(Long Island, N.Y.) There are no style points in the National Football League. It makes no difference how you get it done, as long as you’re on the long end of the scoreboard when it shows three zeroes.
A few years ago, the Jets were using the character Shrek as sort of a mini mascot because they – Gang Green – were winning ugly. After Sunday’s comeback win in Arizona, the Giants should think of something of their own.
Are there any unattractive Smurfs?
The Giants trailed for most of the afternoon but mounted a fourth quarter comeback to hand the Cardinals a 31-27 unexpected loss. “We knew it was going to be one of those 60-minute ball games and it was,” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. “Very happy to win.”
In improving to 3-1, Big Blue maintained a share of first place in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins. As far as the other two teams in the division, both the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) and Dallas Cowboys (2-2) lost in Week 4. As usual, nothing is predictable in this league and all of those records are certainly a surprise with one quarter of the season in the books.
Eli Manning, who obviously has fond memories of University of Phoenix Stadium, realized that this one was not played out exactly as it was written up. “Not the prettiest at times, but we got into the second half and were going no huddle on the ball,” the Giants quarterback said. He also was being a little sarcastic when saying that the team has had “some good games here,” subtly referring to the thrilling win in Super Bowl XLII, in which he was named MVP.
Although there is no comparison to that historical contest and this one, winning two straight while your closest rivals are losing may bode well for the Giants to return to the playoffs and have an opportunity to win another championship.
Hakeem Nicks, who was not a part of the 2007-08 team, also felt that the team climbing back from a 10-point deficit was the important thing and not that they had allowed themselves to be in that position.
“It’s just a matter of us stepping up and making plays when the time makes itself available,” the third year wide receiver said. “That’s what we did as a group.”
No wins are tainted, but a controversial play on the Giants final scoring drive ended up being the turning point in the game. Wideout Victor Cruz left the ball on the ground without being touched and the Cardinals believed that they had recovered a fumble. But the officials ruled that Cruz had given himself up and the play was dead.
“The official just told me that I couldn’t challenge it,” said Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt. “There’s not much I can say after that.”
Larry Fitzgerald didn’t place the blame on the one play, rather putting it on his and the rest of the offense’s shoulders. “Had we been able to execute offensively before they got the ball, we wouldn’t have even got to that play,” the Pro Bowl wide receiver said.
But they didn’t and they did. And it didn’t even matter that it didn’t look good.