(Long Island, N.Y.) Going on the road to play one of the top teams in the conference – and league, for that matter – is a daunting task for any team, even the defending Super Bowl champions. But that did not seem to phase the New York Giants one bit as they left San Francisco for the second time in less than a year with a victory under their belts.
Sure, the last time held a much larger stake as it was during the postseason, but this Week 6 game jumped off the schedule as a potential statement game. Could the 49ers redeem themselves and get revenge on the team that upset them in January? Or would Big Blue show them that it was far from a fluke?
Judging by the dominating 26-3 win by the Giants last Sunday, that doesn’t need to be answered. It’s self-explanatory and the importance of it was something certainly not lost on Victor Cruz.
“We just made the statement that we came out here and played against a good team,” the wide receiver said. “The statement was made that we are here to stay and that we put together some good drives and we have a very good offense.”
Going up against the formidable 49ers defense did not appear to be a problem for the Giants and they were able to put together drives that mixed in the pass and run equally effective. Eli Manning (15-for-28, 193 yards, 1 touchdown) had another excellent game, as did Ahmad Bradshaw, who ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on 27 attempts.
“We were obviously able to dink and dunk and hit a few runs,” said Manning. “We blocked up their front seven pretty well on the run end and pass and give us time to get down the field. They’re talented, they are very good – we just played a little bit better today.”
The two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback is being modest with that last part, of course, as is his demeanor. When you just crushed your opponent in their own stadium and controlled all three facets of the game (offense, defense, special teams), there is no need to say much.
At 4-2, the Giants are in a good position but have a tough schedule for the last 10 games. They have two games against the improved Washington Redskins (including this week), a team they lost to twice a year ago, as well as one more versus Dallas and Philadelphia. Green Bay, Atlanta and Baltimore are also on the schedule, so it will not be an easy task to make the postseason again. Especially when you consider that the Giants are 0-2 so far against divisional opponents.
“We haven’t done very well in the division, so if we’re going to do something in the division, we’ve got to get going,” said head coach Tom Coughlin with an eye towards the Redskins game.
But by putting away the Niners in easy fashion, it will be the opponents saying that they have a tough game ahead if the Giants are lined up on the opposite sideline.