Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, the beneficiary of the game-winning, game-ending overtime touchdown pass, has been known to be critical of his teammates, especially Manning, in very public situations.
He appeared more than just impressed. "We had studied the Eagles' defense
all week," he said, "and we knew that when they get you in a third and long, they
pretty much want to bring the house in (all-out blitz, which is a trademark of
Eagles' defensive coordinator Jim Johnson). Eli just looked out there and then
he looked at me and then he gave me the 'go' (route) signal. He was cool and
poised, under control. I was impressed."
Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan, who originally protested the monster
trade that brought Manning to the Giants on draft day of 2004 and cost the
Giants the presence of veteran Kerry Collins, has become a huge fan.
"I think we can definitely go far with him," he said. "There are not a ton
of quarterbacks you can have confidence in to come back like that. I think last
year and now continuing into this year he is showing great composure and
maturity. He is able to get the job done sometimes when things don't look good. He is
going to be a great quarterback in this league for a long time."
Eagles Cornerback Sheldon Brown, who was victimized for the game-winning
touchdown, offered grudging praise as well. "Our guys up front did a great job
getting pressure on him but he kept his poise and made some throws. He did a good
Giants coach Tom Coughlin has always supported Manning, has frequently
expressed admiration for his learning ability and determination, and now says this:
"He has taken the full load of what we had to teach him. He is ready now to be
a great quarterback."
--QB Eli Manning, with the victory over the Eagles, improved his career
starting record to 13-12. He was 1-6 in 2004 when, as a rookie, he took over the
final seven games from Kurt Warner, who was there just to keep his seat warm.
Then last year, his first full season as a starter, he was 11-5 and won the NFC
East. This year he is 1-1.
--RB Tiki Barber, held to 51 yards vs. the Eagles, suffered his first
under-100-yard game since 2004 when he gained 38 in a game against the Redskins. But
he did finish over 100 yards in run-reception yardage (108).
--TE Jeremy Shockey re-injured his sprained ankle and was listed as probable
for Sunday's game in Seattle. "It's the same deal it was a week before," said
coach Tom Coughlin. "He'll practice when he can and there is no reason to expect
that he won't play." Nevertheless, it appears the Giants' bye in Week 4 will
come just in time for Shockey to recuperate.
--WR Amani Toomer was the iron man hero of the game. He caught 12 passes for
137 yards and two TDs and afterwards had to be helped from the field and needed
four bags of IV fluid to be administered. "When Plax caught the winning pass,"
he smiled wanly, "I just lay there on the ground. I couldn't have made it
through another play."
--WR Tim Carter, the third man in, recovered a Plaxico Burress fumble in the
Eagles' end zone for the TD that tightened the margin to 24-14. "I saw him
fumble when (safety Brian) Dawkins knocked it loose," he said, "and I thought I
better get after that ball just in case nobody else falls on it."
--Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora recorded his first sack of the season, and the
only one the Giants had all game. They had just one the previous week, giving
them two for the season, a long way from the 41 they had last season (when
Umenyiora had 14.5).
--WLB Carlos Emmons, who came closer than the coaches will admit to getting
waived in the final cuts, led the Giants with 11 tackles against one of the two
previous teams for which he had played. The third was Washington, giving the
11-year veteran a strictly NFC East experience.
--RG Chris Snee, who suffered a sprained ankle in the opening game against
Indianapolis, was considered questionable to play last week. He did play,
however, and started. "It wasn't so bad and it wasn't so painful," he said. "Their
defense beat up our line pretty bad, the game wasn't looking so good there for a
while. But we just stuck together and got through it."
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