Osi Fulfills Need for Speed

Osi Umenyiora is nothing if not fast. That was clear as day once he picked up a fumble that he forced and raced 75 yards to the end zone. It was early in the third quarter when a game the Giants would win in a rout was still somewhat in doubt. That was until Umenyiora took over.

The 2005 Pro Bowler who is clearly going back to Hawaii after this season, raced around 49ers left tackle Jonas Jennings and slammed into Trent Dilfer with all his might. The ball popped free and in a flash Umenyiora both scooped it up and started wheeling towards pay dirt. In another flash, the speedy right defensive end was in the end zone and the Giants had another victory – their fifth straight – in the bag.

So what was going through Umenyiora's mind once he scooped up the football?

"I cannot get caught," he smiled. "I talk so much trash about how fast I am."

So, now that he was able to flash the jets, will his teammates ever hear the end of it?

"They absolutely won't," he laughed.

Justin Tuck had a great view of the play.

"There was no doubt that when he picked up the ball he was going to score," he said. "He's a hell of an athlete and a hell of a football player."

Coach Tom Coughlin is well aware that number 72 has had plenty to do with New York's defensive resurgence.

"He is an exceptional football player," Coughlin said. "He comes hard every snap and he has certainly had the one outstanding record-breaking day (six sacks vs. the Eagles on Sept. 30), but he is there every week the same way, as is everyone up front. The whole idea is to create problems for protection in terms of if you are going to double somebody then you are going to have a problem. That is what we are trying to do."

It's obviously working.

Coughlin didn't seem all that surprised that Umenyiora was able to pull off such a remarkable play.

"He made it look simple, but it is not," he said. "Obviously just to be able to get the ball out and to get the ball in your hands and then be able to, within one or two steps, be full speed is quite a tribute to his athleticism and his speed."

Umenyiora's teammates loved to see one of their leaders reach the end zone for his second career touchdown.

"I don't think I have seen a guy get all four on one play," Antonio Pierce said. "It was perfect. It was textbook. It will definitely be on somebody's coaching tape."

"He made a hell of a play," Fred Robbins added. "That is the whole nine yards right there. He made a great play. He is a key player, a big player, and big players have to step up and make big plays. It definitely boosted our morale. That's the type of player he is. He has all the tools."

For the record, Umenyiora's 75-yard return was the longest fumble return for a touchdown by a Giant since Sept. 9, 1984, when linebacker Andy Headen brought one back 81 yards in a victory over Dallas.

Umenyiora showed such blazing speed during the return that Coughlin joked he might have other tasks for him in the future.

"We might be able to move him into the backfield," Coughlin deadpanned.

"I think we're okay at running back," Umenyiora laughed.

Simply the best: For the second consecutive week, Amani Toomer became the Giants all-time leader in yet another category. In Atlanta, it was all-time receptions. This time, it was career touchdown catches. With his four-yard TD grab in the first quarter, Toomer notched his 49th career score and passed Kyle Rote, who had 48.

"It feels good, but I have been around this organization a long time," Toomer said. "And for me to be the top receiver, I take that as an honor. I have never been afraid of going across the middle and I'm not going to start now. I know they are relying on me to make plays and that is what they are expecting me to do."

Block party: When Noran Morris blocked Jeff Feagles' punt out of the end zone for a safety in the third quarter, it disturbed Tom Coughlin greatly. Really, that's what he said. But how do you think Jeff Feagles felt?

"I didn't see anything," Feagles said. "I never saw him."

Before Feagles could react, adjust or adapt, Norris had already stuffed his punt attempt right back at the veteran booter.

"We missed a block somewhere," Feagles explained. "We have to start patching up some holes. I just don't want to open up the floodgates."

Nor, it's safe to say, does Coughlin.

Tracked down: Antonio Pierce took a little post-game ribbing from his teammates, and deservedly so. The reason? Trent Dilfer dragged him down from behind only five yards shy of the goal line after Pierce's fourth-quarter interception.

"He already took a lot," Michael Strahan said. "From the second he got caught. Not just caught, but he got slammed; slammed by the quarterback. Come on man. It was like somebody was hitting him like he hits them. So I was like, ‘Just lower your shoulder and take him out.' And Dilfer put it on him. So he will hear about that all week."

"I haven't played running back in 10 years," Pierce laughed.

Home cookin: This was the 350th home victory in Giants history, including postseason games. They are 350-242-16 at home in their 83-year history.

London calling: With the 5-2 Giants heading to London to play the 0-7 Dolphins, you would think that Big Blue would have to guard against overconfidence. No such worry, according to Pierce, even though Miami is fresh off a 49-28 pasting at the hands of the Patriots.

"It's scary," Pierce said. "We're going to be crowned as gods and kings. They're going to be (labeled) losers."

Smith a no go: After practicing all week and looking like he might finally return to the lineup, Steve Smith was deactivated prior to the 49ers game. Smith, who has missed the last five games with a shoulder blade injury, is likely to return to the field against the Dolphins in London. The rest of New York's inactive players were healthy scratches: S Craig Dahl, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, OT Adam Koets, DE Dave Tollefson, DT Manny Wright and G Kevin Boothe. Jared Lorenzen, who has apparently lost the backup QB job to Anthony Wright, was the third QB.

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