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Mario Manningham making a lot of NFL GMs look dumb

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How good was New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys?

This good.

No receivers were taken in the first round of the 2008 draft, but 13 were selected before Manningham in the second and third rounds. Of those, Manningham had more catches against Dallas than six have had in their entire careers to date:

James Hardy (Buf/41st pick): nine catches.
Jerome Simpson (Cin/46th pick): one catch.
Malcolm Kelly (Was/51st pick): eight catches.
Limas Sweed (Pit/53rd pick): six catches.
Dexter Jackson (TB/58th pick): zero catches.
Earl Bennett (Chi/70th pick): nine catches

Manningham was taken in the third round (95th overall) by the Giants. Seems like Giants General Manager Jerry Reese could come out looking like a genius -- again -- for a pick that seemed like a huge risk at the time.

Here is Clark Judge of CBS Sports on Manningham.

Relax, Giants fans. Your team might have found the next Plaxico Burress in Mario Manningham. ... Manningham's emergence is just in time, too. With Hakeem Nicks out and Domenik Hixon sidelined against Dallas, the Giants needed someone, anyone, to take the heat off Steve Smith. Fantasy football geeks, get in line Monday for Manningham.

Matt Mosley of ESPN had great things to say about both Manningham and Smith, who each had 10 catches.

Mario Manningham and Steve Smith were the two best players on the field. It's one thing to make plays in the first half, but Manningham and Smith were making big catches on the game's final drive. Eli Manning has complete trust in both players and that showed up on the game-deciding drive.

Some of you guys took to calling Manningham 'The Ham' in Monday's comments. Personally, I don't like it, but I do agree that Mario is going to be needing a nickname if he keeps this up. Check the poll at the bottom of this post and let me know which one you like.

  • A lot of love for Manning after Sunday night's brilliant, clutch performance.

Here is ESPN's Mosley.

Honestly, is there anyone else in the NFC you'd want behind center with three minutes left at your own 15-yard line? I guess some folks would say Drew Brees, but give me Manning every time.

Here is Matt Bowen of The National Football Post.

It’s time to buy into some of the Eli Manning hype after Sunday night because the difference in the Giants’ win over the Cowboys in the closing seconds was the play of Manning. The Giants’ game plan was designed to take advantage of the Dallas secondary — their safeties in particular — and challenge the ‘Boys’ corners with down-the-field plays in the vertical passing game. Manning completed 25 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns — with no interceptions. Add in his poise in the two-minute drill to win the game, and it isn't hard to notice the high level that Manning is playing at right now.

Here is Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

That's one of the best games Eli Manning's played in the NFL.

I love the props, but they make me laugh. Honestly, it's as if the entire world did not realize until Sunday night that Eli Manning is a damn good NFL quarterback. Hey, fellas, have you ever watched the Giants play?

  • Mathias Kiwanuka knows what it's like to be injured by a cheap shot. Remember Chris Samuels of Washington diving at Kiwi's legs on the final, meaningless, play of a game last season? Kiwanuka ripped Flozell Adams, who injured Justin Tuck Sunday by tripping him.

"It looked like a pretty bad play. Guys get beat and they have to do anything to save their quarterback, but that is not an excuse," Kiwanuka said. "This is the NFL. People put their careers on the line everyday, in every practice, in every game. You don't want to risk somebody getting hurt off something cheap like that. You understand that they have a job to protect their quarterback, but there are rules in a game for a reason. For it to be a like that, that's bad enough, but that is inexcusable."

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