week by a 35-3 pasting in the first half of a loss in Seattle. Yeah, yeah, they know all about being on high alert this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. Coach Tom Coughlin has talked to them about it, telling reporters he wants them to "not let it be reflective. Last Sunday was over, as far as I was concerned, (on) Monday. We’re moving on. We have to move on."

Giants take momentum to another NFC West opponent - NFL - SI.com
The NFC East seems to always have its way with the NFC West. The New York Giants already have one victory - over St. Louis - in the divisional matchup. They go for No. 2 when they travel to Arizona to face the inconsistent Cardinals on Sunday. The East is 4-0 against the West through three weeks of the season....

Watch the trap door, guys.

NFL - Analyzing Eli Manning's true value as a quarterback - ESPN
With 254 yards on just 29 attempts, four touchdowns and no turnovers, Manning posted the third-best performance in the NFL last weekend (QBR of 81.2). And as surprising as it may seem, he continues to demonstrate value in ways that conventional statistics don't capture.

If you're a stats geek, this article will be mighty interesting to you. Even more interesting if you, unlike me, have ESPN Insider, but what I read here was thought-provoking. And if you haven't noticed, Philip Rivers is having a horrible year so far.

New York Giants team report: Justin Tuck still not practicing - NFL - Sporting News
Although it looks as if Osi Umenyiora (knee) will make his 2011 debut against the Cardinals, the prospect of having Tuck sit out is not encouraging. He missed the season opener with a stiff neck and the Giants lost in Washington. He is their best two-way defensive lineman, able to rush from the edge, from the interior of the line at tackle and stop the run. Tuck is also the inspirational leader on the defensive unit and one of the most forceful influences on the entire team. If he can't play, Jason Pierre-Paul would likely slide over to left end and Umenyiora (if he’s ready) or reserve Dave Tollefson would move in at right end.

Jim Harbaugh: San Francisco 49ers won't complain if Eagles sit Michael Vick - San Jose Mercury News
Jim Harbaugh loathes talking about player injuries. But the 49ers coach made an exception Wednesday in the case of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

There is no doubt Harbaugh saw the film of Mike Kafka and the difference of, um, style, presented between he and Vick.

Cardinals’ Wells optimistic he will play against New York - The Washington Post
Arizona running back Beanie Wells says he is optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday against the New York Giants. Wells, who sat out last week’s loss at Seattle with a sore left hamstring, says he turned it loose at full speed in Thursday’s practice and felt no ill effects. Coach Ken Whisenhunt also said he is optimistic Wells will be able to play as long as he continues to progress as he has been.

Arizona Cardinals to face stiff pass rush vs. New York Giants
Levi Brown and Brandon Keith are respectful of the challenges they face Sunday in trying to stop the Giants pass rushers. But the Cardinals' offensive tackles didn't spend the week in the fetal position in front of their lockers, either. Every NFL team has someone with pass rush skills, so this week is not unlike any other, although the Giants have been better at hitting quarterbacks than most teams in recent years.

It's funny how fast perspective changes. After losing to the Redskins, many of us were thinking 4-12 or 6-10. And after that loss, we would have accepted 2-2 after Week 4. Now, anything less than 3-1 would be a huge disappointment. So let's once again get our game faces on....

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