Here is your belated 'Kudos & Wet Willies' review of Monday's 21-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. It was hardly the most exciting or well played NFL game you will ever witness, but it was what the Giants needed. That, of course, being a victory that put them at 9-4 and into a tie with Philadelphia heading into Sunday's NFC East showdown.
Let's get on with the 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
- Brandon Jacobs: Totaled 116 yards on 14 carries, with a huge 73-yard run and one touchdown. Jacobs also pushed the pile a few times, and is running as well as he ever has.
- Ahmad Bradshaw: A 48-yard touchdown run of his own, a total of 103 yards on 11 carries and an absolute ankle-breaking move on Asher Allen at one point. He is battling a wrist injury, and let's hope he can continue to play through it.
- Hakeem Nicks: Welcome back, Hakeem, the Giants need you. The big second-year wide receiver had seven catches for 96 yards and could have had a couple more big plays if Eli Manning had had a good night throwing the ball. With Steve Smith and possibly Mario Manningham down Sunday against the Eagles, Nicks is incredibly important to the offense.
- Giants' Run Defense: Adrian Peterson had all of 26 yards on 14 carries with his longest run being seven yards. It's impossible to single out players in terms of the run defense, it was a collective effort. Excellent defensive line play, some good work by Jonathan Goff and some terrific support from the corners and safeties. A big night from Peterson was really the only chance the Vikings had, and the Giants did not let that happen. Not even close.
- Antrel Rolle: Solid run support, a pass defensed and he spent a considerable amount of time in the backfield chasing Tarvaris Jackson.
- Terrell Thomas: Seven tackles, two passes defensed. Thomas gave up a few underneath completions, but nothing damaging. His tackling and run support were also excellent.
- Bear Pascoe: Two catches for 21 yards, both for first downs. Really, though, this is for his blocking. Pascoe had key blocks on Jacobs' 73-yard run and Bradshaw's 48-yard touchdown jaunt.
- Matt Dodge: I thought about a 'Kwillie' for the rookie punter, but upgraded it. Two so-so punts in the first half, but three absolutely fabulous ones in the second half. A 56-yarder, a 59-yarder and a punt placed beautifully out of bounds at the 8-yard line.
- Brett Favre: I know about all the Favre hatred. I think I would be remiss, though, if I did not toss out a 'Kudos' to the man for his brilliant career. His streak of 297 consecutive starts, and probably his career, ended last night. Favre has always been the ultimate gunslinger, a tremendous competitor and one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever had. Whatever you think of him, you still have to give him credit for the tremendous career he has had.
- Detroit Lions Management: For offering Ford Field for the game, for getting a decent number of fans in the seats and for actually making the place look like a Minnesota home game.
Wet Willies to ...
- Eli Manning: Terrific quarterback, terrible night. No excuse, but maybe the whole screwed-up situation of the past few days bothered Manning more than anyone else. Two interceptions, one on a bad throw and the other on a bad decision. A whole bunch of other off-target throws. Eli ended up with a 59.2 rating.
- Fans Killing Eli: I read a lot of the comments from the Game Thread, calling Eli 'serviceable' and a whole lot worse. Completely ridiculous. Like I said above, terrific quarterback, terrible night. It happens. Yes, he has thrown a league-leading 19 interceptions. Drew Brees has 18, so does Favre and Carson Palmer. Peyton Manning has 15. Anybody saying those guys are terrible NFL quarterbacks? Good players have bad games, and Eli had one Monday night. The Giants just won a very important game under very trying circumstances. Let it go.
- Kick coverage: The punt and kickoff coverage regressed Monday night, and with DeSean Jackson looming let's just hope that was an aberration.