Kudos to ...
Domenik Hixon: I don't know about you, but I was a little bit surprised that it was Hixon and not Ramses Barden starting opposite Victor Cruz on Sunday night. Hixon, however, was tremendous. He had six catches for 114 yards, the longest a 41-yarder. He ran great routes, competed for the ball, got yardage after the catch and broke up a potential interception in the end zone. After two torn ACLs it is nice to see Hixon playing this well.
Victor Cruz: Did the Eagles really think Brandon Boykin, a rookie slot cornerback, had any chance against Cruz? He didn't. Cruz had nine catches for 109 yards, including a 30-yarder on a critical fourth down, many of those lined up against the overmatched rookie.
David Wilson: Yes, the rookie first-round pick seems like a jittery, unreliable mess right now lined up in the backfield. As a kickoff returner, though? What an incredible weapon! I can't remember the Giants ever having a night like returning kickoffs during the Tom Coughlin era as head coach. Wilson returned six kickoffs for an average of 36 yards per return. He had returns of 36, 48, 45, 53 and 37 yards. For reference, the Giants had one kickoff return of longer than 40 yards all of last season. Wilson already has three, and is averaging 30.2 yards per return.
Chase Blackburn: Ten sackles, a sack, two passes defensed. Anyone still think Mark Herzlich should be the starting middle linebacker? That's a tough case to make today.
Prince Amukamara: Dare I say this after watching Amukamara play only two games, especially two games without two healthy legs? Amukamara, right now, is easily playing the best of any cornerback the Giants have. Amukamara had four tackles, a pass defensed and was in lock down mode most of the night. I will be interested to see the number of times he was targeted and the completions he surrendered, but I can remember only one play being made in front of him Sunday night.
Stevie Brown: Filling in for the injured Kenny Phillips Brown played admirably. He ended up with seven tackles, including an open field one on LeSean McCoy, two tackles for loss and a hit on Eagles' quarterback Michael Vick while blitzing.
Wet Willies ...
Eli Manning: The numbers look acceptable for the Giants' illustrious quarterback. He completed 24-of-42 passes for 309 yards with two touchdowns. Manning, however, didn't do what he usually does -- own the fourth quarter. Two critical mistakes by Manning were, ultimately, the difference between victory and defeat. An interception in the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter was flabbergasting. Manning, trying to hit a tightly-covered Martellus Bennett, threw the ball right to Philadelphia's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The mystifying thing was that the pass never had a chance. Rodgers-Cromartie was lined up in the path of the pass before the snap, and never really moved. Manning's throw to Ramses Barden with 25 seconds left was also ill-advised. Manning is a gun-slinger, and more often than not that works out in the Giants' favor. This, though, was a ball Manning should have either thrown away, or -- as he admitted -- thrown to Barden's back shoulder. Nnamdi Asomugha had great position, and the throw left Barden no choice to interfere.
Ramses Barden: Manning's poor choice noted, Barden can't get a pass on the play. The absolute mugging that Barden gave Asomugha on the play, wrapping both arms around him and then hauling him to the ground by the helmet, left the officials no choice but to call offensive pass interference. Two plays earlier, Barden had dropped a perfectly thrown slant pass that would have given the Giants a first down around the 25-yard line and set them up with more time to operate.
David Baas: I have no idea what his blocking grade will be from Pro Football Focus, though I suspect no one on the Giants' offensive line will come out looking great. But, three shotgun snaps right into the ground? What's up with that?
Osi Umenyiora: Yes, the "ballerina" got a sack. But, how many times now has Umenyiora played against LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick? Enough times to know better than to run right at Vick and lose outside contain, which he did on several occasions. And enough times to know better than to give McCoy the outside on running plays, which he did a handful of other times. Umenyiora wasn't the only defender who didn't hold up his end of the bargain, but he was certainly one of the noticeable ones. The first Eagles' touchdown drive was pretty much the 'let's just keep watching Osi mess up' drive.
Corey Webster: DeSean Jackson made Webster look absolutely silly on the 19-yard touchdown pass in the first half. Running to the post, Jackson made a move to the outside. Webster just kept right on running to the post, leaving safety Antrel Rolle to belatedly and hopelessly try to get to Jackson. I can't say I know exactly what Webster's assignment was, but it certainly could not have been to keep running to the middle of the field where there was no receiver and let Jackson run free in the end zone. Webster also surrendered a 32-yard completion to Jackson on which he was beaten by about 10 yards.
Justin Tuck: Four tackles, but this is four games into the season now and Tuck still has not been credited with a hit on a quarterback.
Giants' run defense: The Giants did a really good job against McCoy in the first half. In the second half, though, it was like they completely forgot what makes McCoy special. Over and over it seemed McCoy started one way, cut back the other and found that the Giants had given up the contain on the back side of plays. Here is a perfect example:
Yes, that is great vision and a great cut from a great back. But, somebody has to be home on that side of the field.
Giants' running game: I don't know that I can blame Ahmad Bradshaw here. I don't necessarily think that is fair, since the Giants were playing against a team that has a far superior defense to either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Carolina Panthers. Bradshaw, though, got just 39 yards on 13 carries. Andre Brown, who starred the past two weeks in Bradshaw's absence, got only five carries, netting 14 yards.
Your thoughts? Did I leave anyone out? Or, put anyone on either list who didn't belong?