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Superfan: Week 14

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Nothing like going into Jerry's World and pulling out a late-game stunner like that!  Always provides for great images of Mr. Jones stunned in shocked disgust and disbelief.  Finally, after four grueling weeks of losses, we got the W.  The season so far has been a lot like most of our games - we put ourselves in really tough situations yet somehow find a way to scrape ourselves out of them.  Or, in the cases of San Fran and Green Bay, almost out of them.

I think we can all agree that being a Giants fan will shave ten to fifteen years off a person's life.  They should go ahead and make that a medical fact.  Sunday night's huge comeback win on the road against the rival Cowboys was far too close for comfort, but it was absolutely worth it.  As John Mara said after the game, "The best thing is we got our season back tonight." 

The View From Home

It was very nerve-racking all the way through, but fortunately nothing got broken.  We have a ritual where, for every game, I have the "Proud To Be (a New York Giant)" song cued up on my iPod to play every time we score a touchdown.  It played loud and often Sunday night, and hopefully the song could be heard around the block.  It's such a ridiculous yet awesome and catchy song.  I would give about anything to have them play it again at the stadium during pre-game warm-ups.  If you remember going to games in the late 90s, then you know what I'm talking about.   

It was a packed house in the bottom half of the McClellan Drive duplex Sunday night. JJ and I (and Vandy) called on Justine to come back over, since she was there the day we beat the Patriots, and hadn't been back since.  Joe made it home by the second quarter.  Nothing but good vibes for the primetime matchup.

There was only one brief moment of uncertainty with the viewing party.  During the first quarter (before Joe returned), Justine inexplicably and without consulting anyone decided to move from the couch over to the recliner.  During the Pats game she sat between JJ and me on the couch.  During the beginning of the first quarter, when we got the safety and the huge completion to Nicks that set up a field goal, Justine was seated in the exact same spot.  She got up for some reason, and when she returned, she went over to the recliner.  Dallas scored a touchdown to take a 7-5 lead.  We had her move back to the couch.  It didn't happen again (her moving, not them scoring, obviously). 

Despite the aggravating stress during the back-and-forth contest, we were relieved and ecstatic in the end.  There was much rejoicing.  All was right with the world once more, at least for this week.

Home Away From Home

That new stadium in Dallas is kind of a home away from home for the Gmen at this point, isn't it?  In fact, it's even more so.  Since Jerry opened that obnoxious shrine to his own greatness two years ago, we have won each of the three contests we've played there.  And boy does Eli shine under those Dallas lights.  In his three regular season games played there, he's got 1,036 passing yards, eight touchdown passes, and just one interception.  That one interception came Sunday night off a tough screen pass that was tipped at the line by Victor Butler, deflected off the pads of an offensive lineman and into the waiting hands of Sean Lee.  And the only reason Eli had to throw that pass was because despite converting a 4th down previously, a shotgun draw on second and long (once again) forced Eli into a tough 3rd and long.  Being right outside their 20-yard line, I suppose Gilbride felt the screen would be a safe bet to at least set us up for a field goal to then get within two once more. 

Bottom line, Eli ROCKS in that stadium.  And in the fourth quarter.  And this season in general, despite the secondary doing everything it could Sunday night to keep our losing streak alive.  I don't want to hear anything about us having five DBs on IR.  Guess what?  Antrel Rolle is a starter.  Kenny Philips is a starter.  Corey Webster is a starter.  Aaron Ross wasn't necessarily a starter, but was a first round draft pick intended to one day be a starter.  Same goes for Prince Amukamara.  It's not like we have guys that were picked off the street playing in the secondary.  Yes, the middle's depleted as well, which might complicate assignments, but we signed Chase Blackburn and had Michael Boley in there.  So we had veterans as well as rookies in the middle.  No excuses for injuries - it's the responsibility of the backups to step in and perform at a high level.  I'm tired of our secondary being such a huge liability.  When your offense scores 30 points there should be no question that your team will win.  We've scored over 30 points the past two weeks, and both games came down to the final play.  Inexcusable.  Someone in the secondary has to take some pride in his work, instead of counting on the pass rush to force bad throws or relying on dropped passes or missed opportunities deep downfield. 

Kudos once more to the offensive line.  Eli had time back there, and despite Ahmad missing the first half for violating team rules, we still had a great rushing output from Brandon Jacobs, and eventually Ahmad later on.  When Jacobs runs that powerfully, our offense is hard to stop.  But once again, we could've and should've had a lot more points than we did, but we had dropped passes and missed opportunities near the end zone.  That also won't fly if we make it to the second season.  Victor Cruz, I love your dance, but you have to catch those two balls late in the second quarter!  And Mario, with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, YOU MUST HAVE THAT CATCH IN THE END ZONE!  We still won, but if we didn't, that's all anyone would be focusing on right now.  Jake Ballard also had a great game, redeeming himself for some rough play the few weeks prior.  If we can just shore up the sloppy play, we're unstoppable.

Offensive Game Ball - Eli Manning.  No one in the league comes close when the game's on the line.  All he does is drive that point home week after week.

Defensive Game Ball - Jason Pierre-Paul.  Are you serious with this guy?  I should just make him the automatic selection for this every week, because he almost always seems to be.  I'm noticing something very special going on with him.  He's going to be a Giants' legend before all is said and done.  I mean like in the same conversations as Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan.  What a playmaker.

Non-Gmen Thoughts of the Week:

  • Facebook comment of the week:  "You can't spell Elite, Reliable, or Believe without ELI!!!!!!!  GO BIG BLUE!!!!" - Matthew Johnston.
  • I hated him and everything he stood for (as a quarterback, his faith has nothing to do with anything) when the season began.  When he went in for Orton, I thought it was bush league and nothing more than the coaches acting in an effort to please the fans.  After he won a few, I chalked it up to dumb luck, fortunate circumstances, and conveniently weak competition.  But I have to say, after what transpired Sunday afternoon, I'm officially swept up in Tebow-mania.  HUGE that they beat the Bears for us.  How can you not enjoy this story?  It's absurd, but in a kind of awesome, fun way.  Excited to see how long this "fated" team can last.  With that insanely good defense, looks like it might be for at least a little while longer.  And props to John Fox for making the best of a bad offensive hand.
  • Just saw the teaser trailer for season 2 of Game of Thrones.  AWESOME!  With new Californication, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and films like The Dark Knight Rises coming out, 2012 is going to be an amazing year.  Also enjoyed the new MIB 3 trailer.  Hate me if you must, but the Men In Black films are fun.
  • Good for you, T.J. Yates.  Good for the entire city of Houston.  Clinching your first playoff berth and your first division title in such exciting fashion, with the third-string quarterback and no Andre Johnson.  What a great story.  Kind of like a modern-day Jeff Hostetler story, minus the awesome moustache.

Final Thoughts:

Let's hope this win after last week's close-yet-confidence-building loss was the official start of an epic run to and through the playoffs.  We've got Washington, the Jets, and Dallas left on the schedule, all at the Meadowlands (despite one being an "away" game).  Let's keep this momentum going!  To talk all things Giants, e-mail me at gmensuperfan@gmail.com, find me on Facebook under the name "Gmen Superfan," and/or follow me on Twitter under the name "gmensuperfan1."  Until next week, GO GMEN!!

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