Hot Topic and Player Notes: Giants

The Giants and the Dallas Cowboys will break their first-place tie in the NFC East on Sunday, although the Giants had a chance to enter the game with a one-game lead.The Giants were 7-3 going to Seattle, knowing Dallas already was a loser on Thanksgiving Day. But the Giants lost to the Seahawks, 24-21 in overtime, after Jay Feely missed three field goals -- from 40, 54 and 45 yards.

Now it's the Giants and Cowboys in Giants Stadium, both teams 7-4 with five games remaining, and the winner will have a precarious but precious lead.

The Giants finish their season with games against Philadelphia, Kansas City, Washington and Oakland, and they could have used the near-miss against Seattle.

The game will match the Giants' former head coach and winner of their only two Super Bowl championships, Bill Parcells, against a former assistant coach and pupil, the Giants' current head coach, Tom Coughlin.

"That is a gut-wrenching way to lose a game," Coughlin said Sunday. "But we have to just pick it up and go forward. That's our goal this week, to regroup and find a way to make this up."


The Giants did everything right but win the game at Seattle. They managed to tie the Seahawks at 21 with 1:59 to play. Eli Manning connected with wide receiver Amani Toomer on an 18-yard pass, and then they had to convert a two-point play, which they did when Manning hit tight end Jeremy Shockey.

There were five possession exchanges in the overtime, Seattle getting the ball, finally, with 6:05 to play. The winning drive was given life when Feely missed a 45-yard field goal, which was hit straight enough but fell short. Seattle ultimately got a 36-yard Josh Brown field goal for a 24-21 win.

Manning completed 29 of 53 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted once. Running back Tiki Barber ran 26 times for 151 yards (and surpassed 1,000 for the season with 1,118). There were two receivers with triple digit numbers -- Shockey had 10 catches for 127 yards; wideout Plaxico Burress had six for 109.

The Giants committed 11 false start penalties and 16 penalties overall, the most by a team in the NFL since 1941.


--RCB Curtis Deloatch, who played badly last week and then fell victim to a turf burn infection, was taken out of the starting lineup for rookie Corey Webster. But he did play against Seattle on nickel and dime formations.

--PK Jay Feely stood in front of a crowd of reporters and accepted full blame for the loss against Seattle. "I got up in the locker room and said I was sorry, that I let the guys down," he said. "There were two good opportunities (for field goals) and one I could have made (the 54-yarder). There will be no pouting, just me coming back next week and working hard."

--WR Plaxico Burress walked to PK Jay Feely as the game ended and put his arm around him. "We win as a team and we lose as a team," he said. "It is not one person's fault."

--Coach Tom Coughlin said he would not blame Sunday's loss on PK Jay Feely. "I felt bad when we had to stop driving to try field goals," he said. "We should have been good enough to keep going and get a touchdown."

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