Well, the UN-Sexy, NY Giants did it again yesterday in St. Louis, punching the crap out of the lowly Rams, 41-13, en route to their 12th straight road win (counting SB-XLII). And, as usual, they did it the way a really good heavyweight fighter beats the snot out of a not so good heavyweight fighter. They wear the guy down with body shots until he just can’t answer the bell. They pound him with Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw, running behind a big, nasty ‘O’ line — to the tune of over 203 yards — and, defensively, they pummel him with Tuck and Robbins and Cofield and Pierce and their DBs who blitz from everywhere.
The Giants are body punchers who force their opponent to drops his arms to protect his body and thus expose his jaw. But, then, for some reason, the Giants just continue to punch away at their opponents arms. What the Giants don’t do — and what may come back to bite them down the road when they face Dallas and Philly and Pittsburgh — is they don’t go for the knockout early enough. Yesterday, as usual, they got the opponent to drop his arms and expose his jaw – but they didn’t seem able, or even eager, to take a shot at the jaw and, thus, the game was actually still close, 20-13, with 7:18 remaining the 4th quarter. Then, as if the Giants suddenly realized they could KO the Rams, they threw three ‘Haymakers,’ ripping off 21 unanswered points. But, for more then three quarters, it seemed like they were content to simply pound on the Rams until the clock ran out.
Of course, 2-0 is certainly better than last years 0-2. And the Giants looked really good when they wanted to. Eli was 20 of 29 for 260 yds, three TDs and no Ints. The three running backs combined for over 200 yds. They had 441 Yds on Offense while the ‘D’ held the Rams to 201 yds. Burresss and Toomer and Smith and Hixon were very effective against a pretty bad Ram secondary. And, frankly, the one TD the Rams got — a 45 yard pass from Bulger to Torry Holt — could just as easily have been a ‘pick’ for the Giants or at least a ‘defensed pass’ by rookie Kenny Phillips. I’m still not so sure Holt really came down with the ball.
The Giants are really a very good team — not slick, not sexy, not hip — but a very, very good team; the World Champions, actually! Unfortunately, they seem to play down to the level of their competition and let bad teams hang around a little too long. That could be a problem in the future. On the other hand, if that’s their style, maybe they’ll play UP to the Cowboys and Eagles and Steelers when they meet … kind of like they played UP to their competition on the road to Super Bowl XLII.