Eli Manning threw off his back foot and thus underthrew Plaxico Burress, who had beaten RCB Fabian Washington deep for what should've been a 68-yard TD that could've put the Giants ahead 37-21 early in the fourth quarter. TE Visanthe Schiancoe beat FS Stuart Schweigert toward the middle of the end zone, but Manning threw the ball high and behind him on a second-and-goal play from Oakland's 7 early in the second quarter. The Giants settled for a Jay Feely FG and a 10-7 lead two plays later. Bottom Line: Kerry Collins looked like the better of the two QBs.
Tiki Barber out-ran MLB Danny Clark in open space for a 28-yard reception on a second-and-16 play in the second quarter. Barber's big gain helped set up a 38-yard Feely FG that gave the Giants a 20-7 edge 1:56 before halftime. Barber's swift change of direction made Schweigert miss a tackle nearly 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, a cut that enabled Barber to get into the open field on his 95-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Barber's patience near midfield also allowed WRs Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer to catch up and seal off Washington. Rookie Brandon Jacobs converted two of his three opportunities into a first down and a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter. Bottom Line: Barber is incredible.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
TE Visanthe Schiancoe should've caught Manning's screen pass for a first down with 5:49 to play. His drop put the Giants, who were ahead 30-21, in a fourth-and-two situation from their 17 and they punted. Plaxico Burress eluded Schweigert around midfield and then separated from CB Renaldo Hill to race 78 yards for a score that helped put the Giants ahead 17-7 with 9:41 to play in the first half. Amani Toomer blatantly pushed LCB Nnamdi Asomugha in the back, a pass interference infraction that nullified a 29-yard catch that would've moved the Giants to Oakland's 11 late in the second quarter. Burress adeptly came back to the ball, maintained possession and got both feet down for a 20-yard catch at Oakland's 10 early in the second quarter. Bottom Line: Burress' resurgence was encouraging.
RT Kareem McKenzie permitted LDE Derrick Burgess to blow by him for a seven-yard sack and strip of Manning late in the third quarter. LG David Diehl pounced on Manning's fumble at Oakland's 49, though. C Shaun O'Hara sealed off NT Ted Washington to help open the huge hole Jacobs ran through for a one-yard TD in the third quarter. O'Hara's block on SLB Kirk Morrison five yards beyond the line of scrimmage created a huge hole on the left side, which provided Barber room for a 16-yard catch on a third-and-14 play late in the first half. Bottom Line: Manning was well protected and Barber ran for 200-plus yards again.
Reserve RDE Justin Tuck, who was lined up at RDT, dragged down QB Kerry Collins from behind and prevented him from scoring on a pivotal fourth-and-goal play from Oakland's 1 with 2:31 left in the game. RDE Osi Umenyiora used a smooth swim move to beat LT Barry Sims for his second strip of Collins early in the fourth quarter. The Raiders recovered the third-down fumble, but had to punt. Umenyiora used his speed to blow by Sims and sacked Collins for a 12-yard loss midway through the second quarter. Umenyiora forced Collins to fumble on that play, too, but Sims recovered it at Oakland's 20. Bottom Line: Umenyiora dominated Sims.
WLB Nick Greisen made the initial contact when the Giants stopped RB Zack Crockett on consecutive runs from the Giants' 1 late in the fourth quarter. MLB Kevin Lewis blasted WR Jerry Porter to force an incompletion on a third-and-six play from Oakland's 26 early in the third quarter. Bottom Line: Lewis was serviceable despite the long layoff.
Reserve CB Terrell Buckley was whistled for a pathetic pass interference penalty because he used his hands to trip up WR Doug Gabriel, who had beaten him toward the corner of the end zone late in the fourth quarter. RCB Corey Webster allowed WR Randy Moss to hold his arm and twist him out of position late in the third quarter, a miscue that left Moss wide open for a 44-yard TD down the Raiders' sideline that drew Oakland within six (27-21) with 2:28 left in the third quarter. Webster got beat to the front corner of the end zone on an eight-yard TD toss from Collins to Gabriel that brought the Raiders within six (20-14) with 19 seconds left before halftime, too. Webster got his hips turned the wrong way when Moss faked toward the sideline, a mistake that helped Moss beat Webster inside for a 15-yard, game-tying TD with 3:33 left in the first quarter. Bottom Line: Webster was awful, perhaps worse than Deloatch.
Chad Morton made a significant stutter step after fielding a third-quarter punt, which forced gunner Doug Gabriel to run by him and enabled him to race down the Giants' sideline for a 58-yard return that set up Jacobs' 1-yard touchdown. Jeff Feagles dropped a 44-yard punt at Oakland's 6 in the third quarter, which forced Oakland to punt from its own 15 on Morton's aforementioned return. Bottom Line: K Jay Feely has made 11-of-12 field goals in the last four games.
Tom Coughlin was wise to challenge a supposed Burress drop early in the second quarter, because LCB Nnamdi Asomugha didn't strip Burress until the catch was made and he was out of bounds. Offensive coordinator John Hufnagel did a good job of establishing Burress and helping him out of his funk. Bottom Line: They're 11-5 and won the division.