Carney Tacks on Another Game-Winner

So what was one of the things going through John Carney's mind as he readied to kick the Giants to a 3-0 record? TGI, of course. Carney laughed after the game as he admitted he still had his interview with TGI from a few days earlier on his mind.

Last week, Carney visited with TGI to discuss the art of the game-winning kick. Well art certainly imitated life in this instance, as his 22-yarder gave the Giants a crucial 26-23 victory over Cincinnati.

"You bet I thought about that," Carney smiled in the victorious locker room. "I thought that I had really better make it after all the talk about it (last week)."

He did and the Giants are off to their best start since the 2000 squad's glorious run to the Super Bowl.

"Every one is special, they all mean something different," Carney said of his extensive collection of game-winners. "This one, for me, as an opportunity to fill in for Lawrence (Tynes) and to be a part of the World Champs, has been a great blessing for me. I thank the Good Lord to have this opportunity and to come away with a ‘W' today. This was big for the Giants. The Bengals came in here with a lot of fire in their belly, they played a great game. Fortunately, we made the plays in overtime to pull it out."

The Giants did indeed streak 62 yards to set up Carney's winner, with Plaxico Burress' 28-yard grab and Toomer's 31-yard catch the highlights. Then the weight of the entire Giants football world fell squarely on Carney's shoulders.

"You pray that everything goes well and you thank the Good Lord if it does," he said.

It did.

Tom Coughlin has been pleased with Carney's efforts since the Giants signed him on final cutdown day, Aug. 30. In addition to drilling all nine of his field-goal tries, Carney has far exceeded expectations on his kickoffs.

"He has done very well," Coughlin said. "Let's face it, pretty much everything we have asked the guy to do he has done it, plus his kickoffs have been outstanding, directional kickoffs. He puts the ball outside the numbers and gives you a chance with some flexibility on different types of coverage schemes, too."

It sure is going to be a tough call for the Giants once Tynes' knee fully heals, which is likely to happen shortly after the bye weekend.

However, Carney has no delusions of what will happen when Tynes returns.

"You know, I don't make those decisions, players never do," Carney said. "But Lawrence is a great kicker; he had a great season last year. I have been kicking with him for two weeks now and he's kicking the ball really well. Best case scenario for me, I wouldn't mind hanging out here as an insurance policy for a couple weeks, just until Lawrence gets a game or two underneath his belt and everybody is comfortable with that."

Carney said that when he gets the expected tap on the shoulder he'll just start trying to write yet another new chapter.

"I realize at this point in my career and this opportunity, I am a relief pitcher and when my job is done I will go back to the bullpen and hope for another opportunity somewhere around the league," he said.

Boss man cometh

What's all this talk about Kevin Boss going catch-less through the first two games? Boss caught his first three passes of the 2008 season for 51 yards, including a four-yard TD that gave the Giants a late 23-20 advantage.

"We got the ball to the tight end today, and obviously a huge play for the touchdown, but had a couple of other balls where he was up above everybody else, to be honest with you," Coughlin said. "Coverage was in pretty good shape and he caught the ball up above. It was nice to see Kevin get involved."

Boss said he got the wind knocked out of him after being drilled on the touchdown grab. However, after the game – and his first three official receptions as the Giants starting tight end – he felt just fine.

"I knew we had several plays in there where I could get an opportunity to get the ball," he said. "Great call by Coach (Kevin) Gilbride and a great pass by Eli (Manning). I was able to come down with it in traffic. It felt really nice to be able to contribute today. I was able to make some big plays and I felt like I contributed to the victory. It was a long game but it was a lot of fun. We battled back and forth; I think someone said the lead changed seven times. It was a great football game to play in."

Workin OT

This was the Giants' first overtime game at home since Sept. 15, 2003, when they lost to Dallas, 35-32. However, they did play another overtime game in Giants Stadium in the interim – a 31-28 win as visitors against the Jets on Nov. 2, 2003. This was the Giants' first overtime victory as the home team since Dec. 28, 2002, when they defeated Philadelphia, 10-7.

The Giants are 17-16-2 in overtime, including 16-14-2 in the regular season. They are 6-9 in home regular season overtime games.

Explosive O

The Giants had 406 yards of total offense one week after gaining 441 yards at St. Louis. It's the first time the Giants have hit 400 yards in consecutive games since Oct. 8 and 15, 2006, when they totaled 411 and 424 against Washington and Atlanta, respectively.

Good bye

The Giants improved to 16-4 (.800) in games prior to a regular season bye. Coughlin is 9-4 in pre-bye games, including 4-1 with the Giants.

Series story

The Giants still trail in the all-time series with the Bengals, 5-3. The home team has now won all eight games. The teams last met on Dec. 26, 2004, a 23-22 Bengals victory in Cincinnati.

On the board

Dave Tollefson, who was active for the first time this season, picked up his first career sack, an eight-yarder on third down in the third quarter.

Sitting out

The Giants' inactive players were kicker Lawrence Tynes, cornerbacks R.W. McQuarters and Terrell Thomas, running back Danny Ware, linebacker Jonathan Goff, tackle Adam Koets, defensive end Jerome McDougle and wide receiver Mario Manningham.

The only change from last week was that Tollefson was active for the first time this season instead of McDougle, who Coughlin said had soreness and swelling in his leg.


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