Strahan Could Face Bears

Despite the right mid-foot sprain suffered by Michael Strahan, there's a shot he could be back in the starting lineup against the Bears. Strahan was forced from the game in the second quarter and didn't return. Yet there was nothing broken in his foot and it sounded like his pain tolerance – and not whether or not he would do further damage to his foot – will determine his availability.

With that said, only time will tell if he's able to suit up, but judging by his history, if there's any way he can play, he will.

Strahan, of course, declined to discuss his foot injury before being pushed by a local columnist. Strahan's comical reply to that? "I have two-year-old daughters at home that listen better than that."

On a serious note, obviously his mates are concerned that their leader might miss some time.

"You lose the face of the defense," Antonio Pierce said. "He's Michael Strahan. But he'll be back. Don't write him off yet."

"We have guys that have to step up," Fred Robbins said. "We can't get down on ourselves."

Shock value: Jeremy Shockey had season-high totals of eight catches for 66 yards. He is now tied with Plaxico Burress for the team lead with five touchdown receptions.

"I expect to have a big game every week and that's my goal ever since I have played football," Shockey said.

"We knew he was going to have a big day for us," Eli Manning said. "He made some tough catches and played really well. He got everyone fired up and when we needed some big plays, he made them."

Plax's back: In addition to Strahan, the Giants were without top receiver Plaxico Burress, who was in so much pain Saturday that he decided it wasn't worth jeopardizing his status for the Chicago showdown. Burress said that if the opponent were the Bears that he would have suited up and played.

"We picked a bad time to have all our guys banged up," Burress said.

Young guns: Due to their numerous injuries, the Giants started three rookies against Houston, one making his first professional start. Fourth-round DT Barry Cofield has been starting all season, while first-round pick Mathias Kiwanuka got his feet wet as a starter the previous week against Tampa Bay. However, third-round pick LB Gerris Wilkinson got the call for the first time and boy did he ever deliver.

With the Texans trailing by four and driving late in the fourth quarter, it was Wilkinson that caused the Texans' only turnover, forcing Jameel Cook to cough it up at the Giants 35-yard line. When Corey Webster corralled the loose ball, New York's win was all but in the book.

"It was big," said Wilkinson, who had three tackles. "I was looking for a play to redeem myself. I wasn't very productive earlier in the game. That couldn't have happened at a better time for us. We really wanted to end up the first half of the season 6-2."

"That was a big play," Tom Coughlin said. "That was a huge play in the game because of field position and where they were. I can only tell you that that was a big play. That was certainly huge."

Awasom debut: As impressive as Wilkinson's performance was, nothing could top the showing of DE Adrian Awasom, who went from practice squad member to filling in for future Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan in only three weeks.

"That's what's going through my head right now," said Awasom, who finished with two solo stops. "Coach just told us three weeks ago, ‘You never know when your chance might come.' And he was like, ‘Isn't that right, Awasom?' I looked at him like he was crazy and then, just like that, I'm on the field."

Awasom was still starry-eyed as he dressed after the game.

"Wow, what an opportunity," he said. "I feel like I did pretty good. I did good enough that I finished on the defense that won the game."

Awasom's favorite play was when he drew a holding call on Zach Wiegert early in the fourth quarter. But he said he's still waiting for his first chance to take a jumpshot that all the defenders have been raining down lately.

Jumpstart: Speaking of jumpshots, the Texans got a little revenge of their own. First Mario Williams let one fly after sacking Eli Manning in the second quarter. Then David Carr took his turn at burying a ‘J' at the Giants' expense after his TD dive.

"No one can do it like us," Fred Robbins boasted. "We perfected it."

"It's actually a compliment to us," Antonio Pierce added.

Williams, who played extremely well, was angry that his antics were called into question.

"I didn't know it was a patented move for the Giants," Williams said. "I apologize. We almost got into a fight on the field. I didn't know that a jumpshot was a patented move for a football player."

Bob Whitfield, who filled in at right tackle when Kareem McKenzie was a scratch due to a migraine, was the unfortunate soul assigned to block Williams.

"He's real good," Whitfield said. "The son of a gun is almost inhuman out there for how big and thick and solid he is. And I caught it first-hand because I said to myself, "Don't give the young kid a sack." But I don't call it a sack when he actually dislocates your whole left side of your body when he hit me. It was almost like he needed to have a penalty for tearing up an old man. I actually told him, "Slow it down, young fellow." He is strong, he is big; he's got it. He is going to be a force to be reckoned with."

Beasts of the East: With their narrow victory and Washington's dramatic win over Dallas, the Giants (6-2) extended their division lead to two games. Both clubs stand at 4-4. The 3-5 Redskins are three games back.

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