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New York Giants News and Notes: All Exhale Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. Yesterday I made it a point to see who else the Miami Dolphins have lost to before their humiliating OT loss to Denver at home two Sundays ago, and I came away with the conclusion that the Dolphins were not really that bad. They had lost to some good teams and/or kept games close. Of course, that meant our Giants would make us sweat yet again, and that's what happened on Sunday. Thankfully Eli Manning played very well, and thankfully our pass rushers stopped running past Matt Moore and actually began tackling him. Here are some other bits of news floating around Big Blue land this morning:

Eli Manning leads Giants to must-win comeback over winless Dolphins - Don Banks -
The New York Giants had to have this one. Had to. No ifs. No ands. No buts. With the winless Miami Dolphins in town, and the schedule from you-know-where looming in the coming five weeks, the Giants had absolutely no margin for error Sunday at MetLife Stadium. To be sure, New York, coming off its bye week, remained its maddeningly inconsistent self against the Dolphins, and it was turning Tom Coughlin's face red there for a while in the opening 30 minutes.

I have to be honest, I didn't start to think about the prospects of losing the game until it was 14-3, and then and only then did the must-win scenario enter my head, but it was so true.

NY Giants barely beat Miami Dolphins, must play better against New England Patriots - NY Daily News
The Giants nearly ruined their Super Bowl reunion with the Patriots next Sunday by playing down to the sorry level of the winless Dolphins, who continue to Suck For Luck. There was the typical postgame buzz that you always find in the winning locker room. The idea each week is to survive and move on, even if it’s against the winless Dolphins, who can’t get out of their own way, even if the Giants were so lethargic and disinterested that their loyal fans were booing after Miami scored TDs on its first two possessions and the receivers were making Eli Manning work too hard by dropping at least four of his passes.

D'Alessandro: The tough part for the Giants is yet to come |
...blowouts against weak teams often mean nothing — we know that intellectually. Sometimes, ugly wins are infinitely more important than stylish ones. And if you really want to wallow in pedantry, just keep repeating the one thing everyone agrees on: The only goal is to show incremental improvement.

Giants Need Late Touchdown to Edge Dolphins -
And yet, in a season in which little has come easily for the Giants, even beating the lowly Miami Dolphins on Sunday was a challenge. The Giants were inconsistent and erratic, taking their first — and only — lead of the game with six minutes to play.

Brandon Jacobs doesn't have much to say after Giants' win |
Brandon Jacobs was a reluctant interview subject Sunday. Before he faced questioning from the media after the 20-17 victory over the Dolphins, the beleaguered running back told a Giants official that he did not want to face the scrutiny. And when he did, it was under his own conditions. After a day fraught with complications, in which he ran for just 10 yards on four carries, Jacobs said that he would focus only on the bright side.

Whew. Call it rust, call it injury, call it diminishing skills. Jacobs was horrible on Sunday.

Receiver Victor Cruz saves NY Giants from scary loss to winless Miami Dolphins - NY Daily News
The touchdown dance will not change. Whenever Victor Cruz reaches the end zone this season, Giants fans will watch him do the salsa. And Victor Cruz has little choice in the matter. "My mother (Blanca Cruz), she doesn’t want me to change it," he said. "So I’ve got to keep it now."

Giant pressure crushes Dolphins’ hopes - Miami Dolphins -
And once Miami fell behind by three late in the game, it was as if the Giants finally caught that whiff of blood in the water. They came in fierce pursuit. After successfully bottling up the Giants’ holster of vaunted defensive linemen for most of the game, the Dolphins offensive line crumbled down the stretch. It surrendered three fourth-quarter sacks — five in the game overall — in a 20-17 loss at MetLife Stadium.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones not concerned by loss: 'There is absolutely no alarm in me' | Dallas Cowboys Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | The Dallas Morning News
Jerry Jones is known for his optimistic outlook. But even the Cowboys owner has to put aside his rose colored glasses when viewing this game, doesn't he? "I am disappointed,'' Jones said. "I want to be real clear here. There is absolutely no alarm in me. This can happen in the NFL.

I'm not sure it really mattered in the end who won this game, but it sure looks nice seeing the Giants in first place by two games over everyone else in the division. That cushion is necessary before the schedule gets hairy, but you all knew that. Let's try and enjoy this win, because at the end of the day, that is what it is.