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Land of the Giants: More from Monday night's victory over Carolina

Admit it. You enjoyed watching Monday night's 24-17 victory over Carolina by our New York Giants. But, you were holding your breath the whole time (well, not literally) praying that no key Giants were injured.

I know I was. So, I was thrilled that the Giants -- as far as we know -- came out of the game unscathed.

I was also thrilled to see that Osi Umenyiora, who lost last season due to a pre-season knee injury, looked like the Pro Bowl Osi of old in his short stint. It is also great to hear how Umenyiora felt about his first game action in a year.

Honestly, when I was out there, it felt like I had never really left. I’ve been here so long -- maybe if I had been here for like a year or two years, but I mean seven years…I felt right at home.

  • File this one in the 'What, you expected to solve all the world's problems in one night?' department. The Sporting News came to the brilliant conclusion after Monday night that the Giants still don't know who will get the lion's share of playing time behind starting wide receivers Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith. Umm ... gee, that was a hard thing to figure out. Get used to it, because my guess is that is going to change several times as the season goes along. I was just happy that guys like Mario Manningham and Ramses Barden got open, and caught what came in their direction. As long as the receivers catch what comes their way, the Giants will be fine.
  • Great quote from Danny Ware on his 36-yard touchdown reception, a screen pass in which he blasted past tackle Guy Whimper as though the 302-pound tackle was stuck in cement.

Yeah, I saw him, he didn’t have to go block anybody so I just ran past him and tried to get in the end zone. If I would’ve got tackled, I probably would’ve yelled at him, and told him he had to get up in front of me.

  • Steve Serby of the New York Post breaks down David Tyree's competition as he fights for a roster spot. Be sure to vote in our Tyree poll over in the right column and let us know if you think he makes the season-opening 53-man roster.
  • Eli Manning as Forrest Gump? Not sure I like Barbara Barker's analogy. I do agree, however, with her conclusion that the Giants will get their money's worth from Manning over the next seven seasons.

I think it's safe to say Manning isn't the best player in the history of the game. In fact, it's pretty safe to say he isn't the best player in the game today. He doesn't deserve to make more than Tom Brady, more than Ben Roethlisberger, more than his brother Peyton.

Yet by having his contract expire for the right team at the right time, Manning has become the NFL's $96.5-million man. And the weird thing is, just as it was hard to get mad at Forrest Gump for his good luck, it's hard to get mad at Manning for doing the best he could with the incredible situation that was handed him.

At least this is what I was thinking last night as I watched Manning play one quarter and throw only three passes in the Giants' preseason opener against Carolina.

It didn't matter that some of my sportswriting brethren were cracking jokes about Manning now having made $7.65 million per completion so far. It didn't matter that about half the fans at the stadium were wearing Manning jerseys and that they certainly would have liked to see a little more air time from Manning than a pair of 13-yard completions.

What mattered is that Manning did the job he was supposed to do. And if he continues to do that, the Giants are going to get more than their $96.5 million out of him.

Of course, all anyone cares about is the end of the season. And the bet here is the Giants' seasons are going to have more happy endings in the next seven years with Manning than they would without him.