Best in the NFC East? Best in the NFC? Dare I ask …

Best in the NFL?

The Giants certainly made a case for the latter, lowering the boom on the Charlie Whitehurst-led Seahawks. When it was all said and done, the scoreboard read 41-7, and that doesn’t even tell the whole story.


There’s certain times throughout the season when you can get a feel for a team; it’s amazing how much that changes in any given season but you can get a feel on how the team is playing and the direction they’re headed. Take week three for the Giants, for instance. Players were lashing out, unhappy, and it seemed like Tom Coughlin’s seat was getting a little hotter. The team was sinking, quick, after just three weeks. All the hype was fake.

Since then, the Giants have won games they were supposed to lose (in Houston); they’ve blown out opponents in games that were labeled “trap” games by experts (in Seattle); and the defense has knocked five quarterbacks out of the game – each one legally.

So as we stand today, there’s that certain “feel” in the air; the feel that the Giants are coming together, well on the way to becoming a great unit.

After all, they’re already halfway there.

Offensive Summary:

Pete Carroll said Eli was “almost flawless” and that describes his day perfectly. He’s in a zone. His first half numbers had a near-perfect 152.3 rating, and he finished 21-of-32 for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Hakeem “The Dream” Nicks is having a dream season to say the least, and Sunday he added another 100 yard game – his fourth in the last five games. He hauled in six catches for 128 yards and scored a touchdown, number nine on the year.

The three-headed rushing attack of BradshawJacobs-Ware ran 43 times for 201 yards. Bradshaw was averaging just 3 yards per, but jacobs and Ware more than picked up the slack. Jacobs carried 11 times for 78 yards and Ware chipped in during garbage time with a 13-carry, 66-yard effort.

The offensive line made all the above possible. Seven players were rotating in; Adam Koets and Rich Seubert each played two positions; Dave Diehl played three. The results: no sacks, 200 yards rushing.

The Giants statistically dominated almost every offensive category that there is to dominate. They out-gained Seattle 487-162 on the day, went 6-13 on third down (Seattle was 1-8) and chewed 42:34 off the clock. That’s a lot of time to do a lot of damage.

Defensive Summary:

Charlie Whitehurst (Clemson), making his first start in the pros, was clearly overmatched. A quarterback at this level will (or should) be able to read where the blitz is coming from, adjust accordingly and find the holes in coverage; especially in a west coast offense like Seattle’s. So instead of giving Whitehurst any opportunities, the Giants’ gameplan was to lock down on the receivers and keep the safeties in close for coverage. The Seahawks’ west coast offense, combined with the fear of the Big Blue pass rush, would mean a lot of three-step drops and quick routes. So rather than blitz and leave underneath routes open, the Giants clamped down on the receivers and forced Whitehurst to beat them.

Remember at the start of last year, when everyone was asking “who the hell is Eli Manning going to throw the ball to?” That was solved quickly, as Manningham and Smith emerged and actually made the passing game the offense’s strength. And now this year, the question was “who the hell is going to play middle linebacker?” People were gaffing at the thought of Jonathan Goff playing middle ‘backer, and he’s shutting a lot of those people up. Every game it seems he comes out of nowhere and makes a play, usually in the backfield.

The corners – specifically Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster – had an excellent game; the whole secondary did, really. But Thomas and Webster really stuck out in my mind. Webster led the team in tackles with 5 total, and both Thomas and Webster had an interception while Seattle was driving in Giants territory – Thomas’ in the endzone.

Special Teams Summary:

New acquisition Will Blackmon played well returning kicks and punts. On one punt return, he avoided the first would-be tackler, cut to the outside, and turned a likely negative into a big 22-yard positive.

I can’t remember the last time I heard “he was good” said about a Giants’ returner…Ron Dixon? Jeez.

Interesting Facts:

This is amazing: The Giants’ final two drives combined to last 21 1/2 minutes. I n between, the Seahawks took 1:26 to go three-and-out.

The Giants scored 40-plus points in consecutive road games for the first time since 1966.

The Giants’ win snapped a four-game skid in Seattle, their first win there since a 32-0 win at the Kingdome on Oct. 18, 1981.

What’s Next?:

The Giants return home to take on the Cowboys.