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Sunday, October 30, 2011
Weatherford impresses -- as does Manning

By Mike Mazzeo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Steve Weatherford’s performance caught the eyes of Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Sunday.

Three of Weatherford’s four punts in New York’s 20-17 victory over the Dolphins were inside the 20-yard line. He averaged 46.8 yards per boot, including a long of 55.

The 55-yarder was also Weatherford’s last of the game -- and most crucial. Late in the fourth quarter, Miami decided to put Reggie Bush back as its return man to try and spring one.

But Weatherford’s punt was a beauty, driving Bush deep into his own territory and to the left corner. Bush caught the ball at the 20, but was driven by four yards by tacklers Jacquian Williams and Justin Tryon.

“Our punter came through with some really nice punts in the second half,” Coughlin said. “The last one with push back there was a long, long punt and it was well covered by our gunners.”

This season, Weatherford has netted 38.9 yards per punt.

Eli Manning’s stellar season continued following his 349-yard, two-touchdown effort.

Here are some tidbits on Manning courtesy of the Giants:

• Manning completed 31 of 45 passes. The 31 completions tie the third-highest total of his career. He completed 36 passes vs. Tennessee on Sept. 26, 2010; 33 vs. Dallas on Nov. 14, 2010; and 31 at Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 2006.

• Manning has not thrown an interception in the Giants’ last two games, the first time he’s done that since Dec. 13 and 21, 2009 vs. Philadelphia and at Washington.

• Manning improved to 23-5 as a starter in October, the best mark among quarterbacks who began their career in the Super Bowl era (minimum 20 starts). 
 
• This was the 18th time in his career Manning has rallied the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to win a game, including four times this season (Philadelphia, Arizona, Buffalo and Miami).