Manning, who hasn't completed a full season as a starter, took the New York Giants to a dramatic fourth quarter victory over the Broncos, who were 5-1 and on a five-game winning streak. He did it by directing two touchdown drives in the final quarter, capping the comeback with a 2-yard scoring pass to veteran wide receiver Amani Toomer with 00:05 showing on the scoreboard.
The 24-23 victory moved the Giants to 4-2 and into a three-way tie
for first place in the NFC East with Washington and Philadelphia.
Dallas, which had been the leader, fell to "last" with a loss to Seattle
and a record of 4-3.
"He is so calm and poised in the locker room it's hard to believe how
young he is," Toomer said. "He just tells us to calm down, that it's
going to be fine and that we are going to score what we need to score.
Defensive end Michael Strahan, a 13-year veteran, is equally
"He holds the huddle together, the guys listen to him, even the older
guys, and I don't think I have ever seen a young guy have this kind of
control," he said. "And what he did with Amani made me very happy. Amani
is a veteran, and no matter that he hasn't been as effective as he once
was, he is crucial to our team. I tell him every week that he's our
But in this case, you have to spell it 'G.O.A.T.', because it stands
for 'Greatest of All Time'."
Strahan smiled. "Yeah, look at the team records. He holds almost all
the receiving records," he said. "We need him and this game proved
--WR Amani Toomer showed his poise and experience in the final play
that won the game. "I went in motion (from his slot position), then
planted the cornerback on the sideline and cut across," he said. "I saw
the middle linebacker (Al Wilson) was dropped deep, so I went in front
of him. Eli threw the perfect pass; only I could catch it or it would be
--RB Tiki Barber (19 carries, 86 yards), said it was one of just a
handful of comebacks that stuck in his mind as special. "You don't
forget games like this one," he said. "We seem to be on a roll, and
Elisha (Manning; he is always formal) is just playing out of sight."
--LG David Diehl, who has started every game since becoming the
team's fifth round pick in 2003, smiled happily and explained that he
was 2-1 this weekend. Huh? "I'm from Chicago," he said, "and I went to
of) Illinois, so my college got killed by Penn State (63-10), but my
White Sox won the first game of the World Series, and now this amazing
PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES
--LB Carlos Emmons was awaiting the results of an MRI on Monday after
leaving Sunday's game with a pectoral injury. Coach Tom Coughlin said,
"We are waiting to see," when asked if the muscle was torn. Coughlin
said the injury happened when Emmons extended to make a tackle, missed
and had his arms "ripped through."
--WR Plaxico Burress was having his right shoulder checked out after
injuring it in the final two minutes of Sunday's game, coach Tom
Coughlin said. "He came out and went back in and finished the game.
But, we're running all the tests on that," Coughlin said Monday. "He's
--WR Amani Toomer caught a season-high eight catches Sunday,
including the game winner in the final seconds of the game. It was his
first game with more than four receptions all season as he has taken a
supporting roll to WR Plaxico Burress and TE Jeremy Shockey. "It was
hard, but it's hard to be upset when you're winning," Toomer said of his
diminished role. "Our team was winning, we were doing well. Plax was
having great success and you can't really be upset about somebody else
doing well. You just wait for the flow of the offense, and hopefully now
that I've made some plays, and we've both made plays together, I think
that's how the whole team wanted to use us both together with Shockey
and Tiki (Barber) as well."
--QB Eli Manning has been praised for his poise in leading the Giants
from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to win Sunday's game. "He
certainly is a guy who keeps pretty much everything in perspective and
when he comes to the sideline, he has good information," coach Tom
Coughlin said. "He does have the ability to, as I said last week, to put
some of the bad things behind him and go onto the next play and make the
next play the most important play. I think he can pass that onto his
teammates in critical situations where the pressure is on to have to
perform in order to win. His teammates can take strength from the fact
that he is poised, he is calm, and he is under control."
--DE Justin Tuck continues to receive increased playing time,
something coach Tom Coughlin said has simply been earned and helps keep
the entire line fresh. "We like to play -- we like to try and stay fresh
and he was able to come in and make a couple of hard plays and provide
solid pass rush," Coughlin said. "We do want to continue to try to
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. BRONCOS
PASSING OFFENSE: B -- For three quarters, QB Eli Manning was just
ordinary and at times looked fooled by the ever-shifting Denver defense.
Then he snapped to attention in the fourth quarter, perhaps fueled by a
decision to simplify the offense, and drilled the Broncos every time he
had a key play. No pass was more critical to the final TD than a
24-yarder to TE Jeremy Shockey on third-and-10, which brought the Giants
to the Denver 8-yard line. Toomer caught eight passes for 62 yards. WR
Plaxico Burress had six for 84 yards and an 18-yard TD catch. RB Tiki
Barber had six "escape hatch" receptions for 24 yards, while Shockey
caught three for 44. The O-line did not allow Manning to be sacked.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- RB Tiki Barber's contributions to the
Giants remain myriad. He gained 86 yards on 19 carries. He caught six
passes for 24 yards. He scored once on a 4-yard run. And on the final TD
pass to WR Amani Toomer that won the game, he showed his skills in
blitz-pickup by shielding QB Eli Manning from on-rushing SS Nick Ferguson to make the play happen. Barber had all the rushing carries
except for an early reverse by WR Tim Carter that gained 11 yards. The
O-line blocked better than fair for the run but it was some of the
blocking a few yards downfield that broke down and cost Tiki a few
PASS DEFENSE: C-plus -- The Broncos completed 18 of 29 passes for 194
yards, which is acceptable, but half their 20 first downs were gained by
passing. Jake Plummer spread it around, as six different receivers
accounted for the 18 completions. He did throw only one TD pass,
however, a 4-yarder to FB Kyle Johnson. The Giants managed zero sacks
against the Broncos.
RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- RB Mike Anderson was allowed 120 yards in 24
carries, an unacceptable 5.0 per rush, while his backup, Tatum Bell,
added 60 yards in eight carries. There were too many long gains and
several missed tackles. MLB Antonio Pierce had 13 tackles -- high for
both teams -- but also was guilty of misses. The Denver O-line, which
has a unique blocking scheme, opened up too many mis-direction lanes,
often at the expense of Pierce and the two DTs, William Joseph and
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- P Jeff Feagles was at his most effective, kicking
four times for a 46.0 average and a 41.5 net. He also placed two inside
the 20. K Jay Feely still hasn't missed in 2005, adding a 52-yard FG and
three PAT attempts. He is now 11-for-11 on FGs and has made 20
consecutive extra points. Willie Ponder returned four kickoffs for 124
yards (31.0 per). Kick coverage was good; Darrent Williams managed to
take two punts back for two yards and two kickoffs for 49 yards.
COACHING: C -- A difficult dilemma here. What grade do you give the
coaches for managing a weak game through three quarters and then
suddenly finding the right calls in the fourth quarter? Some of
defensive coordinator Tim Lewis' schemes are getting tired and stale,
and the Broncos capitalized big time. Offensive coordinator John
Hufnagel has become equally predictable. The decision not to use rookie
RB Brandon Jacobs, if only for half a dozen running plays, is still
mysterious. But the call on the winning TD pass to Toomer was clever and
that should be applauded.
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