Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Do you know what time it is? It is 'Kudos & Wet Willies' time here at Big Blue View. Let's review Sunday's 38-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers by the New York Giants in our traditional 'Kudos & Wet Willies' style.
Incidentally, this is a 'Wet Willies' free edition of 'K&WW.'
Kudos to ...
Adam Merchant -- The 15-year-old cancer patient inspired the Giants with his "play like world champions" message. Good luck to the young man in his battle with the disease.
Eli Manning -- Finally! After several weeks of struggling, Manning played like a two-time Super Bowl winner. He threw the ball crisply, except for missing a wide open Henry Hynoski in the end zone. When, oh when, will Henry get a touchdown? Anyway, Manning also showed how much the game meant to the Giants by lowering his shoulder and delivering a blow to Green Bay defensive back Tramon Williams rather than sliding.
Ahmad Bradshaw -- Every time you want to knock this guy down he roars back. He's a smallish guy with an immense heart. His 59-yard catch and run got the Giants started Sunday night.
Hakeem Nicks -- Still not the Nicks of old, but he was undeniably a presence on Sunday night.
Offensive line -- While Aaron Rodgers was running for his life, Manning was sacked only once. The Giants also averaged 4.7 yards per rushing play.
Andre Brown -- Ugh! Ran tremendously Sunday night, scoring his eighth touchdown and carrying 13 times for 64 yards. The Giants finally seemed to have established a good balance between Bradshaw and Brown, then Brown suffered a broken fibula and will be lost for the season. No matter what rookie David Wilson is able to do the rest of the way, Brown will be missed -- especially in the red zone.
Mathias Kiwanuka -- Let's just get this out of the way. I will finally admit that there is no doubt Kiwanuka has more impact playing as a defensive lineman than as a linebacker. Playing exclusively along the line Sunday Kiwanuka had his best game of the season with two sacks and six tackles. It seemed like he was in the Green Bay backfield all night, whether he was at defensive end, tackle or even lined up over the center.
Osi Umenyiora -- Had one of his patented strip sacks late in the first half at a time when it look like Green Bay might get back into the game. Instead, the play helped turn the game into a Giants' rout. Umenyiora, like Kiwanuka, seemed to be in the Packers' backfield all night.
Antrel Rolle -- With Kenny Phillips back and the three-safety package employed nearly full time Rolle ended up with primary responsibility for Green Bay's outstanding wide receiver Randall Cobb. Cobb caught four passes, but had no real impact in the passing game and Rolle's stellar play was a big part of the reason.
Kenny Phillips -- Well, let's forget the debate over how good Phillips is. He proved Sunday night how important he is to the Giants. They do so many more things with Phillips on the field, not to mention the fact that he had five tackles and was excellent in run support. Let's just hope he is OK after leaving the game in the fourth quarter due to another scare with the knee that cost him six games.
Chase Blackburn -- Blackburn had six tackles, a sack and a pass defensed. He showed up in the pass rush, at the line of scrimmage in the run game and down the field in pass coverage. I can't imagine the guy can play any better than that.
Kevin Gilbride and Perry Fewell -- Brilliant work from both coordinators. Gilbride unveiled a few wrinkles (have the Giants ever run the 'pistol' formation before?) and mixed the pass and run effectively all night. Fewell went almost exclusively with three safeties, and seemed to dial up a variety of pressures, stunts and defensive alignments that left the Packers entirely unable to figure out where the Giants were coming from.
Giants' coverage teams -- The Giants had been torched in the return game the past two games and were facing Cobb, one of the league's most explosive returners. The Giants held Cobb in check, however. He got 20 yards on two punt returns, and averaged 24 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Kwillies to ...
Corey Webster -- A terrific interception for Webster, coming off his man to steal one from Rodgers. There was, however, another breakdown by Webster when he allowed Jordy Nelson behind him for a 61-yard touchdown, Green Bay's only big play of the night.
Rueben Randle -- A touchdown catch and an inspired catch and run for a first down by the rookie. He put two punts on the ground, however, and the Giants were fortunate to get the ball back both times. Those are the first mistakes the normally sure-handed Randle has made as a punt returner, and let's hope they don't become a habit.