Eli Sparkles as Giants Stumble

You can't possibly blame this one on Eli Manning. He looked superb on opening night in Dallas. He was calm and cool in the pocket and very accurate with his passes. His game-opening bomb to Plaxico Burress was right on the money and his only interception came because his intended receiver, Burress, fell down.

Manning, who was under heavy pressure on numerous occasions, was unflappable and continued his solid play from the preseason. His final numbers of 28-of-41 for 312 yards obviously don't include the few drops committed by New York receivers. Manning even shook off a late-game shoulder injury and tossed a touchdown pass, his fourth of the game, before giving way to Jared Lorenzen.

Plaxico Burress also should be commended for coming to play. If he and Manning can remain in sync like this all season, the Giants might just score enough to occasionally overcome their terrible defense.

As for that defense, yes it was Michael Strahan's first game action since the middle of last season and yes Osi Umenyiora was lost early on due to injury. But the 2007 aggressive Steve Spagnuolo-led defense sure resembled the 2006 unit that Tim Lewis coached to a bottom-tier ranking that ultimately cost him his job.

Whoever thought that we'd say we want Sam Madison back in the lineup as soon as possible? While one game does not a season make, Corey Webster certainly did not start off on the right foot in 2007. While he missed multiple tackles, his signature gaffe came when Marion Barber absolutely blew him up at the sideline at the end of a run.

And our sincerest congratulations go out to Gibril Wilson, who ruined an otherwise superb game for himself with a late hit and utter lack of self-discipline that it appears these Giants will never outgrow. Wilson shoved Terrell Owens long after TO had scored, drawing a 15-yard penalty. Wilson was obviously peeved by the fact that he couldn't catch Owens.

"That was just a lot of frustration," Wilson admitted. "I know better. That won't happen again."

As for Mathias Kiwanuka, his debut at SLB was horrific to say the least. Kiwi was victimized several times in pass coverage and also found himself often taking the wrong angle toward Dallas ball-carriers. Tony Romo was able to scramble outside of Kiwanuka, who blew his contain assignment, for a nine-yard TD late in the third quarter. That was it for Kiwi, who was pulled from the game after that play and didn't return until garbage time.

Finally, we leave you with this one final question: Has anyone on the Giants defense started to cover Cowboys tight end Jason Witten yet?

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