Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wrap-up: Giants 44, Raiders 7
By Dan Graziano
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Giants quarterback Eli Manning called it a "picture perfect" scenario. He managed to go 8-of-10 for 173 yards and two touchdowns -- and he didn't even play the entire first half. Manning, who injured his plantar fascia last Sunday, helped stake the Giants to a 28-7 lead before taking a seat.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw took some of the pressure off Manning by rushing for 110 yards on 11 carries. Yes, the Raiders are awful, but it was still a rewarding day for the Giants. Oakland actually has some talent on defense, but that didn't stop Steve Smith from having another nice day with three catches for 70 yards. And rookie Hakeem Nicks continues to make the most of his opportunities. He had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
The Giants have to feel really good heading into next Sunday's NFC showdown with the New Orleans Saints. It will be a an excellent measuring stick game for both teams. On Sunday, the Giants defense harassed JaMarcus Russell into six sacks and three fumbles. Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck had two sacks and one of the forced fumbles.
The Giants have fought through injury problems all season, but they appear to be in pretty good shape after Sunday's win. Manning didn't seem to favor his foot, and he seemed to be in rhythm throughout the first half.
The Giants are 5-0 for the first time since 1990, when they began the season 10-0. They love playing on the road, so the game in the Superdome is something they're looking forward to. It's also Manning's first opportunity to play an NFL game where he grew up. Both of his brothers played in the Superdome in high school, but Manning's never had the chance.
All in all, it was a pretty nice day for the Giants. I think this is the best team in football right now.