The New York Giants walked a high wire act yesterday, giving up what looked like a game-winning touchdown to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Santana Moss with 1:32 left in the game…only to see Eli Manning erase memories of his spotty day with a game-saving 77-yard touchdown to Victor Cruz.
We know we aren't the only ones who had a pit in our stomach when Griffin dodged Jason Pierre-Paul to miraculously extend his touchdown drive on 4th-and-10…and that means we weren't the only ones whose stomach pits turned into bowling balls when the ball settled into Moss' hands in the end zone.
While we're trying to hold onto the euphoria that exploded as Cruz exploded toward the end zone, trying to remind ourselves that a "W" is a "W" any way you look at it, we can't exactly shake that feeling of impending loss that the Griffin inflicted on us late in that game.
Don't think Griffin was good enough to beat the Giants yesterday? Well, then you probably disagree with Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who called him "flat-out brilliant," or fellow DE Justin Tuck, who was angry at the "football Gods" for putting Griffin in the NFC East. Pretty effusive praise for a rookie…but Griffin showed yesterday he isn't your average rookie.
Laying here on the couch at Giants101.com's Brooklyn HQ this morning, the memories that run through our head of yesterday include Alfred Morris carrying tacklers for an extra few yards on nearly every carry, Eli Manning throwing those awful interceptions, Griffin turning the corner on running plays so easily that he averaged 10 yards per carry and finally Griffin dropping a 30-yard beauty into Santana Moss' hands with 1:32 left to play. It felt like a nail in the coffin at the time, and that feeling's hard to shake.
Hard to have memories of a game like that when it was actually a game our team won.
That's not to say the Giants were awful yesterday, or that they got outplayed, or that they deserved to lose. They did a lot of things good besides that game-winning play: the pass rush came alive for the second straight week, the defense caused four turnovers, and the defense also made a successful halftime adjustment to slow down the Morris/Griffin run and play-action game.
Nonetheless, the Giants can rest on the fact that they're 5-2, firmly in first place with a chance to make it even firmer next week against the Dallas Cowboys,
And we'll try to remember all of that as we head into Dallas this week with a 5-2 record that has Big Blue firmly in first place…despite that pit in our stomach, that feeling of defeat and despair that came perilously close to the actualization yesterday.
Meh, we'll get over it by Wednesday. Get ready, Tony Romo.
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