That Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns and 297 yards against the Texans yesterday isn’t much of a surprise: Houston’s secondary is a joke, and Kareem Jackson proved no match for Hakeem Nicks on a day when Nicks again served as Manning’s favorite target. But what the defense did yesterday — holding Arian Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher, to 25 yards on eleven carries, and holding the Texans as a team to just 24 yards on the ground — would have been harder to predict. Maybe these Giants are pretty good after all.
The Giants won this game in about a ten-minute window spanning the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter: Manning twice hit Nicks for touchdowns — and we’re not sure he couldn’t have scored a third if he attacked the pylon more aggressively just before Brandon Jacobs ran the ball in for a one-yard touchdown of his own. Last week, against the 3-0 Bears, the defense did the heavy lifting. This week, a 34-10 final, was a more complete game — and on the road, against the 3-1 Texans, it’s their biggest win of the year to date. Finally, for the first time since October 4 and 11 of last year, the Giants are on a winning streak. Last week, it appears, was no fluke.
And so the Giants conclude a tough four-game stretch against the first-place Bears and three-fourths of the AFC South with two wins and two losses. And at 3-2 on the season, they remain in a first-place tie in the NFC East, with only Detroit left to play before they finally begin their divisional schedule in Dallas. Two weeks ago, things were so bad that Tiki Barber once again felt obliged to chime in. Now, though? Well, now things are looking up.