Monday Morning Notebook

Coming off their last-second victory over Denver, the Giants are now preparing for a first-place battle with NFC East rival Washington on Sunday in Giants Stadium. The victory moved the Giants' record to 4-2, equal to that of the Redskins and the Eagles, while the Cowboys are 4-3 following a loss in Seattle.

The Giants defense, which has been porous all season, cannot afford another setback next week since the Redskins have become offensively potent, putting up 52 points against hapless San Francisco on Sunday.v The Giants managed a few strong stands, including the one that forced the Broncos to attempt a 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. It was wide right and gave the Giants a chance to finally win the game and snap Denver's five-game winning streak.

But the Giants struggled offensively, and if not for young Eli Manning's heroics at quarterback, the game almost certainly would have been lost.

"We need Eli to keep doing that," defensive end Michael Strahan said. "He is coming along faster than anyone can believe."

Tight end Jeremy Shockey asked an interesting question: "How can he be doing all this when he's so young? It's just a little scary, you know?"v REPLAY

The Giants were on their own 17-yard line with 3:29 remaining against Denver. They were behind 23-17. It took 15 plays to navigate the 83 yards, and with five seconds remaining, Eli Manning threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer. The subsequent extra point gave the Giants a 24-23 win.

"It was a great and glorious comeback," defensive end Michael Strahan said, "and it was great to see The Goat catch the winning pass."

He was referring to Toomer, the 10-year veteran, but the use of the word should be G.O.A.T. "It stands for Greatest of All Time," with regard to his career receiving records, Strahan said. "I tell him that each week, that he's our Goat."

Manning threw 23 completions in 42 attempts for 214 yards and a pair of TDs, hitting Toomer eight times for 62 yards. Plaxico Burress caught the other touchdown pass and had six catches for 84 yards. Running back Tiki Barber had six receptions for 24 yards, and tight end Jeremy Shockey caught three for 44 yards, including a key 24-yard gain in the final drive on a third-and-10 situation.


--WR Amani Toomer, who caught the winning TD pass with five seconds to play against Denver, knew he was the primary receiver. "When they called the play in the huddle," he said, "I was really excited. I had an opportunity to make a big play. It was one we had just put in last week, and it worked just the way it was designed."

--Head coach Tom Coughlin said he was pleased to provide the victory over Denver for the team's two owners, Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch. Both are suffering from forms of cancer, and in Mara's case, the end is reportedly near. "I talked to Connor, one of Mr. Mara's grandsons," said Manning. "He said at the end of the game he woke up and saw us win and had a little smile on his face and then went back to sleep."

--TE Jeremy Shockey on Sunday's win over Denver: "We always wait until the last minute. We have to work this stuff out so we can win earlier."

--LG David Diehl on the final play that beat Denver: "I saw Amani (Toomer) catch the ball, and it was like we all lost our minds for a few minutes. There were guys grabbing and hugging and yelling and screaming. Definitely, it was the most exciting game I have ever been involved in, ever."

--The Giants are 3-0 at home and 4-0 in Giants Stadium this season. Their game with New Orleans in Week 2, scheduled to be played away, had to be moved to Giants Stadium because of Hurricane Katrina but it was technically a Saints "home game."

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