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New York Giants Notes: A Quick Look Back and Big Leap Forward

Brett Favre (4) of the Minnesota Vikings talks with Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants after that game at Ford Field on December 13 2010 in Detroit Michigan. The Giants defeated the Vikings 21-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Brett Favre (4) of the Minnesota Vikings talks with Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants after that game at Ford Field on December 13 2010 in Detroit Michigan. The Giants defeated the Vikings 21-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Hey folks. What a crazy few days it must have been for the Giants. I live in southern Wisconsin, less than four hours from the Metrodome, and we endured those same blizzard conditions and warnings, but with 10 inches of snow, not two feet (the only thing better than a blizzard on a Sunday with a full slate of NFL games is knowing there is a 12-pack in the garage). It was nasty. And hey, you know what's nasty? The Giants' defense. They completely took Adrian Peterson out of the game Monday night and forced Tarvaris Jackson to beat them, which he could not do, partially because he was running for his life all night. I heard one announcer recently say that stopping the run is a matter of "want to," (I think it was Moose Johnston but I'm not positive), and the Giants' D wanted to Monday night, and did, against an absolute beast. Good for them. Here is a look back and a look forward to Sunday's game, which is now a virtual playoff game based on the implications.

The New York Giants have found an identity as a physical, punishing team on both offense and defense
For the second straight game they pounded out a 200-yard rushing performance and displayed a menacing defense that sends quarterbacks limping to the sidelines. Tarvaris Jackson, Favre's replacement, was sacked four times and briefly had to leave the game after being shaken up. That has become their calling card, their identity. Pound and punish on offense and defense.

Giants’ Weekend Trip and Favre’s Streak Are Over -
But as the Giants’ long, strange trip through the Midwest — made all the more surreal by Brett Favre standing in sweat pants on the sideline Monday, inactive for the first time since 1992 — finally came to an end, it was clear from the 21-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings that if the Giants make the playoffs, it will be because their resilience is as finely honed as their defense.

Tom Coughlin talked Tuesday about how his team is on a roll and how they were preparing for a big game Sunday, and also about a hot topic on this site, Eli's interceptions:

Q: Do you think you have a better team right now than the one you took to Philly three weeks ago?
A: Well, we have a team that is striving to be as good as we can be. We've won three games in a row which has given us some confidence and some things to rely and build on. I think for the last two games anyway that we've had some outstanding numbers in our rush game. Our defense continues to be solid. Two weeks ago we had a tremendous number of turnovers, last night not as many, but we accomplished the objective that we knew we had to accomplish going in. Namely, to take a team that averaged 39 rushes a game and try and stop the run, and we were able to do that. From that standpoint, the objectives have been made and we'll have new objectives this week.

Q: Is Eli getting better? Were you alarmed by the interceptions yesterday?
A: Well, you're observing and you're watching and you're seeing. Nobody wants the interceptions. We started out talking about the fact that we did not want to turn the ball over. We had done really a good job the two previous weeks with the exception of one error and we wanted it to stay that way. We know that therein lies the opportunity that you need to win in our league is to not give it away and to take it away, so from that standpoint we were all disappointed and Eli is more disappointed than any of us, but that as I mentioned to you, having people back is a very nice thing. I think that Eli would probably tell you that the first throw was a poor throw and didn't accomplish what it had to and probably the second one he counted on the individual in the pattern to win against his opponent and he didn't, so the timing of the route was there and the ball had to be delivered or thrown away - I suppose it could have been thrown away, but he counts on people in that case to win and that didn't happen so we started off with two blemishes, but we did not let it stop us and our defense went out and bailed us out. There isn't any question that Eli is in the right frame of mind and excited about this opportunity as we all are and he'll be at his best this weekend.

Oh, and with Clint Sintim out for the season, the Giants signed LB Kenny Ingram to their practice squad.

New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith may be out for season with knee injury: sources
The Giants spent most of the last month playing without Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith in their lineup. Now they might have to do it the rest of the season, too. Smith may have suffered a season-ending knee injury Monday night.

The article goes on to say that Brandon Jacobs played through a similar injury in 2009, but that this doesn't look good right now. Let's hope we'll have better news as the day and week progress.

Brett Favre's streak comes to an end, the luckless Texans, more Monday Snaps - Don Banks -
Now that it's over, and part of the history books instead of the NFL's week-to-week reality, Brett Favre's 297 consecutive starts streak deservedly will go down as one of the greatest individual accomplishments in sports. And nothing will ever change that, or lessen its impact. Playing the toughest game of all, Favre's track record of durability proves him the toughest quarterback who ever suited up. To argue otherwise is folly. The beauty of a consecutive-games streak is that it has a quality of perfection to it --and you can't beat perfection. For almost 19 seasons, the man played every chance he had to play. Case closed. End of story.

Hey, I'm just glad he didn't play Monday! But no doubt, the man has had a great career.

Fans travel rough road to Detroit, but end up seeing Giants win |
Pretty cool that we were able to represent Monday night, despite the fact that that stupid Vikings' first-down horn also made the trip.

Bob Ford: Jackson's antic a cause célèbre | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/14/2010
What else does (DeSean) Jackson have in store for us during his term with the Eagles, though? The expectation is for the kind of explosive plays he provided in the 30-27 win against Dallas, setting an NFL single-game record for most receiving yards (210) while catching only four passes. An additional, growing expectation is that Jackson will also be the source of some head-scratching moments and perhaps a little frustration, for both the organization and the fans. You can say the touchdown act was all for fun and that critics should lighten up, but Jackson willfully did something that could not help his team, did hurt his team, and he accepted that tradeoff for his own greater glory. Break it down and it is kind of difficult to defend.

All I know is, we sure don't want to give Jackson the opportunity to do that on Sunday--that, or the annoying back-pedal at the 5-yard-line thing. Sorry, the venom I have for the Eagles is starting to well up. But wait, there's more:

Giants think they're on a roll with three straight wins | Philadelphia Daily News | 12/15/2010
The Eagles have gone 2-1 since (the Giants and Eagles last met), with a hiccup on a sloppy Soldier Field, without star cornerback Asante Samuel, with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler firing an out-of-body four touchdown passes. The Giants lost to the Eagles, still reeling after a spanking at the hands of the Cowboys. They then beat a good Jacksonville team, a foundering Redskins club and, on Monday night, in a game moved from Minnesota to Detroit, they beat the Vikings, sans Brett Favre.

So you lost Asante Samuel? How would you have fared if you lost DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and three-fifths of your starting offensive line? Just like Newman from Seinfeld despised Keith Hernandez, I despise the freaking Eagles.

And I know no one is looking ahead, but I know you're also curious about whether the Giants will face the Packers with or without Aaron Rodgers a week from Sunday....

Green Bay Packers news | No rush on clearing concussed Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to play Sunday | Green Bay Press-Gazette
Just because they face the NFL’s best team, the New England Patriots, on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers won’t rush the process to determine whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers can return this week from his second concussion in two months.

It's hump day again, everyone. So Happy Hump Day. It's also hump day on Eagles' week. Did I mention how I feel about the Eagles? How do you feel about the Eagles? Well, one thing is for sure -- I will feel a lot better about the Eagles if we take care of business and beat them on Sunday.