Monday, October 28, 2013
Big Blue Morning: A winning streak
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants
The news of the day: The Giants won their second game in a row, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 15-7 to head into their bye week with a 2-6 record. For the second game in a row, the defense did not allow any points, as the Eagles' touchdown came when they recovered a botched punt snap in the end zone in the fourth quarter. The Giants' defense got four sacks, which represents two-thirds of its league-low season total from the first seven weeks of the season. It also forced three turnovers, including Will Hill's final-minute interception that sealed the victory. They were upset that they couldn't score touchdowns and instead had to settle for five Josh Brown field goals, but a Giants team that couldn't find a way to win for the first six weeks of the season wasn't complaining about much of anything after this one. Two of the sacks came from defensive backs, and some of the defensive linemen joked that maybe that was the spark the pass rush needed. "It's not the most ideal situation, but you'll take it," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "Especially if they're out there forcing turnovers like they were."
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Behind enemy lines: It was pretty apparent that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick should not have been playing on his bad hamstring. Multiple Giants defenders said Vick didn't look like himself, and Justin Tuck said he thought Vick "just tried to will himself to play hurt." Vick declined to say after the game whether or not he thought it was a good idea for him to play, but he did say it was a worse hamstring injury than any he's ever had and that he's going for further tests this week. "I tested it many times, but there's nothing like game simulation when guys are coming at you and they're going to hit you," Vick said.
Around the division: The first-place Cowboys looked poised to improve to 5-3, but they gave their game away late to Calvin Johnson and the Lions, and so they fell to 4-4, which as everyone is pointing out is only two games better than the Giants. (Three, really, since they beat the Giants head-to-head.) Jason Garrett has a good team that hasn't yet learned how to win its big games against tough opponents, and as a result the division race remains up for grabs.
Around the league: Top of my head, I'm thinking the Saints, 49ers and Bengals get serious looks at improved standing on my Power Rankings ballot as I put that thing together today. The Bengals' victory over a Jets team that just took out the Patriots a week earlier was something of a serious statement.