After Monday Night, the weight of the world has been lifted from New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning. The 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings (1-5) was not pretty, and it was not his best work by far, but it was a win, and that is all the Giants can ask for after the first six weeks of losses. The Giants can breathe a bit now, and get ready for the Week 8 game against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4).
This will be the second time these teams have met this season, the last time being Oct 6 (Eagles 36-21) which is also the last time Eagles quarterback Michael Vick injured a hamstring. Currently rehabbing from that same injury over the last two weeks, no one is certain if Vick will be ready. Back up Nick Foles was knocked out of the Week 7 game against the Dallas Cowboys with a concussion leaving third string Matt Barkley to take over. The Cowboys won that game 17-3.
The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to gain 425 total offensive yards in the first six games of the season, putting them second in the league. After Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, they dropped to third place. With the Giants allowing 391.3 yard per game, the Eagles may be looking to capitalize and even out their 3-4 record.
Not to say the Giants are done for the season. Monday night they held Vikings running back Adrian Petersen to a paltry 28 yards on 13 carries. Whether this was due to lack of opportunity, or the Giants defense is up in the air. Whatever the reason, New York’s defense cannot be taken for granted by anyone. The Giants kept the Vikings in check, allowing only one rushing touchdown, and gaining the win 23-7.
Team mates remarked on a change in Manning during the game, noting an air of assurance and command that had been missing in earlier weeks. Could it be that Eli decided he was going to win this one and set out to make it so? If that’s all it takes, the remainder of the season is in the bag. However, with his receivers dropping passes, and the Giants’ running game a bit flat, Manning will need much more than confidence to continue to win.
Getting and keeping Vick healthy has been an issue for a few seasons now, and with the repeat hamstring issue, Vick may have to sit out once again this week. Foles has a question mark hanging over his concussion, so that leaves Barkley as the possible start for Eagles on Sunday.
Another shining moment in the Giants’ win was not one interception or fumble. With a record of 17 turnovers this season, this in itself was cause for celebration in the locker room. Manning stated, ”We have to…keep doing the right thing.” He went on to that say it was good to “get that winning feeling back.”
That winning feeling is six weeks overdue for New York. While the Eagles have posted more wins, their current quarterback conundrum may be just what the Giants need to put another mark in the win column in Week 8. Considering their performance Monday compared to the Eagles on Sunday, we have to give this one to the Giants. Historically, once they start winning, they tend to keep doing so. Whether Vick, Foles or Barley hit the field for the Eagles, between their injures and experience level, it will be a surprise to see them come out on top of the Giants.
By: Brandi Tasby