What else do you call the New York Giants after yesterday’s fiasco? At home, in an epic battle for NFC supremacy, the Giants had total control over the rival Eagles with a three touchdown lead in the second half. Plenty of time though, for Michael Vick to go into Madden mode. Vick gashed the previously ferocious Giants D with improvised rollouts and runs. A Vick to Jeremy Maclin touchdown with two minutes left leveled the game. After a failed Giants drive, the teams were a punt out of bounds away from overtime.
But Giants punter Matt Dodge had other ideas, inexplicably kicking to the always dangerous DeSean Jackson. A sliver of space was all Jackson needed to run to glory.
Head coach Tom Coughlin was sure to publicly humiliate his player post-game, deflecting from the fact that his team suffered a total collapse. A tough game at Green Bay looms and it remains to be seen if the Giants can make the playoffs and Coughlin can keep his job, particularly with Bill Cowher openly asking for it.
In the other marquee matchup of Pennsylvania and New Jersey based teams, the Jets refused to let their season die, eking out a win in a snowy Heinz Field. As expected, defenses dominated as both teams came into the game struggling to put points on the board. Ferocious hits were the name of the game, with several borderline cheap shots that may have James Harrison making another donation to Roger Goodell’s charity of choice. The Jets were able to cobble together 22 points on a kickoff return, a safety and a few well put together drives. A last gasp effort from Ben Roethlisberger gave the Steelers a last second shot at victory, but the Jets defense held firm.
The NFC playoff picture came into focus with Atlanta’s road shalacking of Seahawks and New Orleans’ loss to the Ravens. The Falcons were as usual led by Matt Ryan and Roddy White in a battle against the “first-place” Seattle team and look to lock up the one seed next week. The Ravens were led by Ray Rice’s giant day (230 yards, 2 TDs) meaning every fantasy nerd who drafted him in the first round will win their consolation playoff bracket. Too little, too late Ray.
– Fitting that Tim Tebow’s first NFL start comes on the birthweek of our Lord and Savior. Young Timothy did better than some would expect, rumbling for a 40 yard TD on a quarterback draw. Unfortunately, not even St. Timothy could deliver a win for the Broncos.
– The Lions needed overtime to do it, but they notched their first road victory since 2007 by battering the bruised Bucs. Tampa’s playoff hopes are slipping away quickly.
– Washington fans should be worried by Rex Grossman’s 4 TD performance as it may con Mike Shanahan into keeping him around for 2011. Of minor note though, the Skins still lost and Sexy Rexy threw an INT on the final drive.
– Patriot Dan Connolly lived every offensive lineman’s dream turning a pooch kick into a near touchdown. His 71 yard kick off return was the longest by an offensive lineman in history.