They'll return from San Francisco, where they pushed their record to 6-2 with a 24-6 thrashing of the struggling 49ers. The six victories at the halfway point of the season represent as many as they registered all last season.
They won't be quick to give away this advantage, either, because the
game after the Minnesota tussle is another home affair, this one with
the Eagles, thought to be the team to beat in the division but seemingly
The Giants limited the 49ers to 138 yards of offense and will look
for similar results against the Vikings -- and once again facing a
backup quarterback thrust into starting status by injury.
They were able to virtually shut out the 49ers' Cody Pickett, who was
subbing for not only Alex Smith but also Ken Dorsey, and this Sunday
they'll get to face Brad Johnson, the Vikings' new quarterback after the
loss of Daunte Culpepper to a seriously shredded knee.
The Giants are 1-1 in NFC East games, having lost to Dallas 16-13 in
overtime, and then running away from Washington 36-0.
The game against the Vikings will give young quarterback Eli Manning
yet another chance to continue his improvement while fashioning two
comfort zones for his passing game named Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey.
Burress, the wide receiver, continues to make circus catches, while
Shockey, the tight end, has become more and more reliable and prone to
coming up with increasing numbers of clutch receptions.
The Giants defied their history by actually throttling a weaker
underdog, and they came away with their second straight stifling
defensive performance. Following a 36-0 shutout of Washington, they
limited the 49ers to a pair of field goals and 138 total yards of
offense in racing to a 24-6 victory at San Francisco.
It wasn't as easy as the score might indicate, and with 4:42
remaining in the third quarter, Joe Nedney's 52-yard field goal narrowed
the gap to 10-6.
But then a couple of circus catches by Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer set up two 1-yard touchdown runs by rookie Brandon Jacobs to move
the game into a safety zone.
Eli Manning won his first game on the road -- ever -- and it also was
the Giants' first road victory of the season. Manning completed 18 of 33
passes for 251 yards and one TD. He didn't throw an interception, nor
did his O-line allow him to be sacked.
Tiki Barber carried 21 times for 71 yards, hardly the 206-yard
performance he registered against Washington, but sufficient to solidify
the running attack and balance the offense.
--SS Shaun Williams (hamstring) left the 49ers game in the second
quarter and did not return. He had just returned from missing three
games with the same pulled hamstring, and he is not expected back next
--QB Eli Manning on the victory at San Francisco: "I think this is a
step up in my career. Every game I learn something, and I hope to
improve from what I picked up today. It was also my first road win, and
that got me over another hurdle."
--DE Michael Strahan, who had five tackles and continued his
outstanding comeback from the 2004 torn pectoral muscle that kept him
out for the last half of the season, says he sees more of Peyton Manning
in young Eli Manning's performances each week. "All those motions with
his hands look just like his brother," Stahan said with a smile. "Eli is
fast climbing the charts, but Peyton is still on another level."
--WR Plaxico Burress caught five passes for 79 yards at San
Francisco, giving him 45 receptions for 656 yards and five touchdowns in
--RB Brandon Jacobs carried five times at San Francisco, gained 3
-- and scored two touchdowns, both of the 1-yard variety. He now has 26
carries for 79 yards and five TDs on the season.
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