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Giants' defense looking forward to the challenge

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Just exactly how much better is the New York Giants defense today than it was in Week 1 when the Dallas Cowboys torched the Giants for 45 points?

The numbers say a whole lot better. Since that game the Giants have registered 29 sacks and given up 114 points (16.3 points per game).

The Giants are looking forward to the challenge.

"I'm sure everybody in this locker room will tell you we're a better defense than how we played in those first two games," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "But it means nothing if we don't go out there and do it this Sunday. It's a tremendous opportunity for this defense to see exactly where we're at."

The defense is different now for several reasons. In Week 1 Michael Strahan was playing his first game after missing camp and was nowhere near ready to be productive. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo had not yet unleashed the four defensive end alignment no one has yet been able to block. Aaron Ross had not yet emerged as a quality corner. Sam Madison was fighting the lingering effects of a hamstring injury. Mathias Kiwanuka looked lost as he began learning to play linebacker.

So, the Giants have many reasons to feel better about their chances to slow Tony Romo and the Cowboys on Sunday.

This will not be an easy task, though. The Cowboys average 33.1 points per game and are the league's second-ranked offense, behind only the juggernaut that is the New England Patriots.

Can the Giants slow them down enough to win this critical game? Their chances are a lot better than they were in Week 1.

I can't wait for Sunday!