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New York Giants Notes: Blue Crushes Red Edition

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Man, that felt good. Admittedly, there were times when the Giants made me nervous Sunday, but every time I wrote in my own notes, "This defense is playing too soft," the Giants forced a turnover and made it all right. I think when you've been a Giants' fan for a really long time, it's in your DNA to not feel totally secure until they lead by more than 20 with two minutes to go. But still, this was a resounding win that keeps the Giants even in the standings with the Eagles at 8-4. It also sure felt good to beat up on a team led by Donovan McNabb. Here are some of the notes and quotes from Sunday's win.

First, some of the player quotes from yesterday.

Rookie Jason Pierre-Paul, when asked about Sunday's performance:
"I guess you can say all of that hard work is finally paying off. Coaches tell me, 'Just go out there and make plays.' That is what I was able to do today. We wanted to get after McNabb today. And I think we did a really good job doing that. We brought a lot of pressure and I felt we had a complete game today versus their run and pass. We were also able to force a lot of turnovers. And that is the name of our game. We would have liked to have had the shutout, but they are going to make plays, too. And we did walk away with a pretty convincing win."

Derek Hagan on his contribution:

"It feels great to be able to contribute the way I did today. All of the hard work is paying off working with Eli. I knew sooner or later the ball was going to be coming my way. And you just have to go out and make those plays. You have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line for giving Eli all of that time. They give Eli time enough to let him put the ball in the air, which enables us to go out there and go get it."

I don't know about any of you, but watching Hagan yesterday, he reminded me a lot of another great possession receiver, Derrick Mason, as well as our own Steve Smith. And Eli Manning agreed with the offensive approach:

"Well I think when we do have good drives, when we do score, we are very consistent. We don't get penalties. We are running the ball well on first and second down and getting into some play-action, hitting some deep stuff and keeping the defense off balance. I think our offensive line, obviously, that is where it starts. They have done a great job in pass protection, did a great job today running the ball, the backs are running tough, receivers are blocking safeties, throwing it short, and just maintaining drives"

Brandon Jacobs, on how he and Ahmad Bradshaw were hoping to attack the Redskins' defense in the cold weather:

"..Me and Ahmad talked all week and we knew that it was going to be cold. A lot of people don't like to tackle in the cold. We just had to come out, go downhill, no dodging, come right down the hill and whoever is in the way is going to feel it."

It sure warms my heart to read that quote. I think I'll read it over and over a few times.

Justin Tuck talked about how the defense fed off the offense for a change:

"Our offense did a great job of coming out and giving us that cushion to begin with. It was 14-0 and we had only played three plays on defense. That's something we've been preaching all week and in the locker room before the game. We wanted to start fast regardless of who was up first, and it just so happened that the offense was up first and they go down and they score. We get a stop on defense and they go down and they score. We had another opportunity to go down and score again. We really fed off it, especially how they ran the ball and how physical the line was and how hard Brandon and Ahmad ran today."

In Bitter Cold, Giants Comfortably Rout Redskins -
A veteran Giants crowd filled the parking lots Sunday, a collection of fans comfortable on their turf. Against the cold and high wind, they wore old woolen caps and weathered team jackets, symbolic choices outside a stadium that is new and shiny. It was a December N.F.C. East game like dozens of others held on the site, the perfect way to imbue a new home with the chilly, gusty ambiance of Giants games of consequence.

Okay, I swear I am not looking past the Vikings, and well we shouldn't. But the first thing that came to mind when reading that last line was, "Not as consequential as the Dec 19 game!"

New York Giants' role players stepped it up against Washington -

Devin Thomas, Kevin Boothe and Jason Pierre-Paul are probably the most unlikely trio of Giants you would think would play significant roles in the 31-7 blowout of the Redskins yesterday that kept Big Blue tied atop the NFC East race with an Eagles team they face in the next home game.

Let's not forget about Will Beatty, who despite a few semi-critical mistakes, played a solid game and did not allow a sack of Manning. and how many times did you hear the announcer bring up Brian Orakpo's name?

Politi: Giants' MVP is the one scrounging for leftovers, building a Super Bowl contender |
The MVP of this Giants season was sitting on a table usually reserved for the postgame meal, talking about leftovers. These are the leftovers not found in a kitchen, but the ones discovered on the waiver wire or stored on practice squads. These are the players living on the margins of football who are suddenly making big contributions for a team that considers itself a Super Bowl contender. Jerry Reese is the one who kept the back end of his roster stocked well enough to survive injuries that would have rocked most other teams. He is the one who plucked enough capable bodies off waivers to deal with a body count that sounds like a training-room version of Noah’s Ark

No freaking doubt. It's not like the guy bats a thousand, but the JPP pick is making him look like a genius, and some of the recent moves have proved to be extremely valuable. Here is another article from a few days ago, even before yesterday's game, that sheds light on this subject, comparing the Giants to the Redskins:

Unlike the Washington Redskins, the New York Giants are a model of consistency
The discrepancy between the teams' on-field fortunes, between the Giants stability and the Redskins' repeated upheavals, can be easily traced, observers of the two franchises say. The Giants stress organizational continuity, they rely on the NFL draft to bolster their roster and they landed and developed a young franchise quarterback. It's a blueprint the Redskins haven't followed in recent seasons.

Albert Haynesworth stunned to sit against New York Giants - ESPN
When Albert Haynesworth arrived at the New Meadowlands Stadium with the Washington Redskins, the defensive lineman expected to play in Sunday's game against the New York Giants. He was stunned when he was told he wouldn't be playing.

Well I don't care what the reason was, I'm glad he was on the sidelines

Mike Wise - Mike Shanahan and Washington Redskins must face need to rebuild
At least the pretense is gone, the facade of competing for something meaningful ruthlessly peeled away like the football was six times from Redskins players on Sunday afternoon - the day the Washington Redskins' season was buried beneath this cold, dank plot of land hard off the New Jersey Turnpike.

Ouch. You knew the columns coming out of DC would not be good this morning, but I didn't think things were this bad. Let's hope they still look bad in four weeks.

Mike Shanahan's shenanigans illuminate Tom Coughlin's value to the New York Giants - ESPN New York
Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan are former Super Bowl champions, figures who command respect. Only Shanahan, the two-time champ, spent a frigid December day making Coughlin, the one-time champ, look like the monument to stability and structure and purpose the Giants fancy him to be.

TC deserves credit for holding things together too despite all of the injuries. But there are four very tough games remaining on the schedule, and if the Giants expect to make the playoffs, they may have to win every one of them. Here is Ed Valentine's current playoff picture analysis. For now though, let's once again savor another victory, and the fact that we're hanging on to the six-seed in the NFC right now.