The Giants couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start last night, unless perhaps Eli Manning threw two early interceptions and burst into flames. They’d trail 10-0 less than six minutes in, and 20-7 following Dez Bryant’s second-quarter punt return. But for the next couple of quarters, the Giants would look like a team tied for the best record in their conference, which is exactly what they are after last night’s 41-35 win.
Eli Manning threw for 306 yards and hit all three of his top receivers for touchdowns in this one, Brandon Jacobs added a 30-yard touchdown run of his own, and the Giants defense held Dallas to just 41 rushing yards. And, oh yeah: They knocked out another quarterback, when Michael Boley broke Tony Romo’s collarbone on a clean hit in the second quarter — the fifth time this season an opposing quarterback has had to leave a game with an injury. Simply losing this game would have been devastating to the Cowboys’ dream of playing in a Dallas Super Bowl, however unrealistic that may have been even before last night’s game began. But what happened was actually much, much worse.
Which isn’t to say the Giants, who scored 31 straight points, played a perfect game, even after they started to light up the scoreboard: Eli Manning threw three interceptions total (seven of Eli’s eleven picks this year have first hit a Giants player), the Giants fumbled twice, and despite an eighteen-point fourth-quarter lead, they allowed Dallas to have a pulse until the final onside kick proved unsuccessful. But against a Dallas team in free fall, they can get away with occasional sloppiness. (Remember that time the Cowboys converted on third down last night? Of course you don’t: They didn’t do it once.)
And so the Giant have now won four straight games, and enter the bye week atop the NFC East all by themselves. We’ll say it again: What a difference a month makes.